Then at three years old, Dawn foundered. We had to watch
her weight as closely as we could. We had more good days
than bad. She was my pet, so not being able to ride her
didn't matter to me.
She was forever looking at the back door, to see if she could
see me. No matter where I was, she would find me. She
always said hello, every time she saw me in the pasture
or stall. She always greeted me. She let me know when
she wanted out, and she would go to the gate and tell me
when she wanted back in her stall. One time she was in
the pasture, and so was I. A strange dog came in, and I
guess she thought he would hurt me. She came running
from the far side of the pasture, right beside me, to chase
that dog out.
Dawn seemed to know what I was thinking. If I was brushing
the other horses, I would say to her, "Well, what do you think?"
And she would look up as if to say, "Good job, Mom."
I watched Dawn so closely, paying attention to her weight, feet,
and her diet. In 2000, she starting showing signs of getting
worse. I called the vets to come out. They x-rayed her hooves
as they had done so many times. They said she had two
options: cut the deep fexlor tenions or be put down. We cut
her tenions. For a year. she was doing so well.
Then one morning, I went out to feed her. and Dawn was shaking
while laying down. I called the vet, then my husband, my
daughter, and best friend. They all came over to be with me.
My husband rented a back hoe to dig our angel her resting
place, because he said that Dawn was too much a lady to be
thrown in the ground. My vet waited until we got through with
her grave, then she came out.
My husband told my friend to take me home with her. He
didn't want me to see her when the vet put her down. He
knew it would be the end for me as well.
My vet gave Dawn a shot in her legs so she could stand up
an walk. My daughter said that when my husband had to put
the halter on Dawn to walk her out of the barn to her final
resting place, he fell to pieces.
They walked Dawn toward her grave, letting her eat, and doing
whatever she wanted. She walked right into her grave. My
daughter said, "Dawn looked at my husband as if to say, "You
can say good-bye now." It looked to my daughter as if there
was a ray of sunshine in Dawn's face.
When the vet gave Dawn that last shot, my husband and her
helped our golden Palomino lie down. The vet told my husband
that Dawn was asleep now. When my husband got everything
done at her grave, he told me later, that he saw Dawn while
walking back to the barn. She was in the pasture, eating the
Bermada grass. I know Dawn let him see her just to tell him
that he did the right thing.
All of my vets said that Dawn was not my horse; she was my
child. They knew of no other horse who had lived with this
disease, which was chronic founder, as long as she survived.
They said my care and the love we had for each other, kept
Dawn alive for so long. Dawn had more good days than bad
and she told the both of us when it was time to say good-bye.
I can say, back then, I had it all. This kind of companionship
comes around once in your life. I am almost fifty-six years old
and I will probably never have another like her. She was truly
one of a kind. As for me, my heart will never stop breaking. I
will love and miss Dawn until I die.
So I say, one more time, as I did every night, "Nite-nite, Dawn
Dawn. See you in the morning.
I made a Website to honor Dawn.
It is http://community.webtv.net/dawnslove/mygoldenpalomino/
It was made from my heart, and so very many nice people have
put Dawn on their sites and made pages for her. I also sent
Dawn's picture to a contest to win an oil painting. My entry
was chosen by Mrs. Shelia Nye, who lives in the U.K., as the
winner of an oil painting she did of Dawn. I have received the
painting, and now Dawn's portrait hangs in my living room.
I'll walk a mile in your shoes my friend
And you walk a mile in mine
At the end of the road
we'll know one another better
Come rain or come shine
I'll understand what you feel
on those cloudy days
You'll understand me
when I can't see through the haze
Because when the sun is shining
There is really nothing hard
about walking that mile
It's easy to laugh and get along
It's easy to share a friendly smile
But on those days of falling tears
The days when your heart
is heavy with pain
If we walked that mile
in each other's shoes
Then there is nothing we need to explain
We cannot judge someone
until we have taken that same walk
Love and understanding
is the only way to go
That's when a friend needs
a tight hug that says,
"I have been there, I know