Bud and Amigo were friends.
They usually hung out together in the pasture.
Where one was, you’d find the other close by.
So last week when I walked into the pasture to find Bud in distress on the ground, unable to get up, I also found Amigo close to him. All the horses of the herd, not just the Oldsters were loosely organized in a large circle around Bud, watching.
Pepper and her friend Chickadee, eyes laser focused toward Bud, but from a slight distance.
It was Amigo who remained by Bud’s side.
He and Rick tended their old friend,
I took Pepper in to feed her while we waited for our vet to arrive.
At that point, some of the other horses let go of their vigil.
But not Amigo.
And stayed until our vet was able to get Bud on his feet so that Rick could walk him in.
Amigo was the escort.
He stood at the gate and watched.
By and by all the other horses returned, gathering at the fenceline.
They stood, ears pricked, faces alert, muscles tense.
And they stayed until Bud took his last breath.
Only then did they disperse.
And finally Amigo too walked away,
knowing somehow that he’d done all he could.
He’d lived up to his name – a friend to the end.