We purchased some Liver/Immune builder from Blue Ridge Distribution for Wanda. Initially she ate it along with her low protein feed. She seemed to perk up for a bit appetite wise and began eating more hay & pelleted feed. Eventually, she again became disinterested in eating much of anything. We tried various pelleted feeds and different types of hay. She would eat Orchard hay in small amounts. She would nibble on grass throughout the day, but it wasn't enough to sustain her. She was continuing to lose weight and was thin.
Wanda's personality never did waiver. She was always curious, glad to see you, would follow me around as I fed the other horses. She was quite affectionate and very much a "pocket pony". She just loved being around people.
Mentally, Wanda was bright and interested. Sadly, her body was failing her and the only thing we could do for her was to let her go. Helping Wanda cross the Rainbow Bridge was very difficult because she did not appear to be in pain or discomfort. I never saw this lovely mare lie down or exhibit any behavior that indicated she was not feeling well. Our vet said that she was not in pain but that her body could not recover from the liver problems. When I asked if there was ANYTHING that could be done, he said that a liver transplant was the only thing that might make a difference. Of course, that was out of the question.
On Thursday, April 2, 2009 Wanda crossed the Rainbow Bridge. When the vet arrived she was grazing around the hay area. I haltered her and led her to the arena while several of the TIER residents neighed. I think they knew. Wanda's buddy, Baxter
, was especially nervous and pacing his stall.
Wanda was calm and crossed the Rainbow Bridge with Grace, Dignity and respect. This was so very hard to do! Once the vet had left, I let Baxter out into the arena so that he might better understand that Wanda was gone. He spent some time smelling her, talking to her and then he just stood beside her until I put him back in his pen.
After Wanda's body had been removed I went back out to the arena. As I was walking in the gate the TIER resident's began sounding off. Loud, long neighs of farewell. The final salute to a mare that had come upon rough times and then came to TIER for her last year of walking on this earth. The first time I heard the Final Salute many years ago it amazed me that the horses knew that one of them had galloped across the Rainbow Bridge to their final pasture. They do it every time a horse crosses the Bridge and it still moves me to tears and I get that inside ache of loss. Horses are such remarkable animals!