Bo shuffled along, his legs barely able to carry the very little left of a once proud horse. He hadn't eaten in days, food no longer interested him. When he was a young horse rocks had been placed to slow his eating, now grated carrots to try to spur him into taking a bite.
Liz had called him “little red goat” years back when he ate poison ivy out of the trees. He would want to come give you a horse kiss afterward. You didn't want that.
Bo, then good old Bo and at last poor old Bo. He aged hard at the end but only a few weeks before he had run like a colt with the youngest mare, he even bucked. But that would leave him sore the next day, still it was good to see.
The last few days he didn't come with the other horses for meals. I had to go find him, each time expecting the worst. The other horses would go to him after he was found and walk him to the barn. Yesterday Lucy, an old maid of a mare, gently pushed him along, letting him rest but keeping him going in the right direction. He didn't even eat the grated carrot. His face felt cool as did his ears, a horse should be warm not cold.
This morning he didn't show up so once again I went searching for what I expected to be a dead horse. I found him at last in the old graveyard in the woods. From the condition of the leaves and ground he had been walking in circles around a small tree, dragging his back feet in his unsteady shuffle. He was hanging on, forcing me to make the calls I didn't want to make.
I reached the excavator and arranged for him to come this afternoon to act as undertaker. The vet is very close by and she stopped by between other farm calls. It wouldn't take her very long to do her job. She sent me to keep the other horses back saying she could hold him and give the shot. She warned us that we would hear him fall. I turned back too soon and saw him fall, he was dead before he hit the ground.
Bo was my horse, my wife and I have horses but Bo was mine. She bought him for me when we were first married and we spent many happy hours in those days riding. She on her big bay mare Apple Pooh and me on little red Bo. We have all grown older, pooh has been dead for a few years and now so is Bo.