Sunday, February 21, 2010

Remembering my Skippa Little Lyle

You aren't going to believe this any more than I am able to. My buddy Lyle is gone.



The last 48 hours are still pretty much a blur, so I'm going to try to recap the events chronologically, for those of you who want to know what happened, and for me, so that maybe I might finally believe it by the time I get to the present.

Friday
6:50 a.m.
Went out to feed. Watched Lyle lay down instead of follow me to the feed room. Uh-oh. Moved him to a pen and fed everybody else.

7:10
Lyle was laying down, then getting back up, laying down, getting back up. Got a shot of banamine in him and moved him to the round pen where he would have more room.

7:40
Banamine having no effect. Got through to on-call vet. She said to give him another dose. If there was no improvement by 8:30, he would need to be examined.

7:45
Hooked up horse trailer just in case. Watched Lyle still laying down/getting back up. Gave thanks to weather gods that sun was out and road to highway was passable.

8:00
Lyle poops! A good sign.

8:30
Called vet and said we were coming in and should be there by 11. But how do I trailer a horse who wants to keep laying down? "Don't tie him...if he needs to go down, he will," she said.

8:45
Lyle's loaded and we're on our way.

9:20
Made it out to the highway in record time. Gave thanks to county road crew for grading road a few days earlier. Stop to check on Lyle - he's still standing.

10:45
Arrive at Albuquerque Equine Clinic. Lyle's still standing. Unload him and he immediately tries to go down. The vet and her techs move into action.

11:00
Initial exam report: sizable impaction, dehydrated, heart rate normal, temp normal. Since impaction is preventing ingested feed from passing out the back end, Lyle's stomach is full and causing him great discomfort. Vet places 10-foot-long tube up his nose and down into his stomach to suction out the contents. Since horses can't vomit, the tubing process allows the vet to "vomit for him." Not the prettiest explanation but one I understood. Vet pumps out three pail's worth of Lyle's stomach contents and tech takes them outside to fertilize tree in parking lot. We all agree that the tree will grow great this spring. Levity is very important in times like these.

11:30
Blood is drawn for a CBC. Tech beautifully braids Lyle's mane to keep it out of the way. Vet places a cathether in his neck. Countless liters of fluids are administered into his vein to rehydrate him, get his gut moving again, and try to soften the impaction. Vet shaves off some strategic spots of Lyle's winter coat to get clearer pictures during the ultrasound exam. I watch the monitor over her shoulder as she looks inside Lyle's abdomen and explains to me what she's seeing. I've not had the chance to work with this vet before and keep saying to myself, "damn, she's good." She's thorough, understanding, and really really smart. Lyle's in good hands.

12:30 p.m.
I walk Lyle to an outside pen; he doesn't seem to be in pain. Blood work comes back and the vet explains that the numbers look pretty good. The plan is to pump his stomach out and give him more fluids at 2:30. Lyle stands quietly in the pen. He's not interested in drinking any water, but at least he's not restless and trying to lay down.

2:30
More stomach pumping and more IV fluids.

4:15
I take Lyle for a 15-minute walk around the parking lot to see if we can help get his gut moving. He seems to be alert and not in any pain.

4:30
Vet explains the plan for the next 16 hours – she will repeat the stomach pumping/IV fluid treatment again at 6:30, then throughout the night as necessary. I'll go home and take care of the rest of the herd, then come back Saturday morning. She'll call me if anything changes, but if I don't hear from her, no news is good news.

6:45
I arrive home. Hank meets me at the gate, calling for Lyle. He doesn't seem to understand my explanation of why I didn't bring Lyle home. There's a message on the answering machine. The vet thinks Lyle's impaction might be softening up, based on the latest rectal exam. She also said he got really mad when she did it, which she took as a good sign.

9:30
I lay in bed hearing Hank call out to Lyle every 5 minutes or so. I hear him gallop to the corner of the ranch nearest the road, then gallop back to the barn. It's going to be a long night for all of us.

Saturday
6:30 a.m.
I leave for Albuquerque - the clinic will open at 8:30.

8:20 a.m.
Arrive at the clinic. Lyle is inside being worked on by our regular vet. He tells me that things have changed. Lyle's colon is moving and working and doing what it's supposed to do - the impaction has cleared. But something else is going on because Lyle's stomach isn't working - the vet is still pumping out pails of foul-smelling stuff. And the protein levels in his blood are sky high. Yesterday's colic was caused by the impaction, but the impaction was caused by something else. Now we've got to find the "something else." He shaves more of Lyle's left side. The ultrasound exam shows the large and small intestines working, but the stomach is very distended. He shaves more of Lyle's right side. We can see Lyle's stomach from this side, too ... but that's not normal. As he moves the ultrasound further up toward Lyle's head, he sees something that doesn't belong there, something at the front of Lyle's stomach. The something is pressing down on the stomach, preventing it from functioning normally.

10:30
The vet fires up a program on his computer called "The Glass Horse" - it shows sort of an animated view of what we've been looking at on the ultrasound. Even if I'm powerless to do anything to help Lyle, I understand what's going on and say a prayer of thanks for having the best vet on the planet.

We talk about what the something could be: an abcess, a mass of some kind, an enterolith, a tumor. We review Lyle's recent history again, the grumpy attitude that came on so suddenly in November that we've been trying to get to the bottom of. We talk about options.

11:00
The vet does an abdominal tap, drawing out fluid that he can examine under his microscope. The results are inconclusive.

11:30
We talk about what we could try next: if the mass is an abcess, antibiotics might shrink it...over time. But we don't have time – Lyle's stomach isn't working. We could do an endoscopy, sending a camera down in to his stomach to see if we can find anything abnormal, but the mass appears to be on the outside of his stomach. We talk about Lyle's chances.

11:40
I take a walk to think things over, but I already know what has to be done – I just have to come to grips with it.

