Danny was my baby, my love, and in my opinion, the perfect horse. He always tried his best, always took care of me, and was always a gentleman.
Last year he broke his pelvis, I still don’t know how, and I had to put him down.
I struggled for a long time with guilt, and I still do. He was my baby and I gave up on him. I know in my head that I made the right decision, that I didn’t make him suffer, but my heart doesn’t believe me. I think I’ll always hate myself just a little bit for not doing everything I possibly could to make him better – I had so many times before.
Anyway, I’m not writing this post to air my pain or to publicly flog myself for being a bad person. I’m writing this because yesterday I got a little bit of him back.
I have a lot of photographs of Danny, but none of them are nice enough to blow up into an 8×10 and hang on the wall, so in January I went on a search for a painter to paint me a small picture of him. I found Lohith, an artist up in New York, through Craigslist and thought he was the best of the people who responded to my ad.
Through numerous discussions and e-mails, we settled on a 24×36 canvas at the price I was originally hoping to pay. I have to say, he really came through for me. He did a great job, and I’m really happy with it.
I have to admit to feeling a little strange about having such a huge painting of Danny. Something 8×10 would have been a nice, quiet little memory. A 2′ tall 3′ wide painting is a memorial that makes a statement. In a way it’s a shrine. I miss Danny, and I loved him more deeply than I can reasonably express with words, but I feel like I have now set myself a precedent. I’m sure I’ll have many more horses who I will love just as much, though never in the same way. And I’ll certainly have many households filled with dogs… two are already firmly entrenched in my heart. When I am old will I have so many paintings of my loved pets that no other art can find a space on my walls? Will they have been less special if I don’t have a painting for them?
Can you tell I worry a lot?
I’m sure everything will work itself out.
Here are the last photographs I have of Danny:
And here’s what Lohith did:
And just because he’s not the only baby I love, here’s a picture of the girls from this past winter:
Ella is on the left, Logan on the right.