dancing horses

dancing horses

Sunday, December 14, 2014

It's all Over

I cannot believe that I'm typing this. I keep starting and stopping but I am filled with such rage and sorrow that it needs to come out.

Steele is gone.

In a horrible, tragic, senseless accident.

I rode him this morning and we went on our first solo hack in the woods. I was so happy. I had some friends drop over and when they were getting ready to leave I saw two strange dogs in the yard. When I went out I saw Irish running frantically and Steele in the neighbours field. I screamed for Ed, grabbed a halter and lead and took of running.

I called Steele and he saw me but one of the huskys went after him and he bolted again. I saw him go through the fence and then into the swamp. Where he fell. I ran up to him, he was wet and totally panicked. I put on his halter and spoke soothing to him. He tried to get up but fell. And fell again. And again.

Ed has caught up to me and I told him to call the fire department and the vet and put Irish away. He ran back to the house while I desperately tried to keep Steele's head above the water. It was the longest time in my life. I also asked Ed to call a neighbour who had a lot of experience with horses. He arrived right before the fire department. We realized that his hind leg was trapped in the swamp under some branches and muck. The vet called and I told her to come right away. Steele was going into shock. He would struggle, each time more feebly. He started to tremble and close his eyes.

The fire department guys arrived and I handed over Steele's halter and ran to trucks. "Get some ropes, blankets and a shovel" I ordered. The chief looked at me and did what I said. We got the blankets on him and his hind leg loose. He tried to get up but kept falling over. The damn dog was around too. I told one of the fireman to take care of it or I would. It disappeared.

After an incredible ordeal of wedging tires under his back and getting a rope around him we got him to his feet. He walked forward but couldn't put weight on his right fore. He stood there, covered in sticky, awful mud and was shaking. I put a blanket over his back. The man who owned the two dogs arrived. A neighbour came over and told us that he saw the dogs chasing Steele. At that time the vet arrived. She examined him, asked me to walk him forward.

She came up to me and said "I'm very sorry but your horse has broken his humorous"
I looked at her. "He'll have to be put down" I said.
"Yes" she answered. "the fire chief is taking me in his truck with the siren so I will be as fast as I can with the stuff"

I turned away and the guy who owned the dogs was looking at me.
"You killed my horse" I said
"I'm so sorry"
"YOU KILLED MY HORSE"
And I couldn't stop screaming it as I advanced on him. Ed caught up to me and grabbed me. I collapsed to the ground screaming. I was making a hysterical spectacle of myself and I didn't care. I screamed at the universe over and over. I couldn't breathe and I cannot describe the depth of pain and rage I was feeling. It was swallowing me. I could feel Ed holding me and it seemed like he was an anchor holding me to the earth.
I took a shuddering breath and got up. I walked to Steele who looked at me with such pain and confusion my heart broke even further. I wrapped my arms around his neck.
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I should have protected you. I'm sorry. I love you." I said it over and over didn't care who heard.

Ed helped Steele keep his head up and 3 other fire men helped him to stay upright. I will always remember that. How they gave what they could to support an animal they didn't know so he wouldn't suffer as much.

After an eternity the vet arrived. She explained that she would sedate him and then administer the dose to send him on his way. She said that he might react badly and that I did not have to stay.
"I'm staying"
"are you sure"
"yes"
So she sedated him and slowly the pain faded from his eyes. I was shaking and couldn't stop. It was shock and the cold water I had been in for what seemed like hours. She then administered the injection. He fell softly not injuring anyone. I held his head until his eye showed that his soul was gone.

Ed walked home with me and arrangements were made to pick up his body and bring him home. I walked along the road and my regular vet pulled up. He had heard what happened.
"get in" he said
"no" I said
"get in"
So I did and he enfolded me in his arms and I broke down again.
He drove us home and I got out. I went right to the barn to check on Irish. He was upset but uninjured. I wrapped my arms around his neck and he enfolded me in an embrace.

