Canuck was a Standardbred mare we rescued on June 6, 2011 from the stockyard; she was sick, emaciated and broken. We did the best we could, but she was put to sleep on June 21 2011 due to fluid build up in her lungs.
But this story isn't about her passing, it is about remembering her and what she taught me in the short time that she was here. She was and always will be my first horse, even if it was only for two weeks and still to this day two years later her picture hangs in a gold frame in my bedroom reminding me of all that she taught.
My Dear Canuck,
Today marks the anniversary of your passing. I only knew you for 15 days, but those days were something special that I will never forget… I can’t believe it has already been two years. I can still feel your head in my hands and it still weighs heavy on my heart.
On June 6, 2011, Julie and I picked up Canuck from the auction house. She was a skinny, sick, matted mess and we brought her home. I spent every single day with that mare. A few hours here, a few hours there watching her graze and taking her on short walks. And that time with her sparked something in me to bloom again. Something that had locked itself away and hidden from the sun.
Canuck gave me back my life. She gave me my ability to see who I was again because she could stare right through me. Because she didn’t see what I wore, didn’t care about my messy hair or my grades. None of those things defined me to her. She gave me something that no one else could because I knew she wasn’t looking at me on the outside. She was looking through me. Something no person, no matter how great, can do. She saw my soul, my passion, my fire. She saw things in me that I had long since stopped seeing. Those things were good enough for her and because of her, they are good enough for me too.
What makes her so special to me is that she was the first horse I ever truly connected with. Even after 17 years of horse lessons and riding the same horse for 14 years, Canuck was the first one to ever truly steal my heart - she did so from the moment I saw her. She was the horse that showed me the real depth and beauty of the equine soul and spirit. The one who connected me to them in a way I hadn't been before. She was an amazingly kind and brave mare to have loved me as she did after what her previous humans put her through.
With all of that it is Canuck who is still, to this day, the horse that fuels my goal to save as many horses as possible. Both so that they can be healed, but also so that in turn they too can heal.
Unfortunately, Canuck was euthanized on June 21, 2011 due to a fluid build-up in her lungs among other things that she was never going to be able to recover from. She should have never ended up at the stockyard, but especially not in her condition and I wish her previous owners had looked after her the way they should have. We did the best we could for her after she arrived, but her body was just too sick to go on. I still wonder if she fought for those 15-days just for me; because she had something to teach me.
Even two years after her passing, I still can’t help but think how beautiful she would have been all healthy and fat today. I could see us having fun on the trails and splashing around in the creek, but for as short a time as I had with her, Canuck started me on a path of healing that my now J&M graduate Kal-El graciously finished when we saved him a few months after Canuck's passing in September 2011. I like to think that she sent him to me.
I am not religious, but I do hope that Canuck is running free somewhere beautiful. If I could, I would thank her for all she taught me in her short time here and for sending me Kal-El to finish the job she couldn’t.
Hugs and kisses wherever you are, my gorgeous girl.
Amy at J&M
- Buck Brannaman