Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Return of Sugar Plum

After receiving a teary phone call from the foster mommy of our teeny black mini horse Sugar Plum, we brought her home. Her caregiver had developed Alzheimer's disease and could no longer keep her. This was a heroic and selfless decision for her to make as she loved the little horse very much.

It saddens me beyond words to see a beloved friend that I have known for forty years, be taken over by this horrible disease. Old age is, I believe, the worst repercussion of the sin of Adam. At some point we just fade into the masses of other aging humans and all that we ever were disappears.

Sugar Plum came to us a few years ago but was only here a little while before being placed in her new home. As usual we could never find out much about her past or where she came from. We can only guess sometimes. But Butterfly knew!! Butterfly, our little blind mini came from a herd of 600 others from NH!!! She has been with us since June 2004. When we turned the two out together Butterfly glued herself to Sugar Plum. From a horse that had always chose to be alone, who desired no friends – except Gabriel, our huge gray stallion, she could not stop touching Sugar Plum. She hugged, kissed, groomed and leaned against her all day. She followed her everywhere. These two obviously knew each other from the past, this wasn't a “Oh hello, you are my size, let's be friends” NO, this was a, “My dear best friend, I have missed you so much, I can't believe you've returned to me!”

We got Butterfly when she was 2 years old. We have had her for more than 8 years. Upon examining the teeth of the two of them I found them to be exactly the same age. I believe that when this group of 600 minis were dispersed, Sugar Plum was one of them. Not only were the two from this group but I believe they were born the same year and played together as children. And they Never Forgot Each Other!!
All over the world people are abusing, neglecting and murdering these incredibly brilliant, loyal, loving beings that are capable of things beyond our ability to grasp.
They choose to serve us stupid humans and forgive our incredible mistakes. When a partnership forms between our very different species you can almost here the click! One never, ever gets over the loss of the other.

A new family moved to the house Stormy was buried 35 years ago. I stopped by to tell them. Now that they are the caretakers of her grave, I asked them if they would please leave it undisturbed. As I spoke, tears streamed down my face. After all these years none have ever taken her place. The couple was very sweet and understanding. I can only imagine what they must have wondered when a sobbing old woman, stranger showed up at their house asking them to protect the grave of a horse that died 35 years ago.

Horses are willing to take us into their circle and love us all their lives, imperfect beings that we are – if we give them the chance. But it was also an absolute fact that they remember each other no matter how many years pass. As with Butterfly and Sugar Plum 8 years apart did not erase their friendship. Though Butterfly has very limited vision in her lefSut eye and is totally blind in the other, she recognized, somehow, her old friend. They will never be separated again.

There are so few truly beautiful moments for me in life, but this was one. For their gift to me, my gift to them will be forever, for once, a happily-ever-after.


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