UPDATE on Spirit. Friends Thank-you for being patient with our update on Spirit. Dr Schoonover and his team at OSU Veterinary School of Medicine have been assessing Spirit all week. As you know Spirit is the first horse we know of in the world to have a double fusion to straighten his leg. Spirit was beaten with a baseball bat and his leg healed at about a 30 degree angle. He couldn’t have survived without major surgery. Over the last 18 months Spirit has developed an amazing fan club of supporters from all over the world who have been following his progress and supporting his journey. His Spirit has been an inspiration to many people as they have witnessed him overcome such amazing obstacles. His name personifies who he is. We are all amazed at what a special horse he is and its an honor to watch him help children and adults in our Equine & Animal Assisted Counseling Program as well as provide HOPE and INSPIRATION for all who follow him.
Last week Spirit started to develop some issues walking. He was having trouble putting full weight on his leg and we started to notice some swelling. We began to treat him, the swelling went down, but the fetlock had a great deal of heat coming from it. We couldn’t tell exactly what was happening but we were concerned. Spirit knows how to take care of himself, he lays down when he needs to rest and he has learned how to get up and down with very little effort. I decided to take Spirit back to OSU last Monday. We arrived late that night and the Dr’s were waiting for us. About Midnight we learned that the 2 of the 3 pins that were placed in Spirits fetlock had broken. Everyone was quite surprised because he has been doing so well. Spirit was placed in a splint so that the pressure could be removed from his fetlock and was immediately feeling better. The next day we all met in an effort to determine next steps. When we decided to do this surgery, I resigned myself to the fact that Spirit may not make it. I knew I may have to make the decision to euthanize him. For those of you who know me, I will not let him suffer. The reality is, that even thou he has broken the pins, he is alert, he is walking, his body condition score is excellent and his attitude is amazing. He continues to persevere. Everyone is amazed at how he just keeps going. He has an amazing will to live and you would have to meet him to understand just how special he is. If an animal is suffering you can see it, when you look into their eyes, they tell you, they lay down most of the time and they are despondent. It’s obvious when an animal is in severe pain. This is NOT the case with Spirit. Over the next few days we will determine if the pins can be replaced or what exactly our options are. The Dr’s at OSU are optimistic that the fetlock can be repaired. We all agree that Euthanasia for Spirit is not an option or necessary at this point. Our decision is based on his behavior, how he responds to treatment and his overall health. I refuse to give up on Spirit as long as he is willing to fight and he continues to show us every day that he simply is not ready to give up. We have come a long way with him. In addition, Spirit has many people who depend on him. He knows that. He gives unconditional love to every client he sees in our Counseling program and to everyone he meets. He has a job and a purpose.
Some of you will say that we need to put Spirit down, those of you that do, have never met him. Its easy to give up, its easy to settle. However if there is HOPE I will never give up. I will always fight to save a life regardless of the monetary cost. All life is precious. The majority of our animals have special needs and 80% of those we receive we are told we can’t save and yet we do. I established a Sanctuary for special needs animals to provide them with a forever home regardless of their disability and to provide a safe, loving home for them for whatever time they had left. We give them back their dignity, we give them respect and all the love they can handle. In return these precious animals provide much needed help for individuals in our Equine & Animal Assisted Therapy Counseling, also referred to as EAAT Counseling, is a treatment that includes equine/animal activities and/or an equine environment in order to promote counseling that aids with emotional growth in persons suffering from ADD, Anxiety, Depression, Developmental Delay, traumatic brain injuries, behavioral issues, abuse issues, and many other mental health problems. We currently service counseling to clients facing the challenges of drug and alcohol addiction, children of physical & sexual abuse, eating disorders, Veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, victims of rape, & troubled teens. Equine & Animal Assisted Therapy Counseling can help the individual build confidence, self- efficiency, communication, trust, perspective, social skills, impulse control, and help them learn boundaries. Since the horses have similar behaviors with humans, such as social and responsive behaviors, it is easy for the patients to create a connection with the horse. Children, ages 6 and above and adults alike are finding healing and hope through this powerful form of therapy. At RHR, whether it is an animal or a person, our goal is for successful rehabilitation so that both the animals and the people can go on to live a better, more productive life. At RHR, it is people helping animals and animals helping people, and providing hope for them both.
On Monday we will make the decision on how we move forward with Spirits Surgery. I will ask God to guide us so that we make the right decisions. He is in charge. Thank-you for your love and support!
To help with Spirits care or any of our other programs you can donate at https://www.gifttool.com/donations/Donate?ID=2043&AID=2015