Publisher: dwinger Volume No. 1 Issue No 15 Date : Nov. 21, 02
“Turtle is down in the pens and I can’t get him up.” Dad told me over the phone.
Turtle is Ryan’s horse, and he had come down with the West Nile Virus according to our local veterinarian. A mosquito carrying the virus had bitten him. Turtle couldn’t move his back legs. He could eat and drink and he didn’t seem to be in any pain, but his back legs were as good as paralyzed.
The vet was cautiously optimistic because Turtle kept trying to get up and had actually gotten on all fours for a few seconds. We were to keep hay and water available for Turtle and the vet would come by morning and evening to give him a shot.
There is nothing sadder than a beautiful animal like a horse that is helpless and doesn’t know what is going on. It was August and he needed water often. Turtle seemed happy when I came by to see him. He gladly ate his hay and drank or played in his water.
Ryan liked his horse. You see, Turtle was a horse that not just anyone could ride. He could be ornery at times (sometimes all the time.) He was a horse that needed much riding. Granddad told Ryan if he would ride Turtle a certain amount of time he could have the horse. The riding was good for the horse and for Ryan.
Ryan took the news of Turtle and his situation well. On the second day of disease, Ryan went out with me to feed and water Turtle. I was across the pen when I saw Ryan giving his horse some hay, and then rub his ears and pet his head. My teenage boy, who usually doesn’t show compassion very easily, (and I would suspect is uncomfortable with that feeling) was loving his horse. It has been a few months since this scene and Dad still can’t forget it.
I said a prayer for Turtle that night. I prayed that he would get up and be fine.
Turtle wasn’t up by the morning of day 4 and we had him put down which by then was the humane thing to do. Granddad backed the tractor up to the dead horse and I wrapped the chain around his legs and watched as Turtle was drug off. I was kind of sad.
I don’t know why God didn’t save Turtle, but I do know God was involved.