Goodbye, Good Boy

Norman was a good boy whose time came last month.

I stumbled across this piece (Norman, My Tie That Binds) this morning. I had pushed from my mind everything that was wrapped up in this horse and hadn’t really allowed myself to process his loss. Norman was more than just a horse to me and to some very special friends.

After the Professor and I sold the place in Eagle last January, he went to live with our friends. I couldn’t sell him – he was an expensive pasture ornament – so our friends Hilerie King and Andrea Scott generously agreed to let him live out his life at their place.

When the Professor got COVID they showed up twice a day to do outside chores and after he got better Andrea stayed on. She had become very fond of Norman in that time. He lost his mom a few years ago and a much-loved pasture buddy a few years later. Our other two horses regularly kicked him to the curb (literally). I never realized how shut down he was until we saw how alive he became at their place.

An old retired mare, a miniature horse, and many sheep shared his pasture there and I believe he recognized some faint essence of my parents’ ranch (where he was raised) in that place. Instead of whipping boy, these saw him as king. He and the mare were inseparable. He ran the pasture like a boss. He was home. Quite happy. And that made us all happy.

This summer and fall though, he’d lost a significant amount of weight. A cold winter was looming and we knew it would be very hard on him so we did the right thing. Or Andrea did. I hadn’t been out to see him but once when he was still relatively fit, sassy, and fabulous.

She and the vet eased him through his passing. He got an extra measure of grain and then went peacefully. I will be forever grateful to her for allowing his death to be easier on me. It wasn’t easy for her. Not even close. I’ll never forget her kindness.

Now a month later, I’m finally crying. He was a good boy. Goodbye, Normie. I loved you.

Norman, My Tie That Binds

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