Yesterday, I met with Dr. Hannah and some of the caretakers to discuss Tia. While she has settled down from her very unsettling episodes of extreme anxiety that she was exhibiting a couple of weeks ago, she is still generally showing some signs of agitation at times. She is not comfortable being turned out in the pasture at all and even when turned out in the arena, seems to spend a lot of time pacing in front of the gate wanting to come back into her stall. She does not seem to see well at all these days, and frequently will run into you when leading or handling her or when cleaning her stall. Dr. Hannah does feel that her sight has deteriorated as well as the fact that she has some amount of dementia. As she is believed to be well into her 30s, this is understandable.
We spent some time watching her in the arena yesterday, on a good day when she was not upset and agitated. I watched her wander over to a soft spot in the arena, have a good roll (flipped herself all the way over) and jump easily back up to her feet. But when she got up, she was feeling a bit spunky, and decided to run our direction. There were four of us standing in the arena, and it quickly became apparent that she was going to run right into us. We all waved our arms and yelled but she did not seem to see us and almost mowed me right over even as I veered out of her way.
After a lot of discussion, the decision was made that the best thing for Tia would be to put her down. We would rather see her go on a good day, with a full belly, surrounded by those that have cared for her the past few months, than to risk facing a terrifying emergency situation in which Tia has become a danger to herself and others due to her lack of sight and dementia, which we could easily see happening in the near future. We take solace in knowing that we have given Tia a tremendous gift of kindness, love, a never-empty bucket of mush, and a soft and safe place to lie down, these past few months.
Tomorrow morning at 10am, Tia will be laid to rest by Dr. Hannah. I will be there to help her on her way over the rainbow bridge. I hope as she gallops over to the other side, that she clearly sees the beautiful pastures as she can no longer in this life and body, and feels only peace and serenity. RIP Tia, we will miss you!