Sunday, August 09, 2009

R.I.P. MAX APRIL 15, 1990 - AUGUST 9, 2009

When John went out this morning, he found Max dead, where he usually laid at night. Except for a small amount of blood running from his nose, there was nothing to give us an idea of what happened. Although he had been getting more unstable on his rear legs, because of his broken neck, he ate as usual last night, chortled to get into Jack's pen at bedtime to eat his leftover hay, & acted normal.

John started digging this morning with his little sub compact tractor & backhoe. He stopped after 9pm tonight, & still has finishing up to do tomorrow. We buried him in the corner of his pen.

Both of the mules have been upset all day, running around & calling for Max. He was their leader. Tonight when I put everyone in to eat, Rusty hung back, but finally went in his pen. Jack would not go near his pen, continued to run around yelling & when we tried to herd him into his pen, he showed he can still run, even though he has a bad fetlock on his right rear leg. He kept going back to the big trees on the other side of the wash where the "horsey group" always hung out. We finally gave up after about an hour. I hope he settles down by tomorrow.

Rusty tried to paw Max & get him up, & took the tarp off him. Most of the donkeys came by, & at one time the 4 minis, & Chester, stood almost in a circle around his body for a minute or so. When Murial the mule died a few years ago, they did the same thing, made a circle stood for a little while, & then wandered off. All day Jack would not go near where Max was laying, which was fairly close to Jack's pen. Don't know if that has something to do with his erratic behavior or not.

Max was a gentle giant, & loved to have people come to visit. He loved for them to feed him pellets & would use his lips to play a tune on his gate, to get their attention if they walked away to visit with the donkeys. Before his hind legs got so unstable, he would air dance in his pen, if he thought breakfast was coming too slow. When you talked to him, he had a way of cutting his eyes at you, like a little puppy. Considering he probably weighed 1200 pounds, he was a pretty big guy to be trying to look cute, but he managed. We will miss him very much.


Dina said...

Max lived a long life and was lucky to have you. But this is so sad.

Wonderful how the others made a circle.

My sympathy to you.

Tish said...

Thank you, Dina, he was really a wonderful horse. I often thought he came here because he mentally unsuited to be a cowboy horse. Things sure are sad around here right now.

Donna said...

This post made me so sad, but at the same time glad he had such a wonderful, loving home in the last years of his life.

I enjoy all the tales of your equine children, Tish, and I do read every one of them and although I mostly lurk, I just had to comment on your loss.

montanasmama said...

Awww Tish doesn't this just suck? Kudos to you two for making his last years as sucure and comfortable as possible.

Tish said...

Thanks for your thoughts, we really appreciate them. John finally got everything finished up this morning. And Jack came in for breakfast thank goodness. Although he & Rusty are both mules they hung out with Max rather than each other. This morning they were standing together, so I hope that's a good sign.

PaintedPromise said...

aw Tish i am so sorry... a loss is never easy! my heart goes out to you and yours.

Tish said...

Thanks Susan, we miss seeing him out under the big mesquite. He was such a fixture around here even if he wasn't "really" a donkey.