11:45
I tell the vet that we're going to stop treatment. I take Lyle for a long walk, then let the vet know we're ready. The vet asks if I want to be with Lyle when he gives the injection and I say yes. I did not stay with Lyle's mom when she was euthanized, a selfish decision I've always regretted.

12:20 pm
Lyle's heart stops beating.

1:00
The vet asks my permission to examine Lyle's body - he would like to see what the mass was. I tell him of course.

4:00
I pull up to the gate with the empty horse trailer in tow, and Hank is certain I've brought Lyle home. I didn't think I had any tears left. Wrong.

5:30
Chores are done and I sit down to go through this blog, reading every story I've posted about Lyle and smiling at the pictures. I've never been so grateful for being a blogger.

Sunday
7 a.m.
Hank keeps looking out toward the road; I wonder how long it will be before he stops waiting for Lyle to come home.

11 a.m.
The vet calls. "If you had any doubt, you did the right thing." The mass was about the size of a softball, attached to the exterior of Lyle's stomach - a lympho sarcoma. He told me that the body - human or animal - throws off cancer cells all the time and the normal immune system – the t cell function – kills them off. For whatever reason, Lyle's immune system allowed them to grow.

2:30 p.m.
Hank, George and Alan are huddled together next to the tree in the corral. I've gone out to join them many times today and will head back out there now. We'll get through this together.

205 comments:

  1. No, no, no!!! Linda, I am trying to type this through a flood of tears. I am so very sorry for your loss. My heart is breaking for you and the boys and I pray that you find a sense of peace, somehow...some way.

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  2. Jenny in MN2/21/10, 3:13 PM

    Oh, I am SO sorry for your loss! Lyle was so lucky to have you in his life and thank you for sharing your journey with us even though this is heartbreaking!

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  3. Oh Linda, I'm so sorry for your loss. I was worried for you and the guys when you didn't post. My deepest sympathies to you for your loss.
    George & Alan Fan

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  4. I am crying as I read this. I am so sorry for all of you that this terrible thing had to happen to Lyle. The only thing I can offer you is the knowledge that Lyle was loved and cared for in the best possible way his entire life. He was loved and he gave love. RIP lovely Hank.

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  5. My heart froze when I saw the title to this post. So sorry for your loss, this is my worst nightmare having to make that decision. My thoughts and love are with you, Hank and the rest of the gang.

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  6. It is with tears streaming down my face as I read about your beloved Lyle. I am so very sorry to hear about your loss. You were very brave to stay with him during his last moments. I know how hard that can be, as when our beloved corgi was put to sleep we just could not bring ourselves to stay with the vet. Lyle will be very missed. Thank you very much for sharing him with us.

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  7. so sorry about Lyle... my heart goes out to you. have loved visiting your blog about over the past year and reading about your darling animals. How sad. we'll all miss him

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  8. I'm so sorry. There are no words. Thank you for sharing him with us.

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  9. I've just cried along with you. You gave him the absolute best home he could have and you made the right decision when it was needed. Bless you during this tough time.

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  10. Oh Linda I am so so very sorry for your loss. I know how much Lyle meant to you and your family. He will be greatly missed, not only by you, but by all of us who have grown to love him through your words and pictures. Peace will come.

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  11. Oh Carson, I am so sorry to read this. I was worried something was wrong when your blog was not updated for a couple of days. I am so so sorry.

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  12. Oh, Linda...there are no words to express how sorry I am.

    It is almost exactly the same thing that I went through with my "Al":

    http://www.aunt-em.com/Em-Al.JPG

    *tears* I had to stay home on the Monday following that horrible Friday night to be with him when he was euthanized. We had been able to keep him comfortable and say our goodbyes on the weekend. His regular vet, hubby and daughter were there, and I have always felt selfish about staying away. Tiger called out for him for many days later. It was lymphosarcoma too.

    This is such a sad time for me to say hello, so I will just tell you how precious your site has become to me and leave it at that.

    Thank you for being willing to share with the world.
    ~Em~

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  13. Delurking to say I am so so sorry.

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  14. Oh, no! That is so sad. At least you were able to be with him, and to find out the cause, not that that makes the loss any easier to take. My deepest sympathies.

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  15. Dear Linda, this is too sad for words. Can't help the tears here, knowing what you and Hank, in his way, is going through right now. The last days must have been tough, and I wish for you to get some rest and find peace in knowing you did what you could. The beautiful Lyle lived the best life with you. Will miss him.

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  16. My heart goes out to you-all of you.

    I visit you and your herd everyday, though I rarely comment.

    Thanks for being faithful in sharing the good with us as well as the heartrending - I'm sure all of us who enjoy reading about the 7MSN will miss Lyle as I will.

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  17. Carson, I am so, so sorry and am in tears over reading what's been happening at 7MSN. I can only say that you are in my thoughts and prayers and it's good to hear that good memories and your blog are going to help you through this.

    Poor Hank, this is really going to be rough on him, but with the love of his mom and George and Alan, he'll do ok too.

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  18. Oh Linda, I am so, so sorry. I lost my gelding last May in a very similar story - strangulating lipomas essentially cut off the blood supply to his small intestine. I know this must be unbelievably painful for you and the gang right now - my heart is breaking for you. My thoughts and prayers will be with you all.

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  19. thank you. so sorry.

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  20. Oh no. Oh Carson, I'm so sorry. The tears are flowing here, and I so wish ...

    That everything was okay.

    I'm sorry, thank you for sharing Lyle with us in blog land. Our hearts are with you. And our tears too.

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  21. I am sorry you had to go thru this. I had to let go of my horse three weeks ago due to an injury. I have only been reading your site for a couple weeks but he had an excellent life from your post.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Natalie from KY

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  22. I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my horse this past October to un-explainable colic and I wasn't there when he passed. You and your herd will be in my thoughts.

    Alecia in Alabama

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  23. Dear Linda, I come here everyday, of course, Lyle was a central character to your blog. Um, just terribly sorry he is gone. Wish I had the words to help you feel better, just know that I'm thinking about you and everybody there.

