1996-July 11th, 2013
Although I don't the whole truth about Thunder's past, it was very evident in his time here that he came from a life of abuse.
Among other things, he was a very cranky horse that liked to be left alone.
Although he was not aggressive, he responded to attention as though he were annoyed.
When he first came to "Heaven Help Us" Refuge during my chores throughout the day I would walk over to him and start to pet him and he would turn his head back quickly w/his ears pinned back like he was going to bite, but he never did.
I would continue to pet him all over for a bit, talk to him and slowly walk away.
As I would walk away I could see out the corner of my eye, him turn his head ..looking at me with his ears up as if to say "Thats all you wanted from me?" He would never try to walk away from me or avoid me, but he sure would not initiate anything..lol
One day as I was filling water tubs..I felt a sudden nudge on my back.
I assumed it was my pesty Clydesdale "Sammy".
To my surprise when I turned around it was Thunder.
Tears filled my eyes & I felt my heart drop..as i realized that his walls were finally starting to come down.
A few days later as I did one of my usual "walk up & pestering-petting" sessions, he spun his head around and as I offered my hand to him, rather then the normal "Turning his face away", he began to lick my hand.
At that moment, I knew that Thunder realized what Love was. It was a feeling I can explain.
Unfortunately, Thunders condition began to worsen. Not just the symptoms of his DSLD ( Degenerative Suspensory Ligament Disease)
you can see how he is all but walking on his fetlocks rather then upright on his hooves, This is DSLD
but signs of his hips beginning to fail, followed by heavy breathing and discomfort.
To make a long story short, It became evident that is health issues & old age were out weighing his ability to fight. I told him that he didn't have to be strong or fight anymore. I reassured him that he was loved and that he owed no one anything!!
Wed evening as I gave him a long "Spa-treatment" I told him I loved him & How i wish I could have made up for all the suffering in his life & that I wish I could make him all better!!
I had made arrangements for Dr. Schiver to come examine Thunder.
I knew when the Doctor came Thursday.. what he was going to say.
I spent all wed night trying to prepare myself. To Convince myself that I was gonna do the right thing for Thunder, not for me or anyone else!
Thursday afternoon when Dr. Schiver met with me and Thunder, it was very obvious that Thunder was very uncomfortable and he was starting to decline. DSLD is not curable and I knew that, but along with this condition Thunder's life of being over worked and abuse was taking it's toll. His hips were starting to give out, and so was his spirit.
We both agreed that it was best to lay Thunder to rest.
Was a very hard thing, but I know without a shadow of a doubt, that I did right by him. That is all that really matters to me.
I was very surprised and relieved at how fast, smooth, & painless the transition of him going to sleep went. This was my first experience & I wanted to be with Thunder until the end.
I was so Impressed with Dr. Schiver!! He was so Gentle and full of compassion. I have met a lot of good vets, but never one like this!
He even knelt down next to thunder and ran his hand across his face, said a small prayer and kissed his face.
I can't not say enough about what he did for me that day.
I want to Thank my dear friend Hannah Farrell from "Gentle Souls Horse Sanctuary" for helping me through this and for referring Dr. Schiver to me.
I want to Thank Elaine Davis from the bottom of my heart for giving me a place to lay Thunder Safely to rest. I never even met her before, but she treated my like family.
I want thank Dr. Schiver for spending half the day helping me through all this.
I may not have been able to heal Thunder Physically,
BUT I can tell you..I Know I healed his Heart!!
I love you big " T"
R.I.P (Run In Paradise)