I went into the house and got into the shower. I was filthy. Next thing I knew I was huddled on the bottom of the shower sobbing uncontrollably. I got out of the shower and dressed. I looked out the window and saw Steele's body- they had brought him home and a back hoe was digging a hole.

I had one more job to do.

I went out and Ed came up. I asked him to stop the back hoe and I put a halter on Irish and brought him out. He was agitated but walked beside me. He stopped and looked at Steele. I stood there with him and reach forward with his nose and blew gently on his leg. He gave him a nudge and then looked at me. If animals know (and I think they do), he knew his friend was gone.

I am sitting here experiencing waves of rage, pain and numbness. I cannot get warm.

My perfect, wonderful, beautiful boy is gone in a pain filled, terrifying ordeal.

Because of a fucking dog.

run free my darling. I'll see you again.
DC Acero, AKA Steele, 2010-2014

78 comments:

  1. I have no words. I'm crying too. He was so smart and beautiful. I hope you find peace again.

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  2. Oh....Oh my goodness I am so, so very sorry. I can't stop crying. Steele was a stunning, beautiful creature. I'm so sorry you lost him this way. Sending lots of warm thoughts your way.

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  3. Oh my god. I'm sitting here reading this crying for you. That is unbelievable. I am so so so sorry.

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  4. I don't know you, or your horse...but am also sobbing. My heart goes out to you.

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  5. Oh Teresa. I'm crying here at the lunch room at work. You must be in so much pain, and to have that anger over the whole situation too.

    I wish I could give you a hug. It wouldn't help you but at least you would know I feel your pain.

    Thank god you were there to help him and send him on as quickly as possible. You were there for him when he needed you most.

    Please keep.us updated with how you are going over the next few days/weeks.

    This is so incredibly unfair. How fucking hard is it to keep your dogs on your own property?!? How hard is it to keep your dogs under control?

    People make me sick. You don't deserve this.

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  6. I'm so very sorry for your loss - I don't know you but I knew your boy and I know he was much-loved. This is a senseless and unfair loss, I'm so sorry.

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  7. My heart hurts and my eyes won't stop crying. I don't know you but I hurt for you and your family. Sending kind thoughts and prayers. I hope you find comfort and peace.

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  8. Oh Teresa - I can hardly type this - I'm heartbroken for you. Please take care of yourself, and if you need to talk or vent or cry or whatever - I'm here for you. xianleigh(at)earthlink(dot)net

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  9. So sorry for your loss, it is heartbreaking

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  10. I am so sorry for your loss. There are no words that can comfort you at this time I know.But I am sending you some very heartfelt Hugs ! RIP Steele.

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  11. I am so sorry. I cannot even imagine the depth of your devastation. Wishing you peace.

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  12. I am so deeply sorry for your loss.My heart hurts for you,What a tremendous love you shared,Sharing this with others is a very strong thing for you to do. God bless you and know that others care .Bless you .


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  13. I'm so very sorry for your loss. This is terribly tragic. My thoughts are with you.

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  14. I came to your blog through another that shared your story. I'm so deeply sorry. We don't know each other, but as horse people, we know each other. My heart is breaking for you and your loss.

    Christine

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  15. My heart hurts for the loss of your beautiful horse, and for the tremendous pain you are feeling. There really are no words...God bless you both.

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  16. Such a tragedy. So very sorry for your loss. My heart hurts for you.

    Angie Davis

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  17. i dont know you but i also cried as i read this i love horses and i love dogs , dogs have to be taught to obey there owner and they have to be taught not to chase things.. anything, as far as im concerned there was no reason why this should have happened my questions are why were the dogs out unattened and if the owner of the dogs saw them chaseing the horses why didnt he call them off.how does something this senceless happen im so very sorry for you god bless m yheart goes out to you

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  18. OMG, Theresa. I am in shock. My heart is pounding and my eyes watering. I can't believe your beautiful boy is gone. What a horrible, horrible tragedy. Worse. Why is there no word strong enough to express the outrage and injustice and loss. Hug Irish. Hug Ed. Cry and rage; it's appropriate.

