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How To Say Goodbye To A Pet

Updated on February 17, 2015
donotfear profile image

Annette Sharp holds a BAAS in Behavioral Science from Texas A&M. She is a counselor and motivator with an empathetic heart.

Saying Goodbye to Kojack

A Hinny.
A Hinny. | Source

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....!

A Humorous Hinny.
A Humorous Hinny. | Source

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?

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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.

Hinny: cross between a female donkey and male horse.
Hinny: cross between a female donkey and male horse. | Source

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 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.

Kojack standing in the field that last day...
Kojack standing in the field that last day...

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 in the trailer.
Loading the hinny in the trailer. | Source
Safe and secure for the long trip to his new home.
Safe and secure for the long trip to his new home. | Source

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.

Kojack leaving in the red trailer...
Kojack leaving in the red trailer...

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".


My last picture with Kojack

Leave it to Kojack to "ham it up"!
Leave it to Kojack to "ham it up"!

Happy new owners with little Kojack!

Doesn't he look adorable!
Doesn't he look adorable!


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    • MegStarr profile image


      6 years ago from Texas

      What a great story :) Ive got a couple of hooved friends and love them to death. It must have been bitter - sweet when you had to do this. Ive had to do something close to that, but it was letting my mare enter horse heaven when she got collic. Surgrey was an opption but only servival of twenty percent and if she did she would still be in pain and would have to be cofined to a small paddock so she could not run. It was not a good choice for her to live in such a small area for her, so I had to do the best for her and that was let her go home to the greenist paddock were she really could run.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      8 years ago from Chicago

      This is a touching story. I enjoyed it. It is sad to surrender a pet and far worse when they die. Thanks for the excellent reading.

    • donotfear profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Thomas 

      8 years ago from Northeast Texas

      I certainly will, Beata. You are the only other person I know with the name Beata. My daughter in law's name is Beata and she is from Poland.

    • Beata Stasak profile image

      Beata Stasak 

      8 years ago from Western Australia

      Thank you for sharing your story. My son has difficulty to part with one of our kittens. We had so many of them and could not take care of them. Finally I persuaded him to give it away to his younger cousin. She was too young to look after it properly and the kitten ran away on a raod and was killed by a fast car. My son never get over this experience and remind me often that living things should not be dealt the same way like the other commercial goods

      such as selling or even swapping...I have never given away another living thing. I realized that 'Life is not for sale'.

      Thank you for answering my question on hub, I liked it very much. If you spare time please visit me on my blogs:

    • mistywild profile image


      8 years ago from Houston, TX (Proud Texan)

      It's always hard having to lose something you love. I'm glad he got good, proud owners, sometimes that's hard with a larger animal. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      A Texan 

      9 years ago

      Kojak reminds me of a donkey a friend of mine owned, he kept getting out and strolling into the downtown area (he was kept illegally on some property my friend had)trying to make friends with parked cars and sign posts. The police didn't think it was as funny as everyone else did. Alex even made the metro section of the Austin American Statesman, sadly he was forced to go out to the Country, sad for us I am sure he was quite happy. Good hub!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I love a great "feel good" story! I needed one. Thank you!

    • donotfear profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Thomas 

      9 years ago from Northeast Texas

      UPDATE ON KOJACK: He did very well on the long drive to his new destination though he kept laying down once he got out of the trailer. His owners informed me he made friends with the other equines over the fence, first. He was then let out of the corral the next day to explore the pastures, where he walked the whole fence line of each area, then rolled a good bit. His new owner states that he has become "joined at the hip to her" following her around like a dog. The other horses chased him the first time he was let out with them, but he can hold his own. Plus, the little rascal is really fast! I'm going to email them tonight. Thank everyone for your encouraging comments. It's not easy letting go of a pet we love.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish MS 

      9 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      How's Kojak doing at is new home? I hope you can visit.

    • 2uesday profile image


      9 years ago

      Nice hub, it is good that you know you did what was best for Kojack.

    • profile image

      Sandi 3m 

      9 years ago

      Sounds as though Kojak got a great home. You did the right thing!

    • maven101 profile image


      9 years ago from Northern Arizona

      Telly would have loved this story...Did Kojack like lollipops.?

      I applaud your decision and your courage to make it...Thank you for this interesting Hub...Larry

    • donotfear profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Thomas 

      9 years ago from Northeast Texas

      Thank everyone for your comments. It helps with the grieving process.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      9 years ago from London, UK

      An absolute lovely story in every way. It is hard to part with a pet. Thank you for sharing.

    • breakfastpop profile image


      9 years ago

      Beautiful hub. I hope Kojack is very happy in his new home. Parting is such sweet sorrow...

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      Although a sad occasion, you did what was best for all of you. You were very brave.

    • Hmrjmr1 profile image


      9 years ago from Georgia, USA

      You gave Kojack a great start and take comfort that he can live to his full potential, it started with you and yours! Great Hub!

    • Godslittlechild profile image


      9 years ago

      Very nice hub! Thank you for sharing!


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