#ThursdayThoughts: Comet Sr., and the Hard Choices
You may have noticed 24 year old Comet Sr. has been in many photos and videos lately getting a lot of extra attention. Partly that's because with his Cushings disease he grows a lot of hair and is shedding badly, but part of it is also related to his arthritic and fused knee. Every day we find ourselves questioning what is right for Comet ... and there are no easy answers.
After a pain-free, limp-free summer we had been seriously discussing end of life plans for Comet if his limp returned this fall. Then it didn't return. However, when we brought Hank and Monty in, and Peggy and Eliza came up to his paddock for weight gain, his activity level went way up. He enjoyed chasing Eliza and Peggy, and unfortunately Monty enjoyed chasing him. This brought on his limp pretty bad.
We've been giving him quiet time and rest but we're approaching two months now. It improves, then the deep snow affects it, or the cold, and the limp becomes more pronounced. Every day we find ourselves questioning what is right for Comet ... and there are no easy answers.
Comet is his normal self. He's bright eyed, friendly, active, eating well. He locks horses in stalls, gets in the feed room if we forget to put the extra clasp on it, gives you a shove if you are ignoring him and then plays innocent, and all in all seems to be the most content and happiest that he's ever been with us.
And then he walks out to pasture and it hurts to watch him.
At this point, weighing everything, I don't think there is a wrong answer for Comet. He's very much passing all of our vet's criteria for not euthanasing ... and at the same time, his limp makes a good case TO euthanise.
We're just taking it day by day right now, weight the good with the bad, and having a lot of serious talks. Meanwhile, everyone knows Comet should get lots of grooming and extra attention since the day could be coming.
This is one of the hardest parts of rescue, especially when you maintain a small Sanctuary program like we do. We have a lot of horses that are aging - several over 25 now - and feel like we're facing a lot of tough decisions over the next few years. Living day by day is the only way to get through. We're grateful that your support lets us give horses like Comet Sanctuary and a good life.