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  19. I am so very, very sorry for your loss. What an utterly senseless tragedy.

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  20. what you have been through is a nightmare, I am so so sorry you had to go through that. Even more sorry that your sweet boy had to go through that. My prayers are with you and your family

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  21. So many thoughts going through my head right now. Steel looks so much like my Isis- he was a beautiful boy. Many hugs and condolences to you.

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  22. Teresa, this is such a senseless tragedy and there just are no words to say how deeply sorry I am for you and what you have gone through. I hope that the friendships you have will help you through this. I know your pain must be unbearable...thinking of you and Ed.

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  23. I am so sorry to hear about this. My heart aches for you, your family and Steele. I hope my tears will ease yours. I am so sorry.....

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  24. Tears flow down my face as I type....so very very sorry for your loss. My heart breaks for you and the friend you have loss. Prayers,peace and light...

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  25. Words cannot describe. My heart and my all go out to you.

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  26. I'm crying so much right now. This is such a senseless tragedy. I am so sorry for your loss of your beautiful Steele. :(

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  27. So sorry for your great loss. Equine friends near and far share your grief.

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  28. Only know you through reading about this tragedy on UDBB but just wanted to send you my sympathy and admiration at how strong you were trying to save your boy. So sorry for your loss.

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  29. oh Teresa, I'm one of many horse people who maybe didn't know you, but now I know you...and I'm typing this the hard way, through my tears; have been there, have lost horses, though not in as heart breaking and dramatic a senseless accident as this; I have lost two dearly beloved dogs horribly, in an accident not only equally senseless, but, in MY case, UNLIKE yours! I have every reason to feel guilty over that particular accident so many years ago. But the death of your darling horse, my friend, didn't happen because you were failing him in any way, on the contrary; he would have died in lingering agony without your care and intervention; all I can further say to try be of some comfort, is the thought that the story of your horse's suffering and death deserves to acquire at least some meaning, by broadcasting it as you're doing, to remind all DOG OWNERS out there including myself and other dog owning horse people...to take the choice of owning a dog as a lifelong RESPONSIBILITY -- in every sense of the words, a MATTER of LIFE AND DEATH!

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  30. I read this heartbreaking post that someone shared on Facebook. I realized as I read it that I knew who you were. I worked with your husband in Halifax before I moved to PEI in order to realize my dream of owing horses. I remember talking to Ed as you designed your barn at the same time we were shopping for our farm on PEI. I am absolutely devastated to hear that this happened. Your boy was so beautiful and I am sure in your short time, Steele taught you things you will never forget. I am so very sorry for your loss <3

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  31. I am crying to I do not know you or your horse but words cannot describe how I feel after a useless tragedy as this

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  32. I can't even begin to imagine how you are feeling. Words have escaped me as to what to say. I am so very sorry for your loss.

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  33. My heart is with you i recently had to lay my best friend of the past 9 years to rest he was 29 years old and in good health. i had rode him like 2 weeks before. he went down in his stall and could not get back up. i wasnt there whne he went down but was there shortly after. and held him as he was laid to rest. i miss him so much and would have made it through the past 3 months with out my husband friends and our standardbred gelding flag hes been my rock. Im so sorry for your loss. diane

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  34. I'm so very, very sorry. Owners have a responsibility to teach their animals correct behavior around other animals. I have enjoyed reading about your beautiful Steele and came to know how much you loved him and how much he loved you.
    I have no words...
    Lee Anna

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  35. I feel sick for Theresa, and I am crying with you and for you. I don't have any words, but I am sorry for your deep sorrow and feel your rage and pain. Christine Booth

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  36. OMG. I wish there was something that would help you feel better now, but when I put myself in your place, I know there isn't. He was such a beautiful boy. I also feel your pain and rage.

