Thursday, September 22, 2011

You Will Know When It's Time to Say Goodbye

Like watching the sun set on a great day, we've probably all wanted to stop the clock and just be in the moment. 

That's how the last few months have been for us because as I wrote in my Post "Preparing to Say Goodbye" (4/29/11), the time has been coming to say goodbye to Sunny Bear (Bear), our sweet and cherished, third-time-was-the-charm, Rescue Belgian Draft Horse.

It could be tomorrow, maybe next week, maybe the week after.  We had no idea that it would be 5 months later. 

My husband and I have turned to each other and said the time was coming.  But the next day Bear would be doing better.  We'd say, "Soon, but not today."  Because "the day" was imminent, I didn't Post a picture of Bear on the front page of my Blog.  It was just too sad for me to put up a picture of a beloved horse whose life was on such a short string.

It is said, "You will know when it's time to say goodbye".

In the past few weeks Bear has become a bag of bones, regardless of how much or what we feed him, his hips and ribs are visible.  I watch him walk, he is feeble.  He stands out in the middle of the pasture unaware of his surroundings.

When I came out to feed this morning Bear was down.  I could see by the pile of dirt where his back legs rested that he'd been struggling to get up without any luck.  He periodically raised his head.  When I approached him he didn't seem upset about the situation.  He took carrots from me - I left a path of them hoping they'd encourage him to find the strength to get up and eat them.

And even though my carrot plan eventually worked, I went inside and made the necessary calls followed by a call to my husband to tell him what I'd done.  It's true, you will know when it is time to say goodbye...


  1. I am so sorry - he's a lovely horse and it was great you were able to give him a good home to the end.

  2. I am so so sorry. Bear knows you love him and what you are doing is the ultimate act of love. Thoughts are with you.

  3. Truly, there are no words. I send a ((hug)). How precious of you . . .

  4. I know it was hard to let go of such a great horse but I know you were right to do so.

  5. Big, handsome, sweet Bear....

    So, very sorry.


  6. I'm so very sorry. What a handsome, beautiful horse. It's so very hard to say goodbye to such a dear friend. Sending a hug your way, and one for Bear. He's lucky to have you (and vice versa)

  7. So sorry for Bear and your family. He's a beautiful boy but you are doing the right thing by him. He will be at peace and thanking you for all the care and love you gave him.

  8. I'm so sorry for your loss. It does seem like you listened to the timing.

  9. What a beautiful boy. So sorry you have to make this decision but knowing it is for the best helps a little. I'm going to give the Belgian cross I ride an extra hug today.

  10. Bear was a lucky, lucky boy to have wound up where he did. It's obvious you'll always cherish your memories of him.

  11. This is a poem I wrote, my heart is with you.

    We are here for you,
    my distant friend.
    We hold your hand in the darkened forest
    as you lead your companion one last time.

    We tie white feathers into the mane,
    to help speed the flight for this final journey.

    We stand with you,
    at the edge of that forest,
    as your companion steps into that open meadow,
    surrendering at last the limits of this place,
    free now,
    finally free.

    We walk with you,
    along the meadow,
    stealing glimpses of your noble, dear one,
    running along side on the edge of the horizon,
    leaping hills, mountains, cloud banks, and then,
    into the golden eye of the sun.

    And we stay with you in the silence,
    for you are never alone,
    and with you,
    we remember.

  12. I'm so sorry for you and your family. It's a hard decision to make but just know that it's for the best. You have Bear a good life while he was with you.

  13. I am so sorry. These animals occupy a place in our families that few understand.

  14. My family and I are overwhelmed by the responses to this Post. We had no idea that so many people would care and take the time to comment!

    Please accept our sincere thanks for the kind words and support you have given us on such a sad day.


  15. I am so sorry that you had to make that terriby painful decision. Bear is free now.

  16. Sometimes life just isn't fair. Especially when decisions like this are eminent. Knowing that Bear had such a wonderful home, and lived a life of comfort and joy is comforting. I cried along with you in this post. I am sorry!

  17. So deeply sorry for the loss of your dear friend. Words can not express how these lovely creatures take a part of our hearts with them.

  18. Oh wow, I'm so sorry. He sounds like he was a wonderful horse and he had a great life. I think you're making the right decision. Sorry for your loss.

  19. I am so sorry for your loss. I remember when you lost your gelding and how I hurt for you then. This, no doubt, is a bit different loss, one you knew was coming, but painful none the less. And you have my sympathy. Having just put down our good mare unexpectedly, I am particularly sensitive to those who have lost their own. Gods Speed, Sunny Bear. RIP.

  20. I'm so sorry about your loss. I can tell by the way all your posts are written that you're a true animal lover. Your horses are beautiful!

    I came across your blog while searching for new additions to Our Blog Circle at If you're interested in sharing your posts with a larger audience, please email me:

    I hope to hear from you. And until then, Happy Trails.

    Beth Blakely