I had no idea where in the pasture I wanted to bury Hazel until literally the vet pulled his truck in. My friend Adriana, was holding Hazel, and I was holding Rose … She asked where should she stand and I just pointed to a grassy spot that looked like a soft place for my old gal to fall… I knew Hazel was gonna be ok, but Rose was my biggest concern. We put a lot into protecting our loved ones, and she was my wild card for this, but the vet was insistent that she be right there. He knows Rose well and her bond with Hazel. Turned out as always, he knew Rose needed the closure of seeing Hazel go down. She left quickly- faster than I’ve ever witnessed before. She actually died while standing - almost as if the life was just plucked in an instant from her physical vessel. Rose stood there as calm as could be as Hazel’s lifeless body fell to the ground, without a sound, under the only oak tree in the pasture, with the grace that only Hazel would have fallen. She fell with her perfect side facing up, the one with no cancer, where all her braids naturally fell. She looked as though someone positioned her perfectly, her front legs crossed…. Rose went over immediately and sniffed, investigated, and then quietly walked away and started grazing in the field. I sat with her before she was buried. Her muzzle stayed soft and warm the whole time. I was amazed at how she seemed to just be peacefully sleeping, and the shadows of the oak tree branches even confused me a few times as they blew in the wind, softly dancing on her body, making it seem she as if she was moving slightly. I checked and the only movement was just the surface of the wispy remainder of her winter coat blowing. I closed and cupped her one eye, as her death was so fast, she fell with it open. I was happy to have this time alone with her, just me, Hazel, the blue sky, wind, and Buddy and Rose in the distance. Christian had his time with her afterwards and it was breathtaking for him as well. It’s strange to see something that once had such a big presence, with such an enormous spirit, be lifeless and still. He never dreamed of a farm with animals like I did, but he appreciates it all and loves them all deeply, and I’m grateful he understands it all.
I haven’t posted much here on the blog in months, but this experience deserved a spot.
Rose and Buddy are going so well and I’m really pleased with how Tuesday's farrier visit went. It’s never easy losing a companion, and Rose was especially close to Hazel. Hazel was a real stabilizer for Rose and for every single farrier visit, Hazel stood right there, so close, that I now understand how she calmed Rose. I posted something I learned recently on Instagram about how horses can hear a heartbeat from 4 feet away….. that was an eye opener and made me more aware of the energy I walk up to the horses with… I can tell that Rose misses Hazel, but at the same time I can also tell she is starting to assume the calming role that Hazel once played. She’s been settling into her new role as Buddy’s bestie, and I can already tell how he has started to benefit…. I’m excited to see how he grows and changes over time with this new dynamic.
Life goes on for us all left behind and now mine gets to be a little simpler without all the specialized care for Hazel. You don’t realize really all you do on autopilot for someone until they are gone. Evening rituals have been simpler. No cleaning of Hazel’s face, no meds, no applesauce, no molasses to ‘help the medicine go down’, - just regular ol’ horsey snacks. My hay & feed bill in winter will also be a lot less because it costs a lot to keep an old gal plump over winter, and let me tell ya, my vet and others were amazed at how she looked when they saw her last week. I’m happy I gained the experience of keeping an old horse well fed and hope it serves me well when Rose and Buddy get on up there in age.
I do think I’m gonna try to start sharing more here as I do enjoy the writing that doesn’t fit within the maximum amount of characters Instagram allows.
I do appreciate all the conversations, gifts, prayers, and kind words regarding this whole loss and especially having an experienced handler here to handle Hazel for her final breath so that I could focus on my Rose. Life is fleeting. Live it while you are here. I’m fortunate to have other animals that depend on me to help me through hard times such as this…. I’m attaching a slew of pics of my sweet Hazel over the years in her memory. hope you all are enjoying your week - it’s still rather magical here despite the huge loss just five days ago…. Having Hazel laid to rest in the field she grazed, honesty has helped keep it feeling sparkly around here...