Another Farmily Farewell

☆ January 20, 2016

Sunshine left us yesterday. He was fine the night before, standing at the deck with moonlight bouncing off the snow and his broad white nose, his ears perky, watching me. I hauled water for him for the night, filled his dish with pellets, kissed his face. I loved the rituals we’d made since he’d been living in the yard – in the morning, through the day, late at night.

Yesterday morning, when Mike said Sunshine was down, I thought he meant lying down. Not great, but not disaster. I threw on a coat and went outside myself, and saw it was disaster. He was lying down, but his head was on the ground, his neck stretched out, and he was spent. He was trying to get up but he couldn’t. I tried to lift him (I am always in such total denial of the end). I called for Mike and all we could do was pivot him to a more comfortable spot in a pile of straw. Mike left to do cow chores and I sat with Sunshine. He wouldn’t relax and he couldn’t get up. It was devastating to watch. I called my vet to see if horse morphine exists (my denial continues). On the phone, I realized the only right thing would be to have my vet come over with the big syringe. The one that brings the end.

I’m glad it took my vet three hours to arrive – he had prior appointments, his office is 40 minutes away – because I got to sit with Sunshine that whole time, stroking his face in a morning that felt like Spring, warm, breezy, bright. The rest of the animals resting and wandering nearby, the chickens and sparrows chattering. Two mourning doves perched on either side of Sunshine and me, one on a low tree branch and the other on a fence post, surrounding us in their song.

I talked to Sunny and I cried, a lot, and tried to keep him as comfortable as I could, stuffing straw beneath his head when he’d thrash, petting him as he calmed. And I told him how glad I was to know him, how he made me feel so welcome and safe when I moved to Wyoming – I met him just months after I moved here and he and Houdini, his brother, promptly moved into the pasture of my rental house. That was ten years ago. Sunshine would let me jump on his back and lie up there, stretched out, watching the clouds or the stars as he grazed. When I rode Houdini, Sunshine hated being left behind and so he came with us, trotting beside me, head high, ears pricked forward. When Flicka joined the Farmily, Sunshine showed her how to trust, how to let go of the immense fear she carried when she arrived. He was always calm and kind and sweet and generous and now he’s gone and I still don’t understand this part of life, the part where it ends.



123 Responses to “Another Farmily Farewell”

  1. Steph in Oregon
    January 20th, 2016 @ 7:42 am

    I’m so sorry Shreve.

  2. hello haha narf
    January 20th, 2016 @ 7:45 am

    oh sweet sunshine, may you rest in peace. you made a difference. strangers around the world weep at the loss of your kind energy and love.
    if crying for a horse i never met is wrong, i don’t want to be right.
    my condolences, shreve.

  3. Jeanette
    January 20th, 2016 @ 7:47 am

    So sorry to read this. Peace to Sunshine.

  4. Ana D
    January 20th, 2016 @ 7:49 am

    Oh Shreve, I’m so very sorry for the heartbreak and the loss of Sunshine…

  5. Jeff
    January 20th, 2016 @ 7:51 am

    Oh, I am so sorry for your loss.

  6. Katie @ Stress and Stars
    January 20th, 2016 @ 7:55 am

    I’ so sorry, Shreve. I was in a similar position with my longtime cat a few months ago and I know, I know, the hardest part is having to make the call, having to admit that this time there isn’t any medicine to fix the problem.

    We give them the love we can while they are here. That’s all we can do.

  7. janice
    January 20th, 2016 @ 7:58 am

    I am sure Sunshine wants you to remember him always with a smile and happy heart.

  8. Rebecca
    January 20th, 2016 @ 8:00 am

    I am so sorry Shreve. I don’t understand this part of life either. Why are we able to love so much if it hurts this bad when they go? I hope you find peace in his memories and that his spirit will find its way back to you soon. Sending love and light to you during this dark time.

  9. Tamara
    January 20th, 2016 @ 8:01 am

    Shreve, please be comforted that you gave Sunshine a great life and a very respectful end.

  10. Bud Mody
    January 20th, 2016 @ 8:05 am

    Such a beautiful spirit. You were so fortunate to have known him.
    I know death is a part of living, as surely as birth, but I don’t understand it either. The best I can do is to make a truce with it…sometimes it works.

