Saturday November 28th, was like most any other Saturday at the farm. Volunteers and staff arriving for morning chores. The sounds of laughter, work and listening Christmas music playing loudly on the tailgater in the barn.
After chores, the hustle and bustle of lesson students and therapy clients commence. It is a happy and bright day as are most days at our little farm! That evening, all horses and ponies are given their scheduled broad spectrum wormer.
All is well except. . . Lady Pony seems a little off.. her manure has not been as solid as usual but, being 20 years old now, she goes through a seasonal loosie goosie poo period so no alarm bells are sounding yet. . .
Sunday morning arrives and Lady’s manure is becoming more liquid than solid as the day goes on. She seems tired and restless. She is eating her feed very slowly and taking breaks in the middle. We keep her inside for observation. We clean her up in the wash stall and wrap and braid her beautiful tail.
Sunday evening, Lady eats her feed and some hay. She seems OK although her diarrhea is not getting any better.
My girls decide to sleep over at the farm in the lounge to check on her throughout the night. They administer Pepto-Bismol to try and help her diarrhea. . .
Monday morning is it storming and raining. There was a tornado in a neighboring area. All horses are inside. Lady is no better and no worse. She is, however seeming to lose a lot of condition rapidly.
I decide if she is no better by evening, I will call the vet in the morning. Lady is no better and is starting to slide. Her manure is now only liquid and is projectile. Our vet comes immediately and recommends hospitalization at once!
It is an hour and a half drive to the hospital and we must borrow a friends truck and trailer to get there.
The hospital requires a $1,500.00 deposit just to come. Thank God we have some room on our one and only credit card. We arrive and call the front desk to let them know we’re here. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are not allowed to accompany my sweet small pony inside. We must put on masks, unload Lady and send her on her way with her blanket marked with her name and my phone number.
Lady Pony is escorted away immediately by a vet tech. I can tell she is scared but knows she needs more help than we can give her and this is where she will get it.
Like the wonderful pony she is, she obediently follows behind the vet tech and soon disappears into the building. My heart is breaking. My soul is praying as hard as it ever has!
Lady’s attending vet from MidAtlanic Equine Hospital calls that evening with news that she has been placed in isolation which is very costly.
Her bloodwork came back with puzzling result so will have to be re-run, she is getting IV fluids with added calcium and potassium because her blood work showed she was very low in both. Most likely due to dehydration caused by the extreme diarrhea.
You see, this particular pony is somewhat of a rock star.
She has been published in two books, helped teach former local news reporter, LuAnn Cahn how to muck a stall for one of her “firsts”.
Every day Lady helps heal the hurting, teaches children about horsemanship, kindness and caring for others, helps girls scouts earn their horsemanship badges, brings joy to birthday boys and girls as they take pony rides at their party, helps raise funds at events for churches, individuals, non-profits, firehouses, schools and more.
She has even been a companion for a Grand Prix St. Georges dressage horse while he was stabled at the farm on medical layup a few years ago.
She has helped so very many people in her 20 years of life, now she is the one who needed the helping. We hoped and prayed that this sweetheart who has given her life in service to others would be her beautiful, healthy self after her hospital stay.
After 5 days in the hospital, she stabilized and we picked her up to come home. She never seemed quite herself afterwards but was bright eyed and eating happily and all were overjoyed to see our precious Lady Pony back home where she belonged. . .
In an unexpected turn of events, seven days after being back at home, Lady relapsed and lost her battle the evening of December 23rd, 2020. All tests were “inconclusive” and /or “unknown toxin” which caused her to become ill. We will never know what happened to our sweet, precious Lady Pony. All we know for certain is..
God called her Home to be with Him once more. We are in shock and disbelief. Heartbroken and spent.
We feel blessed to have had her for 17 years. Lady was 20 years old. She was just 3 when we got her.
Lady Pony’s life was spent helping the hurting to heal. Now it’s her time to rest. Hearts of all ages and sizes are mourning her loss.
We have yet another precious soul well, loved and cherished by many waiting to greet us with a warm nuzzle and gentle nicker when we too are finally called Home.
x0x0 Lady Pony’s people