A lot can happen in six weeks, and one thing is that I have aged three years in these past six weeks. Odd how stress and loss can alter a person’s physical well-being. I moved, along with my husband, three dogs, and one horse. I’ve left behind the old Appy, and struggle with that. I brought the paint horse, Reo, and he has had to endure dramatic changes in his life. It’s been hard on all of us, but I hope now that we are “settled” in our new environment that some sort of peacefulness will begin and we will all learn to enjoy our new lifestyle.
My loss is simply with material items, some that I felt were cherished mementos given to me by family members. I have hung on to my sister, Debra’s things because they bring her closer to me, even though she’s been gone for over 15 years. I have gifts my kids gave me that I feel wrong about giving away to strangers. I have stuffed animals that each represent an experience that needed warmth. I have photographs from my childhood that my mother saved, and now I save them. For what? Not sure. I put life into “things” and thus feel cruel discarding them. Such a childish way to live at my age. Hard to let go, as they say, with memories.
The new townhouse is much smaller than our last few homes, but it’s settled now and I am comfortable. It is rather nice to have less to maintain: no yard work, vacuum cord reaches all rooms, not so much to dust, easy kitchen clean-up, and so on. One good thing, we have managed to keep a good portion of our art work, and that pleases me.
The dogs really gave up most, I think. They used to have a big house and a private, fenced yard with free access from the house to the yard . Now they have had to learn to go to a patio door and scratch, or yip, or stare until we respond with the leashes and go out with them. They do seem to enjoy the constant contact with us, however, except perhaps Chloe, who misses her early morning free roaming. The old dog, Jake, appears to like the leash walks, except he took sick this week and struggles with the short walks. He is excited to go out, but disappointed at his own lack of energy. He is failing, but still wants to live.
As I said, the old horse, Buddy, is still in Georgetown at my friends small farm. He is still madly in love with the big mare Bella, and content with his life. I go visit him every couple of weeks, but that is not enough for me. I could go more often, but I have grown to dislike the drive, even though it’s only a little over an hour. (That is another thing that tells me I am rapidly aging.). I am still seriously thinking of moving him up here so that I can care for him properly. Last visit I was not happy with the rain rot that had developed on his back. Other than that, he looked healthy, although a little thin. He is, I must remind myself, 32 years old. If I could find a small place up here where he could have a nice pasture mate, I just might move him. Especially if my friend sells Bella, as she is thinking of doing.
Reo’s new home is much more rustic than he, or I, are used to. It is hilly, rocky, full of trees, weedy pastures, and over 130 acres. The horses are very well cared for, not pampered, and relaxed. The drive, 16 miles, is not my favorite thing, and I try to use the time to think good thoughts, but mostly I grumble to myself. Reo is pastured with mares, and his demeanor has changed quite a bit. He never cared if I took him out of the pasture when he was with his old gelding herd. But now I have to listen to him neigh, and paw the ground, and move all over. It’s been six weeks and I see little improvement. I have asked that he be put with only geldings, but they tell me is is aggressive toward them. That is a new thing, and I’m sure it is because of the presence of the mares. I will have to solve this soon so that I can enjoy riding him. He is still slightly lame, so can’t do much anyway. I find I have lost some confidence in him, which means I better get my own act together and demand his attention!
So, a new environment for humans, for dogs, and for horses.