  11. Luna
    January 20th, 2016 @ 8:07 am

    If this ripped my soul and heart to pieces, I can only imagine what it did to you.
    (((FIERCE HUGS)))

  12. Deborah Dutko
    January 20th, 2016 @ 8:07 am


  13. Rosemarie Mendes
    January 20th, 2016 @ 8:20 am

    So sorry for your loss Shreve.
    I don’t comment often, but I have followed your blog since I read “The Daily Coyote” years ago. You are like a distant friend that I check in on every day. Take care, Rosemarie

  14. Elize van den Akker
    January 20th, 2016 @ 8:26 am

    I’m so sorry for the loss of Sunshine. He had a great life with you.

  15. Juli
    January 20th, 2016 @ 8:28 am

    Oh, no! May your many lovely memories of Sunshine bring you a measure of comfort in the days ahead.

  16. Alyxx
    January 20th, 2016 @ 8:31 am

    Every ray of Sunshine that touches you is a nuzzle from his gentle face, a reminder of horsey love.

    So much sympathy, Shreve, so many hugs.

  17. Barbara Malburg
    January 20th, 2016 @ 8:35 am

    R.I.P. Sunshine and run forever free.

    Shreve my deepest sympathy to you and Mike. And in your pain remember that Sunshine knew that he was loved. In the end that is the best gift we can give. Hugs!

  18. WendyB
    January 20th, 2016 @ 8:39 am

    Sometimes, with horses, I think it’s harder because they live so long and are so personable they seem almost human. And they feel like they’ve let you down in the end because it was their job to keep going. Sunshine loved you. I’m so sorry. ((HUG))

  19. Liane B
    January 20th, 2016 @ 8:41 am

    I’m so very sorry Shreve. What a homecoming welcome he must have had. Run free with your pals Sunshine. <3

  20. Po
    January 20th, 2016 @ 8:43 am

    So, so sorry. I’m weeping for a horse I never met, but he brought his own sunshine to you and you to him.

  21. Sheri Nugent
    January 20th, 2016 @ 8:48 am

    I’m so sorry, Shreve. Heartbreaking – but you wrote a beautiful tribute to Sunshine. A great friend to you – and you to he.

  22. Lindsay
    January 20th, 2016 @ 8:53 am

    It just isn’t fair that they can’t live with us, along side of us until we, too, are ready to cross over…
    So sad… I’m so very sorry Shreve xoxo

  23. Vic
    January 20th, 2016 @ 8:54 am

    “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”
    Much love.

  24. kathleen peters
    January 20th, 2016 @ 9:00 am

    I grieve with you over every loss.

  25. Patr
    January 20th, 2016 @ 9:03 am

    Remember what Mike said when Houdini passed – “It would be worse if they lived longer than we did. If they did, we would never know – and never be able to control – how they were treated when we were gone. That would be harder to bear.”

    I keep that tucked into my heart when these events occur. We love them, we give them a good life and it is with sadness that we help them end suffering. We are more humane to our lovely companion animals that we are to each other.

    You did so right by Sunshine by showing your love in his hours of need. Hugs to you and Mike and all he farmily who will miss him.

  26. Liza
    January 20th, 2016 @ 9:05 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Shreve.

  27. Marg
    January 20th, 2016 @ 9:09 am

    Another hit to your heart, so sorry. Hugs from afar, you will survive and laugh and love again. Let it flow through you, around you and then release it and move forward…that’s life.

  28. Marlene. K
    January 20th, 2016 @ 9:12 am

    I’ve followed you from the very beginning of your journey there..I feel for you knowing your connection deep strong with your family there..saying the final goodbye to our physical time here is so very matter how we justify in our mind that we all live on..we miss the connection to those we love so horribly deep…so painful..I have not found a way in my 59 years of life here to make sAying goodbye easier..I just have to go thru the pain of it..slowly ..I have said many goodbyes…they live inside me forever ..the memories and love…forever..I am truly sorry Shreve…. Marlene from Cambria

  29. Marlene. K
    January 20th, 2016 @ 9:13 am

    So very sorry

  30. ClaireB
    January 20th, 2016 @ 9:20 am

    It’s so hard to lose a loved one especially an animal that is part of your family. I’m so sorry to hear about Sunshine.

