delilah2September 23, 2014: It is with very heavy hearts that we say goodbye to Delilah, our beautiful Appaloosa mare removed with her three siblings, father and nine sheep from a severe neglect case just a few months ago. Yesterday, she crossed the Rainbow Bridge. The very tough decision was made to let her go after an x-ray taken by our vet revealed a much more serious problem than we had originally thought. Not only were her hooves in horrendous shape on the outside, her bones were even worse on the inside. Her coffin bone, a bone in the hoof that bears a horse’s weight and contains attachment points for ligaments and tendons, had demineralized into almost nothing as a result of her years of neglect. This is extremely painful and not at all fixable at the stage she was in.

There are certain animals that pass through the sanctuary that touch a special place in one of our staff’s, board member’s or volunteer’s hearts. Delilah was mine. In her time with us she learned that all people are not bad. She got to lie on a bed of fresh sawdust and eat proper meals and not have to worry about being hungry or how she was going to sleep on 4 feet of manure. She got to trot for the first time in many years and get turned out in a pasture with her sisters and brother. Delilah never gave up. Not even for a second. Even when you could tell she was in pain. She appreciated every moment. Every kind word, every pat, every peppermint. Though her movements were always slow and unsteady, she never lost the light in her eyes. She taught me so much in the short time that I had the privilege to know her.

Delilah passed with peace surrounded by those who love her. She is now without pain, running free. And I know that she will be among those waiting for me when it is my turn to cross the Rainbow Bridge. I love you Delilah. ~ Ashley K