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  24. I am so so sorry to hear this. (((hugs)))

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  25. Oh Linda, my heart is breaking for you and Hank. Life just isn't fair and so hard to understand.

    Goodness knows I've been there before with my own animals but it's just never any easier. We love these 4 legged family members of ours like they are our children.

    Sending you a big hug. I'm so glad you are certain you did the right thing. It would be even worse to always wonder.

    Such a sad day.

    Sharon

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  26. Oh, Sweetie........I'm sooooo sorry. Please find a little comfort in knowing what a good home and life you gave him while he was on this earth. Our animals are our family and dearest friends, and for many of us they're our kids. Hang in there!

    ~Curious Calmity in Idaho

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  27. I am sitting here crying with you and for you. One time I told my husband putting down our dog was as bad as losing a child. My heart goes out to you. And yes, you did do the right thing.

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  28. I am so sorry. Been there. It's never easy and it just hurts. My thoughts are with you and your four leggers. Hang in there.

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  29. Linda, words cannot express how sorry I am. With tears running down my face, my heart is breaking right along with yours. May God bless your sweet Lyle and watch over you and the rest of your animal family.

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  30. Oh I am so sorry to hear about Lyle. Words escape me at the moment but the tears flowing down my cheeks for you are real.

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  31. I am so sorry. It is so hard to let them go. We love our animals so much. They are so much a part of our lives. I am always a little comforted by knowing they felt the love and respect I had for them. He was loved.Brenda

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  32. I'm so so terribly sorry.

    I lost one of my cats recently and its just so difficult. The worst thing about loving an animal is eventually losing them.

    I've enjoyed reading your blog and I feel like I've come to know each of your animals- at least a bit. Lyle will be missed by many.

    I hope the rest of your herd gives you comfort in the coming days.

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  33. My sympathies to you, Alan, George and Hank......

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  34. I'm crying right along with everyone else.
    I'm so very sorry for your loss. I wish there was something you could do to explain it to Hank. That has to be the hardest part.
    Hugs to you and your 4-legged for the days and weeks to come. Prayers for peace in your heart despite the pain.

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  35. Deepest deepest sympathy to you.
    There's going to be a Lyle-shaped hole there for quite a while...
    I am so sad for you and for the rest of the gang.

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  36. You don't know me and I don't know you but I love you all and think you all are so great! I am so sorry for your loss and I just wanted to tell you a little bit of what you sharing Lyle meant to just one person.....

    I picked Lyle as my new best friend a few months ago, I was going through a rough time and for some reason he spoke to me through this blog...I know, I know take my meds on time, but really, something about his eyes made me smile.

    I have been terrified of horse most of my life after having been thrown when I was little, but Lyle gave me the courage to ride in the back of an open carriage for $5 a ride. It was a thrill for me and now other things have slowly been getting better and I am not so terrified anymore of a lot of things.

    I think I'll keep Lyle as my new best friend either way. "Ain't no sunshine when he's gone"

    If you need me please write...

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  37. Oh LInda. I am so sorry for your and everyone's loss at the 7MSN ranch. My deepest sympathy.

    Maria

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  38. I am in shock! I am so very sorry! Heart broken! You and all your critters are in my prayers!

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  39. Linda, I am sorry you lost Lyle. My prayers go out to you and the gang. You made the right decision not to let Lyle suffer but it sure it hard on the humans.

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  40. I noticed the title to this post a few hours ago but avoided it until I was alone and could let the tears flow without interruption.
    Linda...I am so, so sorry. I can hardly believe it. Oh no. Oh no. Oh no. Not Lyle.
    Yet...I am grateful you recognized something was wrong and acted on it immediately, you were by his side, you had the best vet on the planet, you kept going until you understood what was going on. And then, you stood by your horse and gave him back. I know what that took.
    You have done all the right things, most especially in loving him.
    Holding you and Lyle and all your loved ones in the Light...
    Diane

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  41. Linda, Hank, Alan & George...
    I'm so sad. Thinking of you all with love.
    judi

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  42. Linda, I am so, so sorry for your loss. There really aren't any other or better words than that.

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  43. Linda,
    My heart goes out to you, Linda. You are a very strong, compassionate woman, I can't imagine what this has been like for you.

    You journey with Lyle has been beautiful, thank you for sharing.

    Sending you harmony and hugs.
    Janet

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  44. you have my sympathies. it's always tough to say goodbye to furry friends.

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  45. Sandy Keech NC2/21/10, 5:39 PM

    Oh, Linda...I don't even have words to tell you how sorry I am. Now I must go back and reread all of the post you did on Lyle as well. With your wonderful writing and gorgeous photos we all feel like Lyle is a part of our family too. My heart is just breaking for you and the guys. I feel like I should say more but just can’t find the words…again, I am so sorry!

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  46. I'm so very sorry : ( Will keep you in my thoughts and prayers during your time of great loss.

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  47. There are simply no words to convey my sadness for your loss, Linda..your love and devotion for Lyle was a constant at this blog...............life without him seems impossible.............oh, poor Hank, so not understanding , and the others, too. All we can do as your blogger friends is tell you how he captured our hearts through your telling of him ..........he could not have been more loved and tenderly cared for........that is your gift to him

    RIP, you beautiful long lashed boy :(

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  48. I've had several surgeries for caught intestines and blockages -- it sounded so familiar to me -- you had a wonderful vet helping you make that difficult decision. I'm so sorry you lost him.

    Thank you for your sharing your love with us. Angels watch over all of you. Bless you.

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  49. My heart goes out to you. I am so sorry about your loss. I could not believe the first line I read when I opened your site. I can't think of anything tougher to do than to have to put down one of your best buds. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.

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  50. I'm so sorry to hear of Lyle's passing -- I hoped nothing was wrong when I visited yesterday - I enjoyed his stories and the gang - and I wish you fond memories - take care and know I'm thinking of you --

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  51. I am so very sorry for your loss. I hope that, with time, the memories of good times will bring you peace. Hugs to all the critters, too!

