You Never Know What You Are Taking For Granted
It wasn’t that long ago that I was in Vancouver having the show of my life.
My long-time partner Arthur and I showed up rusty to Tbird, having not shown in several months, but quickly found our form placing in every class we entered over the circuit. When given the opportunity to jump out on the big Grand Prix grass field for the first time in 3 years, I was nervous to say the least. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat and when we crossed the finish line with a time fault (meaning no jump off!) I took a huge sigh of relief! But it wasn’t over then. They kept my division in that ring for the rest of the show and we got more opportunities to jump clear rounds in there, ending with an amazing double clear and a good prize to boot!
I was thrilled with our return to sport after a long wait due to the pandemic and we set off home without a care in the world.
Arriving home, however, Arthur didn’t seem quite right. We watched him, we walked him, we gave him some medication prescribed by our vet, and when he still wasn’t settled the vet ultimately gave us the news we should take him to the clinic. Keeping in mind Alex (my husband) and I had now been up for coming up on 24 hours from the drive home, we looked on as vets constantly watched him, lunged him, and administered drugs.
Now you should know, Arthur is the MOST stoic fellow you will meet. He gives 110% percent always everyday and has NEVER swished a tail, pinned an ear or said no. I have always felt it was an extra responsibility to protect his best interests because of his overly giving nature, but this particular early morning was the biggest test of that responsibility in the 7 years we have had him.
When the vets had exhausted all other efforts, they advised surgery was necessary. Although he is insured, it was still a hard choice to make. You see, people often say things like, “He owes me nothing” - but it’s more than that. I owe him so much, the least of which is a good chance at a happy and comfortable life… for him, not me.
So I did two things, I told him there was a chance we would put him on the table and he wouldn’t wake up, I told him I would never ask him to do something that he couldn’t and that there was a chance we wouldn’t meet again in this life. And then I ugly cried, gasping between sobs to the surgeon that if when he opened him up and if it was bad he had to tell me and that we would not torture him trying to make him live when it wasn’t the best thing for him.
We watched, we waited, we prayed to every god, energy, universe we could think of.