In memoriam, Misty

Last week, our worst-case scenario occurred: Misty, the blind horse, got out of her pen and fell into one of the septic trenches. Amazingly, she didn’t break any bones, but she did break the pipe in the trench, and as a result got pretty scratched up. They got her back out and the vet treated the wounds and we hoped for the best.

Sadly, she developed a serious infection, and at her age the vet recommended putting her down. At 2am this morning, Misty could no longer stand and she was obviously in a lot of pain, so the vet came over and administered the injection. Dawn, Matt, and her mother were in attendance, and I’m sure it was very sad.

This morning, the excavator dug a hole up in the field, and Matt put some carpet and straw on the bottom, and they laid her in. Then he covered her with her blanket and put some oats by her head, and they covered her by hand. I think that was very touching, and a fitting end.

Waylow’s Misty, a white appaloosa, was four years old when they bought her in 1972 for Dawn’s brother, Ronald. She had one foal, Nanchez, who still lives nearby. After Dawn left for school, all of the horses were sold to a stable in the Poconos, except for Misty. She was given free range of the farm, and occasionally someone would spot her along the road, but for the most part she never strayed far. (Although she did make the news during the winter of 1999, when she wandered out onto Speedwell Forge lake and had to be rescued.)

By the time I met her, in 1992, she was already blind and swaybacked, and we all wondered when she would go. But she surprised everyone, living well past the average life span of a horse. In the last year or two she’s had trouble getting up, but she still got around the entire farm (and left plenty of evidence of her passing).

She was our first concern when we started work on the mansion, knowing there would be a lot of changes and construction debris. Misty did walk into the dumpster once, but quickly learned not to do that again. (And when Dawn replaced the dumpster, she made sure the new one went in the same place as the old one.) The crew was good about putting equipment and fencing around any holes, to make sure she stayed safe.

But once the septic crew moved in, there was no way to cover all of the holes, so Matt built a fence around the end of the barn to keep her in. It had been many years since she’d been fenced in, though, and she didn’t take to it well. She found a weak spot in the fence and busted out in the middle of the night, when nobody could have protected her. It was a very tragic accident.

We will miss her; she was a very special horse.