Horses of Tir Na Nog


Gender: Mare

Breed: Unknown

Approximate Date of Birth: 1/1/1996

Forever in Friendship 

On December 9, 2014, County of San Diego Department of Animal Services seized a mare, following the arrest of her owner on unrelated charges. He hadn't owned her for long, reportedly for only a few months. But during that time, it is obvious that this mare knew only hunger. 

The Henneke horse body condition scoring system is a numerical scale used to evaluate the amount of fat on a horse's body. This mare scored a 1, the lowest possible score. She was extremely emaciated, without any fatty tissue. Her vertebrae, ribs, and hip bones were all visible. 

The high-quality care she received from Animal Services helped her gain weight and recover from the neglect. However, this care could not fix an arthritic right knee.

Our veterinarians at East County Large Animal Practice evaluated her and found that in spite of her arthritis, she moved comfortably. It was determined that she had the potential of enjoying a life of retirement.

The mare arrived in Animal Services custody with an unusual name. We thought at first that her name, "Flaka," was a misspelling of the Spanish word "flaca," meaning "skinny." Then we discovered that "Flaka" is a slang term, referring to a girl who is, "beautiful from the inside out," a perfect name for this special girl!

Once at Horses of Tir Na Nog, Flaka quickly bonded with another mare, Cora. Flaka always stayed close to Cora. During Cora’s numerous medical procedures, Flaka stood as close to Cora as possible, silently offering her support.

Early in 2016, Flaka began to show significant skeletal changes as a result of the arthritis in her knee. While initially painful, she responded well to treatments and seemed to rally. However, in June, her BFF Cora experienced a laminitic crisis. During this time, Flaka’s continued structural changes became even more of an issue and her range of motion declined considerably. Also during this time, Flaka also seemed to cling more closely to her friend. So the decision to say goodbye to Cora when she failed to respond to treatments, became a decision to say goodbye to Flaka as well. Our veterinarians advised us that the added strain of Cora’s loss could easily send Flaka into a medical crisis of her own given her recent decline and how anxious she became if Cora was out of her sight

While we wish Flaka could have had a longer time with us, our sorrow at her passing is lessened knowing that she found friendship with us. There is a beautiful saying, “Friends are angels that lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.” Our hope is that through their friendship, Cora and Flaka used their wings to lift each other and fly across the Rainbow Bridge, together forever.

We create a safe haven for horses that have few options remaining, thereby ensuring them a better quality of life.

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© 2021 Horses of Tir Na Nog, San Diego's longest-operating 501(c)3 equine sanctuary.