|THE LAST WHISPER|
I lost my horse, Vanja. She was 18. We had ten good years together.
She had problems in the eyes. We tried to treat them but they just got infected over and over again. I had to make a very difficult decision.
It was not easy. Apart from the eyes, she was in so good condition. She trusted me and followed my voice like never before. But on the other had, I was the only one who could handle her anymore.
She started to be afraid of things she never feared before, like lumps of snow and even people she knew. I could not ask anyone else to take care of a half blind horse - It is far too dangerous. In my book, when it starts to effect behavior and character, it's gone far enough.
A week ago my horses left eye was not reacting to light anymore. We asked the vet to come. The vet said the left eye was blind. There was only a little sight remaining in the right one. It was not really a surprise - I had seen myself, that she always had to turn the right side of her head first. That made riding her in the last weeks almost impossible.
It was time to let her go, before she would suffer more pain, or hurt herself or me.
Vanja was old, so I had to know it would come to this one day. I sat beside her and stroke her. I said to her there is one more obstacle she has to jump, and after that there is a wonderful field, where she can meet her mother and wait for me.
She died so peacefully, it was hard for me to believe. I have seen horses die before, and they have had cramps and tired to gallop lying in the ground. Vanja did nothing of that. She put her head in my arms, breathed slowly and calm, like going to sleep. Anyone could see she didn't fight against it.
In my mind, when she was lying there and her hearth was still going, I could see her swimming across a river and then, when the heart stopped. I imagined her hoof touching the golden sand on the other side.
In a way I was ready for it. But you can not cry and miss someone, until she is really gone.
When she was alive, I loved her. But when she died, I started to realize she was a very special horse. so many people said to me things like 'She was the only horse I was not afraid of'', ' She had the look in her eyes every horse should have' and 'No-one has a relationship like you two had.' I want to say thank you to all those people.
Looking at the pictures of Vanja's life, I also realised my children and god-daughters grew up with her. They were so small, when we first got this horse. And they too had a special relationship with her.
All this makes me grateful. Vanja deserved to go this way: Not in pain, not in bad condition, loved by everyone.
MEMORIES Vanja 16.4.1998-14.12.2015
Vanja jouduttiin lopettamaan silmien vuoksi. Päätös ei ollut helppo, kun se oli muuten niin hyvässä kunnossa ja niin ihana. Se seurasi minua ja totteli ääntäni. Mutta toisaalta minä olin ainoa, joka enää viimeisinä viikkoina pystyi käsittelemään sitä.
Yritimme pitkään hoitaa sen silmiä, mutta tulehdukset uusiutuivat aina. Lopulta huomasin, että sen vasen silmä ei reagointut enää valoon. Kutsuimme eläinlääkärin, ja hän vahvisti asian. Vasen silmä oli kokonaan sokea, ja oikeassakin oli enää vähän näköä jäljellä.
Oli aika päästä Vanja pois, ennen kuin kivut silmissä pahenevat, tai ennen kuin sokeuden takia sattuu jotain.
Vanja nukahti rauhallisesti pää minun kainalossa. Kun sen sydän vielä löi, kuvittelin sen uivan virran yli, ja kun sydän pysähtyi, ajattelin että nyt sen kaviot koskettavat kultahiekkaan. Siellä se laiduntaa onnellisena muiden hevosten kanssa, ja ennen kuin se huomaakaan, minäkin jo tulen sinne.
Vaikka olin valmistautunut menetykseen, niin ikävää ja surua voi tuntea vasta sitten, kun häntä ei enää ole. Monet ihmiset sanoivat minulle ihania asioita Vanjasta. Tajusin, miten monia se oli koskettanut, ja miten harvinaislaatuinen hevonen se oli ollut.
Kuvia katsellessa huomasin myös. että lapseni ovat kasvaneet Vanjan kanssa aikuisiksi, ja että heilläkin, kuten minulla, on ollut erityinen suhde sen kanssa. Kaikki tämä tekee minut hyvin kiitolliseksi.