I am afraid I have very sad news about my cousins foal that I posted last week. I have decided to post Renita's letter in hopes that someone may be inspired by it.
I write this email with great sadness and grief...but today Diva's foal (my first saddlebred baby) "Divine Gift" died. I found her last night laying down and unable to get up. I instantly knew something horrible was happening to her. We had been selling sweet corn in a neighboring town and did not get home til around 8:00 pm. When I saw her I knew she had been lying there for hours. Diva's utter was engorged and the foal looked dehydrated. I immediately gave her 2 large syringe-fulls of water and Adam and I got her to her feet to nurse. She did nurse but the weakness progressed rapidly. I called 2 vets and only one answered his cell phone. He told me to get her to his clinic so we left at once with her in the horse trailer lying down...she softly whinnied to her mother as we shut the door of the trailer. Diva was extremely nervous and worried as we took her first born away from her for the first time ever. We left the foal at the vets and he started IV fluids and strong steroids. We initially thought some trauma (a kick from Diva...or her own acting silly) left her in this state. After the vet examined her he could find no evidence of broken bones...but we knew she has neurological damage from some source. She could not swish her tail and walked with a shaky stiff-legged walk. She had been fine that morning. She stayed over night at the vets and I called this morning. They said she had not improved and would not nurse from a bottle. He began to be suspicious of West Nile virus. At 2:00 we decided to bring her home and give her supportive care and hold her up to nurse Diva. When we got to the vet's clinic we were in shock...she was lifeless and had a glazed-eye look and was gasping with open mouth to breathe. she was un-responsive to anything. We carried her body to our trailer and the vet and I began to discuss her meds. My husband sent my son in the office to say that we needed to forget the meds...she was dying. I ran outside and looked in the trailer to see my little "Divine Gift" take her last breath. I felt like my heart had stopped beating, too. I was devastated and sobbed. My son was crying, too. The vet told us how deeply sorry he was and how he had tried everything. He still had no idea what killed her. After we left and I managed to control my weeping I called another vet. He had been also tending to this foal from the beginning..but I could not reach him last night. He told me that her symptoms sounded like botulism and that many Amish around where I lived had cows to die from it. He said that if he had gotten to her sooner...he could have given her an anti-toxin that MAY have saved her. We made the decision to take her to Murray State animal diagnostic lab for an autopsy. I will know what killed her in the next few days.
I was so broken-hearted when my first broodmare died a couple of years ago...Lost In Loveliness (we called her Lily). But I was blessed with 2 well-bred mares after. I do not understand why I had to lose my first Saddlebred foal. I had so many dreams about her...I had her nominated to the Tennessee and Alabama Futurities and had purchased her weanling show halter just days ago. She had the cutest trot...and held her head so high. Her ears were always forward as she curiously watched everything going on. Everything I have done in the last 8 months (at least) revolved around her birth and development. She was going to get her first professional photos done this Sunday. Even though she was only with me for 3 & 1/2 weeks...I had grown to love her. She was such a blessing and joy to watch. My heart breaks for Diva, too. When we came back with an empty trailer...she watched to see if her baby was coming back. I saw her eyes and her nervousness and it made me sob all over again. I put Diva with the other 4 horses and it seemed to help distract her. She was grazing calmly tonite.
I had decided to nick-name the foal "Lily" after the mare that had died. Now I have 2 Lily's in heaven. I love these animals and I get so attached that it hurts very deep when these tragedies happen. I guess I won't be showing any foals this year. I know God has a great plan and He loves me. I know that something good will come from this heart break. I trust in His goodness and mercy. I am not angry at Him for allowing her death. She was a Divine Gift from God and He has given me precious moments with her.
I barely could get myself to email this...so I chose to send to all that knew of the baby. I didn't have the energy to email individually...so please forgive me.
3 Halloween Table Settings & A Halloween Craft
14 hours ago