Our Beloved Halim

Halim the house horseOur sweet 9 year old chestnut gelding, Brandywine’s Halim, crossed over last night. I went out to feed the horses and Halim the chow hound didn’t appear. I called out the alarm and all the family members went looking. He was found in the barn pasture standing on 3 legs. The right rear leg was held slack and had a compound fracture on the upper bone. Apparently another horse got tired of Halim’s gangstering their food and gave him a good kick. In hindsight, I realized all the horses had been hanging out by the front of the barn keeping him company before I called them to dinner.
Halim patiently awaited for humans to arrive. He had pivoted back and forth 90 degrees on his good rear leg, drilling that foot into the earth and leaving a berm between his front and rear legs. When each of his humans came to him to say good-bye, he tried to reassure them. When our foster son who had bonded with him crouched and sobbed hugging his knees, Halim bent his head down to nuzzle him. He was a loving other centered therapy animal unto the end, even in his own extremity.
I cut off a large piece of mane and tail. I explained to Halim that we all loved him and thanked him for his love and service and explained we would send him over to the other side of the veil. I sent everyone else up to the house and a dear friend who had come over with a .45 caliber hand gun did the deed for us. Halim didn’t even hear the click of the trigger, it was over so instantly. We all gathered in the house in a circle and prayed together afterwards.
Many of our friends offered to help transport the body to a place where another friend was going to stay home from work and dig a deep grave with his tractor. A neighbor offered to put his back-hoe attachment onto his tractor and dig a grave right next to the body this morning so we don’t have to move it at all. That is what we will be doing when it gets light out.
Halim was one of our “house horses”. He would come in to Claudia and love on her in her bedroom for brief visits. He had been supplemented with bottle feeding when he was a baby and never lost his closeness and loving demeanor to his humans. He was our daughter’s horse and she was away in Portland when it happened, but we were all in touch thanks to cell phones. I made braids of his hair for her, our foster son, and my Claudia for remembrances. I was okay until I went back to cover the body and remembered the nobility of Halim in his final moments when he ministered one final time to us and especially to his foster kid. Then I just sobbed to him and the stars.

11 Apr 2006, 3:37pm

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Thank you Nanny. I will miss you.

My car has been converted into a hearse and Nanny’s body lays in the back of it waiting until her grave is prepared under the noble fir tree.

She sat up and made as though to get up and greet me today when I got home.. happy to see me.. but, in the end, she was unable to get up.  Her pain and suffering when I was not around to cheer her was, indeed, quite severe.

When I had a place in the car ready for her I carried her out in a sling made from a sheet and put her into the hatchback. I was bawling, as silently as possible, of course, so as not to disturb her and ended up rolling down the window and trying to sing little songs like we used to when we would go for a drive together.

I got about 2 miles down the road.. telling her prone form she was a good girl when she started wriggling, trying to right herself.  I pulled over and helped her change direction in the back of my small car and to my surprise she stood up completely.

With the window rolled down, one ecstatic, aged golden retriever and I drove the rest of the way into town.  She wasn’t able to walk again when we got there and I carried her in through the back door to the major surgery arena and onto the exam table/scale. Not too long after resting there with me petting her face (a paltry 68.8 lbs) she went into another seizure and I saw it for the first time with my own eyes.. holding her and reassuring and keeping her from falling off the table.

Dr. Mike asked me if it was time and I nodded through my tears and said I thought so.. and told him about how this was my beautiful Dogter.  I pet her face and nuzzled her stinky ear and rubbed her back and Dr. Mike drew a vial of pink liquid, found a forearm vein, and very carefully administered the drug that ended my dog’s life.  After the end I carried her body back out to my car, alone, despite offers of help.. though I did let someone get the door and I drove home.. where I am now.. freshly out of a shower.. while my dog’s body lies in the back of my car and my little brother begins a grave under that noble fir tree.

I have a flood of memories about how I took her to the vet for the first time.. and the last time.. on my own.. and that first time, at 12 weeks, when I carried her to cross the streets.. and carried her inside and out of the vet office so she wouldn’t catch any germs.. (I carried her both in and out this time too) ..about how that was the first time I’d ever taken an animal to the vet all alone.. (this is the first time I had to take a friend to the vet to die all on my own too) and how she was the very first pet that I ever had (at my 18 years of age) that was all mine.

