Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Heart As Big As the Wind...

Today the sun rose in the sky and the birds sang in the trees, but at Blue Skies we discovered our beloved Spark Plug, rescued with the Paulding Super 6 in March, had succumbed to a sudden downturn in his health and passed away quietly in his sleep. We are all in mourning for a life cut entirely too short. But our memories of his three months with us are crowded with a little pony with more personality than one frail body could contain.

From the day we arrived to save some of the animals bound for slaughter from abuse and certain death, Sparky made his mark on our staff. Though one of the most severely emaciated horses on the property, he promptly marched up to the barn manager and made it known he would be our first of six animals we brought home to BSRA. Small, a bag of skin and bones, with dull coat but bright eyes, his spark of life became the obvious name for this little gelding. With a body score of 1.5 we knew he faced a long road, but all of us were eager to go.

From the moment he set foot on the trailer, Sparky knew he was home. In the quarantine paddock he was so weak Sparks spent more time lying down than standing. He drank well and approached each portion of alfalfa tea or watered oats with a real zeal. Within a week, he was standing on his own and the true personality of this amazing equine began to shine.

He was a prankster, who loved to bellow for treats or demand his pasture time. He was the first head over the door every morning and the last to say good night. He would follow mildly to the gate if he was of a mind to do so and he was just as likely to run off as obey. The barn and back pastures were his playground and Maple was his fast companion. They shared meals, hay and water and took care of each other during times of uncertainty and quiet.

Sparky began his downward slide last weekend, and magnificent Dr. Sue was called. Our little Spark Plug wasn't doing well. He had a heart murmur ( a side effect of the severe starvation his body had endured) and a hernia in his intestines. The diarrhea in this heat complicated the weakness. Monday he spent more time lying down than standing, Maple watching anxiously from the stall next door. During the night he made his way across the rainbow bridge.

Rescue is hard, and sometimes the only reward is knowing you gave an animal back their pride and dignity. We mourn today and continue our care of the other 5 members of the Paulding rescue group, along with our other OTTB rescues who are in training for their second careers. Soon there will be another phone call, another Spark Plug waiting for someone to care enough to act. And we will be there,, along with the other wonderful rescues who put their hearts out there every day.

Tomorrow the sun will rise in the sky and the birds will sing in the trees but at Blue Skies, our little Spark will still be gone.