to say goodbye.

it was the crack of the gunshot that startled me
I knew it was coming
but i still stammered with my hands
as if i was grasping a live snake
instead of the handful of dandelions
to feed to Ebony over the fence
Ebony's head whipped up
he looked to the North,
trotted in that direction
held back by the paddock fence
he then trotted to the loafing shed
peering through the large logs
to the North
I eased my body through the fence rails
and walked up to him
we both stared
through the large logs
towards the North

there was no other shot
His arms hung down by his sides
His pistol in one hand
her pink and white cotton lead rope in another
He stood back, and looked 
and then leaned in closer
one shot to the right spot
like He was told
she didnt even know
so quick, painless
the way it is, supposed to be
guilty relief, then grief, then thankfulness
Straightening up,
He stared to the South
into the Sun
for us

she had been sick
for months
a good old pony
struggling towards an end
the unknown cancer eating her insides
until they revealed themselves outside
the kindly vet
in his honest way
told me i was just maintaining her
"you'll know
when its time"­­­­­

I eased the leather halter
over Ebony's nose
buckled the brass 
and snapped on his lead rope
his ears pricked forward
he bugled once, then twice
and called out once more
she did not call back
there was no her calling back
with a gentle tug and a cluck
we walked on
towards the North
towards them.

towards her.

It was time to say goodbye.



  1. Oh, I'm so sorry. Ebony will be lonely for a while, as will you guys. But, it was best. Give Mr. Foresterman a big hug for me, okay?

  2. For all of us that have lived through saying goodbye to a beloved family member, this tugs at the heart and brings tears to my eyes. Beautifully written so that your sorrow and struggle with doing the right thing is very apparent. Bless you for having a big enough heart to want the suffering to cease. I am faced with making the same decision for a failing flock guardian of mine. It's never easy when you love so easily.
    Take care,
    A Wisconsin friend

  3. Kelly said it so well. I'll just say, "amen."

  4. We've had to do it twice here... and once, the pony called for days. It's never easy... I'm sorry for you.

  5. "Better a moment too soon than a day too late." It's always hard to say good bye, always, especially when you're the one making the final decision. My deepest sympathies for all of you.

  6. ;_;

    Beautiful and heart wrenching. I'm so sorry.

  7. I'm so sorry. It must have been so hard to say goodbye.

  8. You said it all and I'm sure you knew it was the right thing to do. The Vet was know when it's time. Very sorry for your loss and I hope Ebony will have a new buddy someday.

  9. Tears in my eyes. It's so hard to let them go, even when its time and its right.. its still hard. Hugs.

  10. My heart goes out to you; may the coming days bring healing.

  11. I know that was a tough and heart wrenching decision. I'm so sorry for your loss.

  12. Oh this is such a great piece of writing my friend I could feel the emotions of everyone involved it ripped my heart out when Ebony ran to see what was going on but tried to hide from what was done. I could feel your and Mr Foresterman's pain yet still the sense of relief. This had me all twisted up in knots emotionally but I could certainly feel you holding your breath and reluctance to getting to this point but then the breath out when it was over. Beautiful beautiful writing . I am sorry my dear Feral friend but it was time. HUGS Grace

  13. Your use of words to describe this painful decision - so good. Saying good bye isn't easy - when it comes to our 4 legged family. Blessings from Wisconsin.

  14. Beautiful reflection on saying goodbye, tough decision, but good. Thank you.

  15. Dang it girl, you made my eyes leak. Give Ebony a hug for me.

  16. Very, very tough. Even when done with love. It's a hard life sometimes.

  17. Oh Feral, my heart breaks for all of you! I agree with what the others have said, it is never easy but sometimes necessary to ease the suffering of our beloved animal friends.

  18. I sense that through your writing there comes healing. For that I am grateful.

  19. Oh so sorry. But great writing, makes me feel like I was right there. Very tough decision, but needs to be done. hugs.

  20. Oh I am so sorry - always hard to say goodbye. Your writing is beautiful!!

  21. A heartbreaking decision. So sad. She had a wonderful life. xx

  22. Janice, I know the hard decision you and Mr. Forestman made. And for him to have the courage to do it himself, I don't think I could do it. When I had my kitty Hobie put to sleep, I was appalled, heartbroken, and shook up. I could feel him following me around until we finally buried him in the backyard. I kept saying to my son, "he's really gone right?" He had to keep reassuring me that indeed he was gone. I guess it was his little spirit following me around. So hard, so, so hard. I am so sorry, but I know you gave her a wonderful life, and she will greet you when it's your time to pass through the veil.

  23. So sad. I know what it feels like. My heart aches for you.

  24. Losing a companion is hard to bear for both man and beast, you conveyed the feelings so beautifully.

  25. Gosh darnit -- I lost it at the end. We've had to put down some of our most beloved friends this way, because that is what you do out here. But it's never easy -- especially for the one that has to pull the trigger. Happy hunting grounds or whatever they say. It's always tough to bear. xo


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