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Goldie's Great Gift

The animals in our lives bring us so much. Love, compassion, deep life lessons and unfortunately the deep grief when we have to say good-bye.

I bought Goldie for my 10-year-old daughter. She wasn't very impressed by me to say the least. I worked very hard to get her to like me to no avail.

It wasn't until she had a heart attack that things changed. We developed a bond so deep, so filled with love. I was so freaked out by the heart attack and the thought of losing her, that after I had learned Animal communication, I wouldn't talk to her. I was afraid she was going to tell me she was dying.

One day when we were waiting for the chiropractor she spoke to me. She said, “You need to get used to the fact that I am going to die!”

I looked at her panicked. She laughed and said, “Not today, nottomorrow, not anytime soon, but I am going to die, so are you!”

So fast forward 8 years. A month before Goldie’s 40th birthday, which is quite old for a horse, she had been very sick, not eating, etc. She had lost weight she couldn't afford to lose. I was fearing that I might have to make the decision to put her to sleep. I was worried sick about her and one morning I woke up, I realized I had forgotten to eat the day before. Why this was my first thought upon waking I don’t know, but Goldie piped in and said, “Hmmmm and you’re still ALIVE!”

I perked up a little at her humor for the situation, although this didn't last. This was on Wednesday morning.

Thursday afternoon as soon as I pulled in the driveway, I could see her body lying in the pasture. I choked up, just knowing this had to be the end for my dear friend. I ran out to the pasture, and took one look at her. She seemed lifeless, with her tongue slightly hanging out of her mouth. I just knew I had lost her, and started to walk past her to get some comfort from Abe, my Tennessee Walker.

As I was walking past, I saw a twitch. I rushed back to her and she looked at me without raising her head. I stroked her head, talked to her for a minute and ran back to get a bucket of water and the horse muffins I had bought on my way home hoping to entice her to eat. I poured some water into her mouth and broke off a small piece of muffin for her. To my surprise she took it.

After a couple small bits she didn't want anymore. I just sat with her, stroking her face. The sun was shining down on us, the first time in days. I noticed a red cardinal perched on the fence just watching us. I had never seen him around here before.

As I sat with my old friend, I kept running my fingers through her coat. It had once been a bright coppery color. She is cream now, and this seemed to be the first time that I noticed just how much gray had grown in through the copper. There is still some copper hair, and it was glinting in the sunlight. I was pondering over what I should do, call the vet, let her go on her own. I just really didn't know what to do. She didn't seem in pain, just laying real still and enjoying our time together.

While I was thinking about this, Cheyenne, my Arab mare approached her, held out a prehensile lip, and gently started rubbing Goldie’s muzzle, she blew some healing into Goldie’s nose, and then started slapping her really hard with her lip. She would slap her a couple of times and then take a couple of steps back, and let out this really loud, high-pitched squeal.

I sat there dumbstruck couldn't believe she could be so mean. Then she approached again and did the same thing. This time when she got done squealing, I heard a few of the neighbors horses squealing in the distance. This wasn't a whinny, not a sound I had heard before, similar I guess to what she does when she is in heat, but different somehow.

I am getting upset, and Cheyenne won’t stop. Goldie is clearly getting agitated. I look over at Abe for help and he just kind of chuckles and goes back to grazing.

Finally Cheyenne goes back to grazing, and Goldie and I are alone again to reflect. I start running my fingers through her coat again and start to remember everything we have done, said, and been to each other.

My first thought is how she made a young girl’s dream come true, her first horse. How she carried my daughter so proudly, very careful of her precious cargo. I started crying, as I could see them cantering through the back yard, both of their blonde pony tails swing in rhythm to her gentle canter. How that first day that I met her, I had no idea the road we would travel together, the great gifts she would bring into my life.

Every time I cried she would try to get up. I would tell her you don’t have to do that for me, my love, if you have to go I understand . I will be okay. After some time of this, I noticed Sabrina come bouncing into the pasture. Sabrina is a tiny, black bob-tail cat. I am a bit surprised to see her come bouncing out. She always seems curious about the horses, but very timid of them as she sees just how much they tower over her.

She walked boldly up to us and lays down under the curve of Goldie’s tail. She stretches herself out in the shade it creates and lays her paws gently on Goldie’s hip. I look at her wondering what she is doing. She looks at me knowingly and then turns her attention back to Goldie. She lays there like that for well over a half an hour.

At this point, Goldie picks up her head and looks at me. She speaks for the first time in what has been a couple of hours. She says, “Please give me your energy, I need it.” Feeling really stupid at this point, because I wasn't giving her healing, I started to send Reiki to her. She lays her head back down and looks so peaceful. I told her to use it as she needed, and if it was to pass, that was okay. She laid there for a while longer.

Suddenly she made a grand effort to get up. She didn't quite make it, and I honestly didn't know if she had the strength to. I was trying to help her, but didn't want to push too hard, and push her all the way over. Finally we managed to get her so she was sitting like a dog. She sat like that for a second or two, then up she came. I was astounded!

She was shaking and weak and was staggering around. I was madly kicking the bucket and my other things out of her way. She hobbled around in circles for a few seconds and I could see her hind leg wasn't working quite right. I thought it was asleep and kept rubbing it for her. She hobbled over to some water and took a big long drink and then started to graze.

I went to pick up my things, and she followed me slowly back to the barn. I really wasn't sure if this was temporary or what she had in mind. I gave her dinner, expecting her not to eat it, just like every other feeding time for nearly two weeks. To my surprise she ate a good bit of it.

Goldie really rallied. That day she gave me another great gift. The gift of precious time. She stayed with me another 2 months. This mare always surprised and amazed me. Her inner strength and determination was always an inspiration to me.

There are no real words for the things she has taught me, words just don’t do her justice.There is no way I can capture in words just how surreal it was sitting in that field that sunny afternoon, expecting the worst, and instead being given the great gift of time.

I hope some day to grow up just like her, wise, peaceful, with a pure joy for life. If you ask her how her day was, she never told you about her aches or pains, or that Cheyenne picked on her. She would tell you how lush the grass was and about the gentle breeze that blew through her mane. When asked of the night-time, she would gush about how bright the stars were, she would tell me different things to look at in the sky.

I have never looked at the stars the same way, since I have seen them through her eyes. I was truly blessed to have this special soul grace my pastures and my life.

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