GOODBYE TO COMET
On March 2, 2012, suddenly, Comet went down. As I watched in horror, her belly spasmed repeatedly - I would imagine that labor might look like this. What I suspect is that the internal tumors Fred Zadick warned me she almost certainly had, evidenced by the external tumors we could see, finally strangulated her intestine or other vital organs, perhaps causing a twist or blockage. Her pain was as severe as what I saw from Oso, and I wasn’t going to allow it to go on. It was day’s end, just before dusk, and I am grateful that it hit her then, and not later after I’d gone in for the night. I ended her pain quickly, and I believe that I only cheated death by a short time.
Comet, as some of you may recall, was the daughter of Allie, who passed in December 2011. Comet was in her early 20s, and had so many things wrong with her, that I always believed she would die before her mom. She had huge tumors under her tail and under her jaw (and Dr. Z warned me she was certain to have many more internally); thyroid problems causing goiter and unpredictable personality; and a lameness issue in her left fore that seemed to be in her shoulder, but didn’t respond to chiropractic, massage or pain relievers. Because of her thyroid situation, she had a crazy personality - sweet and cuddly one minute, laid back ears and wild eyed lunging and stamping the next. She was HARD on other horses, except for Sarge, whom she loved the minute she saw him, and who felt strongly protective of her. Towards the end, she also seemed to be partial to Chief, who would hang around now and then. And in her last month, she tolerated the attention of Cassidy, who became very attached to her. It may be her defining characteristic, that she inspired four horses to just love her, despite her difficult mood swings. When she was good, she was very very good; but when she was bad, she was horrid! The rest of the herd treated her with a mixture of fear and respect, giving her and her buds a wide berth.
Comet supposedly was trained to ride, but with all her problems it was never considered here. I can tell you she was hard to handle on the ground - not respecting the halter and absolutely willing to run a person over if she wanted to. Maybe she seemed trained in an isolated setting, cooperating with anyone who gave her some attention. But here, there was so much she wanted to do and see ..... She gained some weight and lost a ton of hair in her only summer at TGC, and was looking quite good. As far as I could tell, her exposure to the world was very limited - I got her and Allie from a quite remote ranch where they lived alone, without even the sight of other horses or even traffic! So TGC was a revelation to her, and she seemed thrilled. Sadly, she turned away from her mom - there were BOYS! But she was entitled - while Allie had a racing history that exposed her to more in her life, I believe Comet had lived so secluded as to be actually deprived - TGC gave her one year of much more normal life including interaction with other horses, and people. With all of her physical problems, she wasn’t destined to last long, but she was happy.
Sadly, Comet never really had a life. She was the product of that well known phenomena, the back yard breeder who "just loved" her mother and thought she was worth breeding, but then had no time or purpose for the foal produced. Her conformation was odd; and for whatever reason, she had many serious health issues. I’m glad we could provide a glimpse of life for her, before her end overtook her. The generosity of her former owner’s boyfriend means that Comet didn’t cost us much, but even if she had, she deserved a little something for the long, lonely, purposeless life she’d led at the whim of humanity.