Rescue Journal

flicka's passing

Carol  ·  Apr. 19, 2014

i woke up wide awake at 430 this morning and decided to get up. i cleaned up a few messes and made myself a cup of tea and sat down in front of the computer. when i looked at the horses in the cameras, i noticed that flicka was laying down. flicka NEVER lays down and it freaked me out. she got up a minute or two later but then she went down again so i got dressed and went out to check on her. she was up again when i got out there and she looked ok..she was bright and interactive and did not seem distressed so i went back to the house. i watched her in the cameras some more and i saw she was nosing her belly and then she went down again. i went back out and just wasn't sure, was she colicking or not? i thought that she was so i called the vet.

brent got here about 630, checked her over, didn't think it was actual colic but thought she was in pain. i had given her 5 units of bantamine which he said was good and he said to feed her which i did and she ate really well. brent said he would come back and check her again around 8 am. i had to leave for work soon so i called mo and =asked if she could come early and keep an eye on her until brent came back. when he came back he drew some blood, tubed her and put a bunch of oil into her gut and told mo to call him if she got any worse.

by the time i got home for lunch, flicka was out in the field, grazing and looking perfectly fine. i thought we had dodged the colic bullet. a few minutes later jamie came in to the house saying mo was calling me because flicka was down. we called the vet and for the next couple of hours we kept forcing up to her feet to walk a little bit before she just couldn't do it anymore and had to lay down. i gave her another 15 units of bantamine while we waited for the vet to get back, he was on another emergency call.

it was horrible watching her suffer, making her get up and walk and unable to stop her from her going down and rolling and then making her get up again. jamie, mo, laura, kevin and i stayed with her. when the vet finally came back he gave her an IV dose of torb and a sedative and tubed her again. this time bowel contents came back up the tube, he said this was very bad news and she was fully obstructed. he doesn't think it was colic..he said he was 95% sure she had a tumor blocking her gut somewhere.

flicka was 34 years old..too old to be dicking around with major surgery..i made the call to let her go. by then the torb and sedation was working and she was feeling more comfortable. she passed peacefully with all of us with her.

after she was gone we let the other barn guys come to her. ziggy was upset and wanted to stay next to one of us. emily licked her all over, dixie and raven came close and wuffled her with their noses, and rudy was very upset, pulling the blanket off her and pawing at her to get up again. we put everyone to bed early and i shut emily up in the cow barn because i knew she would get really upset when the truck came to take flicka away.

i was right, when the truck got there, em lost her mind and started bawling and climbing over the half door. luckily before she could seriously hurt herself the door gave way to her two thousand pounds of grieving cow. she flew at the truck and the man and i barely managed to slam the gate shut before she reached them. i got her down into the bottom field where she bawled and ran the fences while flicka's body was loaded into the truck. once the truck was out of the barnyards, i let em back in and she flew to the gate staring right at the truck and crying.

the man said in all of the farms where he picked up dead animals, he had never seen such a profound emotional reaction before. em learned it from percy..she knew the truck that took her dead family members away.

so utterly, heartbreaking sad watching her grieve

i can't tell emily that flicka's death here was a gift. she did not die alone and terrorized by coyotes in an empty field which is where she came from. here she was top of the totem pole..lead mare, head honcho, big boss. here she had a young donkey who she was convinced was her babe, she had dixie and raven and rudy who thought she was a queen and she had emily who thought she was family.

and she had us..the people of saints who loved her and gave her the very best care they could possibly give to this special horse.

her passing today was hard for her, hard for everyone here but up until today her life here was good.

rest in peace flicka, you were greatly loved.



another Doreen

Thank you for sharing the details of such a sad day at SAINTS. I think you did everything possible for Flicka. You knew her so well and were so aware of her that you did what you could to reduce her pain and get the vet to her so quickly.
It's sad that it was her time, but at least she wasn't alone and suffering in a field for a long time. She lived and loved a lot in her short years at SAINTS.


No words can make it okay. Flicka had a fabulous life at Saints. Deepest condolences to all. Hope Ziggy, Ray and Em are doing better soon.


i'm sorry SAINTs is losing such a beautiful, queenly lady... and i feel for Emily's extreme grief.
such a beautiful photograph.
she had a good life with you: well-loved by all. i'm sure Flicka, the White Queen, herself knew that while residing over her own little family.

Kelly B

A year ago today my 29-year-old mare was put down; she made it clear she was ready to go.

I'm sorry for Flicka's passing. It's never easy for them to go, but you gave her the love, dignity and respect a lady like her deserved.

Somewhere...somewhere in time's own space
There must be some sweet pastured place
Where creeks sing on and tall trees grow
Some Paradise where horses go.
For by the love that guides my pen
I know great horses live again.

Stanley Harrison

Lenore Henry

What can one say after reading such a touching story of loss. Our sincere condolences to you Carol, staff and volunteers who are always there for the animals at Saints - it must have been a very hard day for all of you - very sad.

Lenore and Owen Henry


This is one of the most heartbreaking posts - so sorry, Carol. How can anyone think that animals don't love in their own way. RIP beautiful Flick.


So sorry to hear Carol... Very freaking sad but you did the right thing, it was her time. It slays me how this comment sounds so predictable but all I can say... Losing one we love not easy but letting them go when the time is right is just ... right. So sorry for your loss.


yes it is heartwrenching horrible for flicka but even more for emily. and people dont think animals have feelings im glad flicka found saints and had a great home rip


Thank you Carol for posting about such a very sad and difficult day. What a beautiful picture of Flicka that I can barely see thru my tears. So very sorry...

Barb H

The photo you've posted here is so lovely. She truly looks at peace there. It's heartwarming to hear that she had all that love surrounding her in the end.