One of my mom's horses unexpectedly died this afternoon.
She was my childhood horse's baby, all grown up. My childhood horse and lifelong friend, Dancer, was put down a few years ago after a good long life. Her baby Shadow was born slightly crippled and was kept mainly as company for the other horses and because my mom is a sucker for animals.
She was getting older, into her teens, and has been having problems with her leg. Unfortunately, in an effort to escape the vet, she broke her leg and had to be put down.
I am heartbroken for my mom, having to deal with the reality, the enormity, and the trauma of the event and its aftermath.
In one respect, I'm glad that she didn't have to make the decision to put her down just for being old and crippled, because she would have carried the burden of guilt and indecision for a long time, even though it would have been the right thing to do.
(we had a three legged greyhound they had to carry up and down the stairs and out to the bathroom...FOR YEARS)
On the other hand, I know all too well the shock and pain of losing a pet to a sudden and traumatic situation, and all of the "what ifs", even though they are good for nothing and it was all meant to be and happened for a reason.
It feels like the end of an era as far as pets go, with Heidi Louise dying and Dancer's baby, Shadow dying and us adding Murphy and them adding Duke to the family. It's definitely sad and another one of those things that makes you realize how quickly time is passing, when pets you remember as babies grow old and pass.