Friday, February 2, 2018

It's Hard to Say Goodbye

...even when you know it is the right thing to do.

...especially when it is your heart horse.
Jackson's loved trail rides the best.  He would cross anything - water, mud, logs.

Jackson's white line not only didn't respond to treatment, it got worse.  He foundered.

He asked me --- no, he told me -- that he was done.  Done with pain; done with trying.
Lucy adored Jackson.  He was rather amused by all the attention she lavished on him.

Jackson had more try than any other horse I've ever known.  When he said he was done, I had to honor that.
Jackson tried to do dressage, he really did.  But he was built crooked and it was difficult for him.  I loved that he tried.

But, oh Lord, I will miss that horse.
At the vet -- about a year ago when we learned he had Cushings -- in addition to everything else.  I love our matching fly-away hair.

Sweet, goofy, beautiful Jackson.
We rode on the beach a few times.  I think he got a big whiff of seaweed here...

My partner.  My friend.

Godspeed, Jackson.  Safe passages and I'll see you some day on the other side of that rainbow bridge.

36 comments:

  1. Jackson was a lovely horse. I have always enjoyed your posts about him the most. SO sorry for your loss Annette. (((hugs)))

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    1. Val has always reminded me of Jackson -- both beautiful greys with huge personalities.

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  2. Annette, so sorry that Jackson is gone. I know how much you loved that sweet boy. This has me in tears and I hope he is at peace now. It was not easy for you to keep him separated from his pals and the grass while trying to improve his condition. You and Brett did everything you could and this is never easy.
    Big hugs from Skoog Farm.

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  3. I am so sorry you had to say goodbye to your beautiful boy!! Never easy, no matter what the circumstances.

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  4. My sincere sympathy to you on the loss of your special "heart" boy . . . you did all that you could possibly do while he was here . . . and now you gave him the gift of release from pain. Run freely Jackson in green fields and eat everything you desire. RIP sweet boy!

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  5. I'm so sorry. What a wonderful life you have had together. Rest In Peace Jackson.

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  6. I am terribly sorry for your loss. Jackson was very lucky to have such a wonderful and loving home.

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  7. So sad, but it was a good ride!

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  8. I have been afraid that this post was coming. I know I’ve never met Jackson but I loved him anyway. Your writing brought him to life for me. My heart is breaking for you- it was a hard thing to let him go. You gave him the final loving gift-a peaceful passing He was well loved by you and Brett and your family. There are many equines waiting for him on the other side of the rainbow bridge. God speed Jackson. ((((Hugs))))

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    1. I know you knew it was coming. It is a comfort to me that so many people loved him. So many readers of my blog love him and he was always the favorite of friends and family. Sweet Jackson.

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    2. Dearest Annette, your friend TeresaA said it the best, what a lucky 4-legged son you had in Jackson. I didn't know him but your words, your obvious love and devotion to Jackson brought him to life for me as well. I feel your loss and am grieving with you my friend....my heart is breaking.
      You did the right thing and he loves you for it. Be at peace.

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  9. His eyes...remember when his profile, close, was your banner? 7 years ago? His eyes were my favorite. I don't want to think about this, he was your heart. Denial.

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    1. His eyes were my favorite thing too -- so big, so expressive. Everybody who met him commented on his eyes.

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  10. Oh, bless his sweet heart...I'm so sorry Annette. RIP handsome boy.

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  11. I just can't absorb this and your incredible strength to do it let alone write about it. You, even more than he, had try. You tried for as many years as I have known you and more. My heart hurts 💔

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    1. Its been a long journey, for sure. I've been thinking about Jackson and gathering pictures all week -- it was actually one of the easiest posts to write; in terms of the words just flowing. In a weird way its a relief to know he is finally pain-free. I tried and tried for so many years, as you said, and I never could achieve that for him. Not for more than a day or two, anyway.

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  12. He was a wonderful horse. So sad to say goodbye to a special guy like Jackson.

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  13. Youre a good horseman to know when its time. He had probably the best cushiest job ever- to be your "guy" - hugs to you ((((Annette))))!

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  14. I was worried about the silence of your blog, and I wondered if you were grappling with this decision. I’m glad he let you know and took that burden off you. Being really loved by a horse is no small thing. In fact, it’s rare. I’m glad you had that. Please accept my sympathy that you had to say goodbye to such a dear friend.

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    1. Thanks, Linda. Your words made me smile. We did have a special bond; a deep love. -- I think you and Cowboy have the same.

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  15. You gave the greatest gift of all from your heart, such sadness. Let the loving memories take over the grief in time . Hugs from down south in NZ. ( I hopped to you from Lori, as I usually do)

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  16. Awww. So, so sorry. My deepest condolences to you, and to Brett.

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  17. This is a beautiful memorial to a wonderful boy. Thinking of you, Annette, and so glad you got to have Jackson in your life. Our animal companions truly do tell us when they are done. You listened with your heart. Hugs, Valerie S-B

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    1. Thanks, Val. I know you understand -- and you watched me struggle with all his setbacks so you saw first hand the roller-coaster ride of his ups and downs.

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  18. I am so sorry Annette.

    I loved Jackson from all that you shared about him. I was reading your stories about him since before he was retired. I even remember some of the videos that you posted. It was fun to read about a paint learning dressage, while I was doing the same with Har!ey. He was a (grey) paint, right? I seem to remember that from forever ago.

    You did do so much for him. I love the picture of you hugging his neck. They broke the mold when they made him. He was just that kind of horse.

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    1. Yes, your memory is correct. Jackson was a grey paint. I enjoyed reading about you and Harley for the same reasons. You've had a lot of health issues to deal with him as well. I hope you are doing well!

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    2. We are! I'm just very busy with two young daughters. Harley will be twenty next month.

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  19. Oh no :(
    I am crying over my keyboard.
    I am so sorry.
    The right choice, but so hard and heart-wrenching nonetheless...
    My soul aches for you.

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    1. Thanks, Dom. I've done some crying myself over my keyboard. ;)

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  20. Annette, I'm so sorry. I have loved Jackson for years. I felt he was the one I knew the best. He had so many things going on with his health, but he always tried. You could tell. Now he is at peace. Sending hugs to you guys.

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    1. In so many ways, this blog has been Jackson's blog. He's been a big part of it from the start -- the fun we had and the difficult decision to retire him. He was my favorite to write about -- so photogenic and so full of personality. I'm happy he's at peace now but I sure miss him.

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  21. I am so terribly sorry to hear this. It is the worst feeling when you can't make them pain-free, no matter how hard you (or your awesome vets) try. Sometimes the best thing for them is the hardest thing for you. I know your heart is broken, so that he can be at peace. May you find peace too. Many hugs from all of us.

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  22. An American in TokyoFebruary 5, 2018 at 7:59 PM

    I am so, so very sorry to hear about your loss.
    I cannot imagine the hole in your heart at this time.
    I am glad that you were able to tell when Jackson said he had enough.
    I believe he is in a much happier place now.
    Love and hugs to you and your family at this difficult time.

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  23. I feel the same as the others on here. Saddened to hear that he's gone, but he was so loved. you know you did what was best for him. Been in your shoes and its never easy. You have many happy memories of him to help you heal your broken heart.

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Thanks so much for commenting! I love the conversation.