foalstory: (Ally - goodbyes)
[personal profile] foalstory
January 3rd, 2007.

I couldn't get to the clinic soon enough or late enough. I didn't know what I wanted, but I knew I did want photos. Whatever semblance of mind I had left on this date, I had sense enough to grab the point & shoot and the mini tripod that I could strap onto a fence or some such. I'd done the same for Dot the day or two before I put her down and I knew how much those photos had helped.

What I didn't expect was that even now, two years later, the photos are like a kick in the gut and hurt like hell. But this is part of my healing and grief process, so I'm going to do the most difficult step:

tired and done

too thin


last one ever:

I didn't know what else to do, but I waited until I was almost impatient, but in a dread-filled way. I wanted to let him go, let him be free. But goddamned it hurt.

Dr. Hammer finished up his morning rounds and came to find me. He handled everything very well -- I let him know that I'd done this before and wanted to be there. He was a bit surprised at that, but accepting. I just asked him what he needed from me (holding the head, etc) and to tell me when he put the final drugs in so that I'd Know.

I hadn't even thought of it, but we needed to unblanket Ally. I hadn't seen him without at least the fleece sheet since Idaho and it was terrifying. Utterly terrifying. The Edema was like a parasite, sucking all meat/flesh from his bones until he was a skeleton. His body had liquefied into the Edema, which hung from his belly and underside in a truly grotesque way. His legs were finally totally unwrapped, but walking was difficult with the fluid tightening up the skin around his joints. I was seeing bones in Ally that I didn't know existed, that I didn't know COULD be seen without a skeletal model in front of you, such as you often find at vet schools.

We walked to the back of the property to a patch of ground (frozen, we had no choice) where we were out of sight from the rest of the clinic and any other clients and patients.

I stood at Ally's head, remembering how Dot had stumbled backwards, fighting the drugs and we had worked to make sure she landed gracefully on the ground. You need the side of the horse with the catheter in the neck to be the side that lands 'up' in case you need to give more drugs. Horrid, but true.

Dr. Hammer injected a combination of drugs -- I'd asked to make sure there were painkillers and sedatives in there galore. Those alone probably ended up being enough to kill him, the euthanasia juice was a mere afterthought.

Ally went down fast. The entire process was horribly fast, but with his heart so weakened, it barely took anything at all for him to pass on. It was definitely too fast for me, but nothing could make me 'ready' for this.

Ally went down easily at least, and I was at his head and side the entire way down, telling him it was okay and then stroking him, fuzzy fur over flesh over bones. He was probably gone before he even hit the ground, Dr. Hammer said. However I stayed with him until the body's responses were done (they keep breathing and the heart *usually* beats a few more times), closed his eyes with my hand and just bawled.

While I was stroking Ally and waiting for that last breathe, I remember looking up and noticing a slow drip from the box next to us. Testimony to how far gone I was, this didn't even phase me. It was a large debris cart and it was blood dripping out -- this was where the dead horses were put and why we were putting Ally down right next to where a forklift or tractor would scoop him up later and drop in his remains. Not even a blip on the emotional radar, it just was what it was. I was that far gone.

I stood. We removed his halter. Dr. Hammer asked if I wanted any hair or such -- I'd already taken some, because I wanted to snip while he was alive, not dead. I turned and walked away.

Ally was now my angel.
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