  31. Doug Kueffler
    January 20th, 2016 @ 9:33 am

    I’m 68 years old and have lost so many pets in my lifetime. I remember each one, from Whitey my first pup who was killed by a car when I was 6, to Coby, our Rottweiler-Lab cross who died last year of diabetes at age 13. It never gets any easier. A part of what makes us better humans dies a little every time we lose the unconditional love that each animal brought into our lives.

  32. Deborah
    January 20th, 2016 @ 9:33 am

    Sending you love and hugs from NorCal. I’m so sorry for your loss, Shreve. Sunshine was as lucky to have you as you were to have him. RIP, Sunshine.

    Now, 2016, you’ve delivered sad news every week and you’re only 3 weeks old. Dial it back, already.

  33. Vickie Zimmerman
    January 20th, 2016 @ 9:47 am

    Awwww, I’m soooo sorry Shreve!!! But, I’m so glad that you were able to comfort him for a long time, and that you were with him in the end! I’m sure he felt better with you there with him! He will remain in your heart forever. I’m so sorry for your loss Shreve!!!

  34. Prairie girl
    January 20th, 2016 @ 9:48 am

    Just over the mountain range from you, I woke up and saw a bit of sunshine peeking through the Wyoming clouds.
    And then it went away…
    I’m so sad about this. So sad.
    Truly sorry, Shreve.

  35. Amy in AMA
    January 20th, 2016 @ 9:56 am

    My heart knows what yours is feeling; last month I lost my beloved horse in the prime of his life, and mine.

    Most of the good things I know as an adult I learned from that horse. Then it came to me, this is life, that was the deal. Today, I am no longer sad, I am grateful.

    We should all be lucky enough to know the blessings of a horse. I know you did.

  36. Karyn
    January 20th, 2016 @ 9:57 am

    I like the thought that somewhere, in some other form, he lives on; his spirit now inhabits another form, maybe here, maybe far away, but not gone. A transition, if you will.

    While it is comforting on one level, it doesn’t take away the wild grief that comes with that kind of loss. Hugs to you.

  37. Heidi
    January 20th, 2016 @ 9:58 am

    Sunshine was fortunate to have been loved by you.

  38. Tripleransom
    January 20th, 2016 @ 10:01 am

    I’m so sorry Shreve,

    I’ve said goodbye to 3 of my older boys in the last few years and my last Thoroughbred is now 26 and getting very frail, so I know the feeling.

    It’s always a difficult time, but Sunshine made the decision for you. Know this: you did the right thing. You gave him a good life and the very last gift – a good death.

  39. Ursula
    January 20th, 2016 @ 10:02 am

    I am so sorry, Shreve for your loss of Sunshine. He looks so beautiful, calm and gentle.
    May he rest now in the sunshine of eternal love, and may your memory of this wonderful and gentle soul become a source of peace and a quiet sense of joy for the future.

  40. Marla H.
    January 20th, 2016 @ 10:08 am

    Shreve, very sorry for your loss of Sunshine . . . hugs

  41. Jo Davis
    January 20th, 2016 @ 10:14 am

    Dearest Shreve, wish I could hug you and cry with you too :=( I’m so sorry about Sunshine and my heart hurts for you……..

  42. LJ
    January 20th, 2016 @ 10:21 am

    To quote the wise prophet Winnie the Pooh, “how lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” So instead, simply say “so long, take care and we will meet again”. It is so hard. You have my thoughts.

  43. Bev in Oregon
    January 20th, 2016 @ 10:37 am

    I don’t understand either. And am always in denial.
    Hugs and love.

  44. Marci Green
    January 20th, 2016 @ 10:40 am

    As the tears are flowing I’m feeling your heartbreak, but as someone once told me, you have to think of the awesome life you gave Sunshine. I’m so very sorry Shreve.

