Sunday, February 27, 2011

It's Just a Mule

I explained to someone that Badger had Equine COPD and that he seemed better at the beginning of this winter.

I explained about the meds and why we couldn't keep him on it forever.

They commented...'Why he is just a mule...'


I did ride him this winter, bareback across the meadow in snow that was at least 3 ft deep in places.
He took it calmly and without much hesitation. He walked slow and stopped often to look around.

His health began another down turn on Valentine's Day. We had a warm up of weather around the same time.
I have no idea if it was weather related or just something else going on. His lungs are scarred from this and eventually there will be no getting better.

Today he seems comfortable. His respiration is higher than 25/minute. But he does not seem to be as bothered as I am with it.

It hurts to see this and know there is nothing I can do but maintain him with good clean hay and clean air.

This photo is from a ride one year ago. Before he began to show signs of Equine COPD or what is commonly known as 'Heaves'.
My hope is that he can continue to have good days, although I know he'll have bad ones also.

Today he stood at the gate as I hooked up water to run to a stock tank.
He nickered at me with his high mulish voice.
...and then he stood and waited.

Of course I had to go to him and give him an ear rub. He is my pal. Badger even dropped his head down so Morris could stand with his front paws on his head.

Silly dog, silly mule.
Both are my best friends.

He is NOT just a mule. He is so much more than that.

I wish that I could sometimes make people understand. But if they've never had a relationship with an animal like I have, then they could not possibly could they?

I repeat.
He is not Just a Mule.

6 comments:

mj said...

It's hard to relate to someone that doesn't get the friendship and bond that we have with certain animals in our lives. Think how different life would be if you hadn't had all those great conversations and adventures with Badger, and Morris.

Anonymous said...

i have a dog an a horse an i could never had lived my life with-out them.people who dont understand this bond, is a person for one, i dont want to be . an for another, i dont want to be around.

Val said...

Thanks MJ. I wonder why it is we form such great bonds with certain animals?

I have formed a wonderful bond with 1 other mule, Siera, but almost feel guilty about it. Especially when I cannot ride Badger at the moment.

Christina said...

My Grandpa had a mule that wasn't just a mule too. His name was Mike. He lost his sight in his last days. I've only ever seen pictures of him, but just like your Badger, it's clear to me that he wasn't just another mule. I hope your boy has more good days than bad in the coming months.

P.S. Your mule photographs really are beautiful. :) You capture a lot of personality in them.

Val said...

Thanks Christina!

gtyyup said...

All the four legged ones are friends. Some are just a lil' bit more special to each of us in one way or another. They are never JUST a dog...or a cat...or a horse...or a mule.