I went from basking in the memory of one of the greatest moments of my life on Sunday to one of the worst today. This one is rather difficult to put into words. A year ago today we had to put down the first horse we ever bought. He was 14 yo and I was 9 or 10 when we got him in 1998. He was 32 and 5 months on that awful day. I think about it all the time.
His name was Pompeso Mansebo. We called him Mansebo…or Mr. Man…or Sebo. A Quarter Horse of quite good breeding. He was not the best first horse by most people’s standards. He proved to be incredibly spooky and pretty scared of men. Good thing it was just daughters in our household. We probably should have sold him not long after we got him. If you had asked me that years ago, I naturally would have thrown a fit and told you how wrong you were. That hindsight 20/20 thing is pretty cool. It is a great thing that we did not sell him. We knew just enough to know that we needed to get help with him. The rest as they say, is history. He turned out to be great and taught us all so much that I do not think we would have learned from any other horse. He became one of the most ‘go with the flow’ horses in the herd and the best babysitter for Lito I could have ever imagined. He even came to be quite fond of my father later on in life.
Sunday, September 13th of last year was one of the hardest days of my life and as hard as it is to say, the easiest. It was his time to go. He was in pain and suffering, but he could not let himself go. Like a dang Labrador Retriever. I tried to give him his time to pass on his own.
One of my best friends was there and had been with me every step of the way. I would not have gotten through without her. My eldest sister was able to come out to say her goodbyes and she brought her 4 month old daughter with her. I was down by the pond with Mansebo when she arrived. I met her half way as she was coming from the house and my niece in her arms was God’s presence for us, I swear. I have never seen anything like it. I have never seen that baby look more beautiful and bright. The light was shining right on her and she was so happy and full of smiles and joy. We had a good cry and a hug. We had our time with him while my niece napped under the shade of a pecan tree and we were with him when my vet came out to do what needed to be done (vet was amazing by the way. Get yourself a compassionate vet. It was all so comfortable. Well, as comfortable as it could be. They need more credit).
We have so many wonderful memories with Mansebo to look back on. Even on the day of his passing, my sister and I were reminded that there is always new and wonderful life, even in the hard times. The light is always there. My niece was the light that day.
We walked back up to the barn and the other horses and felt extreme gratitude for every one of them, especially Lito. For without Mansebo, the rest of them might not have happened. There is no better cure for this kind of heartache than babies. Human or animal.
We then proceeded to drink wine and eat chocolate pie…and drink more wine.
Have you ever had to put a pet down? What helped you get through?