She was such an exquisitely beautiful dog. People stopped wherever we went to admire her.. just looking at her sleeping or chewing a toy or some other such thing filled my heart with joy. Her little quirky cowlick making a Mohawk stripe down her nose between her eyes..

Dr. Mike performed an emergency spay about 7 or 8 years ago when Beamer (the old man Rottweiler) accidentally bred her.  (I think they meant it, it was just an accident to us two-footers.)  We went ahead and filmed her hips and elbows to see if they were good enough to eventually breed her and raise healthy golden retriever pups like I had wanted to do.

Dr. Mike said her hips were superb, but in his opinion, her elbows were only fair and Beamer was displastic, so we spayed her and averted having the litter of potentially crippled pups to struggle to find good homes for.  It was the right thing to do, but it was still a sad day, I think for us both, as we would have enjoyed raising up puppies together.

Camping and swimming in the lake and driving trips continued.. and she demonstrated a tolerance which grew to affection for my own crawling pup.. and helped me to raise my daughter.

One day she must have gotten out and was not being watched.. got hit by a car or kicked by a horse and came home with damaged vertebrae. She was an instant ‘old lady’ and I nursed her through her arthritis and back pain and watched her face come into grey and her beautiful show-perfect body turn softer and less artistically perfect.

Still, she captured everyone’s attention with how happy she was.. showed off at her obedience hand signals and willingness to do whatever you asked of her.. and she and Beamer were the inseparable old married couple as she took care of him.

There are more stories.. but I’m crying again.. so time for me to go.   Thank you Nanny for being my friend and confidante these last 11 years.  Your companionship will be sorely missed.

Love, America

Dedicated with Love..

Our cattery is dedicated to the love and life shared by Pat and Bob Moore.

Pat and Bob worked together to build a beautiful family of healthy, vibrant Tonks and their depth of affection and care is evident in the spectacular cats they have helped produce.

Pat has, over 2004, become Grandma Cat to our whole family and is welcome to spend any and all of her days with us.

Not only has she got a sharp wit and a keen mind and a compassionate wealth of knowledge about the needs of individual cats, kittens, and their pedigree, she also continues to share Bob with us all by bringing him alive in her stories of the many adventures they accomplished together.

We love you Grandma Cat.

Thank you, Bob, for giving this world all that you had.

In Loving Memory
Of Robert Moore
8/25/30 – 7/23/04

In Memorial..

Michele Hawkins

August 23, 1953-October 6, 2003

The equine world has lost a remarkable horsewoman and friend, particularly a staunch proponent of the beauty, intelligence, strength, size, versatility and dependability of the Crabbet Arabian.

Michele has a long list of lifetime accomplishments for a life so shortly lived. She was a surgical veterinary technician, a trainer of exotic animals (she loved the big cats!), a licensed horse judge, a triumphant competitor, a breeder of 38 years who continuously strove to improve and perfect the Crabbet Arabian, an educator,  a public speaker, a foster parent, a mediator, an active responsible citizen, a community leader, a wife, and a friend.

Michele was not only an accomplished trainer of horses, but one of humans as well, as demonstrated by the quality of people with whom she chose to surround herself. Michele would spend countless hours teaching a class of students from the Equine Studies Department at Oregon State University the value of quality, and the concept of engineering horses for today’s professional and horse fancier. She developed and taught the theory of “Inherited Genetic Response” and would demonstrate how to use that factor in the careful planned breeding of future generations so that the fine qualities we love in our horses would continue to course through the veins of their offspring.

Michele was an example to both the humans she ministered to and the equines she trained. She said, “You suit up, you show up, you do your best, you forgive yourself and others for their mistakes, you have fun, and when you lay your head down at night you pray for another day to do it all over again.”

All we have, or ever will, accomplish with our horses is dedicated to the life of Michele Hawkins.

Michele’s skill and insight as a breeder and trainer of animals allowed her to find – not only the perfect horses for our wants and needs but  – the exact horse companion to match each individual’s personality.

Michele was a strong advocate of the companionship between a horse and their human counterpart.  She encouraged each of us to live up to the love and faith our beloved horses have in us.

Thank you Coach!!!!!

Applegate, Brandywine and Crownridge Arabians

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