Goodbye to Monopoly
August 12, 2020
Today, dear Napoli is gone.
When I went to let him out, I had to lead him out of his stall, limping hard. When the farrier arrived later, Napoli was laying down, but got up for us and yes, he had an abscess in his foot which was opened and treated and he walked off, pretty well. But the fact that he’d been laying down (in this heat) nagged at me, as I’d never seen him laying down before. He was due to see the vet to check his teeth later that morning, as he was leaving pelleted feed and was too thin.
When the doc saw him, she determined he was colicking. She offered him a little cookie and he ate it. She drained about 6 gallons of reflux from his stomach. She told me he’d feel better for a day or two, but between the amount of reflux, his being an Arabian, and his age, she felt it almost certain that he had a strangulating lipoma, and she recommended euthanasia. Well, I avoid suffering here whenever possible, so, I sang him his song and told him I’d care for Thunder, and we sent him onward.
This is our boy at his former employment as a Therapy Horse - this is the best depiction of his heart!
Napoli was called Monopoly when he came here, but as best I could tell, he hated that name like everything about his former life. He’d been a wonderful therapy horse, because he was just that guy who always did his best, but the constriction of that work, slow paces, complete control and almost no freedom ground away at him. When he arrived here at TGC, I had about a week of that well trained cooperative guy before he busted loose, and showed me his elation at getting his own way, every single day!
This is Napoli following Thunder around - I had dozens of these pics.
First, it was – I don’t want to go into my stall for dinner. He missed a few evening meals this way, running wildly all over the property to avoid being caught and forced in. Then it was – I don’t want to go into THIS stall, I want THAT stall. I accommodated that twice – until I realized it was likely gonna be a new stall every night. Sorry dude…. He started going into his own stall ONLY if I left the gate open and went far away, so we all knew it was HIS idea to go in, not mine. And when I spoke with him, he turned his head away, or completely turned his back to me. Then one day, trying to settle him, I sang the phrase of “That’s Amore” to him that included ‘Napoli’, only I tried to squidge Monopoly in …. And he stopped to look at me. So, I told him, I want you in there so you can eat your yummy dinner, and I sang it again, “Pardon me, but you see, for my old Napoli, that’s amore” and he turned and walked right in his stall! Now, this was the last new stall, next to his buddy Thunder, and I know that was part of it. But thereafter, if he gave me hell, I’d take a deep breath and sing to him, and I would be able to catch him, or put him in his stall, or whatever I needed. (Looking back, maybe he just did anything he had to in order to stop me singing!) From that point onward, he was Napoli. He was now new.
Look at those ears! He took no crap, never backed down.
He came in with a bum knee and poor eyesight. The vet felt he’d had untreated uveitis for a long time – and he chose Thunder to be his seeing eye buddy. They were never far apart. But oddly, Napoli was the strong guy – you could almost hear him ordering Thunder around. “Take me over there”. “Come on, everyone’s leaving, we have to stay with them”. And the two touched noses each evening after both were in their stalls. Napoli was saying, “ok, thanks dude, take the rest of the night off”.
Nap and Thunder breakfasting
Thunder led the way, with Napoli right behind
and here, Napoli says "wait, I need to see if there are snaks here!"
Napoli was also a member of the donkey-dorks. While Thunder was his buddy, he watched over the donks, and canoodled now and then with Blue or Galahad, and he often used them not going right into their stalls as an excuse to avoid going into his own. After Ashley passed, the crew splintered a bit - Napoli and Thunder; the donks; Galahad and Blue - but all were usually within eyeshot of each other.
Here he leads Ashley and donks as far from their stalls as possible, to buy himself an extra 20 minutes of freedom. Thanks dude - extra work for me!
He was, however, willing to leave his friends to get his feet trimmed.
Always a good boy for farrier and vet.
He was strong and beautiful and so happy in this new world of freedom and friendship. He was at last living his dream. I wish more than I can say that he’d had a little more time to enjoy it. I held his head in my arms and told him it was time to go, we had to end the pain, that I would take care of Thunder for him, and then I sang him his song. Because here at TGC, ending the pain is Amore…
when you walk in a dream,
and you know you're not dreaming, signore ...
but you see,
for my old Napoli,