Very sad news today as sweet old Starwood passed away suddenly this morning at Shiloh.
Starwood was rescued from the Cedar City auction where he had been brought by his previous owner. We rescued him and for the past 2 1/2 years he lived in our Sanctuary. This morning he was fine, everything appeared normal. Volunteers were in brushing the old guys in Assisted Living where Starwood lived. Starwood ate his Equine Senior and his hay. About 1/2 hour after someone was last in that pasture, I went in to put up a new feeding bucket. I sensed a horse behind me and turned to find Starwood standing close by looking at me. I went up to him and was petting his face when I noticed something was very wrong. He was panting and shaking and looked a bit out of it. His gums and tongue were bright purple, a sign of great distress in a horse. I immediately called Sally over as she drove by in the feed cart. We took his vitals, including his heart rate, which was incredibly over 100 beats per minute (an extremely bad sign). I called the vet clinic as Sally got a halter on him, but as I was speaking to the vet office, Starwood suddenly jumped sideways into the corral panel and fell to the ground in convulsions. We knew he was dying, so we quickly IV sedated him with a strong sedative to help him. He quickly passed away as we all stood around him , comforting him with our voices and hands. Although we don't know for sure what happened, all signs point to sudden heart failure. Starwood was buried at Shiloh under some Mesquite Trees.
Starwood was a great friend to everyone at Shiloh. He attended Pet-a-palooza and was used for all new volunteers as they learned to groom and bath horses. Every weekend he was groomed, stuffed with carrots, and spoiled by caring volunteers. His gentle soul and innate kindness helped many, many people who were new to horses gain confidence and knowledge. Starwood was never sick once in all of his years at the rescue, as Robin said, "he lived until he died." Something we should all be lucky enough to have said about us.
I am so thankful that this gentle horse found love and comfort over the past few years at Shiloh.
I am so thankful to him for his quiet spirit and loving nature. He taught us all a little bit more about compassion and kindness...
Good bye, old Friend, I miss you already.
Starwood gets bathed by the Carrot Brigade...