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  37. No words will console you at this time, but know tears are being shed by all fellow bloggers.

    My Grandest Foal
    (author unknown)

    I'll lend you for a little while
    My grandest foal, He said,
    For you to love while he's alive
    And morn for when he's dead.
    It may be one or twenty years,
    Or days or months, you see.
    But, will you, till I take him back,
    Take care of him for me?

    He'll bring his charms to gladden you,
    And should his stay be brief,
    You'll have treasured memories
    As solace for your grief.

    I cannot promise he will stay,
    Since all from earth return.
    But, there are lessons taught on earth
    I want this foal to learn.

    I've looked the wide world over
    In my search for teachers true.
    And from the throngs that crowd life's lanes,
    With trust, I have selected you.

    Now will you give him your total love?
    Nor think the labor vain,
    Nor hate Me when I come
    To take him back again?

    I know you'll give him tenderness
    And love will bloom each day.
    And for the happiness you've known
    Forever grateful stay.

    But should I come and call for him
    Much sooner than you'd planned
    You'll brave the bitter grief that comes
    And someday you'll understand.

    For though I'll call him home to Me
    This promise to you I do make.
    For all the love and care you gave
    He'll wait for you, inside Heaven's Gate.



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  38. Teresa, my heart is breaking and I am crying uncontrollably as I read about this terrible tragedy. I am lost for words to comfort you.

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  39. I came here from CFS's blog. This is such a tragic ordeal. Your Steele was a special horse and it's such a shame how his life ended. I can imagine your rage at the thoughtless neighbor and the uncontrolled dogs. Your pain must be all consuming. I don't even know you but I had tears as I read this story. I hope you can feel better and get on with your life when you feel able to. I will be thinking about you.

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  40. I am so sorry Teresa! He was a Beautiful boy, and I am sure the love of your life! My heart aches for you, as well as for Rachael and Karen! This is so Sad and senseless!

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  41. I've never met you ore Steele but I'm crying here too. I can only imagine your pain in such a horrible tragedy. {{{{{ HUGS}}}}

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  42. I do not have the pleasure of your direct acquaintance but live less than ten minutes away. I found mention of this on Facebook and was in tears by the time I finished. I had to go to the window to look at my own horse for reassurance. I am so so sorry such a horrible thing had to happen to you, your horse and your family.

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  43. This is a tragedy. I'm Stella from UDBB. I share your sorrow. I am so, so very sorry.

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  44. "The Shattering Of A Heart When Being Broken Is The Loudest Silence Ever"...I hear and feel your silence Teresa :( From one horse owner to another, I am so, so sorry for your loss.

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  45. Oh my god... no... I can't believe he's gone.. I am so, so sorry. My heart is broken for you. I can't even imagine the pain you are in. This is a nightmare... I don't know what to say...

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  46. Like many others, I came here from another blog. I'm in shock...its all just...so wildly unfair. This is such an awful nightmare...I'm sitting here bawling my eyes out for you.
    I'm so, so sorry this happened to your boy.

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  47. so very very sorry for your loss

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  48. I never know what to say in such circumstances. Just know that I feel your grief. This is devastating news.

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  49. I am so sorry. I heard about this from achieve1dream and my heart is breaking for you. I'm very sorry to have found your beautiful blog this way.

    I just have no words, I'm so very sorry for your devastating loss. It's hard enough to lose one of our animals, but do lose one in such a senseless way because of someone's ill-mannered dogs? There just are no words.

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  50. I am so sorry, i truly wish I could turn the hands of time for you. Consider yourself hugged. I am so glad your Ed is there for you.

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  51. I saw this on Calm, Forward, Straight's blog. I know how difficult it is to deal with the loss of a friend and companion since I run a retirement farm. Adding the rest of the circumstances to your loss is unfathomable to me. I am so sorry.

