Our horses whose bodies are no longer among us, but whose spirit will live on forever in our hearts.
1995 - 2020 Mustang Mare
Once a wild horse running free in Oregon, Flicka somehow found herself in a kill lot in Oklahoma by November of 2017. When we rescued Flicka she had a respiratory infection and was battling mastitis. On top of that she was terrified of people. It took months to heal her - physically, mentally, and emotionally. Flicka was wild most of her life, which is something we did our best to honor, letting her roam our fields and be as free as we could allow her to be. Flicka was strong and kind. She was old and wise, sharing many lessons with those who were patient and open enough to listen.
1989- 2022 Belgian Draft Gelding
Bud was rescued from a "free" ad that we found on Craigslist. Bud was an Amish plow horse most of his life, which means he worked long hard days pulling wagons and farm equipment. He wore his equipment so much that it rubbed off all the hair on his nose and left him with scars all around his face. Bud was the most fearful horse of people that we had seen to date. When approached by someone new his entire body would tremble in fear. It took time and so much patience, but we are happy to say that Bud stopped shaking and running away from new people and learned that scratches on his belly felt SO good. Bud lived in a huge field with another senior horse named Ginger, she was with him until the very end and we are so grateful for her friendship to him. We were able to give Bud 3 years of the retirement life he worked so hard for, but he deserved so many more.
1994 - 2023 Gelding
Wesley came to us as an owner surrender with his two friends, Sir Thomas and Joey. He spent 28 years teaching many people to jump and ride and we were honored to finally give him the retirement he had worked so hard for.
We lost this very special little man at Tufts Veterinary Hospital from an impaction colic. We later learned this impaction was in his Cecum. Cecal colics are incredibly hard to detect as their location is where the small and large intestine meet.
After an emergency vet visit at the farm, on farm treatments, and round the clock care, we decided Tufts was Wesley’s best shot at a recovery. His condition improved with our care, and he seemed to be recovering, but when we noticed he started going downhill we rushed him to Tufts.
Unfortunately when we arrived we found he had ruptured his cecum, and the only option left was to put him to rest peacefully and without pain. Wesley passed at 29 years old, I held his head and told him what a good, brave, and special boy he was. He was a friend to everyone he met. His best friend Thomas misses him dearly.
Azteca Gelding, age unknown
We rescued Necallie in Wesley's memory when we saw him being ridden around the kill lot, surrounded by fear and commotion, yet being gentle and calm. His kind nature reminded us of Wesley, who we had just lost, and we felt the call to save him in Wesley’s memory. As an Azteca horse we named him Necalli after the brave spirit Wesley showed as he fought diligently until the end. In Nahuatl, the language of the Aztec people, Necalli is the word for battle/fight, a name for a warrior…little did we know when we picked this name to represent Wesley’s battle, that Necalli would be fighting for his life as well.
He was sick when we saved him. He had strangles, a respiratory infection, also known as equine distemper. Most of the time horses can fight this infection off on their own. But we didn’t know Necalli’s story. We didn’t know why he was thrown away, what shape his body was in, his age, or what his past entails. After much deliberation with the vet we decided the least risky course of action was to start antibiotics. Strangles is one of the only infections that antibiotics are not traditionally prescribed for, as they have been shown to prolong the infection, leading to something called bastard strangles. But, his body was fighting so hard that his skin was starting to fall off, an immune response called purpura, and doing nothing was a death sentence.
We told him that if he made it through this, he would have safety and love until it’s his natural time to go, that he would never be thrown away or given up on again. We told him we would do our part and he just needed to do his. But we also told him that if he got tired and wanted to be an angel that was okay. We told him we wouldn’t give up until he said so.
The day after we started antibiotics he was up and eating his breakfast around 7am, but laid down an hour or so later and this time he couldn’t get up. The fight was gone from his eyes, he was so tired. We asked him if he wanted to get up and keep trying, but he didn’t. We knew it was time. His blood work indicated his body was shutting down from the infection.
