Sometimes things go as planned, and sometimes plans can change. Before Wind arrived at SAFE, our staff reviewed prior vet records, spoke with animal control officials, and made the unanimous decision to welcome her into our hospice program. We prepared ourselves to meet a horse who was in some amount of pain, although we weren’t sure how much yet, and to give her the best life we could for a short period of time before laying her to rest on some pre-determined, beautiful, sunny day.

But the horse we met the day she arrived at our farm in October was not the same horse we met on paper. Yes, she has advanced degenerative suspensory ligament desmitis and her movement looks abnormal because of it. But the low level of daily pain medication that she’s on seems to be doing the trick in keeping her comfortable, and she’s told us that she’s quite a happy girl. She is not yet ready to leave this world.

Wind loves turnout time, her friend Mara, and rolling in the soft arena dirt. She is also learning to enjoy the companionship of people and she has a few human friends who groom her several times each week. She is up to a good weight now and her coat is sleek and shiny. She’s living the good life. And she has a dedicated staff who monitor her every day for any sign of change in her comfort level.

Because Wind’s condition in degenerative, our original plan to take her in as a hospice case has not changed. But the timeline has been altered. We no longer have a pre-determined date in our heads of when to say goodbye. When we notice that this current level of pain medication is no longer enough, we will make the call to let her go at that time. If we see any deterioration in her condition, we will not ask her to endure pain just because we’ve grown to adore her. We will do what we have promised her from the very beginning: make sure she knows love and and make sure she doesn’t suffer.

For now, though, Wind is as happy as can be and enjoying every moment.