Goodbye to Durango

Arrived TGC March 2015; Passed away May 7, 2024


Still painful from the passing of RJ a couple of weeks ago, I found Durango down this morning. Im sick to report that it appears he ate his apple and his senior feed, but left the bulk of his dinner untouched – no poop in his stall. Carson was quiet, and still, not looking;  but hustled out of his stall quickly when he normally follows Durango out.

I swear he's grinning and saying thanks for dinner!

My sweet D. Such an upbeat character. When he arrived, he marched right up to me with a hopeful face - these old guys figure out the 'food lady' very quickly! He so happy to get EVERY meal, so devoted to Carson (who is more of a grumpy pessimistic dude). He was absolutely PERKY at the prospect of food and scrambled to do what I asked of him, I know in appreciation. When his bigger pellets were soaking, he stood anxious  and sort of quietly huffing to encourage me, at his gate waiting for the tinytiny feed, and loved his apple once it was clear he couldn’t crunch a carrot.

Two bros, heading out.

In 2020 when his teeth were floated, I saw that he had very few molars left and upgraded his pelleted food, to his delight. Like with RJ, I keep bumping up the amount to find out how much he could take in. Unlike RJ, he would eat a small portion given in the morning – even if Carson finished before him, he’d eat till it was gone and then run screaming around till he found his buddy.

Two bros, finding a private spot to hang

In the almost 2 years here at our new location, he continued to eat well but started losing weight. His energy seemed good, but he was getting bony along his top line (spine, hips). He loved the softer soil here, and got his sleep in every day, which I had not noticed him doing at the last place. Vets agreed that he was “well into his 30s”, as is Carson. And they had had a very demanding life, earning money for the bum who then abandoned them. That kinda thing will take its toll, but Durango had Carson, a friend thru thick and thin. THAT kinda thing can make everything bearable.

Two bros, waiting for Godot

So the boys were always together. I could only find a very few photos of either Carson or Durango alone. I’ve been worried for a while, which horse I would lose first. If it had been Carson, I know Durango would have followed in short order. He always worried about Carson, followed him, let him come into his own stall and check out what was in his feed bowl. These boys stood head to tail always, even in their stalls, with a pipe panel between them, they stood guard when the other laid down. My understanding was they worked “at least” a decade at the riding stable; and they had almost a decade here together. They took a ferry to Catalina to haul people up and down those hills. And they were left alone, without food or water, when their ‘owner’ bailed. (Luckily Animal Services was well aware of that person’s perfidy, and sent officers to the facility to set out water and food until homes could be found for Carson, Durango, and three other horses.) I wonder if their lesson to us was “having a good friend gives strength thru the worst of times”.

Always chill for some grooming, as long as together

I am deeply sad, and deeply worried for Carson. I heard his voice for the first time today, as he came back to Durango’s stall after the remains were removed, and in the weakest, most tentative way, called for his friend. How my heart hurts for him.

Carson guarding Durangos nap

I am going to put Pepe in Durango’s stall tonight. I don’t want Carson to be alone; and you know I’m hoping for some relationship with Annie, and Laddie is just the biggest jerk to Pepe. I hope it helps….