Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Happy Birthday, Justice!

I can't add the pictures till I get home late tonight but wanted to get this posted. It's strongly on my mind and I hope getting it said will let me concentrate on work! (Updated with pictures 10pm!)

Five years ago today, my horse Paint Mare (Merit's Top Hand) had her first foal, a beautiful bay paint colt.

His father was Tru Vanity and I named him Tophand's Tru Justice. I took two days off work for "maternity leave" to hang out with my "grandson". He took his first nap with his head in my lap as I sat in the dirt. From the day he was born, if I came up to the fence, he would walk away from his mama to come see me. No other foal born here has done that - they will let me approach and not run off, but they don't leave their mamas for me.

Justice was the perfect combination of sire and dam. He had his mama's level head and the same white triangle on his ribs.
He had daddy's dark bay color (not so much when he was born, but he darkened every spring when he shed his winter coat) and pretty two-tone tail.
I let the girls start him the summer after he turned two and he was doing quite well. I got to ride him four times. I remember once riding down the street and a young boy came running down his driveway and popped out from behind a bush, spooking Justice and sending him into a little crow-hopping session (for you non-horsey folks, that's like "light" bucking). I could feel myself slipping further sideways with each hop and without even thinking I yelled "Justice, NO!"


How cool is that? A horse that stops bucking when you say "no no"! I was amazed. But when I thought about it I was not surprised. I spent a lot of time with him and I talk a lot (you'd have never guessed huh?) so he must have figured out that "no" meant stop, quit, knock it off, cut it out, no matter what he was doing...

That fall, Thanksgiving weekend to be exact, he got sick. Long (long long) story short, he was up and down for a month, 7 trips to the vet which included pumping his stomach several times and tons of tests, a lot of home care in between with the vet's approval, 4 nights I spent with him in the trailer while he was on IV fluids (no stall to keep him confined while he was hooked to the IV so we used the trailer)... he would start to get better and start eating and go downhill again. He lost a lot of weight and lost the sparkle in his eye. And the last time he crashed, on December 26, 2005, I had him in the trailer headed for the equine specialist in Scottsdale, but when I got there and they opened the trailer door, he was gone.

I guess I've been lucky as I have not lost close family except for grandparents who were quite old and ill. Because I can honestly say that the day Justice died was the worst day of my life.

For a couple of years I couldn't talk or write about him without crying. I spent a lot of alone time in my car railing against fate or whatever you want to call it - literally screaming to the universe "I WANT HIM BACK!!!" I hid a lot of my despair from my husband because I didn't want to worry him. He tried his best to comfort me but he told me honestly that he did not understand how I felt. I knew that and I appreciated his honesty and that he didn't just mouth words to try and make me feel better. We both knew he couldn't fix it and he learned that instead of trying, he should just hold me and we both knew that was all he could do. And it was good. And I know he reads this blog but I'm a lot better now so I hope what's already done won't worry him. But I digress...

Through a friend I heard about Bonnie Fogg, an animal communicator, and she had done several readings for us on our problem children. This is a touchy subject for a lot of folks and I won't go into detail - suffice it to say, I have seen, and I believe. Anyway I was struggling so much with the loss of Justice, and it wasn't getting better as time passed. So I asked her if she also talked to animals that had passed on. She doesn't advertise it, but she said yes she does do it. So I schedule an appointment for a reading on Justice.

Without going into detail, that reading gave me a good start on the peace and healing I had not been able to find. I still miss my boy and I always will. But I can talk about him and write about him without crying now. Well, at least not EVERY time {sniff}. But hey, today is his birthday. Today is special.

PS for anyone reading this to whom it applies: Happy Administrative Professionals Day :)


Kris said...

Well Happy Birthday Justice! What a great tribute to a awesome horse! I truly love all our horses, they each have such different qualities, personalities, etc. But I truly believe there are the ones that you connect on every level and you are blessed to have this. So many people miss out on this opportunity with a horse, as they think they are stupid and do not take the time. I talk to each one of our horses and build a personnel relationship with each one. I have that very special bond with my mare "Angel". I can talk with her and she understands, I trust her so very much. It is something that is hard to describe, as you know. Especially if people are not horse people! We are so blessed to have this magnificent creatures to share our lives with. I have had people ask me why I love and treat our horses the way I do, they are just going to die they say!? What! I know it is going to be hard each time something happens to one of our horses, but the joy and blessings they bring me each day is so worth it! Thanks for sharing the story of Justice with us and looking forward to seeing his picture. Okay know I need the kleenex! Sniff....sniff.!!!! Thank God for these wonderful creatures called horses and them being a part of our everyday lives! Hugs from East Texas!

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

I couldn't say it better than Kris.
Happy Birthday Justice!!

debby said...

I've never had a horse, but I have connected with animals the way you connected with your Justice. It's a hard thing to lose them. But I'd rather cry at my feelings of loss than to have not experienced that bond.

My boss just had to have her horse put down. The horse was 18, and her very first horse. Heather had trained her, and competed with her, and passed her down to daughter Tara who also competed with her. It broke Heather's heart. Tara came into our office the day after, and with great composure said, "My dad gave me a hug and rubbed my back. He's never done this before. Maybe this thing happened to make my family closer." And I bawled my head off.

Animals add a whole new dimension to our lives.

Sara said...

Awe, happy birthday Justice. That brought a tear to my eye. It's wonderful (and horrible) how these animals can mean so much to us. I'm glad that Bonnie was able to bring you the comfort that you needed (I believe, although I've never had her help me yet). May you remember the good memories today. :)

debby said...

Susan, I was telling my boss about Justice, and about your blog. She walked into the office later, all red eyed. You really struck a nerve today. It was a post for every person who loves their horse.

PaintedPromise said...

aawww thanks guys... he means so much to me, i really appreciate your kind words! amazing how close we can become when we share common ground, even though we've never "really" met...