Sunday, January 3, 2010

Who I am

In addition to being a mama and wife, I am also an avid animal lover and rancher. We breed and raise gorgeous quarter horses in Colorado. We have 7 chickens and had three dogs, our dog Jesse died a couple of months ago. I love getting my fresh eggs everyday and feeding my horses, it takes a lot to go out in the middle of a blizzard and freezing temps to feed animals, but I do it because they depend on me. I love them all. Animals have really helped me throughout this period of grieving my baby. Even a couple of days after my c-section, I continued their care, with the help of a lot of people. But, cleaning stalls, throwing hay, and riding have been my therapy.

I tried breeding my mare Josie a few years ago, and she lost her filly at 10 months, a beautiful red dun filly. A horse is pregnant for 11 months, so her filly was born early and was stillborn. She was gorgeous, a perfect little horse with a beautiful head and good conformation. We did a necropsy that very day with our vet, we cut her open and looked at her insides, her umbilical cord was twisted and had fluid in between the twists and knots in the cord. Other than her liver looking odd and her lower intestines looking odd, they looked congested, she looked perfect. The results came back a week later and they concluded that the baby filly died due to a twisted cord a "cord accident."

Josie, my mare had birthed her dead baby by herself in a snowy field and stood over her lifeless body and protected her, that was how I found them together, there was the afterbirth still hanging from Josie and her sweet baby in the icy ground. I burst into tears for her and what I remember from that day was how her whole herd grieved for the baby when we took her away to be examined and buried, all their heads hang low and I remember how Josie called to her baby the entire night, none of them ate their hay and they just looked sad. My heart broke open for her that day, she will always be with me.
Fast forward a couple years and now its me who had the baby die, and now my mare Josie is helping me through grieving my baby.

This is Josie.


  1. That is heartbreaking and beautiful. Josie is indeed special.

  2. Thanks for commenting on my blog, and leading me to yours.
    I too am a farmer's wife, and an avid animal lover. A poddy lamb called Little Maaa saved me. She was a pitiful little thing, and needed me. She used to walk past my bedroom window, everymorning at 8am, weakly calling for me. How could I stay in bed for the rest of my life when this baby needed me, even if my baby boy was gone and I felt I had nothing to live for? She is all grown up now, but I love to hear her call my 'name' and greet me.

    Yes, Josie is special. Another thing that our animals have 'taught me' is to try to survive with resilience. When their baby dies, or we wean them, they look for them for such a short while. I'm sure it's not that they don't care, or 'get over it' but rather the need to survive, and that it's ok to do so. I don't know their reasons, or how long their memories last but they have taught me much.


  3. wow, thank you for posting on my husbands blog (elmcitydad) that led me to you. such a sad story about josie- i'm glad she knows enough to be able to help you. our cats have been amazing through all this. having pets when dealing with loss is absolutely necessary. and i'm so sorry about jolene. sending you love.

  4. Josie is so very beautiful - your stories brought me to tears. I too am an animal lover and am so thankful for my critters - they have truly been there for me when no one else has.

    Thank you for sharing Jolene - I am so very sorry.