Andy, the wise old man of the Windermere horse herd, passed into Spirit this past January. We at IIWP want to share with you how special Andy and his life were. David Rodgers wrote this account of Andy’s passing:
“I thought I would write a note about one of our many favorite horses, Andy. Today was his last day of work on the ranch as he picked today to die. I picked the word ‘die’ because in a way it fits Andy’s character. He seemed to like to call them as he saw them.
Early this morning during feeding time, Ted made an assessment that Andy was in some difficulty. His breath was short and labored, and he was moving very slowly. Ted began leading him up the hill, which worked for a while, but it got to the point where Andy stopped and would go no further.
Ted came back up the hill to get food, water and some medication suggested by our veterinarian, Dr. Saunders. Teresa and I went back down the hill with Ted. Andy was right where Ted had left him. He was standing in the middle of the road just working on breathing. He is quite a trooper and always has been.
He would not take any of the food or water. We gave him the medication and I stayed with him for about an hour. Andy seemed to know what was going on and was quite peaceful about the whole thing. The injection seemed to help a little with his alertness, but not much else changed.
After the hour, with Teresa’s help I got him walking up the hill a little more. Our objective was to get him to move towards the barn, because there would be some shelter there – the weather was looking like rain. Well, he did a great job of walking along. We got up through the gate and all the way to the Bunkhouse road when Andy stopped and didn’t want to walk any further. I think he actually did that walking just to help us out. It was like him. He loved a good job to do and loved to help out. It reminded me of people who like to live a full life right up to the end.
While we waited with Andy we just had fun talking about all the wonderful Andy stories. How he would just love and care for children. How he would test people that thought they knew everything they needed to know about a horse. How people would say, “Whoa Andy, Whoa,” and he would just keep walking along until they made sure by their actions–not just their voice–that they wanted him to stop. Teresa shared how Andy was the horse that first taught her to ride. For me, he was the horse that first taught me how to even catch a horse by asking for the horse’s attention first. We were all just really appreciating the joy and learning he has provided.
Dr. Saunders arrived and said that he was really working hard with breathing, and his heart, and that he was at a terminal point. He gave Andy a small injection to make his passing a little easier and quicker. As Andy was laying down Teresa held him at his head. It was a sweet moment when she felt he was no longer there. It was about 11:20 a.m. on Saturday, 1/15/2000. We were very happy that we could spend time with him in his last moments, for all the time he has spent with us.