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Jasper Stole Our Hearts

We met you on June 11th and fell in love with you. We all decided you would be a perfect fit on our little farm. We knew Sugar would fall in love with you and she did. We waited for you to arrive anxiously. Finally, the big day came. Our farrier brought you home on June 15th. Sugar took to you immediately. She ran to you and checked you out. This was the beginning of a great love affair. From that moment on you two were inseparable. You followed each other all over our 5 acres.

It took a few days, but you finally warmed up and trusted us. You would take a treat from our hand and let us love on you. You bonded with us as we did you. You were such a sweetheart, and we were glad you came to live with us. We learned a lot about horse interaction in the short time you were here. Until you came it was just Sugar and the donkeys. Until you came, we didn’t realize how much Sugar need a companion of her own. Thelma and Louise came together and then Colt was born. Sugar was always a third wheel. She made it work but was longing for her own companion. We got to watch the bonding of you two through your horse courtship. Something we had never seen before. Definitely not what we expected.

We saw the love Sugar had for you. We saw the love you had for her. It was heartwarming to see. I enjoyed watching you two grazing together. How she never let you get too far from her. We watched you run and play. Watched you enjoy your new life with all of us here on the farm. We never dreamed our time together would be so short lived. Out of the blue we saw what we thought was a minor injury from you and Sugars antics. We watched you closely and without warning you scared us, and we went on high alert. During this short time, you never made us worry that you were in a life-threatening situation. I woke from a dead sleep at 4am on July 8th and checked on you on the security cameras. I saw the motion light go off, so I knew you were walking around in the pen. This new farm momma gut I have acquired since having livestock went off. I went to check on you immediately. You walked over to me and dropped to the ground. You got back up and ate the carrot I brought you along with some hay and drank some water. I was concerned so I sat with you and we talked. I told you how much we all loved you and that we were going to get you better. That a vet was coming to see you and you would be good as new.

You got up to walk around again and this time when you went down, I saw the signs of colic. I had been reading up on things that can happen to a horse. I wanted to know what I needed to watch for while we waited for the vet to come see you just in case there was something worse than a minor injury from Sugars kick. I never dreamed it was something so serious. You hid it so well until you couldn’t. Until now we had been blessed for the most part with the health of all our animals. One chicken had gotten sick just before you came to live with us. Then we had the ducks wing broken the day you arrived. We were not expecting all the excitement that went on that morning between you and Sugar. The duck was just trying to get out of your way. I had a brush with one of our goats of what I thought may have been something but turned out okay. We were truly blessed. I have read so many stories of sadness and loss on farms that broke my heart and I thanked God it hadn’t happened to us. And now it was happening to us.

You rolled in pain and I cried feeling helpless. I immediately messaged the vet and called our farrier. I needed help. I couldn’t help you. I sat with you crying and loving on you until help arrived. Michelle gave you better pain medication than I had been giving you. She checked you out and we got you onto her trailer. Sugar was not happy and worried I am sure. I don’t know what horses think but I know she felt just as I did. The donkeys and Sugar surrounded the trailer all trying to figure out what we were doing to you. We got them away so you could get to the emergency vet immediately.

That’s the last time we saw you. We watched you leave for help never to return. A couple hours later what seemed to be a lifetime I got the call. My heart skipped a beat or two as I prayed it was good news. The call I feared had come. The worst possible diagnosis was confirmed. We were going to lose you and there was nothing we could do for you but say goodbye. We couldn’t be there with you, but Michelle was. She gave you our love and was with you when you got your wings. As I am writing this tears are streaming down my face. This has been a rough day. This morning I woke up at 4am again. I looked outside and you were not there. I have been on an emotional roller coaster for 17 hours. I didn’t see this coming. I wasn’t prepared to say goodbye. None of us were. Sugar is pacing looking for you and crying out for you. The donkeys are too. All I can do is love on them and say I am sorry, Jasper is gone. He isn’t coming back but he will always be with us.

Hopefully he knows how much we all loved him. How he took a piece of us with him when he left. Ironically, I blogged about when livestock die just three days before Jasper came to live with us. In that blog I said this is the hardest part of farm life. A part I will never get used to or be prepared for. And when it happens so quickly and unexpectedly you don’t have time to prepare yourself for it. I still can’t believe he is gone. I have asked God WHY? I prayed for him all morning and my prayers were not answered sadly. In that same blog I spoke of the guilt one feels when they lose an animal. The nagging questions. What more could I have done? What did I do wrong? How did I fail this precious creature from God I was entrusted to care for? The emotions that go along with the pain and guilt. They say it’s just part of farm life. Well this is the part I don’t like. The part I could do without. The part I will never get used to. The part that kills me.

Good buy Jasper. May you rest in peace. God speed little buddy. Until we meet again. You will always be with us. We had you for such a short time but loved you more than you know. If only we had more time. Fly free.

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