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  52. Another who found you via another blog. Just wanted to say I'm incredibly sorry for your loss :(

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  53. MOVED TO TEARS...I AM SO SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS...HE WILL BE WITH YOU ALWAYS

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  54. This is such a senseless tragedy. I am crying and outraged and heartbroken all at once. I am so so incredibly sorry for your loss...

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  55. I am so sorry for your loss, I cannot imgine what you must be going through at this difficult time, Life is so unfair.

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  56. So senseless and tragic. I often walk by your house with my dogs and have admired your horses. This makes me so angry, life is so unfair, please accept my sincere sympathy on the loss of your family member and best friend. It is going to be hard to pass your house in the future and imagine your pain, I share it with you.

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  57. My heart breaks for you. I too lost a horse to dogs some years back. It is tragic and heart wrenching, and I'm not sure you ever really get over it.

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  58. i shed a tear reading this and I can not imagine how you are feeling! my thoughts are with you and I will be thinking about you :), such a sad senseless accident that did not need to happen, life is unfair and i hope you are okay !

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  59. I too lost a beautiful horse due to senseless irresponsibility. I cried as I read your story, as I have felt your pain. I am so very sorry for your loss. It has been 17 years since my Freckles was killed and I can tell you that you will never fully heal. Time will make it better though. On the other hand... My husband and I have rescued 2 huskies that had a death sentence for chasing cattle and killing chickens. However, we keep our huskies in a 7 ft tall, tightly fenced back yard that has rebar driven into the ground every 6 inches so that they can't go under. We take them to the dogpark for exercise regularly so that they don't have to find other forms of entertainment. Huskies are wonderful and loving dogs but they have the predatory instinct. Your lovely Steele's death is not the fault of the dogs, but of the owner who did not uphold their responsibility to keep their dogs home. Huskies (and other dogs) WILL chase livestock (of all sorts) and they WILL kill them. They don't understand that someone loves that animal that they are chasing. They only know their instincts. So PLEASE friends... I know that fuzzy husky is beautiful and those blue eyes irresistible, but RESEARCH the breed and BE WILLING to do what is necessary to keep them happy and other animals safe. Again, I feel sorrow to the bottom of my heart for your loss, I held my girl's head in my lap and stroked her mane as she drew her last breaths. My thoughts are with you for a quick healing of your heart and that someday you will be able to forgive.

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  60. First off, I'm sorry your horse had to be put to sleep, but to say "fucking dog" is not fair to anyone. A horse is a hobby, a dog is a companion, a friend, a protector, an aid to the blind, an aid to the sick, an aid to those with PTSD .... I could go on and on. You see, although some people like, maybe even love their horse(s), what do they really do? When was the last time you saw a "seeing eye horse" or a "watch horse", or one trained to find drugs, survivors in an earthquake amongst the rubble, I didn't see one helping find the bodies from 9-11 or the Haiti earthquake. I can't seem to find any horses that are MWH - Military War Horse. None that can sniff out IED's, unexploded ordinance or weapons caches. Dogs have been known to frequently give their lives to protect humans ... again, no stories about horses doing the same. Dogs are smarter, can be more easily trained to benefit man, are more agile, more adept, less fragile, have keener sight, hearing and smell. Yes, I feelsorry for you and your horse, but please ... just because 2 dogs doing what to them was natural and fun, to run ..... don't put all dogs in your "fucking dogs" category. They are far more beneficial to man than are horses. (from a loving dog owner)

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    1. Anon, well you're obviously a long time reader and obviously a horse owner too who understands the connection we have with these animals. Good job with your thoughtful comment on a post written by a grieving woman about the death of her horse. Thumbs up!

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    2. Im afraid your comment does not do any service to dogs. In Montana, USA, the state I live, a dog which “harasses, kills, wounds, or injures livestock not belonging to the owner of the dog is considered a public nuisance and may be killed immediately by the owner of the livestock or an agent or employee of the owner. This is the law.

      Continuing, the law states “the owner of the dog, when reasonably notified after due process, shall kill the dog within 24 hours of notification. If the owner fails to do so, an officer may be notified and shall kill the dog or cause the dog to be killed.”

