- Jennifer Dukes Lee
I have stipulated many, many times that while I write, I am not a professional. I don't get paid to put my thoughts down on paper. I do it because it is therapeutic for me. It helps me set goals, prioritize, celebrate, scream, shout, sing, and sometimes, to cry.
Some of you understood my feelings; I have a horse that will probably die long before I am ready for him to pass, and I won't be able to do a thing about it.
Except. The one thing I can do for him is choose his ending before he suffers. I can choose to let him go before he stands in excruciating pain as his coffin bone rotates into his sole. Laminitis. It's my worst nightmare. Speedy's version of Cushing's Disease seems determined to make this about his feet. How many laminitic episodes do I let him have? What's the magic number? One, three, eight? My heart answers for me; none. One is too many.
I pleaded with him to listen, really listen. The last thing that I want is for Speedy to suffer. Dr. Tolley looked at me and nodded. In a voice that resonated with regret, he admitted that he has let horses live too long. Suffer too long. Even for him, a doctor of veterinarian medicine for more than 30 years, letting them go is still hard to do.
I told Dr. Tolley that I will do what seems right for Speedy. I will care for him as long as there is a good chance that he can lead a comfortable and happy life. I will not go to the ends of the Earth to keep him with me though. That's selfish.