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pet loss tribute

Rae Linden-Animal communicator

MICARO (me-car-o)
By Rae Linden

He is big, black, beautiful and regal. He is a magnificent Peruvian Paso horse that I acquired 10 years ago. My "love at first sight" horse. I bought him from a ranch that breeds and sells Peruvian horses. There were probably 30 horses there, all ages, colors, sizes.

Caro, as I call him, was tied to a tree along with a couple of other horses. As I walked past him, we exchanged a deep wondering/knowing look. My heart melted and I knew no matter how many other horses I looked at that day, the poor black horse tied to a tree would be the one I took home.

Several weeks later Caro became extremely ill. He spiked a very high fever, his legs swelled the size of an elephant's, he ate very little and looked like he'd lost 200 lbs overnight.

When the vet came, she diagnosed bastard strangles. Strangles is a sort of equine distemper - for lack of a better description. In the normal form, it affects the glands in the head and neck causing them to fill with pus. Mucous pours from the nose. As the disease progresses, the pustules burst and pus oozes from them. It is a very ugly disease, but rarely deadly. Bastard strangles is so named because it is a bastardized version which goes internal. The infection moves inward, the poisons/toxins are released inside the body and horses do die from it.

Caro was put on steroids and antibiotics. The vet came every day, sometimes twice a day for 11 days. He almost died three times. I would wake every morning and rush to the window to see if he had made it thru the night. After 11 days of shots, I was able to feed him his medicines in grain. But the disease wouldn't stop and every time I tried to reduce his meds, his temperature would spike and his legs would swell, sometimes so much that there were ripples and dimples in the skin. Many mornings I would look out to find him lying out flat in the snow on frozen ground.

Finally, the vet told me, "If we keep him on these medications much longer, his immune system will shut down and his respiratory system will weaken to the point that he will be unable to breathe properly. And you will never be able to ride him again."

In desperation, I called an animal communicator friend in San Francisco. I told her what had been going on and what the vet had said. When she came back on the line after communicating with Caro, the first thing she said was, "He feels like he is dying of a broken heart - he misses his herd." Tears streamed down my face. I felt sad, scared and guilty because I'd "known" this all along, but kept denying it to myself.

As sick as he was, Caro would stand at the fence line staring wistfully across the field at my neighbor's horses as if begging them to come over and see him. When one or two would come over, he was so joyful and alive. All the love I gave him didn't make up for the loss of his companions at the ranch.

The communicator explained the situation to him. He told her it was the first time in his life he didn't feel like there was a price on his head, i.e., he wasn't for sale to the highest bidder. He wanted to stay with me and he wanted his herd and he couldn't have both.

My immediate decision was that without a companion, he was going to die. The animal communicator essentially agreed with me.

So I bought another horse. I didn't want another horse and couldn't afford another horse, but even more, I didn't want to lose the one I had. I was careful to buy one that was old enough to have exposed to strangles and had built an immunity to it ( or at least so I hoped).

She was a well-muscled, gorgeous paint mare named Wind Dancer. The night before she was due to arrive, I had a dream. In the dream, her owner unloaded her from the trailer, she and Caro touched noses, really liked each other and then lay down simultaneously rolled. I must tell you...this would be a most unlikely scenario, that horses almost always have a bit of a competitive argument, which can include biting and kicking, to see who will be boss. There was no way I was going to put my sick 3 year old Peruvian gelding up against thiscaro big paint mare. So, I planned to keep them separate for a while and let them get to know each other over the fence.

Well, the man arrived with Wind Dancer and before I could get out there and orchestrate the whole thing, he took her out of the trailer and put her in the paddock with Caro. I was totally freaked, but my dream from the night before unfolded right before my eyes. It was love at first sight, a match made in heaven. After 5 days together, I took Caro off all medications with no complications whatsoever.

And so are an animal communicator yourself. Why didn't you.....? Why couldn't you.....? Etc., etc. Those were and are the questions I ask myself. The answer is probably the same as to why a surgeon doesn't perform surgery on a family close....too emotionally involved. It is frustrating to live in New Mexico, heal a horse somewhere in Texas and not be able to detach enough to do the same for my own. But that is life and thank God there are other animal communicators to turn to.

We are all in this together..........forever.

Rae Linden-Animal Communicator/ Grief Counselor


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