  45. Amanda
    January 20th, 2016 @ 10:45 am

    I wish I could say something to take away the pain. I know the loss of losing a beloved animal that is just as much, if not more, a part of your family as any person could be. The unconditional love they give makes their leaving that much more hard to bear. That you were able to comfort Sunshine and give him a final peace is the best gift, for him and for you. Take care and I’m sending lots of hugs your way.

  46. krisper
    January 20th, 2016 @ 10:58 am

    Awe, Shreeve- I am sorry for your loss- again. So many for you these past months. Your words, though- stir a hurt in my soul that I never could put words to. I do not understand either. Peace to you.

  47. krisper
    January 20th, 2016 @ 11:00 am

    somehow this site won’t let me say what I’d like today- says I’ve already said it . I’m sorry.

  48. Scotty
    January 20th, 2016 @ 11:07 am

    i shall always look forward
    looking back only brings tears
    now you are safely across the rainbow bridge
    waiting for me to end my years

  49. mj
    January 20th, 2016 @ 11:18 am

    As always, my thoughts and prayers are with you. I hope that Sunshine will always be with you in spirit and that his spirit will soar high on the love you have shared with him.

  50. Carol K
    January 20th, 2016 @ 11:32 am

    Shreve, I’m so glad you were with Sunshine as he passed. Imagine how much worse you would have felt if he had been alone. I’m sure you were a comfort to him in his distress. I can only echo all the sentiments that have already been written.
    It never gets any easier.
    Big hugs,

  51. Karen
    January 20th, 2016 @ 11:53 am

    I’m so sorry, Shreve. I have spent endless hours in contemplation of death after losing my father and a sister within ten months of each other, but I still don’t understand it, either. For us left behind, it’s just an aching void where their presence used to be.

  52. Joy
    January 20th, 2016 @ 12:00 pm

    This totally sucks. I’m so sorry. Crying with you for Sunshine and all the others before.

  53. Amy
    January 20th, 2016 @ 12:35 pm

    So sorry to hear about him. I remember him from your book. He sounded like a gentle soul. The world always needs more of those. Hugs to you and Mike.

  54. Nancy
    January 20th, 2016 @ 12:37 pm

    So very sorry, Shreve. Helping Sunshine pass with such gentle love, devotion, and respect was the ultimate loving gesture. You were both truly blessed to have each other. ::Hugs::

  55. Kris S
    January 20th, 2016 @ 12:47 pm

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. My heart aches for you, Mike and the Farmily.

  56. bonnie
    January 20th, 2016 @ 12:48 pm

    hugs and tears and solidarity from here.
    (and Vic #23 — that is very well put!)

  57. Karen
    January 20th, 2016 @ 12:49 pm

    This breaks my heart. But I am so happy to know that you and Sunshine shared so much love together.

  58. Melanie
    January 20th, 2016 @ 12:58 pm

    As any horse person knows, there is simply nothing like the relationship between a girl and her horse. Nothing.
    My most sincere condolences to you Shreve. I’ve been where you are today and it hurts beyond words. But oh, to have the privilege of knowing a horse. It is a magical gift.

  59. wright1
    January 20th, 2016 @ 1:21 pm

    My sympathies for your loss, Shreve.

    Contemplating death, I always think of something Andrew M. Greely wrote in one of his novels: “No matter how much time you have with those you love, even if it’s thousands of years, it’s never enough.”

    Never enough. But we still have memory, and the echoes of our beloved dead’s legacies. And the world moves on.

  60. Sandy G.
    January 20th, 2016 @ 1:28 pm

    So sad, so sad. My tears are shed for both you and for Sunshine, who had such a beautiful spirit. I’m so glad you were there to comfort him at the end. Bless you.

  61. ELAINE ~ TX
    January 20th, 2016 @ 1:32 pm

    I am so very sorry for your loss, Shreve. I know Sunshine was blessed to have live with you and you were there with him in the end, that so appreciate that. Big Hugs & love to all!!

  62. LaRue King
    January 20th, 2016 @ 1:52 pm

    God bless Sunshine and his beautiful spirit. God blessed Sunshine to be in your presence, Shreve. I know that one day the earth will be filled with only joy and no more sorrow. Death will be done away with forever. Beautiful people and animals that have been lost in death will be resurrected from their graves and will return forever on paradise earth for all eternity and will live peaceably and in harmony with mankind, like God intended in the very beginning of time. Prayers to you all for complete healing of broken hearts. So sorry for your loss of this magnificent creature. God bless you.

