Goodbye to Song, an Unchained Melody


Today, we lost our little PonyPony, Song.  Kidney failure had caused a steady weight loss in the last 5 months, to the point where now she was shaky, and followed me everywhere for carrots and biscuits, just about all she would eat toward the end.


Sweet little Song came to me from some just plain awful people, who couldn’t wait to get rid of her, and broke every promise they made for ongoing support, to the extent of even withdrawing the $60 they’d donated via Paypal!  Their excuse for that?  Despite her complete indifference to it, these people insisted that I call her “Tess”.  Her given name, which had been hers for 25 years, was Song, and Song is what I called her, and what she recognized.


Sadly, Song seemed to attract a lot of negative energy from people.  More than one person simply had to make a comment that Song didn’t win in the looks department.  Honestly, I don’t understand it.  She was cute as a button to me.  Her breeding was Welsh Pony crossed with Arab, making her a “Welara”.  I laughed the first time I heard that, it sounded like some equine version of “labradoodle”.  So if Song was a canine hybrid, she would have been a Chiweiller - cute and tiny like a Chihuahua, trainable but a little dangerous like a Rottweiller.  She had a funny mane and forelock, and was very wide between her eyes, but nothing awful.... And in her years here, only Irene Jansen, and briefly one other lady at a very low level, wanted to sponsor her.  I never understood it.


Early on, I had a volunteer (MUCH smaller than I) ride Song, and she was lovely under saddle. Lots of go, and good stop, very well trained.  That was the good part.  Now, on the ground? Once she knew she was loose?  You need to catch her?  Fageddaboudit!  The only way I ever caught her was to wear her out, which could take ½ hour or more, and eventually catch her near her friend Pepe Grillo, or to simply keep her penned in her stall till the farrier, or whoever, arrived.  She LIKED being free, and never wanted to leave her friends.  


Never mind people, Song didn’t care if people liked her or not.  She liked her equine friends - being a motherly influence on our lead mare, Star; or being Pepe Grillo’s best girl.  Despite her diminutive size, she was never picked on by anyone.  She instilled respect in horses twice her size just by sheer personality.   And she cared about her particular friends.


While Star’s girl-crush on Song ended after a few months, Song’s love affair with Pepe never ended.  Two fat ponies, moving with authority and impunity through our huge herd.  At night, Pepe told her jokes, and she would wake me repeatedly with the Whee! Whack!  Whee! Whack! of her amusement.  She followed him faithfully through the facility, and cried madly when he and Keller came out for trim/shoes.  You know, towards the end, she was even befriending Corazon, the new mare who had joined this mini-herd.  A nice levelheaded sensible and friendly pony-mare....


Supposedly, Song had been “abused”, but I never got any details of that. (Those people who brought her here were such liars, just being owned by them was abuse.)  But really, she DID seem to have had some kind of injury to her left hind (NOT her right fore as they said), and oooh, the problems she gave our farriers!  I’m lucky that over her years here, TGC had some kind, patient and skilled farriers who would keep her trimmed, whether she wanted it or not!


Song loved Pepe, and it turns out, Pepe loved her too. I've listened to his progressively quieter commands for her to return to his side for two days now. He is furious with me.  When he got his feet trimmed the day after her passing, I could see him looking toward the paddock - it was too quiet. She wasn't calling for him.   I'm so glad she had someone who loved her as much as she loved him.


It broke my heart to see Song start to dwindle.  Some of you may remember Tango Prince, and Daphmar, both horses who passed due to kidney failure and the complications of that.  Tango came to TGC already deeply compromised. He only continued from his deep devotion to Anna. And dear Daphmar’s organ failure was probably due to years of racetrack drugs, followed by a bad rattlesnake bite.  Each time, these horses keep walking around, but they don’t thrive, leave feed but keep begging for more, and there is just nothing to do.  It’s not like there is a list you can put them on for the next kidney transplant.  Over the past 5 months, I watched our Song go from a fat pony I worried about foundering, to a long legged girl who looked like a foal, a skinny foal. She followed me and my volunteers around asking for treats - she would eat all the carrots and cookies I’d give her.  She’d eat a little bermuda or alfalfa hay in her stall at night, but leave a lot too. She liked rice bran for a few days.  She nibbled on a bran mash.  I was frantic to find something, anything, she would eat.  And she drank so little - her once swamplike pee hole in her stall just disappeared.   So frustrating, when she kept asking for ... something .... but no matter what she ate, or how little/much, she kept dropping weight...


She had five years here. I think she was happy. And her end was quick.  I don’t know what more I could do, and once again, a tiny horse leaves a big hole in a lot of hearts...  She is so missed.