Go Well “Gentle Friend”

harry and charlie

Today a member of our family went to sleep. When I first met him I knew that he was someone who could be completely trusted. His eyes held wisdom beyond his age and his gentleness was evident in his gaze. He has proven himself to be strong, courageous, and a good friend. But with deteriorating health his time to go on the next leg of his journey had come.

So at 12 O’Clock, in an act of kindness and love, denied to many others, the vet came and put our huge, strong, tender horse, Harry, to sleep.

Now if you are not an animal lover then I give you permission to “tut”. But your “tutting” only means that you have not yet experienced the strong and beautiful bond that forms between a human and their horse. I have seen that bond between Harry and my daughter Charlie, his owner, carer, devotee, lover, confidant and friend. A bond that has been there from the moment that she met him, which has developed with Charlie and has infected the entire family. Harry taught me to ride- trusting him completely. And he always did his best to please us, but especially Charlie.

Now, if love could have saved him then Charlie’s love would have; but love couldn’t save him. His laminitis (a serious condition in his legs) was too severe. So in a final act of love we did what Harry couldn’t do and took the painful, heart-breaking decision for his journey to end.

We have been overwhelmed by the support and love for Harry and Charlie on Social Media from horsey and non-horsey friends alike. So much love from people who understand and have been there. And, of course, we have so many wonderful memories; of his galloping; his life; the joy he gave and the love he received.

And I will never forget his wisdom; the way he looked at me and understood me at the deepest of levels. I will never forget how he changed our lives and my daughter’s life, adding quality and depth.

So for now, GO WELL, GENTLE FRIEND.

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2 responses to “Go Well “Gentle Friend”

  1. In the television series “All creatures great & small” the vet, Siegfried, had to put a horse to sleep. The horse was a hunter so Siegfried arranged for the Hunt Master & the Master of hounds to bring the hounds into the yard. The horn was blown and the hounds barked. The horse believed he was going hunting again. “So”, said Siegfried, “the horse died with is ears pricked”. So may that be the nature of departure from this life for all of us; to “die with our ears pricked”, ~ full of expectation for the future.

  2. What a lovely piece for Harry. As a horse lover, I am touched. Also glad that you could show mercy to Harry and allow him to depart without endless agony. My condolences to Charlie and you all. May the pain of his loss fade swiftly and may you be left only with the happiest of memories.

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