Not ever meeting this horse in person doesn’t seem to make the loss any less painful. We had a whole future planned for him, one he will never get to enjoy. He deserved so much better, he was left for dead, sick, and fighting so hard. We wish we could have met him in this life, and told him he was loved and safe in person.
Our other rescue companion animals whose bodies are no longer among us, but whose spirit live on forever.
At Project Comeback we are fierce lovers of animals and don’t discriminate when it comes to saving lives or preventing undue trauma. When we found Trillium she had been left for 5 days untreated with a prolapsed vagina & rectum. We knew she may or may not make it through, but we could not leave her continue to suffer in silence.
Trillium was named after a rare flower with three beautiful white petals, rare in nature and representative of beauty, purity and recovery. After a trip to Tufts morning, we learned she is in worse shape than we thought. We started her on an epidural for the pain and rushed her to Cornell in Ithaca, NY for the surgery she needed for her best chance to survive this. She beat the odds and the surgery was a success! She was on antibiotics to prevent infection and spent 5 or so days recovering at Cornell, all seemed well. Until we got a call that she seemed to be getting tired. The 5 days she was left untreated were critical, prolapses are common in these cows and easily fixed on site if someone cares enough to call a vet.
Trillium passed away peacefully in her sleep at Cornell. The vet called and said she was laying down resting, and then an hour or so later she had passed away. No shavings were moved, she wasn’t in pain, she didn’t struggle. She was calm, it was peaceful, most importantly - it was her choice. She passed on the day of the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, the day with the most darkness. A day that symbolizes the death and rebirth of the sun, a day that seems so dark, yet brings hope of the longer brighter days to come.
There is meaning in the timing of when Trillium chose to leave us, but it is hard to put into words.
To all of her supporters - Thank you for the love, I know she felt it. Thank you for the support, thank you for hoping and believing with us. Thank you for helping us give her the ability to finally have a choice in her life. She was born a meat cow, without a name or anyone to care that she was in desperate need of medical attention. She escaped that fate. She died a loved animal, with a name and the freedom to choose to fight on or find her peace.
Thank you for falling in love with her, like we did.
Fern was a sweet lamb born to Lily. Her body had a very hard time producing the vitamin Thiamine, and she needed to have it supplemented by injection to feel ok. As we waited for her body to start making the vitamin on its own we didn't see much progress. So we scheduled a rumen transplant to hopefully help her body get on track. Unfortunately, the very day her surgery was scheduled she went downhill rapidly and passed away before we could help her. We did not know why until we lost Billy, another lamb from this group to a heavy parasite infection. Unknowingly to us, Fern was suffering from parasites despite our best efforts to deworm the sheep.
Fern was a 4 month old lamb when we lost her, born on the farm this past spring. She was the littlest lamb of 4 born, and Fern was certainly the sweetest. She didn’t jump on the other sheep or zoomie around the pen. She was always down for a good snuggle, she could brighten anyone’s day. Through her sickness she was the very best patient, I think she knew we were trying to help her. She fought until the end, always trying to get up and eat with her brother and mom.Burying a baby was one of the hardest things we have had to endure on this animal rescue journey.
Billy was our very first lamb born on the farm, his mother is Tessa. Billy was the most shy of all 4 of the lambs, but he had a twin brother named Jimmy that he loved to spend all of his time with.
Unlike Fern, Billy was a very healthy baby...when one day out of the blue he got very tired and very sick. When the vet made it out we discovered that all of the lambs and mothers had aggressive parasite infections. We realized this is what we lost Fern from and quickly started everyone on an anti parasitic and iron for the blood loss. Unfortunately, we did not make it to Billy in time and we lost him just days after we lost Fern. They are buried together in a big beautiful field. We miss them every day.
Billy helped us save his twin brother Jimmy and Fern's twin brother Aster from the same fate. We will always be heartbroken he didn't make it, but we are grateful he showed us what happened to Fern and stopped us from losing any more babies.