  63. Roxie
    January 20th, 2016 @ 2:11 pm

    I feel privileged to have known in a small way a bit of what made Sunshine so special. Thank you for sharing his story. I am very sorry for your loss.

  64. Anna
    January 20th, 2016 @ 2:50 pm

    So sorry for your loss. I suppose, in some way, it is good to not get used to these departures. But the toll it takes in anguish and tears and bruises on our soul are a high price to pay for humanity and empathy and love. Sending you so much peace and big hugs. May your burden be lighter knowing how much love and support your family of animals (and humans I bet) feel from you.

  65. Marva
    January 20th, 2016 @ 3:55 pm

    I understand the not understanding the end, having to make the end actually end, either. Sending peace of mind and heart to you and the wonderful love you share with Sunshine always.

  66. Elizabeth S
    January 20th, 2016 @ 3:59 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I love this line from a White Buffalo song, “Love has no ending, just a resting place.” I love visualizing the timeline of my life and the loves that have found their resting places at different points. The love is there, and just as strong as ever, but it has come to rest at a moment in time and I can go back and visit it whenever I need to.
    I know it’s cold comfort when you are in the midst of the grief but it has eased the thought of loss for me.
    grieving with you,

  67. Julie
    January 20th, 2016 @ 4:41 pm

    lying stretched across his back while he grazed…a highest form of love and trust, from a dear, sweet, big, animal. You are so lucky to have known such a love. It will fill your heart forever. They never leave us. Well, they leave us with a tear in our hearts that does not mend. But we are better for having known that love. You stand with so many of us here that have known that love. Take special care Shreve. Thank you for sharing your grief with us.

  68. Jenny C
    January 20th, 2016 @ 4:59 pm

    Ohhhh noooo… I need a way to keen in writing. I’m so, so sorry, Shreve. This boy touched me in a special way – all the farmily members, yours & Mike’s, do – but he captured my heart with his delightful, precious & gregarious nature. I laughed out loud when you described quite some time ago his absolute insistence to accompany you & Ranger on your walks, & Sunshine’s irresistible antics to engage every horse along the way. The photos are etched in my memory. It touches me to the core that he was the bridge to trust & love for elegant-but-frightened Flicka. I think of her all the time. I’m glad you had those precious hours with Sunshine, & I know it made all the difference in the world for him; thank you for seeing him out with such love & tenderness. My heart is broken for you & Mike. God bless.

  69. Alice
    January 20th, 2016 @ 7:00 pm

    Such a beautiful horse. I’m so sorry for your loss, Shreve.

  70. Susan
    January 20th, 2016 @ 7:13 pm

    I’m so sorry. I’m in tears and my heart goes out to you. Sunshine was loved and appreciated for the kind soul that he was. If only our beloved creatures could live as long as we do. Sending you hugs and healing prayers.

  71. penny kipley
    January 20th, 2016 @ 7:17 pm

    Ugh…that is so sad Shreve; I am so sorry. I dont get the endings either. :(

  72. Torchy;
    January 20th, 2016 @ 7:55 pm

    He, and all the others you have loved will be waiting for you around the bend.

    So much pain. So sorry.

  73. Sara
    January 20th, 2016 @ 9:02 pm

    So sorry to hear about Sunshine. Endings are hard.

  74. Diane
    January 21st, 2016 @ 1:43 am

    Oh, dear. So very sorry.
    You wrote a lovely eulogy to Sunshine.
    How exquisitely painful and precious must the last hours with him have been.
    Would we all have such a sweet and kind farewell when it is our time to die.

  75. Claudia
    January 21st, 2016 @ 2:54 am

    I am just so sorry.
    We love them so much and it hurts so bad when they go. The only thing to do is to love them every day we are lucky enough to have them in our life.
    All of us are sending lots of love your way.

