Rescue Journal

pops has been no stranger to suffering

Carol  ·  Dec. 30, 2011

it is true he has suffered for a very long time, with loneliness, isolation, feeling forgotten, with pain, with the extreme difficulty in just simply standing or walking. i don't think we ever even alleviated his full suffering here although we really did try.

but please understand that pops did find some value in this and his previous life. that simple minded man moved onto a property where there lived an old and abandoned and forgotten horse..i am sure pops' feet were already bad from the neglect he suffered before. this man knew nothing about caring for a horse but he bought him good hay and he bought him senior horse feed that he probably couldn't really afford. and every day he went down to that field and he said hello and he fed him the food that he struggled to buy for this horse who really wasn't even his.

life is full of suffering...all around us. sometimes it is knowingly inflicted and sometimes we just don't know any better. it is easy to focus our anger on something we can see so a sweet and gentle horse who has been crippled because of simple neglect.

but the issue surrounding pops and his suffering is much bigger than is about human wants and needs and basic insatiable human selfishness and greed.

someone bred him, someone...(probably many someones) bought him and sold him and used him for everything they could get and no one stood by him and gave any of this back. pops is no different than most horses out there...they are used until they are no longer of use anymore and then we turn our backs on them.

that last man who tried to care for him was not the monster in this...our entire human race is. at least that simple minded man tried in his limited ability and complete horse care ignorance to feed him and give him friendship, kindness and daily company...that was more than the people who walked away and left pops there did before.

pops is not angry at him...pops is not angry at anyone. in his 30 years plus of living, pops learned one and being used by humans means...long term suffering.

there are many horses cold and wet, starving in fields around us. there are many, many horses bought and sold and ripped away from their friends and herds, there are thousands of once beautiful and valuable lives now being loaded into slaughter trucks, terrified.

pops is no different than gideon, czar, flicka, dixie, spritely, sparkles, lahanie, and is just that his lifelong suffering stands right before our face and we CAN"T look away.

we let this happen every single day...we accept that it happens just like the horses are forced to do because this is what humans bred them be discarded and forgotten after they are done being used.


Carol Ann

ditto Mo he was loved by all of us. Isn't this what it is all about (rescue I mean) we find these poor neglected and abused animals and give them a loving home till they have to go, and letting them go is the final gift we give them. Their pain is over --ours is never over because we care.


I had a big long post about Pops & how he affected me and what I learned from him... but I deleted it. I just want to say that I take comfort that Pops did not spend his last days alone...horses are herd animals & to isolate them from another living animal is ( to me ) one of the cruelest acts of mankind. To think he may have just been PTS when the vets came, that breaks my heart. I will forever remember how his eyes and ears looked when he was meeting the other horses for the first time. He had friends, he was no longer all alone..and never would be again.

Good-bye Pops, you touched the heart of everyone who met you and will leave an ache in all our hearts for quite some time.


A beautiful tribute to a beautiful animal. I wish more than anything to see the cruelty stop, but it won't happen in my lifetime. But I do get to see extreme acts of compassion, practiced by places like SAINTS, and enacted by a small army of devoted human beings in rescues and sanctuaries all over the world. I'm privileged to witness that at least.

Goodbye Pops, it was great to meet you.

Bunny Horne

I've been sharing emails with my brother this morning about Popeye (when in fact I should be working) and this is what my brother emailed back:

As I get on in my years, I find it truly amazing
We all touch so many people, so many of us afraid to be touched
A nod, a smile, a pat on the back, we have all been hurt by someone
I now know, the strong ones are the ones who keep loving
Your group [SAINTS RESCUE]gave that Horse something nobody could ever buy
A few months of wanting the sun to rise............ you have done well.

Bunny Horne

I CAN'T stop crying today. I think of how I was scared to meet Popeye and MO took me to his stall and in an instant his eyes melted my heart. I think of standing with his food bowl in my hands and him chomping away on his delicious breakfast with all kinds of medicine and goodies. I think of sweet Emily those first days sticking her head into his pen and kissing him on the nose. Those pictures are forever engrained into my brain. Then I turn the pages of the paper today to see that 2011 was one of the worst years ever for elephant poaching, you go on the internet or the TV and there's no end of images of animal abuse and child abuse. Each of us should think of those times in our lives when we were truly sad and lonely, neglected, unloved.... - it has happened to each and every one of us. Some of us slipped into long periods of darkness just struggling to escape the abyss. Why do we think that animals, all species, sizes and ages can endure loneliness, pain, neglect, cruelty.... Working with and for Carol, gives one some hope that there is something better. Sadly there are far too few Carols in this world. LOVE YOU POPS - you are forever and ever in my heart.