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  52. Oh, Linda, I am so sorry.

    I knew something had to be going on when your usual Saturday and Sunday blogs didn't post, but I hoped it was a good something.

    We all here at November Hill send our biggest hugs and some tears. And all the good energy we can muster. Take good care. It's hard to think there's a better place than 7MSN, but there is, and Lyle is there.

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  53. That is horrible and so shocking. I know how awful you feel and it just adds to it knowing Hank's pain. I hope you can get him another companion soon. It won't end his missing Lyle though. I am just so sorry :(

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  54. Oh honey. Tears are steaming down my face. I couldn't read all the comments. I am heartbroken for you. You did the right thing. I know it was hard, but it was the right thing. I am so sorry. So very, very sorry. Damn, country life is hard sometimes. Really, really hard. I am so sorry. (((hugs)))

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  55. One look at the title and my heart sank, and with tears I read your story. We will miss Lyle and his mischievous ways.

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  56. Everyone feels the same - there are no words right now. You are so very courageous, my dear little sister, to share this tragedy with us all. In doing so, you should know that you (and the rest of the herd) will -- I repeat, YOU ALL WILL -- find comfort in the thoughts, prayers, and love we send you right now.

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  57. I'm so very sorry for you and the whole herd. Lyle will truly be missed. He was so very lucky to have you in his life, and he brought you so many gifts.

    He will be in your heart forever and you will see him again one day~~

    ((Hugs))

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  58. I don't know how doing the very best you can for your guys can ultimately be so painful. I'm sending the best thoughts, understanding how much you hurt.

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  59. I'm so sorry. This touched my heart because I had to make this same decision about 8 months ago.

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  60. Oh Linda, I am so, so sorry.
    Sending you and your crew much love,
    Kathleen

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  61. Very sorry for your loss.

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  62. I am so sorry for your loss. Your blog and animal family have brought so much joy to me (and countless others) over the years. It is only fitting that we now cry with you. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this exceedingly difficult time.

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  63. The one comfort in all of this is that Lyle knew you loved him - and he loved you back with the unconditional love only animals can give. I am so sorry for your loss. Big hugs for you and Hank.

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  64. Just heartbreaking. I am so sorry for your loss.

    - Sarah Morgan

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  65. Linda, I read this blog every day, but have never commented before. I am so very sorry for your loss. Lyle was a beautiful horse, and you gave him a wonderful life.

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  66. I'm so sorry. Sending much love to you and your crew.

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  67. I've been an avid reader for over a year now and absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE all your posts and pics with your barnyard gang. My heart goes out to you and the boys, it's a loss felt far and wide.

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  68. Linda, please accept my deepest sympathy for the loss of your beloved Lyle. Every post and photo on your blog shows the love and care you give your four-leggeds, family and friends. Lyle's short life was surely blessed for being in your company. Diana in Maryland

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  69. Linda - I can't express how sad I was to read your post about your sweet Lyle. The more I read, the harder I sobbed. I went and looked at his baby pic and other posts. I've never met you or your wonderful animals, but I sure feel like I know you and them. My heart goes out to you and I'm sending positive healing energy for all of you at the 7MSN.
    Bridget

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  70. You're an awesome Mom for your brood. Thanks for sharing Lyle with us all of his life. Take Care! Kay in Central Texas

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  71. I was wondering if something was going on also and I'm so sorry it had to be this. I'm sitting here bawling with everyone else. He was a wonderful boy who had a great and happy life with you. Sending my most sincere condolences. Wendy

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  72. Linda, I'm in shock. This farmgirl in Oregon is shedding tears for a beautiful boy she never met but felt she knew so well. My heart aches for you and Hank and George and Alan and all the critters at 7MSN. I wish I could run right over to your house and make sure you all are doing ok. Sending you hugs from afar, your friend, danni

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  73. Linda I know there aren't really any words to share to help you through this. I am so sorry for your loss.

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  74. You and your crew are my bright spot every single day. I am just heartbroken. It's unfair that such a "happy place" should have to suffer such sadness. Please know that I, like many others - are thinking of you during this very difficult time.

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  75. Absolutely heartbreaking! I am so sorry.

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  76. I am so sorry for your loss. Lyle was a great character and we'll all miss him very much. Please know you're in my thoughts.

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  77. If I was a horse, I’d want you as my human. You sound like the best horse (and burro, cat, dog, pig, goat) mommy ever. I am so, so sorry to hear about Lyle. :(

    Kendra

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  78. Oh Carson, I'm so sorry to hear this. I just got home and saw this very sad news. These things happen so fast it's hard to believe the reality of it all sometimes. I'm afraid it will take Hank some time to come to grips with losing his friend. I know from personal experience that the tears will come for many months yet but so will the good memories.

    Try to think of Lyle galloping with his mama through open meadows and drinking from clear mountain springs and not being in pain anymore. My best wishes to you and all the gang at the ranch. I'll be thinking of you, Hank and the burro boys and sending you good thoughts.

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  79. Oh Linda I am so so so saddened and sorry for your loss. He seemed like such a character and I have enjoyed every photo and story of him. You are simply the best Mom to your critters and I will keep you all in my prayers. My heart goes out to you.

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  80. Oh Man! When things go south they go south in a hurry. What a hard decision to have to make like that. I know how hard it is- I've lost more than my share of horses- but when you say yes you always have a tiny bit of doubt. After the autopsy that little voice should be at rest- you did the right thing for your Lyle.
    God Bless you all,

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  81. I am so, so sorry. If this shocked me and made me cry, I can't imagine how you've been feeling. Give your boys extra hugs, and hang in there.

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  82. Please accept our deepest sympathies for the loss of Lyle. We have greatly enjoyed reading about him and seeing his beautiful pictures. Your herd has many fans and Lyle will be missed.