  76. INA
    January 21st, 2016 @ 3:47 am

    Hi Shreve,

    sitting here in Germany in the Office in front of the Screen -crying while reading. You find so wonderful true words and I feel with you.
    Just lost my wonderful 20-years-old tomcat this week, so reading your post – everything Comes up again.
    Escorting my lovely “Gandhi” to death showed me again – there can`t be a god, and if there is one – I hate this sadistic old bastard. I can understand that he wants all this lovely innocent animal creatures for himself – but why must their dying be so hard and painful?!?!

    Shreve, lots of hugs to you and the farmily from Germany!

  77. Claire C
    January 21st, 2016 @ 6:27 am

    So sorry Shreve to hear about the passing of Sunshine. So glad you were there to give him love and comfort in his last moments and that the two of you had this time together to say good-bye. Hugs to you and all the farmily! Take care of yourself as there are so many who still need you and love you.

  78. JaneK
    January 21st, 2016 @ 6:47 am

    Oh, so sorry. Sending hugs. What a good life you gave him even as you sat with him during his final hours.

  79. Colleen G
    January 21st, 2016 @ 6:56 am

    His face has the look of love. He knew you loved him and he very much loved you. I am so sorry he has passed, but try to look back and gain comfort in knowing how much you loved each other and how lucky you were to have each other. Hugs to you and the rest of the farmily.

  80. Karen
    January 21st, 2016 @ 9:25 am

    I know it’s agonizing to lose another loved one, but reading the story of the end for Sunshine was beautiful, Shreve. The End is still so difficult and scary and confusing, but your sharing it with your readers (who care about you and your farmily SO much) is a true gift. Thank you for letting us join you… in your grief and also in your, own life’s journey. It is a privilege. Wishing Peace for you, for Wyoming, my all suffering beings and also wishing for some joy to come your way. ~aloha

  81. Emma
    January 21st, 2016 @ 10:58 am

    We should all have a death as good as Sunshine’s: loved to the very end, surrounded by friends, and a peaceful leave-taking.

  82. Karen
    January 21st, 2016 @ 12:24 pm

    I am soooooo sorry for your loss. It’s funny how as readers we feel we know your animals. I am shedding a tear for you.

  83. Dana Park
    January 21st, 2016 @ 12:39 pm

    Shreve, I am right there with you in your pain. Called my vet to have my 30+ year old put down on December 5th. His partner in arms and sidekick was laying down Tuesday morning when I got up. He seemed comfortable, so I let him be, adjusted his blanket and went to work. Around 2, I got a call from the line crew that were trimming the tree along the power line that said I had a horse down and that he was thrashing about and had caused severe facial trauma from his thrashing. I immediately called my neighbor to go check on him and he called me back and said he was sorry, but that there was nothing could be done and he ended his misery. He was the third horse that I lost in less then a year. My heart is broken.

  84. Janet M
    January 21st, 2016 @ 12:54 pm

    Hugs and love, I too don’t understand the part of life, the part where it ends. I grieve with you.

  85. Siobhan Mccormick
    January 21st, 2016 @ 1:23 pm

    Shreve I am as always deeply touched by your words. I am so very sorry for the loss of Sunshine; he was lucky to have known you and you him. I send love and comfort to you and to all the farmily. oo-xx

  86. Julia
    January 21st, 2016 @ 1:42 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. What a heartbreak.

  87. sarin
    January 21st, 2016 @ 1:55 pm

    I’m sorry…

  88. Theresa Szpila
    January 21st, 2016 @ 2:05 pm

    Oh, Shreve, I can’t stand it that you’ve lost yet another loved one in so short a time. I know there are no words that can ease the pain of your loss, but please know that you are not alone in your grief. May our collective hugs bring you comfort and sustain you, and may your memories of Sunshine one day soon bring you smiles instead of tears and joy instead of pain.

    Sending hugs and blessings to all!

  89. Kelley Rico
    January 21st, 2016 @ 3:08 pm

    Not denial, my dear, but hope. Which, I think, means a connection to the deeper reality because hope to be true really requires faith. And faith opens the heart, which means, somewhat counter-intuitively, that everything hurts MORE and not less. SUCH A DEAL! Jack almost died over the holidays and I thought, really? this I cannot bear. Luckily, my prayers for him were answered but I still thought about what loss means- and it is that we are still HERE, on our own and hurting without the Companion, but more importantly, we still have the work of love to do in this world, even though our friends have gone on to another iteration. It hurts unbearably but there is some intrinsic piece of it that says you’ve still got important loving to do, so go forth and do it. Which you of course do splendidly- it’s a tough job, right? But it has to be done! Sending you BIG HUGS, love and kisses from all of Us.

