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How To Say Goodbye To A Pet
Saying Goodbye to Kojack
Can You Say Goodbye To A Pet You Love?
Parting with a pet can be devastating, especially when the decision is not based on emotion, but what's best for the animal. When an animal dies, you know they are gone forever and go through the grieving process and, eventually (for some), replace the pet with another. But in other cases it's necessary to let go of an animal for other reasons: inability to care for the pet, leaving town, age, allergies, career or the possibility the animal is not a "good fit".
Whatever the reason for parting ways, it's nice to know that others have experienced this loss. For that reason, I share the loss of my dear friend, Kojack.
The little rascal....!
Happy Memories of a Hinny
"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity...." Ecc.3:1
There comes a time to let go of something we love very much because the decision is best for all those involved. So it was with my decision to sell my little Kojack.
He was a good and faithful friend to Sport, my now 10 year old gelding. But Kojack's time with us was coming to a close. He was forever a mischievous little devil, but an angel at the same time. Chasing dogs, chickens, cats and cows, Kojack was always the origin of discord around the place. The final straw was when he managed to crawl under the fence that separated him from the new calves. The wire strands were strung across the pond in order to give all the livestock a chance to cool off in the pond during the humid days of summer. Due to the lack of rain, the pond level dropped drastically. Somehow, Kojack managed to walk right under the wire separating the pond.
Have you ever had to say goodbye to a pet you dearly loved?
The Mischievous Hinny
I was gone that day. Our renter who lives next door, David, noticed the commotion outside. Sport was running back and forth down the fence line whinnying in distress while Kojack was nowhere to be seen. Sensing something was wrong, David walked out to see what was going on.
Let me tell you about David. He had polio when he was a real little boy and has walked on crutches ever since then, but he's not one I consider 'disabled'. But it was 102 degrees that day and chasing after a devilish hinny was not his idea of fun.
What David saw shocked him. Kojack was in the adjacent field chasing and pawing at the 2 young calves, coming very near to killing them. He was covered in sweat, but wouldn't stop chasing them. The poor little calves were about to give out, but Kojack wasn't letting up one bit! David became alarmed and grabbed some feed and took off in the field yelling, "Kojack, you come here, now!" He finally coaxed him into the barn with the feed bucket and locked him in. At that point, David said, Kojack lowered his head and pinned his ears back at him! David took one look at that, and , without backing down said, "Don't even try it....!" Kojack backed off. Of course, I know David would have hit him a good one with his crutch had he lunged at him and I would have encouraged it. But thank goodness it didn't come to that.
Selling a Hinny
Now let me tell you, Kojack's not mean. No indeed. He just has an instinct to chase and kill anything that isn't a horse or donkey. Period. He loves people and other horses. But this incident was the last straw. I got a frantic call from my husband. I knew this was it. When I got home, Kojack had already been separated and locked in another pasture. Poor David was a wreck, almost suffering from heat exhaustion. I took one look at the situation and immediately realized, "I've gotta find a new home for Kojack". So I took action.
I placed an ad on Equine.com with a ton of pictures. Then I waited for a response. At first, I got lots of inquiries and phone calls but nothing seemed to finalize. A woman from Weatherford, who raises and trains mules, fell in love with his picture. But the deal didn't work out. I was frustrated, then began to wonder if I was making the right decision. Then finally, I got a call from someone in the Dallas area. She absolutely wanted him! No hesitation! After we talked for a while, I found out I knew her sister and brother-in-law. There were lots of good connections that we discovered between us. It was no coincidence. I had found a buyer for Kojack. And best of all, I could go see him anytime I wanted. He would only be 3 hours away.
The Hinny's Last Day
I cried a lot the day before he left. I knew it was time to let him go, but in my selfish desire, I didn't want to. I knew in my heart it was a good decision for Kojack. He'd be with many other horses, as well as a young jenny, right smack dab in the middle of "horse country"! There would also be a chance he'd get the training he needed to be used to his full potential. How could I NOT want this for him?
His new owners came to meet him. It was love at first sight. They absolutely adored him, feeding him treats, brushing him and creating that first bond. I felt good. Kojack stood quietly with his eyes half shut, enjoying every bit of the attention he was getting. We worked out the final arrangements and let Kojack back in the field with his pasture buddy of the last 7 years. Their last night together.
Loading The Hinny Into a Trailer
Kojack's last day at home arrived. I walked to the pasture and looked at him grazing peacfully, wondering what his life would be like, knowing in my heart it would be better. We'd always taken good care of Kojack, but was it fair for me to hold him back from being used to his full potential? I already knew the answer.
The new owners arrived in a bright red truck pulling a red 2-horse slant trailer. I put the halter on Kojack for the last time and led him from the pasture. Sport stood by the water trough, watching curiously, staring at the trailer wondering what was going on. He didn't make a sound. Kojack was a little nervous, sensing something different. He hadn't loaded in a trailer since I bought him...what would he do now?
After about 10 minutes of coaxing and offering treats, Kojack stepped into the trailer and we latched the gate behind him. He stood quietly, nibbling the hay provided. I told him goodbye and gave him a pat on the nose. His new owner approached me and we hugged each other. She promised me she'd call and let me know how he handled the trip. I knew she would.
Farewell to the Hinny....
As I watched the trailer roll out the driveway, I realized a part of my life was coming to an end. I know why Kojack was with us. It was his season to amuse us. It was my season to love him. And now it was time to let go, say goodbye, and whisper," Thank you for your love and companionship".
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My last picture with Kojack
Happy new owners with little Kojack!
- Done Roamin
Experienced mule trainer in Weatherford, Texas.