Who remembers Who?
And although I didn’t plan to write about Who — the list on the kitchen table on which I jot notes about maybe column-fodder has a number of entries — a telephone call has made it necessary for those thoughts to wait.
I first wrote about Who in the Feb. 14, 2008, Farm and Dairy. Who was identified as an aged 30-ish Paso Fino stallion belonging to Judy Handwork of Springfield Township.
He had a unique history. He was an unbroken 12-year-old when he went to live with Judy who definitely has a way with animals and that was a good trait because Who had a mind of his own and habits acquired with a previous owner who paid him little attention.
In that earlier column I wrote, “He will not be tied up. He will not stay in a stall. The only time he was in a trailer, it took considerable effort to load him, and when he arrived at his destination he refused to come out except in his own good time.”
But he was a kindly soul at heart and he adored Judy who loved him back. He came when he was called, answering her on his way in.
Because of her physical limitations, Judy, a retired nurse, taught him to come to the back porch to be fed. He loved peaches more than anything. And when Judy asked him for a kiss, she got one.
However, Who had a unique problem. The winter was very cold and snowy, and because of a nerve injury a portion of his anatomy usually not visible was permanently exposed and it literally froze.
Dr. Doug Wiley of Lisbon Veterinary Clinic helped Judy treat this problem and Who was his usual cheerful self.
Fast-forward to early this year when Judy had a triple by-pass. Hospitalized and in therapy for months, she worried about Who, but neighbors assured her he was being taken care of.
Of course, there were no peaches, no back porch feedings, no kisses, and you may be sure Who missed Judy as much as she missed him.
He was in her prayers and her church lady friends were knitting colorful socks to protect his ailment.
With Judy unable to groom him even when she finally got home, he was very unkempt. On one of Dr. Wiley’s visits — Who also had developed a hoof problem which is not unusual in a 35-year-old horse — he was accompanied by Kristina Brown, a pre-veterinary student.
She felt so sorry for the old boy that she and Amanda Kibler, a first-year veterinary student at The Ohio State University, who was also riding with Doug and knew about Who, took it upon themselves to spend an entire day giving Who the spa treatment.
He emerged shining and beautiful and certainly more comfortable and did a few didoes to show his appreciation.
Judy’s daughter lives in Columbus and the weekend of Sept. 20 she went for a brief visit, planning to return Monday. Who would be well taken care of by her neighbors.
A shocking phone call while she was still in Columbus bore the sad news: on Sept. 22, Who had peacefully slept his life away in his very own pasture, a life he had lived on his own terms while knowing he was loved and safe.
Judy says she was actually uneasy about him before she left, and gave him some juicy fresh peaches and he kissed her juicily.
Heaven knows her heart has a huge hole in it with him gone from her sight, but Who will always be in her memory.