Wednesday, January 11, 2012


This is my view standing on a stool leaning over Suki's back....

Today I am going to step away from the back story because of some interesting occurrences yesterday.

When I arrived at the barn late yesterday afternoon one of the other boarders was having a lesson. With a slight warm up in temperature the past few days the footing must have been suitable to ride. I always find that this time of year a top layer may be soft but and inch or two down is frozen, making for slick conditions. Obviously it was OK....too bad it was starting to get dark. The footing may have been suitable to lunge Suki!

I began my usual routine of Suki care when they all came into the barn. The instructor came barreling down the aisle with her hand thrust out in front of her in a gesture to shake mine. "Hi, I'm X", she said. "I am so glad to meet the person who saved Suki's life. I have read all about her!" As X stood next to Suki she remarked how much taller she was than what she appeared when standing in the field. People are always amazed at Suki's size. I guess I am just used to it! Admittedly,though, sometimes when I am throwing a blanket up onto her back I say: "You ARE a big girl!" X continued to look at Suki and commented about how amazing she looked and what a miracle her recovery was. We continued to chat while she helped her student with her horse.

Suki always seems to know when she has an admirer or an audience. She proceeded to bend herself in half to scratch behind her belly, arch her neck and look at X from under her forelock, and a variety of other little tricks that she does to impress onlookers, prompting them to comment about her beauty and cleverness! It makes me laugh every time! I believe that it is because of this "bigger than life" personality that Suki not only survived the fire, but thrived in her recovery.

Christine, the barn manager was also at the farm last night. Suki is now getting turned out with Banker, because he was being mean to Prince (who is 30) and everyone is afraid of Suki. She never physically does anything to the other horses, but is kind of a mean girl. Chester was actually beginning to try to leave the pasture as he was being brought in! But apparently with Banker, Suki has met her match. He is in the stall next to her, and completely un-moved by her antics. That makes her angry.... So now they are also going out together. Christine said that earlier in the day when she was driving down the lane she actually saw Suki and Banker PLAYING! When she tried to take a picture, they stopped. Suki will never admit to playing!

While we were talking, Christine and her friend were standing behind where Suki was cross-tied. At one point I was standing with them. Suki kept turning around to listen to the conversation. She has this manner of turning her head and neck as if trying to engage in the conversation. I can remember finishing a ride and standing talking to others in the arena. Suki would physically turning her entire body around so that she was face to face with those involved in the conversation. This is typical Suki behavior. My mare Jenny was the same way. Is that just mares in general, or is it me? Nikki is heading in the same direction.... I'll say it again. Gotta love the mares!

Last night I also had someone comment on my nightly FB post. A burn survivor from Georgia. She was burned in 1986. This person had been burned over 67% of her body and was given a 3% chance of survival. She spent 2 1/2 months in a burn unit. After reading my story awhile ago she shared it with her friends and just recently discovered my FB page and blog. I was so thrilled to have her share her story. Every time I encounter a burn survivor I am inspired by their courage. Everyone kept saying that Suki had an amazing will to live and that was why she survived. These wonderful people who I encounter have had that same will. Against all odds, they have survived. It makes me take a step back and realize how silly it is to complain about somewhat meaningless daily frustrations! Every day is a gift. Life is a gift.

Suki really does have the ability to help heal. Animals are so incredibly therapeutic. They love unconditionally and only want our kindness in return. It is so important to me to put my plan into action. Suki has met with a small number of burn survivors with an overwhelming response from them. I am trying to find groups that would be interested in visiting her.....

Tomorrow: Preparing for the skin graft

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