I finished the second Anne sock last night, and passed it on to the chief grafter, who did her usual good job for me. I 'm pleased with the result, the stripes in the yarn seemed to almost match the sections of the pattern.
That was the only good news of yesterday though. My beautiful and special horse Connie was put to sleep yesterday morning. She had been diagnosed with laminitis two and a half weeks before, and given the standard treatment, foam pads to support the soles of her feet and relieve the pain. After 2 days seemed to be making progress and the pads were removed. The vet had warned me that big horses were more at risk of serious consequences, simply because of the weight carried on the front feet. I already knew it was a serious condition, but the horses I knew of had sore feet and needed careful management. When I looked for more information, I found a study which showed that around 80% of cases made a reasonable recovery. But 20% didn't. At that time I didn't know where Connie would end up. In the worst case scenario the membranes holding the hoof to the inner structures of the foot (the laminae) die, and the hoof can actually fall off.
Anyway, a few days later she was in pain again, so I increased her dose of painkillers, then when that didn't help got the vet out again. He put the foam pads back on her feet, and she was instantly more comfortable. Another vet visit and she looked ok, but the vet felt the pads should stay on a bit longer. So after 9 or 10 days with the pads, the vet came back on Wednesday to check her out. Both the vet and myself were shocked by what we saw. Instead of the soles of her feet making a depression on each side of the frog ( the central soft structure in the foot) they were actually bulging out. This indicated that the worst had happened and the internal structures were sinking, confirmed by depressions round the top of the hoof. She put the pads back on and arranged to come back on Friday. If the condition had stabilised there was a chance to help Connie, if it had got worse there was only one option. And I don't need to tell you which way it went. When the vet examined Connie's feet the depressions had got worse, and there was a section of hoof which had started to detach from the skin. As soon as I saw that I knew what was going to happen.
The vet was brilliant with me. She explained what she would have to do, left me with Connie for a while, then did her best to make it easy for us both. The end was swift and peaceful, Connie just lay down and went to sleep. It must be the worst thing I have had to do so far.
Fee came with me, and she was fantastic too. It would have been much worse without her there, even though at first I wanted to spare this experience. She told many of her online contacts what had happened, and all of them sent virtual hugs and support. Thank you all, it is wonderful to know that all of you, whereever you are in the world, care. Even those with problems of your own. I really appreciate your concern, and send the same back to those who need it.