  90. Eileen Fritz
    January 21st, 2016 @ 3:36 pm

    So very, very sorry for your loss, Shreve. Such a beautiful horse. RIP Sunshine!

  91. Torre
    January 21st, 2016 @ 7:04 pm

    Oh Shreve – I am so sorry and very sad. Tears at work and now tears at home. What a nice tribute to Sunshine and what a gift to be able to provide comfort and let Sunshine know how much he meant to you. I’ll be thinking of you all.

  92. Rose
    January 22nd, 2016 @ 12:20 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss….

  93. Penelope Bianchi
    January 22nd, 2016 @ 12:26 am

    How lovely that you had each other. So few people have this bond and love …….(most of them follow you and comment here!)

    lucky you and lucky Sunshine.
    Tears streaming down my face as I write this. We are lucky indeed who bond with animals….and whose animals bond with us.

    What else can I say?


  94. GD
    January 22nd, 2016 @ 7:26 am

    @Rebecca: You said: “I don’t understand this part of life either. Why are we able to love so much if it hurts this bad when they go?”

    Because it is a wonderful gift. The ability to love…the ability to love a completely different species (and often that love is greater than the love you have for your own kind). Because of that love, you will carry them in your heart and mind for your entire life. That love leaves a piece of them with you forever.

  95. Judy
    January 22nd, 2016 @ 7:53 am

    So so sorry that your beloved Sunshine has left earth. While he was here, you gave him the best parts of yourself, and he did the same. How blessed both of you are, hold these memories in your heart, until you meet again!

  96. Taryn
    January 22nd, 2016 @ 8:34 am

    I’m sorry. I know how badly it hurts.

  97. nancys
    January 22nd, 2016 @ 9:47 am

    so so so sorry.
    it never gets any easier to say goodbye.
    but I know they feel your love.

  98. Bobbie
    January 22nd, 2016 @ 11:26 am

    So very sorry..

  99. Lisa K.
    January 22nd, 2016 @ 12:47 pm

    Those hours of waiting for the vet are very special ones. It reminds us that we don’t just sit with our animal family members enough and simply tell them how much we love and appreciate them.

  100. SHerri
    January 22nd, 2016 @ 1:50 pm

    So much love to you Shreve. That horse knew how much you loved him……I am sure of that. If there is a rainbow bridge for dogs, then I am sure there is a rainbow mountain for all the loved horses and he is there. Frolicking in the fields just as you remember. Never gone, always alive in your memory. xoxo <3 HUGS to you and the farmily.

  101. Sherri
    January 22nd, 2016 @ 2:50 pm

    So very sorry for your loss, but he knew he was loved and cared for.

  102. Siobhan
    January 22nd, 2016 @ 2:53 pm

    So sorry, and after you had just posted that he seemed better, too! I’m glad you were able to be nearby and comfort him.

  103. Caitlin
    January 23rd, 2016 @ 10:59 am

    Here’s what I know: All the rituals you describe, every one, matters when it comes to saying goodbye. Your life is made up of such rituals and the animals know it, rely on it, and your soul is nourished by it. Then when it comes time to say goodbye, you have all that richness living in you that will not leave when they do. It’s what makes us all critters and keeps us from turning into soul-less machines. The click of toenails on the floor, the scratching post that is made out of everything you own. All living in you. And now, living in us, because of your generosity in sharing it. As a Texan friend of mine says, “grieve good.” And thank you.

  104. mlaiuppa
    January 23rd, 2016 @ 4:28 pm

    Sunshine was so aptly named. He brought a ray of light and warmth to all he touched, human and animal alike.

    I’m so sorry for your loss.

    I came upon a photo frame that I’ll be giving my parents when their dog passes. She’ll be eleven this May and is already starting to feel her age. It says:

    “Thanks for everything. I had a great time.”

