Goodbye to Sarge
Passed away 9/20/15
Today, Sarge passed away. Sometime in the night, after he ate, he laid down, and drifted away. He’d been off and on his feed for the past several weeks, but perky. So we’re surprised, but not really.
Dear Sarge was that plain-chestnut-wrapper horse, even in his early days was probably not “beautiful” physically. He had a long back which had swayed before he came here; mule-like feet, bad knees, bad skin, a long roman nose, and small donkey like eyes. But dear Sarge had all the personality in the world. Great manners, and a gentle insistence that was irresistible - you just HAD to find him a carrot or cookie, or give him some scritches...
He came in a little thin, but gained weight easily, and immediately turned his attention to the horses. Sarge was a caretaker. He was Pepe Grillo’s first friend.
And then as Pepe gained confidence and his own followers, Sarge took over with Comet, a 20 something mare who had never spent time with another horse other than her own mother!
Comet and Allie (Comet's mother) became his girls. Both were frail, Comet with Cancer, and Allie with impaired vision that became no vision.
After each had passed away, Sarge met Cassidy, and was so thrilled to have a supermodel for a girlfriend he never looked at another mare to his dying day.
Looking back, I should have known that meant she was frail also, but he took good care of her until her end. Just about a year before that, Mack joined us, and Sarge showed us just how hard he could fight to protect one that he loved - it took Mack a month of steady persistence to ‘get in’ with Cass and Sarge!
And Mack is a good 10 years younger than Sarge... The three were always together thereafter, until Cassidy’s demise.
And from that point onward, Mack was Sarge’s friend and protector. You could see that Sarge’s need to protect was still strong - he kept an eye on his other stallmate, Cinnamon, also elderly,
When Mack came out for his shoes, Sarge would wait patiently for him. But Sarge was feeling his age, and I think Mack was a huge comfort to him.
So whatever Sarge’s story was before he came here (and the other rescue who dumped him here didn’t have any believable information or history at all) his story here was all about caring for other horses. In his final year, still grieving for Cassidy, he was cared for himself by his once-rival Mack, but still cried every night if he went into his stall before Cinnamon did. Needing care himself, he still worried about anyone he perceived as frailer than he was. He was well liked and respected by his herdmates.
He was also such a darling for me to handle. Sometime in his past he was well trained and tried his best to accomplish everything he was asked to do. He had terrible knees and struggled to lift his feet for his trims. But he’d do his best always, with no real resistance. Thankfully, TGC is blessed with a very fast and efficient farrier! And just a short week before his passing, he decided that he would like some of Laurie’s attentions too, walking up and practically demanding that she check him out - which she did, and she was able to help him a little bit.
On his next-to-last night, he found his lower chain was not properly latched, and I was slow feeding, so he ducked under the upper chain, walked out and stood close to the donkeys, who were eating. I don’t think I have another horse who would not have just bulled the donkeys aside, and taken their food. Sarge wasn’t timid, more simply polite. He felt if he was standing close to them, maybe I’d think he was a donkey and make him a bucket up too! I walked back to his stall and he followed me - could have been that alfalfa I was carrying - and tucked right in.
Not a looker, our Sarge, but a beautiful soul nonetheless. Used hard by humanity, but so very happy and grateful for his five years of retirement here at TGC. I feel that our supporters give this last gift to each of these horses - that longed for chance to finally be a horse, in a herd of horses, interacting the way Nature intended. Sarge took to it with a great sigh of contentment.
Goodbye dear boy. Find Cass and Comet and Allie and keep them safe. We miss you.