Goodbye is not forever. Goodbye is not the end. It simply means we’ll miss you until we meet again.
Animal rescue is hard, and it is even harder when you have to say goodbye to an animal before you are ready to. Despite the tears, loss, and hardship that accompanies some rescue missions, we will continue to rescue. Because to know for even one second we have made an animal's life better, makes it all worth it.
We will listen for your hoofbeats in heaven.
When we first met Bruno, he was laying in a pile of manure about three-feet-high. When we tried to get him up, we realized he wasn’t capable of walking. His hooves were about 8-inches long, curling at the ends. He had large calluses on his knees. The condition of both indicated he had been like that for a very long time. When we tried to move him, we realized neither of his knees could bend.
Bruno’s feet where trimmed immediately, though this didn’t help him walk. His next trip was to the vet where he was put on medication for Carpine Arthritis Encephalitis - a goat virus that causes severe arthritis. Bruno was put on daily medication and underwent daily physical therapy with our volunteers. He displayed much improvement, although he was never able to fully use his front leg.
Bruno never let his physical disabilities limit him in any way - he was still the farm troublemaker, doing everything he could to break into the feed room or a horses’s stall to eat their grain. He was also feisty, and did not enjoy being put in time out when he tore open a bag of grain or got into someone’s lunch box to steal an apple. We would always let friends of M&M know not to pet Bruno on the head - he thought it was an invitation to head-butt. Despite his disability, he was capable of knocking people to the ground.
When Bruno wasn’t trying to break into the feed room, he was typically hanging out with his best friend, Teddy (horse). Bruno and Teddy had a special bond - they spent most of their days together when Teddy was inside. If it was a warm day, Bruno would wander into the grass just outside the barn to soak up the sunlight.
On a cool fall day, Bruno passed away in the stall of his best friend Teddy. Bruno’s passing was difficult, but we remember all of the good times he had, and the full life he was able to live out at M&M Acres. We all miss Bruno very much, and most of us still lock the feed room constantly, maybe out of habit, or maybe out of remembrance of our good friend, Bruno.
A couple years ago a friend of M&M asked if we could take a mare whose eye had been sewn closed. At the time we had the space and finances so we were able to take her. Shortly after we were told that when volunteers went to remove our mare from the kill pen, there was another horse that was bonded with our mare. We were told that anywhere this horse went, our mare followed. It seemed that with our mares eye being sewn closed, this other horse was offering comfort and vision. When in the kill pen, hundreds of horses are in a small holding pen together. This creates much stress in a herd of horses that don’t know each other. Many injuries, not uncommonly fatal, occur in these holding pens. It is very likely that this horse, by providing sight and protection to our mare, saved her life. Upon hearing of this bond, we at M&M Acres did not feel it was fair to save our mare and leave this horse. When we asked about bailing this horse also, we were told that she was tagged for slaughter and not available for purchase. After spending hours on the phone, with the help of From the Heart Rescue and paying an exorbitant amount of money, the kill pen allowed us to purchase this horse. Volunteers were able to remove her and she was reunited with our mare in the quarantine facility.
As it turns out this horse was not a horse, but a mule. She had tumors along the side of her neck. They did not cause pain or discomfort. She was named Venn, which is the Swedish word for “friend.” She and our mare, Mirage, were inseparable. Everywhere one went, the other followed. We often wondered who saved who. Venn was amazing on trail, she working in our lesson and therapy programs, touching the hearts of many. She was the biggest cuddlebug on the farm. As we would always tell people, “If she could cuddle up with you on the couch, she would.”
We began to notice a change in Venn’s personality. She did not want to go outside, she wouldn’t play with her friends. She did not enjoy riding. Her tumor have drastically grown and spread in the last month. It’s been a constant battle to keep the flies off them and keep her comfortable. We made the very difficult decision to respectfully euthanize Venn. We did not want to wait until the tumors affected her breathing or eating.
Surrounded by friends who loved her, Venn earned her wings and crossed the rainbow bridge. We are so blessed to have known this sweet girl’s love. We are fortunate to have an amazing family at M&M so no one person has to be along in their sorrows. As always, thank you to each of you for the support you provide. Your contributions allow us to give animals like Venn a chance to know love, kindness and a dignified ending.