Jewel – Farewell on January 7, 2020
Approximate Date of Birth: 1/1/1995Sponsor:
The names our horses come to us with are often a bit of a mystery. One was named after the character of a romance novel, one after a hit song, and one after our local football team. When Jewel was placed with us by County of San Diego Department of Animal Services in October of 2010, it was hard to imagine how anyone had named her “Jewel.” Jewel was very thin, scoring a two out of nine on Henneke body score. Our vet suggested that she needed to gain at least 100 lbs. And she was very scruffy. Her winter coat had grown in, which was a blessing since she lacked the body fat necessary to keep warm. But you could tell it had been a while since anyone had groomed her. Her mane was terribly matted and just fell limply along her neck.
Both Animal Services and the Tijuana River Valley Animal Rescue had tried to help Jewel’s owner care for her. Tijuana River Valley Animal Rescue even provided food for her. But in spite of this remarkable support, Jewel was failing to thrive. Whatever the reason was, it sure wasn’t from lack of trying on Jewel’s part. Jewel arrived as a very hungry little horse and began eating the moment she arrived and hasn’t stopped yet.
Fortunately, her gregarious appetite helped her to regain the weight she was missing. just a few days at the ranch, we started to see where Jewel’s name came from. She reminded us of a tarnished old ring. With a bit of cleaning and polishing, long neglected jewelry quickly returns to it former beauty. The same is true of our little Jewel. Now that she has received the care she deserves, she shines!
Farewell on January 7, 2020
Today we lost our precious Jewel. Mid-morning she showed signs of mild colic, lying down more than she should have. But all of her vital signs were within normal range. So following our colic protocols we let East County Large and Small Animal Practice ECLAP know we had a colic and we administered Banamine. After giving the medication time to work, it was clear that she would need more than a dose of Banamine to resolve her colic.
When Dr. Harlan arrived he confirmed that her vital signs were all within normal range (temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, capillary refill rate). She had gut sounds on her left, but he couldn’t hear anything on the right so he administered sedation and pain
medication and began a rectal exam. We could tell right away, from a change in Dr. Harlan’s demeanor, that things were not good.
He could feel multiple distended loops of small intestines. He believes a displacement of her large colon entrapped the small intestines. Treating this was unlikely to be successful and would put Jewel at risk of suffering as the circulation was cut off to the
entrapped small intestines.
As we said our goodbyes to this beautiful twenty-five year old girl we tried to reconcile her normal vital signs with such a critical medical diagnosis. Dr. Harlan could only suggest that Jewel was one tough girl — something we already knew.
Several years before coming to us she was reportedly in a parade. She was startled by a loud noise and ended up seriously injuring her left hind leg on a picket fence. This injury was so severe it could have ended her life. But she survived with a dramatic scar
and lack of flexion in her leg as testaments of her toughness. Following this injury her ended up with terribly neglectful owners. She was tough enough to survive on far too little food until County of San Diego Department of Animal Services was able to rescue
her and bring her to the ranch (first photo). Arabians are a notoriously hardy breed, but this little mare might well have been the toughest of them all.
As tough as she was, she was also one of the gentlest, kindest horses at the ranch. She was blessed to have Linda Simpson as her sponsor for the last few years and we loved watching these two beautiful, gentle ladies spending time together (second photo).
Admittedly, we too have struggled with her weight since she arrived at the ranch in 2010. It turned out that Jewel was one of our easiest keepers. We’d often joke that she’d get fat on air. So we spent nearly ten years trying to maintain her girlish figure.
Jewel was fed in a box stall adjacent to the feed room. Every meal, without fail, as soon as she heard the feed room door slide open she began pawing at the wall, creating a loud, rhythmic knocking. Perhaps she was haunted by memories of going without food. More likely our precious Jewel simply wanted to be fed first, as any princess would.
Tonight, for the first time in nearly a decade, there was no knocking when that feed door slid open. We have no doubt that tonight Jewel was “knock, knock , knockin’ on heaven’s door” and that her beloved Magic, who passed in 2015, was there to meet her.