Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Saying Goodbye to Jet.

On Friday, October 30th, I lost a best friend.

He didn't talk much, but he was always there to listen. He was always in the mood to hang, even when you came over without a moment's notice. He never met a person he didn't like, but he preferred to be surrounded by women, specifically his own. He was someone I grew up with; a constant in my life, and while I knew he wouldn't live forever, I didn't walk into 2015 thinking it would be the year I lose him.

Jet (my main man on the left) passed away peacefully on Friday afternoon. Over the last few months, he lost an astonishing 300 some odd pounds, leaving him frail but still feisty as ever. He didn't eat much of his food, but there weren't enough carrots in the world to satisfy his craving. While he didn't spend hours in the pasture with all of his friends anymore, he spent his afternoons in the side paddock, hanging out in the shade, looking after his girls with great amusement and mild disdain when they would "horse around," if you will.

I learned how to ride on Jet. We learned dressage together, and we won first and second place ribbons together without even trying. We were a team. Even when I hated going out to the barn and taking lessons every Saturday, my love for my horse never quivered. If anything, he hated going out in the heat during the dead of Florida summer just as much as I did; if not, more. He was an old man that way, even when he was young.

As I got older, the riding lessons stopped, as did the shows. Jet and the rest of our horses lived in the backyard, so I still saw him daily. I cleaned his stall (sometimes), I fed him extra snacks, I'd take him on the occasional trail ride. He was always patient with me, even when he had an attitude.

He knew how to make me laugh. If we were standing in the barn and not paying enough attention to him, he'd fake choke himself on his stall door, coughing away until someone checked on him. When I'd walk by, he would literally blow his nose at me. Horse boogers are just lovely, and they get everywhere.

Friday afternoon, Jet laid himself down in the pasture and couldn't get back up. It was like his back end, which had been giving him trouble for months, finally gave out. My parents tried to rock him back and forth, tried to get him back up on his feet, but he just couldn't do it. He didn't struggle, he wasn't panicked. It was like he shrugged his shoulders and said, "I'm okay here."

As his health began to deteriorate in the last few months, I knew the end would be coming in the next year or two, but I never thought it would be so soon. To be honest, I don't think the fact that he's gone will really hit me until the next time I go home, go out into the barn, and walk past his empty stall. It doesn't feel real, but I feel at peace with it. At 28 years old, Jet lived a good, long life, surrounded by family and endless amounts of love. In life, that's all we can really ask for.


1 comment

  1. As a person who also grew up with horses and loved them as family, this made me tear up. I just thought you should know that this was beautifully captured and written. They say in order to bring your writing to life, life first has to be experienced. Amazing job, and I'm so sorry for your loss.


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