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  83. Carlyce in WI2/21/10, 8:19 PM

    Linda, I am so sorry for your loss. My heart aches for you, but you can take comfort in knowing you did what was the very best for him. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. So sad.

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  84. I was so so sad to read about Lyle. You are the best mom he ever could have hoped for and you did everything that you could for him even though it is unthinkably difficult.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers

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  85. I didn't read through all the comments but I know that there's nothing I can say that hasn't already been said. My thoughts are with you and the rest of the 7MSN crew.

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  86. oh no. i am so sorry for your loss :-( i know just how hard it is. but he had a great life with you and i'm glad you were able to be with him at the end. i'll be thinking of you and the rest of your herd (give hank a hug from me) and wishing you many happy memories of a very special friend.

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  87. I'm so sad for your loss! Lyle was a beautiful boy and all your blog friends will miss him along with you. I hope you are doing okay!

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  88. Oh my gosh I am so incredibly sorry. I know what it is like to lose a horse to colic. My old precious girl Naigen died a little over a year ago and I had to make the decision to euthanise her. Having to put a pet to sleep is the loneliest feeling in the whole entire world.

    I do custom horse hair jewelry. If you have any of lyles tail hair I will make you something at a greatly discounted rate. Most of my commissions are horses that have passed and their owners want to remember them with something they can wear.

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  89. I have come out of lurking to send you my sympathy. I am so sorry for your loss of your sweet boy. I have enjoyed your blogging about him.

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  90. Oh, no. I am so sorry that all of you have lost your beloved Lyle. Such a heart-wrenching ordeal. I know no words can make the pain and sadness go away, but we are certainly thinking about you. Lyle provided so many smiles - thank you for sharing him with us.

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  91. I know I wasn't the only one worried at the silence on your blog the last couple of days, and now--this. Just know that it's as though you have a great big family out here sending hugs and best thoughts your way. Take care of your boys and I know they will take care of you, too.

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  92. I'm so sorry to read this about Lyle, 7MSN. My heart goes out to his buddy, Hank and you. Lyle was blessed to have lived his life at your ranch. He was loved!

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  93. So sorry to hear of your loss. My daughter has had to make this same decision with their colicky quarter horse. She reads your blog, but had not seen this post. And she is not able to read it, now that she knows what happened. You give us all such great pleasure with your pictures and words through your pets... I hope that you will receive some comfort from our words to you.

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  94. Our deepest sympathy to you and the rest of the crew on your loss. I am so sorry.

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  95. I knew something was wrong when your blog was unchanged from Friday until now......I am so sorry for your loss of your horse. I am glad you were able to get out to the vet.

    Take care

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  96. I'm so incredibly sorry to hear about Lyle. I've sat here for a while now trying to think of the perfect thing to say, and words are failing me. Thank you for all of the wonderful stories and pictures you've shared over the years.

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  97. Ah, Linda, I am so, so sorry! Thinking of you.

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  98. My deepest condolences. Lyle was a very special horse, and an Internet Superstar. He will be deeply missed by us all.
    Big hug to you tonight lady. What a really tough day.

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  99. A sad day indeed. I'm very sorry

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  100. I am so sorry. Lyle was very special and he had a special family in you, Hank and all the others at the 7MSN. There is a poem that has helped me..
    Somewhere in time's own space,
    There must be some sweet pastured place
    Where creeks sing on and tall trees grow,
    Some paradise where horses go,
    For by the love that guides my pen,
    I know great horses live again. Stanley Harrison

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  101. So sorry... you took great care of him, right untill the end. And you shared him with us, through his antics and pictures. Thank you for that. Take care

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  102. There are no words other than I am so sorry, losing a family member like this is just horrific, but Lyle was an incredibly lucky boy that he had you as his special person. Thank you for sharing him with us.
    Jan in Oz

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  103. I have been through the range of emotions about my horse the past few days, dealing with his lameness and overall "not himself" attitude. As an over-anxious horse owner, worst case scenarios keep popping into my head. Today, I read your post, and another about a horse with laminitis that has to be euthanized soon, that just brought me to tears. A reminder to enjoy our time with these amazing animals because sometimes God choses to take them from us earlier than we hoped.
    My warmest thoughts and prayers are with you, Linda. Lyle was blessed to have you as his horse mom. I will miss his big white face in all of your beautiful photos.

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  104. I am so sorry you lost your precious Lyle. I can't even imagine the heartache you are feeling. Thinking of you. HUGS.

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  105. I'm so so sorry to hear about this and for your loss of Lyle. He was such a character and I loved reading about his antics. At least you know you did the right thing for him.

    Hugs,
    DJ

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  106. Celeste Coetzee2/22/10, 3:20 AM

    Oh Linda, I am so very, very sorry. I cannot beleive that he is gone. I pray that you and the "family" get through this ok. Be strong Linda and buddy Hank.

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  107. Linda - My heart is with you. How brave you've been to have to make these decisions alone. Sending my love to you and Hank and all my other friends as 7MSN.

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  108. I am so sorry for you, so glad that you were able to give him an easy way out. It is such a hard burden to bear, though.

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  109. I am so sorry for your loss. Please give all the guys a big hug and kiss for me, and one for you too.

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  110. My heart skipped a bit when I read the title. I am so sorry for your loss. Staying whit your animal till the very end is the ultimate act of love. No matter how hard it is, we owe it to them. Not staying with them is a selfish act... because that is when our loved animal needs us the most. You will never stop missing him but you can find comfort in the fact that he was loved from the day he was born.

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  111. So utterly sorry and devastated, myself. I am impressed with your "in tune-ness" that you recognized last fall that he wasn't himself. Glad you could get him pain relief and vet care when it counted the most. Glad you weren't stranded with him in agony. You did all the right things. Glad Hank doesn't have to be completely alone. So, so sorry. Thanks for sharing Lyle with us.

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  112. Writing through tears.......I'm so sorry. Hank will be missed by his friends in the corral, you and so many of us out here in the "other" world. Good bye, Hank. I will miss you.

