Have slightly run out of words today. I never run out of words.
Last night, the Pigeon and I sat on the sofa together, watching old episodes of the West Wing. Even the brilliance of Aaron Sorkin could not stop my mind from wandering. I suddenly decided that I must write down every single moment of these last days. I must record the soft, downy feel of her fur, the teddy bear grumble she makes when she shifts position, the gracious line of silver about her mouth, the way she puts her muzzle on my leg and gazes up into my eyes.
I actually rushed to the computer at half-past nine and started to do this. Then my fingers stopped moving. I don’t need to write it, I thought; I should just live it.
Everyone is lovely. All the extended family, the Beloved Cousin, the Horse Talker, the Dear Readers. I get incredibly touching messages on Twitter. There is the sweetness of the nearest and dearest, and the kindness of strangers. I move between pretty stoical and intensely sad. In a slightly nuts way, I keep the sadness from the dog. For her, I am bonny and blithe.
She chased her stick this morning. This is my absolute bellwether. She is a bit off her food, and she gives me those heartbreaking searching glances, as if she knows something is not right and she needs me to tell her what it is. But when I pick up the stick, her eyes brighten, and she bounces up and down, and she does her canine grin, and I can catch a glimpse of that antic youth, when she used to swim across the burn and jump over three foot fences and run at thirty miles an hour. (I once timed her and the Duchess up the drive, and they hit a top speed of 34 mph. I was so proud. They were my own little Frankels.)
The mare has her own sweetness. I am spending all my time with the dog, so I just rush up to the field for the most basic feed and groom and checking of legs. Also: for five minutes of intense love. Normally, Red can get quite grumpy if she is not having her due duchessy share of attention. Now, she seems calm and understanding. She puts her head on my shoulder and I stroke the velvet coat on her neck, growing furry now the cold weather is setting in. It is the softest, most comforting thing in the world. All her summer hardness falls away, and there is something yielding and gloriously tactile about her.
She blows down her nose and nods her head and I give her a kiss and run back to my dog.
Some autumn leaf action:
Have not had time to take horse pictures lately, so here are a couple from our glorious snow day:
That little pony is a great comfort too. She is so downy and furry now that all I do is hug her. She puts up with it with very good grace. She is another one who grows more beloved every day, and she has a good line in comic turns too, so she makes us all laugh.
Red, inspecting her view:
The Pigeon, this morning:
What I find hard to comprehend is that someone who looks like that can be coming to the end. I suppose it is good that she is not deaf and blind and hardly able to walk. I know the vet is right. That bloody ear will get her. I am not clinging to false hope. She is on four different drugs and all they can do is hold the inevitable at bay for a little while. At least her final days are not a mess of pain and incontinence and other horrors. It just seems wrong, somehow, that one failing part of the body can overcome all the rest, which is still so filled with life.