Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Paul: 1987? - July 30, 2007

This is Paul's Editor.

I am sorry to write and say that Paul had a bad episode of colic Sunday afternoon. The vet came out and gave him some banamine and tubed him. Paul still had not passed any manure by the next morning and went down again. A second examination by the vet showed what we couldn't see the evening before, that the blockage/kink was in Paul's small intestine.

We discussed all options with the vet. His opinion was that it was unlikely that the blockage would resolve itself. In a younger horse, chances might have been as high as 20%, but for a 20-year old mule, the chances were nearly zero. The odds of recovery through surgery were only slightly better, assuming he made it through the surgery at all. At this point, Paul was fairly comfortable due to a second large syringe of banamine, but his breathing was labored. He was becoming dehydrated. His gums were pale pale pink.

Right before noon, we decided to let Paul go before he began to feel any pain. Based on the cold hard facts, it was a simple decision to make, but one of the hardest things to actually do. I led him into the round pen and we all said our goodbyes. The vet and I were quiet together, standing hidden on Paul's near side. The vet put the needle in and Paul went down slowly and peacefully, just like he did everything else in his life.

We buried Paul over by the ring, next to the new barn, in a patch of lush green grass. Johnny dug a deep deep grave and laid Paul in gently with his feet tucked up underneath him.

For a mule who went unappreciated for 19 years of his life, his last one couldn't have been any happier. Every one who met him, loved him. I couldn't bring him up from the pasture without people, adults and kids both, stopping to tell him hello and give him a scratch or a hug. You always hear about how stubborn a mule is and how hard they are to work with, but I don't believe that's true. Every minute I spent with him gave me happiness. He had a great memory and as soon as he figured out the logical reason behind my crazy requests, he was happy to comply. He did everything I ever asked him to do and I tried to do the same for him. He was a good friend to me. He carried me wherever I asked him to go. He toted my son around and never took a wrong step. My husband is frightened of horses, so a giant mule should have scared him to death, but he loved Paul and was proud of him, too.

I am so glad that Paige and Johnny took a chance on Paul and brought him home from the auction that day. I am grateful to them for letting me lease him and spend so much time with him.

When the day comes that I see Paul again, I will tell him one more time how proud I am of him. But I don't believe he will have forgotten. After all, mules remember everything.

19 comments:

Denise said...

GODSPEED DEAR PAUL from all your gabbly friends.
You will be very missed:-(

Jacke M. said...

I am terribly sorry for your loss.

Bazzy boy said...

OMG that's terrible news. I'm not going to be able to eat my hay for days now I'm so choaked. I was just telling all my friends about you the other day and laughing at your silly ears an all. This is so sad :( Well I will no doubt see you again Paul, hopefully not for a while though. Let the fillies know I'll be dropping by later and make sure you save some for me.

Take care from your Aussie mate

Bazza www.bazzyboy.net

lifelike001 said...

:..(

Vicki (aka Kodi's mommy) said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.

Mary said...

Oh my...I got the news from Bazzy just a short time ago. I will miss you my new friend but I will see you at the Rainbow Bridge where we can romp and eat all the grass we want! Gotta say, you were the best looking mule I ever saw.

Rum (from Rum's mom, Mary)

Susan F. said...

Godspeed Paul, and hugs to your Editor.

I had to put down my beloved companion of 21 years on 07/21/07, so I know the grief you're feeling.

I too, want to believe that my special boy is waiting for me at the Bridge.

Tonkatoy said...

RIP - you will be missed from your friends in New Zealand.

ae said...

I´m so sorry! :(

I just discovered Paul´s blog one week ago and now is gone! Just can´t believe this.

At least he is in peace now!

Chamfron Stud said...

So sorry to here about you losing Paul - I know you must be absolutely devastated.

HollyBay said...

Don't waste your love on grief.
Rescue another.

Paul would want you to share your love, and his hay and apples, with another mule or pony who needs you as he did.

I loved your blog. So sorry for your loss. Hope to read your stories again one day.

Bobbie said...

My thoughts and prayers go out to your editor Paul. I just learned about you last week when I was reading about you on Bazzy Boy's site. Run free in those lush green hills.

Talisman Farm said...

Heaven has another angel. Godspeed Paul and (((hugs))) to all those left behind. Truly sorry for your loss xoxoxo

Katie said...

We are so sorry for your loss.

Claire said...

sorry to have only found paul's story after he'd gone; sorry for your loss... looks like he was a real character

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lifelike001 said...

I'm just a lurker on UDBB and didn't want to upset yourself and everyone over there with reminders, but you said 'if any of you remember Paul' and I wanted to let you know, YES I DO! Every single day I remember Paul and I won't ever forget him, even though I wasn't lucky enough to know him except through here. I've sent this blog to friends who have lost dear four legged ones and said hold on to this, because I Believe In Paul! He won't be forgotten.

Kathy said...

I wanted you to know I think of Paul often. I found my way here through Bazzy Boy, but just before Paul died. What you wrote about the day Paul died, both your perspective and his, is very moving and powerful. I have read it 100 times and I still cry. Paul's view of heaven is very comforting. Thank you for leaving the site up. Paul will never be forgotten.