Monday, February 14, 2011

In Memory of Teddy

Without question the best day of Teddy's life was the day he met his mom, Ellie. She went to look at a horse for sale and found an extremely neglected and very skinny Quarter Horse. She said she simply couldn't leave him there and agreed to take him. That was 15 years ago and Ellie and Teddy have been together ever since.

Teddy is, without question, the toughest and most stoic horse I've ever met. He has more conformational and special challenges than any one horse should ever have to deal with. Yet he did so amazingly well. I remember being shocked the first time I saw him trot. He took off across the paddock in a beautiful, floating trot and I stood there with my mouth open trying to figure out how on earth he could move like that.

Teddy lived with us for the last three years and today the time came to say goodbye. Teddy was 27 years old. Although his spirit was still strong his body was failing him. All of the avenues for keeping him comfortable had been exhausted and it was time to let him go. Although it was a hard decision, and a very sad decision, it was definitely the right decision. He had a wonderful last day with his friends today. Blue skies, 68 degrees, and a warm, gentle breeze made for a perfect day of easy companionship with his friends. He was loved and cared for to the end and no horse can ask for more than that.

Below are a few pictures from Teddy's retirement with us. Rest in peace Teddy, you will be greatly missed.


Teddy's first day at our farm

This picture of Teddy standing watch while O'Reilly napped is one of my favorite pictures. I took this picture early one morning in October 2009. As I was walking through the pasture and saw this I had one of those "this is why I do this" moments. They could not have looked more content or more peaceful.

what a tough life
snow day
nap time
Snappy and Teddy
O'Reilly, Snappy, Teddy and Lightening
Lightening, Teddy and Lucky
O'Reilly and Teddy

Lightening, Clay and Teddy

"look at my cute expression"

Slinky and Teddy looked pretty with the fall colors
although this is not a great picture of Teddy it is one of the better pictures for seeing his beautiful color
Teddy, Snappy and O'Reilly
O'Reilly and Teddy
Teddy and Lucky
grazing on a foggy morning
O'Reilly, Teddy and Lucky

everyone needs to have good friends


jane augenstein said...

Teddy looks like he was a sweet horse, so sorry to hear of his passing. You all gave him a wonderful place to retire in, lots of friends to hang out with.
blessings to you all...

Kaitlyn Elizabeth said...

I Loved Teddy. I grew up going to Pony Club with his owner, and we actually reconnected on Facebook because I recognized him on your blog when you first introduced him. Hugs to you Melissa and Hugs to Ellie. Teddy was a super special horse. <3

lara said...

This makes me sad. :( Yes, hugs to you Melissa and Jason and hugs to you Ellie! And hugs to Teddy, too.

Anonymous said...

So glad he got those three years with you to enjoy. And kudos to his owner for taking such good care of him right to the end.

IsobelleGoLightly said...

Teddy's owner gave him a loving gift of retiring him there with you. What a lovely character of a horse!

raphycassens said...


Funder said...

My condolences to you and to Teddy's mom! What a great life he had though :)

Lori Skoog said...

This makes me very sad, but it is comforting to know that he was with you. What a beautiful boy.

Vivian, Apollo's Mom said...

I am always so moved and so sad when one of your retirees passes. I am glad that his Mom was able to give him the last 3 years of his life with you and he enjoyed it.

Gunner said...

What a wonderful three years for Teddy, and from the look in his soft eye and on his sweet face, a joy for you too.
You have written so clearly on feeding the older horse, wonder if you have done any writing on long-term pain management for the retirees?

Ellie Toivonen said...

Thank you all for the nice comments.

Teddy was an amazing horse that I was blessed to have in my life. I was 13 years old when I met Teddy; he was in an abusive situation and I knew that I had to take him in. From that day forward, Teddy and I were inseparable and trusted each other in a remarkable way. He worked so hard to please me and it was evident by anyone watching us together. As sad as I am to have lost him, I am so thankful for all the incredible memories we shared and those will never go away. Teddy was an amazing horse that will forever be in my heart.

There are truly no words that could express my thankfulness to Melissa and Jason. They treated Teddy as if he was their own horse, going out of their way to make him comfortable in every possible way for his last few years. There is no place in the world that Teddy would have been happier and I will be forever thankful. Melissa and Jason are incredible people who have created an amazing farm that is clearly a reflection of how wonderful they are. Thank you both so much for taking such good care of my Teddy, we will never forget all that you have done for him.

Wendy Scribner said...

I am Teddy's grandma. We have been lucky to have had a great many wonderful horses that came to us and lived on our farm. Wonderful and amazing horses that we will always cherish and remember. However, Teddy was different. He and Ellie attached themselves to one another immediately. He trusted her completely in all his shyness and had a heart of gold. He performed and tried so hard for her and they were a wonderful and loving team for many years. Ellie chose to send Teddy down to Melissa and Jason's farm so he could be in a warmer climate to help his stiffness in the cold. She always put Teddy first and always did what was best for him. I know how sad she was when she sent him down there because she did not have him as a daily part of her life. Teddy thrived and found horsey friends instead of his favored human companion, Ellie. I am proud of Ellie for making such a good decision that was, again, what was best for Teddy. Thank you Jason and Melissa for your kindness - it will always be appreciated and remembered.