Stall seven made into a make-shift surgical suite at the break of dawn, well into repairing the many deep punctures and scrapes from a cougar attack this week-old foal was fighting for his life. So weak was he that no anesthesia was needed, the shock and dehydration zapped all the strength he had. A year ago, we were not sure he would survive but survive he did and today Rimson is a strong, healthy horse who hopefully doesn’t remember that attack and the pain of recovery that followed.
Who would have thought that a late phone call would change the lives of so many people? Just as Lary and I were settling down to have a bowl of ice cream at the end of the fourth of July holiday weekend I got a call, a plea for help from Gail who had called the authorities and several other places for help and had no where else to turn. A young horse, attacked by a cougar the night before was in their yard and the Marinello’s did not think he would make it through the night. His herd had run off and left him behind, he wandered off the Apache Indian Reservation and into their yard and they desperately needed help. An hour later we arrived at their house to find this tiny foal, wet because it had been raining and in shock from multiple wounds. In the misty dark of night Kyle carried him into our trailer as Gail, Dennis and he told us about the attack and how they had been trying to help this little guy all day. With a myriad of emotions, they watched as we drove away.
We were lucky enough to find Milk Replacer for livestock at our local Walmart as the decision was made with Dr. Helzer to bring him to the rescue feeling he would not survive a long drive to the equine hospital hours away. She would get there a quickly as we could and, in the meantime, we made him a clean dry place to lay, put a wound cleaning gel on his injuries, dripped milk into his mouth with a baby bottle, patiently waited and prayed.
365 days later and the memories are so clear, the details of the moments come back to me as though it was only hours ago. I am sure the same can be said by Dr. Helzer and the Marinellos, memories that will be with us for years to come. Now we share the joy of watching Rimson grow into a healthy young horse with seemingly no residual memory of the attack. I suspect it is back there, somewhere in his sub-conscious but the many good memories of all the love and care he has received since keep them locked deep inside and don’t define his being.
At the time we just did what needed to be done. Round the clock feedings, nursing and wound care, worrying and praying with the support of so many. It consumed our lives but every minute was worth it to now see him living a normal life, happy with his best friend Buddie and the two of them growing into fine horses. He still needs to be massaged regularly where the scar tissue is that adheres to the muscle in his neck as he grows. He was castrated this spring and that took a long time to heal and he also injured his leg which required a short hospital stay to help with the wound management for a few days. He has been home and it is almost healed no only requiring daily observation and covering with Sox for Horses, Silver Whinny to keep the bugs and dirt out of it till fully healed. His days are mostly normal for a horse his age. He turned 1 year old on July 1st.
Rimson has brought together so many people who daily look for pictures and updates of he and Buddie on Facebook and through our emails and watch his journey with so much love in their hearts. In these tough times of Covid-19, unrest in the country and worries that so many have he is a beacon of light for us all, a reminder that tough times happen in life and they can be overcome and survived as long as we try every day with a positive attitude and can-do spirit. That doesn’t mean it will be easy, but with love and support, kindness and optimism, it is the trying every day that gets us through. Together we can over come so much and we thank you for being on this journey with us.
Happy Anniversary our little hero.
You bless us everyday with your happy spirit and love.