We are very saddened to announce that we have had to euthanize Bonnie (She was originally named Haven, but the volunteers at her foster home had begun calling her “Bonnie” and her friend “Clyde”). She seemed fine in the morning when she was fed, but later that day one of the volunteers realized there was something “off” with her in the arena. Kelley investigated and realized that Bonnie was very unsteady on her hind end, and had difficulty walking. One of our vets was on the property on a separate call, but came over immediately to determine what was wrong with her. After an examination, it was obvious that Bonnie had experienced some sort of fatal issue, probably either a heart attack or a stroke. Her blood pressure was very low and the vet noticed some heart palpitations as well.
There was little we could do at that point besides help Bonnie leave this earth peacefully. It was obvious from the examination that her internal systems were beginning to shut down, and while she may not have passed that afternoon, we did not want her to pass later that evening, alone, and in pain from a secondary issue, like a colic. There was also the issue that if she went down it was very unlikely that she would be able to get back up, which would have scared her.
We took off one of the panels from the arena so Bonnie didn’t have very far to walk, and she was calm and quiet when we took her over to the little grassy area next to the driveway. It was incredibly sad, but she was surrounded by people who loved her and cared for her. We were only able to give her four months of love, but everyday she was with us she had plenty of food and kindness. Her previous owner offered her only starvation and a bullet, but because of our generous supporters who helped to rescue her, and our kind volunteers who cared for her and Clyde everyday, we were able to give her an end with love and dignity.
We took Clyde (Cullen) over so he could say goodbye to Bonnie; horses need to know that their friends are gone as it helps with the grieving process. He was OK at first- he called out a few times as if asking us to fix her, but, of course, there was nothing we could do. He seemed to be accepting of her loss, but when we put him back into his stall he went to the back to look at the last place he saw her, and began neighing and calling for her. We finally put a little pony next to him to give him a buddy, and that might have been enough, but the pony was sad because we took her away from her other friends, so she began calling for her boyfriend next door (who called right back for her), which then set Clyde back to calling. We discovered that if we gave the pony some food she was more accepting of her new situation, but by then Clyde had gotten himself very upset, so we gave him a sedative to help him calm down. After about an hour he settled and began eating, and that evening he was much calmer. By the next day he seemed to be closer to normal and ate without any issues. He seems content enough with his new pony friend, and the pony has decided that Clyde can be another one of her boyfriends.
We are so very sad, and Bonnie’s passing is bittersweet, but we are at least contented with the knowledge that we did everything we could for her, and from the time she came to us to the time she left our care, she was surrounded by loving hands.