As I was sifting through my saved articles, I came across the
story of Buckeye, a horse who was rescued from a severe neglect
situation in Trumbull County, Ohio. He was taken to Happy Trails
in November 2009 -suffering with a leg injury, weak, and barely
able to stand. His owner had even attempted to euthanize him by
mainlining his artery with an overdose of penicillin. There was no
doubt about it. He had suffered a great deal on this farm from hell.
Upon seeing him for the first time, Annette, excutive director of
Happy Trails, described his condition: "He was a mess- one of the
worst cases I had ever seen. He was like a skeleton with skin
draped over his bones. His head appeared way too big for his
body. He was weak and could barely stand. My heart just broke
for him. It would be the first of a series of heartbreaks with regards
to his recovery program."
Un-named at the time, he and another of the 11 rescued horses
were in particularly bad shape. Annette wasn't at all sure that either
of them would make it, but they had to try. So one day both of them
were driven to the OSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Columbus.
On a typical cold November day, both horses were bundled up in
thick, soft horse blankets which included face hoods to keep them
warm for the two hour drive from Ravenna to Columbus. At OSU -
the vet recommended euthanasia for the horse with the irreparable
leg injury. Alway a heart-wrenching decision for Annette, it was
decided that it was the kindest thing to do for this poor horse.
They said though that they would try to save the black gelding.
At the time, they had no way of knowing that this decision would
require a long, painful, and rocky road to recovery for him in
intensive care for months to come.
There were times when Annette and the others were hopeful
because there were small triumphs they could celebrate. But
there were also times when they heard about his setbacks, and
it seemed there were a lot of those.
What could go wrong? What did? At times blood counts were
off and his internal organs were slow to start functioning again.
His open sores had difficulty healing and he liked to lay down
Still hopeful, everyone decided that their black gelding needed
a name. As the senior graduating vet students had adopted him
as their mascot, " Buckeye" seemed to be the perfect name for him.
After all, the Ohio State V eterinarian Hospital had been his home
for a long time now. And every student who worked with him
fondly dubbed him "Sir Buckeye of Columbus."
The time finally came for Buckeye to have to undergo surgery for
his injured ankle. This had been postponed in order to give his
weakened body time to heal and mend so that he could survive
Only 5 years old at the time, and even though pain management
had become a problem in his recovery, the decision was made to
go ahead with the leg surgery.
Poor Buckeye. His surgery went well, but his recovery didn't. He
was in excruciating pain. He would lay down constantly and make
giant circles in the air with his head. He would gnash his teeth
together at times and then moan and groan at other times.
Once Annette did a hands-on-Reike (energy healing) session with
him. She then went to see the vet and asked him if it was right to
give him two more weeks before facing the inevitable. Yes, the
vet agreed that two weeks was probably the maximum amount
of time to wait.
Back home at Happy Trails- three days later Annette got a call from
the vet. She shivered with fear when she heard the vet say "I don't
know what happened." She thought - On no, did he die during the
night? Did he colic? But the vet continued and said - "Buckeye took
a turn for the better! He started eating and putting weight on his leg.
He is doing great! We have no idea what made him turn around."
Needless to say, Annette was esthetic and couldn't believe what she
was hearing. And the good news would keep coming in from then on.
Buckeye continued to make progress and then on March 20, 2010 he
began his historic trip home to Happy Trails. At the OSU Hospital
Buckeye was met by a TV crew which was on hand to document his
every step. Even though he limped out of the hospital, his first squint
into the bright sunshine must h ave made him feel happy and warm
and good all over after so many months indoors. Then this gentle
and kind horse was easily led into the trailer -a completely different
horse from the one who had arrived there in Nov. of 2009.
Everybody was happy about Buckeye's day of triumph. All the vet
students had signed cards wishing him well, and even signed his old
leg cast. Coming home to Happy Trails at last, Buckeye easily made
friends, and he loved all the other horses. He was also happy to finally
have a stall where he could again breathe the fresh outdoor air. Oh,
that is so good - he must have thought.
Even though his leg still caused him to limp at times, the day finally
did come when he didn't limp any more at all, and he started to run
and play with the other horses. A great feeling was had by all who
witnessed this miracle of healing.
Completely healed, Buckeye was now ready for adoption. I don't
know who came forward to claim this beautiful horse, but I do know
that they were very fortunate. And Happy Trails deserves not only
kudos, but financial help. Buckeye's stay at the Ohio Veterinarian
Hospital was very costly. I hope that the request at the Happy Trail's
site for monetary help in paying for this was well received so that
Happy Trails can continue to help all the abused and neglected animals
they take in. Good job Happy Trails!