Jake came in crying today after going out to feed the horses. Cherokee (the late 20's or early 30's old guy) was dead in his stall!
He was old and there weren't any signs of injury or illness so we figure that he just died during his sleep last night.
You just never know what the day is going to bring do you? We knew that he was old, but he seemed well… “as healthy as a horse”. We had just enjoyed a great ride last week and he'd been escaping from the fence just nights ago. He was such a sweet guy. We're very thankful that he never had to suffer (or run up huge vet bills… sorry, got to be practical), but it's hard to imagine finding another kind, gentle, well trained horse as him. And poor Billy, he's lost his good pasture pal. I tell you this is hard on all of us.
Losing an animal is hard on anyone – whether they live in the city or the country. I guess you just have to deal with it a little more often in the country since you have more animals. I know Harriette just lost a bunch of chickens. And forwhatever reason, for me, I always have that flash of “what if we lost the other animals as well”. I don't know if that's some twisted form of gratitude to just be thankful that it wasn't worse or a fear of “what if's”, but it's there.
I just have to focus on God's gentleness though. I know that He knows (and cares) about how much Cherokee meant to us. Makes me wonder if us finding Mary Jane and taking such delight in her was a gift from Him to soften the blow of losing Cherokee. Those are just things I wonder.
Mostly though I know that as I patted Cherokee's precious old face to tell him goodbye, I felt such love as I said, “Well done good and faithful servant.” May I be such a blessing and joy to my LORD that one day He can say the same of me.