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  113. While I was blowing my nose, I typed Hank.......sorry. Lyle, your passing has gotten me all mixed up here. Good bye Lyle, I will miss you.

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  114. Ohh my. I am crying for you. I know how it feels to lose one of your babies. I lost a little mare when she was 3 and it was proba bly the hardest things I had gone through. I know you are a strong woman, and you will be ok. My prayers are with you.
    Stephanie
    Indiana

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  115. stephen in santa fe2/22/10, 6:23 AM

    Sending you love and light.

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  116. When I read the subject of this post, I hoped so much that you were joking. That today was somehow the beginning of April, and you were pulling our legs.

    But it's not.

    My heart goes out to you and your herd. May Lyle rest in peace, and find greener pastures wherever he is.

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  117. So sorry to hear about Lyle. Big hugs to you and your herd from a lurker in NY.

    -Mae

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  118. I am so sorry for your loss. My eyes are full of tears for this beautiful horse and for your family. You did the right thing, but I'm sure that doesn't help right now. I will be adding you and your "family" to my prayers.

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  119. I am so very sorry! There really aren't words. You and yours are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  120. I read this last night not believing what happened. I didn't comment because I was in shock. I woke up this morning and thought I had dreamed what had happened to your sweet boy. Then I re-read your entry this morning and it just stunned me. No words. Just hugs and prayers to you my wonderful blogger friend! I hope you are okay.
    Thinking of you from MI.
    Amy

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  121. I am so very sorry to hear this news. Reading about your adventures with the herd has become part of my morning ritual and it always brightens my day.

    From all the other comments, it looks like there is a lot of love being sent your way. Lyle will be missed!

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  122. I'm so sorry. This is heartbreaking for all of us.

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  123. I was so worried when you didn't post over the weekend. I'm so sorry for your loss.I went thru the exact same thing 10 yr ago and it isn't easy. Hang in there and they do have grief counseling for lost pets.

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  124. "Grieve not,
    nor speak of me with tears
    but laugh and talk of me
    as if I were beside you...
    I loved you so -
    'twas Heaven here with you"
    - J. P. Richardson

    Lyle was special and was blessed to have been part of such a loving home.
    I am so sorry for your loss.

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  125. I am so very sorry for all of you at the ranch. Our hearts break when we have to say goodbye to one of our sweet family members. I know there are some of us on this planet who accept our "job" as "keepers of the animals" and sadly, with the joy also comes the sadness. I am sure Lyle is romping and playing as he did when he was a young colt....I imagine he is spending time with some of mine who are doing the same thing.

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  126. I've been lurking on this site for months and never posted before but felt I must today to say how very sorry I am! My heart is broken for you all! I always loved hearing about Lyle and his cute personality. Of course, I don't know y'all personally, but I feel like I do through the magic of this internet. Each morning when I get to work here in NYC I stop by MSN Ranch with my coffee in hand to visit for a while. {{hugs}} to you all.

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  127. Linda, I am so sorry. One of the hardest things about sharing our lives with animals is times like this, but compared with all the good things it is worth the pain. Lyle was so lucky to spend his time in your care, he will be fondly remembered and sadly missed.
    My thoughts are with you and the rest of the herd.

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  128. I came out of hiding to let you know I too am crying for your loss. My thoughts are with you and your confused herd. As you can tell from all the comments there are hundreds of people that care about you.

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  129. Linda, I am so sorry to hear the news about lovely Lyle. Ugh, how crushing. All of your animals clearly love you. I'm so sorry.

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  130. My husband and I have enjoyed your writing and your wonderful animals so very much.I know no words from strangers can take away the pain of losing your friend but we are truly sorry for your loss.And I cried too.Take care of yourself and your buddies and thank you for sharing them with us.

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  131. colleen from nc2/22/10, 8:10 AM

    Wow Linda I just don't know what to say. I am very sorry,some folks don't understand how close the horse human relationship can be.I thought it was Lyle, but I had to go back and look at the post of you taking him to a Ray Hunt clinic. I'm thinking Ray was there to meet him. My thoughts are with you. You can't even begin to know how many of us he made smile and that is a very good thing.

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  132. Nancy in NC2/22/10, 8:23 AM

    Oh Linda - I'm sitting here with tears running down my face. I'm so sorry about Lyle. My deepest sympathies go out to you and the rest of the herd. He will be missed by all of us.

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  133. I am so sorry. We are all crying with you. I want to thank you for letting us enjoy Lyle. He will be missed by us all.

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  134. I'm so very sorry for your loss - and ours. Hugs to you xoxo

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  135. Oh, Linda! There are no words. I'm so sorry.
    Barbara

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  136. Linda, I wish there was more I could do than say "I'm sorry". There really are no words. My heart aches for you and your entire herd.

    I'll be away for a while myself. My Dad went into the hospital and I got the call last night. They're gathering the family.

    Love to you,
    Carolynn

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  137. Oh my god. When I saw this on Billie's site, I couldn't believe my eyes. I am so sorry for your loss, what a horrible thing to happen. I can't even imagine that long drive home. Thank you so much for sharing Lyle with all of us during his time on Earth.

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  138. I am so sorry. What a shock.

    That diagnosis is devastating, even when you knew something was wrong, and to lose him so suddenly.....

    So sorry.

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  139. You have my deepest sympathies. I had to put 3 (elderly )horses down in the past 16 months and truly feel your pain. So sorry for your loss...I'm glad you were with him.

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  140. Oh this is just awful - I'm SO sorry, Linda. I add my good thoughts and prayers to all the other people here in the comments section, all of us who follow your blog and feel like we're a little part of your lovely family. We'll miss him, too.

    Christina / SVG

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  141. I can't say anything that hasn't been said better. My heart breaks for you all.

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  142. I'm so very sorry. I had a feeling something was wrong when I saw no new posts for a few days. I've checked your blog out each a.m. before starting my day. Cyber hugs and heartfelt prayers for you.

