Saying Goodbye

My journey with Clara was rather a short one, but long enough to fall in love!

I bought her sight unseen from San Diego a year and a half ago on the strong recommendation of a trainer friend of mine. He called up and said, "Oh, Julie. I have the perfect horse. She is so sweet. You will love her and she's for sale!" He was down at a horse show in Santa Barbara and had known her in the past. He was right. She was a doll. She had won lots of blue ribbons and happily trotted her riders around the ring, prancing, tail high, mane flying.

When Clara arrived here, she was sick with a cold. The vet came out and put her on antibiotics and she improved. Six months later, however, she developed sore feet. The vet came out again and that is when he told me she had Cushing's disease-yep, just like people get--and that she would always be prone to laminitis (painful inflammation of the hoof) and other issues.

We started her on several meds and she improved and was running around again until about six weeks ago. We started over with the meds, but she just didn't respond this time, progressively getting worse and worse until we had to make the hard decision to put her down.

I have suffered over what to do. I could literally feel the pain in my own body; but you're always holding onto hope that she'll get better like before. The words compassion, courage, and strength came to mind as I struggled with what to do. It became evident from all indicators that the right thing to do was to let her go to sleep.

Saying goodbye to my beloved Clara this week has been difficult. It has, however, opened a portal to a greater understanding of the important things that animals are here to teach us. Through this experience I have grown more committed to understand, communicate with, and help to heal the wounding within the animal kingdom by offering the same unconditional love that God offers us. Animals have much to teach us about love and acceptance. They very often act as God’s messengers to help us understand things we have been unable to grasp in any other way.

Here is to our beautiful furry friends, who come into our lives and show us a little picture of God and make us long to be more than we are with bigger hearts and greater imaginations. My prayer is that Clara’s generous spirit will always linger in my heart as an inspiration to love well.