Goodbye to Beezlee
1998-July 30, 2022
Yesterday between 2PM and 5:15 PM, Beezelee laid down in the main paddock, and passed away. There was no sign of struggle; no sweat marks, I had to get right up to her to believe she was gone. Kaz and Jedi stood about 150 feet away, Kaz looking at our girl, and Jedi confused, as these three are usually the first back for dinner. No sound at all. Everyone was subdued, and quietly went into their stalls for dinner. Kaz and Jedi and Pepe stopped at the head of the chute, at the start of the stall line, and outside Beezelee’s stall, looking back toward where she lay, but no one called for her. They knew as well as I that she was gone.
This morning, there was about 10 minutes when Pepe gave his querulous cries three times, in all different areas as he searched for her; and Kaz and Jedi ran back and forth from the stalline to the paddock, and back, and again. Jedi screamed once, but Kaz cried again and again. There was hopeless quality to it. We are always aware of death. Beezelee was one of a kind, and had so many friends during her tenure here. We are all aching with this loss..
Beezelee came to TGC in about 2015, with Charlie Tuck, also a reject from a therapeutic riding program. She took to the freedom here like a duck to water. She was always the best behaved girl, but her real joy came in being friends with other horses.
Biscuit loved her, although she might not have appreciated it the way she could. Pictures of their on-off friendship were lost in 2018 in my fire. I had a video, Ill try to upload it to the FB page because it won't load here.
CeCe and Beezelee sharing a hilltop view in the shade
Cece and she were inseparable for the 1.5 years CeCe was here - Huge black mare, and teeny white mare, they had an interesting relationship, as Beezelee served both as a motivator to keep severely foundered CeCe moving around, and also as CeCe’s protector.
When Daja was dumped at our gate, Beezelee attracted him first. Our vet at the time didn’t think it mattered if Daja was cryptorchid, as he would be sterile, so we’ve never confirmed it, but he did get his way with Beezelee, ONCE, and he was devoted to her to the end. (I’m guessing he wasn’t really all that, because efforts at a repeat performance were rudely rebuffed by Mrs. B.!)
Pepe is watching over his girl, Beezelee and Kaz behind him
Pepe Grillo was Beezelee’s long-distance caretaker – he couldn’t get past her other more possessive friends, but was always lingering close, and after I moved his stall to be next door, he spent an inordinate amount of time staring at her over the fence. I think he knew she was near the end yesterday, because during the morning hours, I heard him several times calling – he has a very distinctive little rough call he uses when searching for those he cares about. She was wandering as usual, so I’m wondering if he knew she was in some distress….
The Odd Couple, Calm mild Beezelee, and hothead Kamikaze
And her final friend, deeply devoted and inseparable as CeCe had been, Kamikazi “Kaz”. They were polar opposites in personality but besties – got their pedicures together; stood head to tail for fly control; came back at night ready for dinner together, and Kaz stood in her doorway until Beezelee walked out first in the morning. I always thought Beezelee was confused at the “Jedi factor” as he never really seemed to like her – but he loved Kaz so he trailed along behind the girls, and hoped they weren’t talking about him.
Cece Beezelee and Kaz
Beezelee's happy place, with her friends all around
There’s a real question about Beezelee’s age. The people who sent her here, without a penny of support despite her 10 years of service, told me she was 30. She looked fairly poor, being a little thin for her frame, her feet not trimmed, and her coat was dry and a little more brown than black, with a badly chewed looking tail and mane. Dr. Z never saw her professionally, but from a distance said 30 was possible, he could see she was quite arthritic in her hocks. The next vet I saw deferred to her vet tech, who thought Beezelee was maybe 20 (this was 5 years after she came in) when they did her float. But honestly, that was the vet tech, and the vet was one of the dumbest vets I’ve ever had to work with. Beezelee had always a very dignified manner, and showed the intense training she must have undergone to be a good therapy horse, and she still had a full mouth of teeth. In her time here, she gained a little weight, suitable for her heavy frame; and her mane and tail grew out thick and long, and this spring she gleamed in the sun, shiny and black as an oil slick. That kind of recovery is usually made by a younger horse. I think Beezelee was in the area of 26 when she passed, meaning 20 when she CAME IN. It’s sad that she got so little care that she was that arthritic and poor at 20, when she’d been earning not only her own living, but providing a service to handicapped people, for 10 years. And then, just tossed aside…
With her distinctive double star on her forehead, her black black hair coat, and fabulous think mane and tail, she was beautiful – the biggest head I ever had to deal with, and comparatively tiny feet. And as you’d guess, the times she looked right at me were few – her interest was other horses – but I always got direct eye contact if food was imminent,
and when she boogered up her ear, she looked right at me when I had to clean it. She didn’t resist TOO much, but man, that girl was strong. More than once, I was hanging off her head like a monkey. Luckily, I’m pretty large myself, and she’d put me down and give me the eye – get on with it then, I need to eat! That training I spoke of? I saw it every night as I approached her window with her bucket. She NEVER crowded the window but you would see her, head up, ears perked, eyes bright, just far enough inside that I could pour her pelleted feed into her bowl.
The only thing that could distract her from food - where are my friends?
In the end, I believe her heart gave out on her, as her gums were a deep definite blue. She had a slight heart murmur when she came in. Maybe, as is often the case, she got a new lease on life here at TGC, in the company of so many horses who obviously loved her. Maybe she got some good years, when if left in a stall, neglected, she would have laid down that last time much sooner. It really looked as though maybe she did lay down, and then just slipped away. If she couldn’t stay longer, I hope it was that easy for her.