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  143. I am so sad for you...

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  144. Sorry for your loss! Sending prayers your and Hank's way.

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  145. This must be the hardest post you've ever written. We will all miss Lyle, but can't come close to your feelings of loss. And I know the boys will miss him terribly, and watch for him. I'm so sorry for what you're going through.

    Thank you for sharing this with us.

    Nancy in Iowa

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  146. When I read the title to this blog my heart sank. It has taken me four hours to read it. In between the tears have been flowing. Just couldn't read it all at once. I am so sorry. Hugs to all of you. Thank you for sharing Lyle with all of us.

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  147. So, so sorry. I was hoping you were off this weekend having a good time somewhere. This is sad news indeed.

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  148. Oh honey, I am so sorry.

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  149. I've been using the February masthead as my wallpaper for a while now. Lyle is just a little removed and behind George and Alan and Hank, peeking out sweetly.

    You have posted many wonderful pictures of them all. Routines will matter a lot for a while to get everybody through this hard time of loss. Fortunately, for a rancher woman the chores must be done. As sad as they all are, they will still need to be tended to.

    Didn't mean to post again but this picture has been such a nice change from the winter views out the windows.

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  150. So very sorry to hear of your loss. My heart goes out to you.
    Blessings...

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  151. Linda, I'm so very sorry. I'm bawling my eyes out reading this. I follow your blog everyday. I can't get over this. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless.
    Kimi

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  152. I'm so very sorry.

    Bless you for for making the right decisions for Lyle when he needed you.

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  153. A sweet photo of Lyle; he has the sweetest eyes.

    I'm so sorry for your loss.

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  154. My heart goes out to you as I type this through the tears. I know what you are going through as I had to a couple of years ago with my beloved, Buddy Morgan. They say time will help and I believe that, but I am still waiting for that time to come. God bless you and your other pals at the ranch.

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  155. I am so sad at your loss. I've been enjoying you blogg for a few months. All of your animals have been so great. My best wishes to all.

    Cathie - Traverse City, MI

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  156. We'd like to add our condolences to those of the others who's hearts are breaking. Just a few months ago we had to make the heartbreaking decision to have one of our beloved livestock guardian dogs euthanized and we chose to stay with her to the end. We wanted our faces that she knew to be the last thing she saw. We're so sorry for your loss. Ken and Mary Berry of FancyFibers Farm

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  157. Dear Linda: I am so sorry for your
    loss. It's hard to lose one of your family. I remember when I lost my paint mare "Banji" that was
    pregnant and she acted like she was
    colicing, but it turned out that she had a stomach ulcer. She ended up being put down and I cried
    everytime I got into the shower. Thank goodness you are a blogger and picture taker. Sorry.
    Badriverblonde

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  158. Oh Carson, I am so so overwhelmingly sad for all of you...I cannot imagine the grief you feel right now. My heart is just broken. We've gotten to know all of your crew over the years through your words and pictures and love them dearly...I am devastated for you.
    Sending you all a humongous hug and lots of love,
    Sue and the crew

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  159. Dear Linda ~
    I am so sorry to hear about Lyle.
    He will be missed terribly. I am writing this through my tears and just wanted to express my sympathy.
    Dot (in CA)

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  160. I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my beloved donkey, Emy in November and still feel the pangs of loss. To love an animal is so amazing and when we lose them it is so hard... hope you are comforted by wonderful memories.

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  161. Hello Linda,

    I'm so sorry to 'meet' you under such sad circumstances. I wish you lots of comfort from your remaining fur-babies in the weeks to come.

    Best wishes xx

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  162. Linda,
    I only started reading your blog about a week ago and it has become one of my favorites.
    Lyle was such a beautiful horse and know that he is in heaven with his mom. He is still with you every day that you carry him in your heart.
    I am so sorry for your loss, Linda. Please give Hank, George, Alan and your self a great big hug and a shoulder to cry on from me.

    ~Kristi

    P.S. You really have inspired me to be a blogger because you are right- The stories and the pictures are the best in times like these.

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  163. I wanted to add that because of your blog, we daily readers begin to feel like we know your animals too!....we are part of the extended family.... Your animals are now a part of our lives....Lyle will be missed by us all.

    Take care

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  164. I haven't read your blog in awhile-I am soo sorry for your loss. I always like to beleive that when we lose something or someone we love its God way of telling us that we have lots more love to give. I know you have alot of love in your heart stay strong.

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  165. 7MSN is a VERY important part of my daily cyber life and, judging from the tremendous response, there are many others like me. I am SO sorry that you've lost Lyle. Have faith that many 7MSN readers are thinking of you, including this one from Virginia.

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  166. I am weeping as I write. My sweet dog Nell came over to find out what is wrong. I'm going to hug my dog now and send the love across the miles to you.

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  167. Cattle Call Farm2/22/10, 4:06 PM

    Sorry for your loss.

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  168. I am so sorry for your loss!!! I will miss him as I so much enjoy reading about lyle and gang at 7MSN everyday..........
    signed
    Theresa in Alberta

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  169. I am so, so sorry. And proud of you for making the selfless decision to end his suffering. Not everyone can do that.

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  170. I'm sorry for your loss and for the trauma you've all been through and are going through. You and your family are in my prayers.

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  171. Oh no! I didn't know anything was wrong. I've not been checking blogs lately. My heart is so sad for you, Linda.I wish there was something I could do to ease your broken heart.

    I feel so lucky to have met and petted handsome Lyle. What a playfuy boy he was, always reaching out for things to entertain himself, like tools and the grooming bucket, anything his very dextrous lips could pick up. I really liked him, Linda.

    The 7MSN will not be the same without Lyle and his beautiful Maybelline lashes.

    He will be missed greatly by so many. You've given him such a special life and a lasting tribute with the hundreds of beautiful photos you've taken of him over the years, especially the photos you've shared on your blog. Thank you.

    I'm so very sorry for your loss, Linda.

