Monday, May 6, 2013


Saturday, May 4 was a day of glory for Orb, Joel Rosario, Shug McGaughey, the Phipps and Janney families, and Claiborne Farms.  I found out yesterday that the first Saturday in May also heralded the deaths of two racing thoroughbreds - Nehro, who ran second in the Kentucky Derby (behind Animal Kingdom) in 2011, and Live Lively, a three-year-old filly, who won the Davona Dale earlier this year. Nehro died from colic while he was being transported to Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital.  Live Lively was euthanized at Belmont Park after breaking her left fore sesamoids at the end of her morning workout.   Horses die every day, in every country.  I've lost several of my own.  I only mention this to make the point, once again, that I love the spectacle and the glory of horse racing - but I am also aware of the pain, disappointment, and deaths that happen without much publicity.  A winning race horse is glorious - a broken-down youngster is disgraceful.
  I'm also is a somewhat "sour" mood today because of the death of one of the red kids that I've worked with, almost daily, for the last 6 years.  Remy, the male, and elder, of the Rs, the Irish kids, was also euthanized over the weekend.  He had a wonderful life, once he had been rescued and adopted out.  Originally, his first owner purchased the puppy and kept him in a basement, going out only three times a day. He was kept in a very small kennel area, and if he had to use the bathroom, or vomit, he was forced to lay in it for a week before the owner would clean the pen.  He was beaten if he barked.
  Remy, thankfully, was rescued - and adopted by my friends.  He was such a nervous and distraught boy that they got a female Irish Setter to help him "settle" and calm down.  That was Rosie.  Rosie's companionship helped Remy a lot, but he was a very nervous dog, and, if he'd been human, would have been diagnosed as an Obsessive Compulsive type.  He didn't like changes in his schedule, and when I was ill between Christmas and March, and couldn't walk him, he became very depressed.  For the most part, he was very spry and loved to run and hunt; this past year he was troubled by pinched nerves in his lower back, and a gradual loss of feeling in his hind legs.
  I did walk him on Friday...  Nancy, his owner, said he wasn't doing well, and to decide how far to walk and how long by Remy's own actions.  Remy was eager to go out.  He had trouble going down the three steps at the front of the porch, and then again, the one step down at the curb.  Once we were on the grassy verge, he picked up speed and didn't stumble, and was eager to walk to the Snow yard.  He did sit down as I opened the gate, but got up and walked beside me into the yard.  I threw Rosie's bone, greeted Boo, and set up my chair in the sunshine.  Remy laid down beside me...  I threw the toy for Rosie and petted and praised both her and Boo, and Remy.  He sat up three times when Boo and Rosie took off, chasing squirrels across the yard, but settled back down.  He walked almost all the way back without a problem, but took a moment to sit and gather himself before going up the front steps and into the house.  I unharnessed both of them, and gave them each about 10 pieces of kibble as a "treat."  When I left, they were both standing, looking at me, and wagging their red, plumed tails. That is my last memory of Remy....

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