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July 10 2014 — GUESS WHO TURNS 10 TODAY!

Posted by on July 10th, 2014 with Comments Off

July 10 2014 – GUESS WHO TURNS 10 TODAY:

If anyone had asked me 18 months ago if I would be looking out my window on this rainy spring day to see Tulip grazing out in the field with her friends I would have, with tears in my eyes, said No.

On the morning of November 10th 2012 I was preparing to show one of my horses at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto. I was running on adrenalin and caffeine after spending the night in a tack stall at the horse palace. I was so excited to be there, this was the first time I was showing one of my own horses at the fair. It was supposed to be a girls weekend filled with horses, shopping and shopping for horses and ultimately a weekend away from the farm (which I rarely get to do). We had just finished braiding when I got the call about Tulip. My Dad calmly told me there had been an accident and that the vet was on her way….. I just happened to work with said vet so I immediately called her to find out what the heck was going on. The feeling of being absolutely helpless was horrible. Tulip was 7 months pregnant when she had her accident. Dr. Lalonde and Dr. Button spent their entire Saturday working on Tulip…. Even tho she wasn’t the easiest of patients they got her all Fixed up! For months I monitored Tulip like a hawk …. Changing her bandages multiple times a day, giving her antibiotics and pain control and flushing her wounds. In January 2013 just when things seemed to be looking up Tulip walked out of her stall lame. I had the vet out to take radiographs which confirmed my ultimate fear….. Tulip had foundered so badly that her coffin bone had rotated and was penetrating the sole of her foot. I was told that from a medical side of things the prognosis was very poor and that I should consider Euthanasia. My equine technician brain was agreeing fully with the vet, I had seen cases like this at the clinic and I knew the outcome was grim. When the vet left I sat on the floor of her stall for hours talking to Tulip, crying and praying for a miracle.

After talking to multiple friends and family members I decided I would try everything imaginable to help her as long as I could keep her comfortable and as long as she was willing to fight to survive. I spoke to multiple farriers who saw her radiographs and tipped their hats and wished me luck. I had just about given up when I was introduced to Johnny Clute who made me no promises but said that it was worth a shot. He built her custom wooden shoes (quite fitting for a Dutch Warmblood) she wore these for close to 4 months before she got to wear real shoes. Every day was a new day, Tulip had good days and she had bad days but I continued to tell myself that as long as the good days outweigh the bad that I was doing the right thing. Tulip started turn out, which consisted of me opening the barn door and letting her tour the farm. She would never go far, if you couldn’t see her she was probably laying down under her tree where she could see the other mares and their foals.

In June 2013 Tulip went into labour, she delivered a big beautiful bay colt by Balou De Rouet, he looked perfect with 3 white stockings and a unique blaze, but sadly he was still born. Although it was upsetting that she had lost her foal I was so thankful that Tulip had survived yet another bump on her road to recovery.

Late into the breeding season I had the opportunity to try embryo transfer with Tulip. I again was told not to get my hopes up, if she was in too much pain she would not conceive and that if we didn’t get any embryos out of her that would be an indication that although she looks like she’s staying strong on the outside she is still quite sick on the inside. I had come to the decision that if we attempted embryo transfer and we were unable to flush an embryo that that would make my decision for me. I had the vet lined up to euthanize her on a Saturday, the same Saturday that I was hauling her to be flushed. That day was a good day, she loaded like a dream walked off the trailer with a spring in her step. I was excited, but not at the same time. Tulips life was depending on an embryo. I was hovering over the Veterinarians shoulder while he swirled the Pitre dish around under the microscope. He looked up from the microscope and gave me a look, this look said it all. He had thought for sure she had not conceived, and there it was, a perfect 7 day old embryo. I was overjoyed! This was the confirmation I was looking for. I felt like everything I was doing, all that time, all the blood sweat and tears had been worth it. I took Tulip home that day and she has continued to improve daily.

Today is Tulips 10th birthday and 18 months since her accident. She is now off all medications, is pasture sound and only occasionally throws a lame step (If she has been galloping around the field like a maniac, something she was never supposed to be able to do again).

At the end of all of this I still believe that everything always happens for a reason and even though I may not fully understand why this had to happen to Tulip and I, I feel like I have learned so much over the past year and a half. It was a tough year for both of us and through it all she showed me that even when the odds are stacked against you and you seem to be fighting an uphill battle there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. She taught me patience, good things are worth waiting for. This experience taught me to listen to my gut because it’s almost always right. I learned that miracles do happen and Tulip is just that. She defied the odds and together we have been through hell and back but I wouldn’t have traded it for anything

Love you TuTu – Here’s hoping for at least another 10 healthy years!

Tulip K

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