      And that is why people here dont let a dog they love run - to do "what to them was natural and fun, to run". If you love your animals, and value them, you dont let them run around irresponsibly.

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    3. http://journeywithadancinghorse.blogspot.ca/2014/12/of-what-value-are-horses.html

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    4. Anon , you are an idiot ... I feel sorry for any animal of yours.

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  61. You do what you do and you move on. Its not okay right now. And probably wont be for awhile. Sometime in the future you'll be able to look back without so much pain and anger and be able to concentrate on the good. But today is not that time, so youll take the time right now to grieve. Dont stay there too long though, because you can become bitter and cold; there are ones who need you. Healing the heart takes time. I know this personally. (((hugs)))

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  62. thank you everyone for your support and kindness. It is helping.

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  63. I am very very sorry for your loss. He looks like he was a wonderful horse. But, you can not blame the dog. It is the owner of the dog that hold the blame. The dog being an animal was just following normal instincts to chase the horse, it was the responibility of the dog owner to know where and what their dog is up to at all time, as it is for a parent to do the same for a child. I am a dog owner and these are my feelings in this matter. This will not ease your pain of loosing Steele, but maybe it will help you put the blame where it belongs. My heart goes out to you......

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    1. What's with all these anons who can't be bothered to read other posts about this?

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  64. Actually the hate you cowardly anonymous posters show toward your grieving fellow human beings is by far more appalling than what she said about those dogs. She has said that she did not blame the dogs. She knows the owners are at fault. At this point that is really irrelevant. If you have never loved a horse the way we do then you don't understand so if you have nothing nice to say keep your mouths shut! Also horses have contributed plenty in history. They were our transportation for a long time. It's not their fault they were replaced by machines.

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  65. unimaginable pain I'm so sorry for your loss you'll meet your sweet boy in the stars and you'll see him when you get to heaven

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  66. Nancy McAlinden, Fredericton, NB.December 20, 2014 at 8:58 PM

    I'm just learning about your ordeal today. As someone who has also lost her heart horse suddenly and tragically, I know no words can make it better. Just know that you are in the thoughts and prayers of so many people, and we all wish you peace as you work through the grieving process. Steele canters on in heaven.

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  67. I am so sorry -- I came over from CFS' note. The loss of love for no reason is a horrible pain I never want anyone to know. I lost my fiance to brain cancer & it has changed me forever; there is no filling in the scar on my heart. Things that we cannot control, it is those that are the hardest when they tear our lives apart. I am truly sorry and send all my empathy for your grief & anger & loss. Know that you are not alone, I'm glad that you are lucky enough to have the person you love to help you & a furry neck to hug. It is truly a senseless waste & while it is never enough, you have all of our hugs & understanding.

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  68. I can't believe this happened. I am so sorry. I don't even have enough words to express how sorry I am for you. I have loves Steele and Irish from a distance. I felt like Steele was dickies long distance pasture mate. Time will heal you. Take solace in Irish.

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  69. Dear Teresa,
    The first time I saw Steel was the morning after he was born in Rachael's barn. He was one of the prettiest colts I've seen, with incredibly sweet eyes.
    I am so very sorry for your loss. Some stars burn very bright for a short time, but the light up our lives so much more!
    Thinking of you,
    Michaela

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  70. I am so sorry for your loss Teresa. :( I was horrified by the news and cried reading your post. Steele was such a gorgeous horse (and I cannot imagine how beautiful he must have been in person!). Sending you positive and healing thoughts.

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  71. I have started to make a comment, and then stopped, many times now. Realizing this happened in the past, and that many more things have happened since. Then reopening the tab again. Still can barely believe it.
    My heart goes out to you for having to go through this.
    I am not sure there is anything to be had from EVERY situation, you know, to learn from, or grow from. Some things are plain and simple forever the stuff we wish could be erased from our timeline.
    I am glad you have carried on with your horses!

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