    I think this speaks to the life you gave Sunshine. He had a wonderful 10 years with you and I’m sure wouldn’t have traded that for anything in the world.

  105. Arno Michaelis
    January 23rd, 2016 @ 4:28 pm

    How beautiful; the way you celebrated Sonny’s life, even in the face of certain death. You are an inspiration to all of us. Thank you Shreve

  106. Nina
    January 23rd, 2016 @ 9:14 pm

    Such a beautiful life. So sorry for your loss. Rest in peace, Sunshine.

  107. Ailsa
    January 23rd, 2016 @ 9:56 pm

    Oh, I am breathless at your loss. I am so sorry.

  108. Jenny
    January 24th, 2016 @ 7:36 am

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I couldn’t get through reading your entry without crying. May he be running around and pain-free-wherever he may be.

  109. Lindsay in Oregon
    January 24th, 2016 @ 3:44 pm

    Oh Shreve, I am so sorry for yet another loss. My heart hurts for you and the whole farmily.

  110. rockrat
    January 24th, 2016 @ 11:03 pm

    This is the first time I connected the dots between farm life and spirituality. So many good sentient beings leave early, so much hope for a meaningful afterlife, otherwise so much brutal stoicism.

  111. joy
    January 25th, 2016 @ 10:22 am

    I am so sorry.

    in time i hope you remember him as you wrote in 2010 (?)

    “…Sunshine works in other ways. He brings light and love to those around him. He’s gentle. He’s happy. He loves getting attention and loves giving it. I’ve spent many an hour simply laying on his back, looking at the stars.”

  112. Patricia A. Long
    January 25th, 2016 @ 2:03 pm

    Shreve, I am so sorry to hear about your loss of Sunshine—such a beautiful horse! I am happy that you were able to be with him and to comfort him to the end. Remember, denial is a stage in the grieving process. My prayers are with you.

  113. Lindi
    January 25th, 2016 @ 9:34 pm

    I’m so very sorry. Sunshine was beautiful. May his spirit run free….

  114. Carolyne
    January 26th, 2016 @ 9:32 am

    sending you love ……..

  115. Jennifer Brost
    January 26th, 2016 @ 8:55 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m thinking of you and Mike.

  116. montanarose
    January 27th, 2016 @ 11:54 am

    So sorry for yet another loss in your life, Shreve. As corny as it might sound, how blessed it was that you had one last night of sharing your love for each other. It must have eased his passing in some way to have you there so close to him, keeping him as warm, quiet, and comfortable as you could.

  117. Gabriela
    January 27th, 2016 @ 6:35 pm

    30 years and to die surrounded by calm and love. may we all be so lucky as Sunshine! death is only hard for the ones left behind, always…. hugs

  118. Trisha Turner
    January 29th, 2016 @ 2:17 pm

    It doesn’t end, the journey continues and you will see him again on the Rainbow Bridge. He will be waiting there for you I truly believe that!

  119. yvonne
    January 31st, 2016 @ 7:40 pm

    I am so very sorry. I had to let my border collie girl, Lucy go last Wednesday. It’s so crushing. She was like your Sunshine – always generous and fun. I found a quote that says it all for me: “Once by my side, now forever in my heart”.

  120. Cowgirl
    January 31st, 2016 @ 8:56 pm

    So sorry for your loss. I’m glad you were able to experience such a friendship though.

  121. Martha Ce
    February 7th, 2016 @ 7:20 pm

    I am so very sorry. The loss of family is never ever easy. No matter who, or what part of the family it is. Each one owns a piece of our hearts, and when they leave us they take that piece with them. But know that we also keep a piece of them with us.

  122. Marlene. K
    February 16th, 2016 @ 9:14 am

    My heart goes out to you…I hate the saying goodbye..I’ve done it so many times and each is a painful as the one before…Marlene from cambria

  123. GD
    November 7th, 2016 @ 5:41 am

    This story touches all of us who have lost a beloved pet. Animals, to me, are God’s most wonderful creation. When they love it is unconditional…the same is true when they trust. I think a human can bond with a pet more so than with any human…as humans betray.

    My heart breaks for your loss. We all weep with you.

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