At Long Last, Farewell

At long last, we said goodbye to old Plasir yesterday. I know it’s not my place to mourn him, and really, I don’t. This horse has been making me sick, just too look at him for about a year now, ever since I started coming at my friends stable.

Owned by an elderly man, Plasir had been his trusted companion for 30 years… yes, you read that right, the horse was 31 years old when he was finally allowed his peace yesterday.

Blazie 588

I have been looking at him every time I came by and wondered why no one had reported him. The horse was miserable, lame on all four legs, unable to bend its hind legs, dragging them sideways when he had to walk, no doubt due to arthritis, and he was so skinny. At the same time, he could hardly eat. I have hardly ever seen the like, and every time I tried to talk to the owner he dismissed me with “Well, he is happy.”

I have wanted to scream at him whenever he said that, but I have played it nice, failed the horse, compromised who I am and what I will accept, for the sake of my friend who has her horses at this place. I have felt horrible about it. This is so not me, to silently watch a horse suffer like this.

Well, he is happy… the most dangerous sentence in the world. It really is. Looking at Plasir, I know why I had my own horses euthanized when I did. Because they should never, ever end up like that, in so much pain, so undignified, so robbed of the spark of life… Never. As hard as it is to let go, watching Plasir live, have been much harder for me.

I was told that he was to have the vet by a few weeks ago, for the yearly vaccinations. I noted it, and decided to call his vet, and tell him not to leave there again without putting that horse down, or I would report both the horse and the vet. As a vet, you are not allowed to leave a horse in this much pain, and they did that, last year.

Last year they told the old man to let the horse have a good summer and then have it put down by fall. He didn’t. This year, I was not going to let them do that again. Yes, I feel a bit like the grim reaper sometimes, but I couldn’t let a vet come by this horse and leave it once more.

There is another aspect of it. If someone else reported the horse, we could all be implicated. According to Danish law, it is illegal for me to know of a horse, like this one, and do nothing. When the vet left it last year, he- inadvertently- told all of us that the horse was not being mistreated- yet.

I reached my breaking point with this horse a long time ago, and really, I have had nothing to do with it, other than watch it from afar.

Still, as I waited for the weekend to be over, so I could call up his vet and scream at them, I was told at the last moment, that the vet had actually been by already, and the horse was to be euthanized.

On top of the legs, his heart was failing, big time.

No kidding…

The vet had actually used quite big words, telling the old man that considering where they lived, (right next to a public school,) he was surprised that no one had reported them yet… so at least he came true this time…

It’s never nice, saying goodbye. Not even to a horse like this one, where I have been hoping, praying and kicking and screaming to have it put down for a year… it is always horrible. I saw the old man pick up his horse on the pasture yesterday, as I drove by to get to my stable.

I know just how he felt. I know just how horrible that last walk is, those last hours of grooming, of crying, of saying goodbye, of doing everything for the very last time, trying to remember as much as possible, desperate to hang on to every last breath of life…

Watching them yesterday, I was relieved for the horse and I feel terribly sorry for the old man.

Blazie 594

So all that is left to say, I guess, it rest in peace Plasir. You earned it.


About Starstone

-Owned by horses. Writer, Photographer, Director, Musician.
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2 Responses to At Long Last, Farewell

  1. jen says:

    So, so sad. We have a similar situation right down the road from us. The horse is not lame, but he is very old and nothing but skin and bones. I’m on friendly terms with the woman who owns him and have tried to make tactful comments about his decline and what should be done about it. She says she knows he’s failing, but she just can’t bring herself to put him down. She doesn’t even recognize that it’s the kinder thing to do! I don’t think our laws here are as strict, and I don’t know if reporting her would do anything other than cause a lot of trouble and ill will among neighbors. I’m afraid the law would not view it as a case of mistreatment, but of old age. 😦

    • Starstone says:

      I am pretty sure with this one, we would all be i ntrouble if someone had reported it… old age, IS mistreatment, no matter how you look at it, once the horse is losing weight like that, something is wrong, and if you do nothing to fix it- meaning if your vet is not helping you treat it somehow- it is mistreatment, you can’t just ignore it, like this one- sadly- was.

      but no, I don’t think you can do anything either, especially not if the law doesn’t back you up… And then again, I did nothing, even though I was sure the law would back me up, because I didn’t want to cause bad blood between us…
      It’s not easy, telling someone to put their horse down- I did that, not always as tactful as I should have been, but well… when he said no, I let it go and hoped his vet would grow some balls in the end…

      Anyway, yes I am a bloody coward, I hope Plasir will forgive me… and at least now, he is finally resting…

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