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WHEN TO SAY GOODBYE

How to plan for the final act of kindness.
DAVID DIRGA/SHUTTERSTOCK

When she woke up one morning in 2015, Marianne Barry had no idea that she would have to say goodbye to her best friend. But after finding her horse in the throes of a severe colic episode, that’s exactly what she did. Barry and her 25-year-old Saddlebred gelding, Shanghi, had been together for six years when she had to relocate him to a new boarding barn. At the time of the move, the horse’s health was already compromised by several conditions, and Barry believes that the stress of the move (combined with the horse’s existing health challenges) was responsible for the colic episode.

By the time the veterinarian arrived to examine him, Shanghi’s condition was irreparably compromised, and Barry had little choice but to instruct the veterinarian to euthanize him. “I knew that this was eventually going to happen, but I was forced to make the decision that day,” she says. “Even though I knew it was best for Shanghi, it was an awful decision to make.”

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Horse Illustrated October 2019, New Must-Have Therapeutic Gear, Fall Pastures, Into the Wild : Mustang Herds, And More....