Beautiful though the sunset was, it was hard to leave the pen last night. I've known for some while that Poppy was in a decline. In the morning, she had not wanted to leave her stall, didn't want to move, period. Logistics and practicality dictated she should not die in the barn. Working alone, it would be nearly impossible to maneuver all 220-plus pounds over sills and around corners so I had to push and prod her outside. Poppy found a place in the sun to lie on soft grass. I went out any number of times during the day to check on her. Sometimes she was up, sometimes down, but never moved more than a few feet away. At bedtime, she was on her feet, eating grass, but did not want to come in. Just as well. Sheila was confused. She and Poppy have been roommates all their lives and have never spent a night apart. Finally, I put down a bowl of grain and left the playpen gate open so Pop could go under cover if she wished. Rubbing that oh-so-soft head, I told my old girl goodnight and goodbye.
This is how I will always think of Poppy (and Sheila), waiting for her special treat after barn chores. I've gone out several times this morning, starting at first light. Poppy is in the same place outside, down and not moving. I don't want to go down to the barn today.