How ironic my post today was about the horses, when it dawned on me that tonight, March 11th, 2010, at 2:52am it will be a year since Radish has passed. Some of you may remember my little foal who graced my life for a mere 67 hours, just a whisper in time. But the impact he made on my heart is forever engraved with love and lessons that can never be erased.
Radish was born March 9th at 8:30 am - premature. Born into this world from an infected womb and rejected by his mother. The labor was taking too long and we called our vet and he assisted Radish into a cold morning. I never felt the cold wind that day or noticed anything other than that beautiful golden foal laying crumpled on the dirty barn floor. I remember I could hardly breathe and my heart was skipping beats and I was in love. And I was scared. I knew he was early and I knew the mare was not taking to him.
And that is how Radish came to live in the house with us! I did know caring for a foal was a 24 hour job, especially one born premature, and chill and pneumonia would kill him fast and our barn wasnt equip to keep those things at bay. And no, my feet were planted on this and they weren't moving. So Little Radish was placed in a wheelbarrow after a couple hours after I had cleaned him off and dried him up and wrapped him in a blanket and he was wheeled to the house. 67 hours of constant feeding, a preemie cant eat like a full term baby so it was much more often, many of my blogger friends here gave me so much advice and I was on her constantly asking for help and they were giving it right back! (THANK YOU AGAIN GUYS!) He was so precious. He would neigh, nicker and whiny for me. Those sounds I can still hear today, and I would know them as his alone and if I could only hear them now, oh what I would give! If I was gone for any length of time he would call for me and I'd look in on him and his ears would be held high and he would be looking around for me, see he couldnt stand yet cause his legs were not fully developed, and his sharp little eyes would see me and they would light up and he would start to get excited and he had figured out how to scoot to me. He would nicker and work his way or try to over to me, his little tail swishing. I swear he would be smiling. I was mom. He was my baby. I became a very tired mom...napping when I could and getting baby sitters so I could nap, a foal can mess your house up fast, even one that cant walk, tarps are a must, it takes more than one person to feed, they cant feed laying down so someone has to help you hold them up while they eat. Little Radish would often fall asleep when he was eating, so I'd wake him up and he startle and eat again like a little piggy. Or thats what I thought....he was actually having seizures. The seizures had started at birth, so small that we never saw them. What I thought was just falling asleep when he was eating, or just a tired baby, wasn't that at all. I should have known, but I'd never taken care of a foal before, and I was learning as I was going along. And I did, I learned a lot about foal care from Radish. I learned a lot about love in 67 hours that I've never learned in 38 years.
Radish did stand, he did walk, he did make progress that you wouldnt think he would looking back now and seeing that all that time his seizures were getting worse. He was a fighter my little man. He took his first steps to get to me, on legs that were not formed straight and strong yet, and had he been given the chance to live, within another week of life would have been strong and straight like a full term baby foal should be. But he made them work, his love moved his legs, and I was lucky enough to have those first steps on video. Heck, I'm typing through tears now and I cant watch that video and I've only watched it once since he's passed....my hearts not healed yet, I guess a part of my heart will always be with him, and maybe one day I can watch it again with a dry eye and laugh at his silly face determined to get to me! But he did he walked to me and defied a lot of odds in 67 hours looking at what we know now about his condition.
Norm figured out finally he wasnt going outside until he could stand (this was before we knew there was a problem) so be built me an indoor stall..smack dab in the middle of the living room....hey I couldnt live in the barn...so the barn came to me.