    ((((Hugs))))

    ~Lisa

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  172. Hey Carson -
    I have always known that any animal in your care is a lucky lucky animal. I'm sorry about Lyle - he looked like quite a guy. I hope he knew how lucky he was. Take care of yourself.
    Sally

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  173. I am so very sorry to hear of Lyle's untimely death. The loss of such a beautiful horse, and such a huge part of your lives can't help but leave a huge hole for a long time. Please know that he was blessed for being able to share his life with you. He knew love and friendship, comfort and compassion. He had a good life with you. Bless you for treating him with dignity and respect and never leaving his side. Again, I am so sorry for your incredible loss. He was a beautiful horse.

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  174. I am so so sorry about Lyle. My heart hurts for you. You will be on my mind and in my heart.

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  175. I'm so so sorry for your loss. Lyle was beautiful and well loved, clearly. And the only thing we can do when we lose pets is remember that we gave them our hearts while they were here and they knew it. I hope you and Hank feel better soon. <>

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  176. so very very sorry. will keep you all in our prayers. I lost a beloved goat today myself. Animals are such gifts. thank you for sharing with us.

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  177. Words fail. There is just nothing to say at a time like this. But you did the brave and right thing. So many owners try to keep their pets and livestock alive past the point where anything can be done and to the point of excessive pain.

    Hank, Alan, George, Wynonna, Deets and Smooch will get you through this.

    My heart goes out to you.

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  178. S.Wells in Oklahoma2/22/10, 7:51 PM

    Linda, You did the right thing. I am so sorry for you and your little family.

    Thank you for sharing your life, Lyle's life, and his final days.

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  179. I'm terribly sorry to hear about the loss of your beautiful friend.

    My heart -- and the hearts of all the ponies in this herd -- go out to you.

    sj

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  180. I am so sorry. I will be thinking of you and the rest of your animals. Loosing an animal is always tough, especially when it is so sudden. I know from the photos on your blog that he had a wonderful life with you.

    Mary

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  181. So sorry for your loss. I have read your blog for a while and never commented before. Again so sorry for the loss of your wonderful friend

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  182. Ny Mother's terminally ill 14 year old standard poodle had to be euthanized on Sunday. It was a difficult decision but Mom knows it was the right one.
    I can't believe Lyle is gone, it was so sudden and unexpected. He was such a terrific horse and your photos and stories of him were very entertaining.
    My sympathies Linda, on the loss of your wonderful boy, Lyle.

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  183. Hi there. I haven't been reading your blog for long, but my heart goes out to you. I put my childhood mare to sleep in January; I got her for my 13th birthday. In her case, it was time, and we were prepared, but still it rips your heart out. Looking out into the back field tugs at your heart, since she's no longer there.

    In regards to Lyle, a few years ago I was present for the euth of a young, healthy gorgeous QH gelding. He began colicking in the early evening, and we gave him some banamine. While he remained uncomfortable, he passed bowels so we didn't think he was that bad. Well, several hours and several more doses of drugs we were at the vet clinic making the decision worst decision. After the euth, the vet offered to do an examination for us and we discovered his mesentery layer that suspends his intestines and twisted around itself, cutting off the blood flow to his intestines. He wasn't even my horse and yet I was a wreck for weeks. Looking back, like your Lyle, he had displayed behavioral problems that we couldn't pin point. He balked at going up hills and refused to drag bales. We thought he was just giving attitude but really he must have been in pain.

    I'm soo soo sorry for your loss. I know how much your heart is breaking. He is resting peacefully now.

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  184. While I don't know you or Lyle, I cried for you both. I pray you heal soon.

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  185. OMG... my heart just broke for you. Massive hugs over the waves... no words. Just hugs.
    BB

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  186. Oh, Linda, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your dear and beautiful friend Lyle. I know how much your heart is breaking and you are suffering... My profound sympathies.

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  187. Bless your heart. I know what it is like to lose your beloved buddy. I have yet to lose a horse this way but have recently lost my Annie to cancer. She was a fawn boxer and my best friend.

    It's just part of the deal. The deal we have as responsible owners. We have to do the right thing even if it hurts us so much. We have to do what is best for the ones we love.

    My heart goes out to you and yours.

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  188. Oh no! Oh no. I am so, so sorry for your loss.

    We are all feeling your pain and remembering how awful and lost you feel when you lose such a wonderful member of your family.

    Hank needs you just as much as you need him right now.

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  189. I'm so sorry for your loss. I can't imagine how you and Hank feel, knowing how hard it is to write this through tears.

    You are such a strong Mom and the boys are so lucky to have you. All the kitties and Smooch, too.

    You are one of four first stops on the computer when I first sign in. I felt like something was wrong when I didn't hear from you for a couple of days. And oh so wrong it was.

    Again, I'm so sorry for you all.

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  190. Linda,

    I am so sorry for your loss - I had wondered what was going on but lost the link to your blog. I have been on Facebook mostly - but anyway finally caught up to this God awful news. I am so sorry girl. (((HUGS)))

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  191. I'm old and I'm a guy. I'm not supposed to be bawling.

    But I am!!!!!!

    gramps

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  192. I hadn't been here in a while and was shocked to read the post above and so I had to read this one. I am sobbing. I send you all good loving thoughts, my dear. And HUGS. And much love & hugs to Hank and all the other dear dear animals in your family.
    Lyle was a 'Prince Of A Fellow'. May He Rest In Peace.

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  193. It all sounds really terrible. I'm really sorry for Lyle and for you and Hank. It's very sad. I'm so sorry.

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  194. I am so sorry that happened to all of you. Lyle was quite a clown and will be sadly missed. It all happened so fast. Allow yourself and poor Hank to mourn him as befitting one wonderful horse. So, so sad.

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  195. I am very very sorry for your loss. I have two horses and two dogs and dread the day that I lose one of them. My heart goes out to you and to the family, friends and animals who will miss your Lyle.

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