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My Brush With Death, March 19, 2021

Journal Entry March 16, 2021, noon

By the time the pet psychic I’d contacted e-mailed me back, she’d already had her session with Dewey and included the written transcript. Before I paid. How generous is that?

She sent back four pages of writing. Her format is that you submit a full body photo and a photo of the eye, along with three specific questions you want answered, and basic info about your pet. When I hire an animal communicator, I do not aim to test, trick, or trap. I told her: Dewey, male (gelding), 21, still living but I have an appointment to euthanize him on Friday, March 19, 2021.

My questions were: Are you ready to go? What can I do for you this week? Do you understand how much I love you and will miss you?

It’s too long to transcribe but here are a few major take-aways: our time together is NOT ending. FORM may change, but we will still be together. He says, “I am ready for more and so are you.” Dewey spoke about FUN and HAVING FUN a lot. He had some requests for his last week: light massage, fresh smells and things to eat, quiet time together. Laura wrote: “And, he says, this is very, very important — please do not feel that you have to spend every second with me physically. This is big for this week, he really wants you to start practicing this now, that he is with you — NO MATTER “WHERE,” for there is no “here” or “there,” he says.”

The most convincing paragraph was toward the end.

Sunday morning I soaked Dewey’s foot and groomed him in the front yard. That was the last time I had my black knit gloves and Dewey’s hair brush — the white handled, black bristled hairbrush that was issued to my mother when she was in a nursing home, circa 1999. It’s a cheap brush but it’s been the perfect horse mane and tail brush for over 20 years.

I cannot find it or my gloves anywhere. I’ve searched the barn, the house, my old studio, the ground. I mentioned this to Connie. She said, “Oh, I know. Poltergeists in the barn.”

Laura reports that Dewey said:

“He is saying this with great truth and heart and love, but also with some humor and mischievousness. Like he’s a jokester and you will find some funny things, things in strange places, and you will know it is him communicating with you, keeping the joy and fun with you. Only things to look forward to, only things to look forward to. I promise you. Just as you didn’t know how things would be with me before me, there is only more of that to look forward to, expand into. I. LOVE. YOU. “

So, we will see if Dewey’s hairbrush turns up one of these days in an inexplicable place.

Friday morning, March 19, 2021

Fast forward to yesterday, Thursday, March 18th. Dewey had two visitors, Connie in the morning and Pam in the afternoon. He got attention, grooming, apples and carrots. Connie, Aggie and I took a walk in the morning; Pam, Aggie and I took a walk in the afternoon.

Pam and I were sitting on the stumps by the fire pit, talking and watching Dewey as he stood watching us from a little distance away in the corral. Finally the wind was dying down and the air was warming. I got up to see if the mailman needed anything so I missed Dewey lying down at around 4:00 but Pam said he seemed peaceful. It seemed to be a normal horse-lying-down-in-the-sun moment. He lay down again at 4:30. I didn’t think too much about it. It was nice out and still sunny. At 6:20 or so, Ellis and I went out to give Dewey his last meal of the day and more water in a bucket and found him down again. This time we were alarmed. He appeared to be in quite a bit of distress, but not colic-distress. He just seemed utterly exhausted. He desperately wanted to lay his head down, but every time he did, he’d have to jerk it back up in order to take a breath. We watched him do this at least a dozen times before I called the vet. Melanie was wonderful and came out right away. I had told her he was down and in distress. He’d been on the ground, struggling, about an hour when she arrived.

Of course, when Dewey heard her truck, he popped back up and I felt like an idiot. But it was good that she came and startled him to his feet, because we were able to get him to walk from the corral into the arena where he will be buried.

Once sedated and having been given the heart-stopping drug, Melanie pressed on his chest and his hind end travelled in a semi-circle before she was able to lay him down pretty gently. Nothing like the horror of Rabbit’s death.

We had just enough time to cover him with a tarp and weight it down before it got dark at around 8:00. I think his time of death was right around 7:35.

I called the excavator when we came in. Rob said he would let me know by mid-morning if they are able to come any earlier than Saturday morning.

I think I was in shock, emotionless, but very glad Dewey would not be suffering for another 20 hours. I think it took all of Dewey’s strength to receive all his wonderful company the past two days. I don’t think he’d slept at all for a couple days. So, now he can REST.

I took a bath and went to bed at about 10:30. I rifled through my old Parelli bag, looking for my pen and journal. I felt something soft and pulled out my black gloves, the ones I’d been missing since last Sunday. I felt around for the missing hairbrush that was with the gloves, but it wasn’t there. I know they were together. I must have taken things in and out of that bag a dozen times during the course of the week but I never felt the gloves.

It’s no surprise that I didn’t sleep well, or at all. I was so disappointed that my perfect plan was foiled: Dewey would have company for two days and then today, Friday, his last day, I would have a quiet day with him and sometimes Ellis as we enjoyed the pleasant, sunny weather together until the vet came.

I lagged behind Ellis getting up this morning. He took Aggie out (on a leash — I didn’t want her eating all the Senior Feed that Dewey left in his dish) while I took a hot shower. Ellis reported that no predators had disturbed Dewey’s tarp-covered body overnight.

I waited awhile for my hair to dry and then went outside with a pair of scissors to cut off some of Dewey’s tail and mane before he is buried. I brought my camera, too, as I am compelled to record everything, as anyone who knows me is aware.

The first thing I noticed is that Dewey’s body bloated up badly overnight. The tarp had become a small gray mountain. The next thing I noticed caused me to do a double-take, then simultaneously laugh and burst into tears. “Oh my god, Dewey, I love you so much. THANK YOU.”

I ran back into the house and upstairs. Ellis was lying down. “Ellis, you have to get up right now, I have to show you something. Hurry!

He followed me back to the arena. “Look! You didn’t do that did you?” Ellis swore up and down that he had nothing to do with the sight in front of our eyes. It was not there when he walked Aggie a half hour earlier. There was a little piece of grass or bark, but not what Dewey had clearly left for me to find:

This changes everything. It’s all true, Dewey is still with me, we transcend death. I don’t have to mourn my beloved horse.

We wonder, did Dewey have help from a bird? From Cleo? Cleo got out two evenings in a row, clearly highly invested in Dewey’s unfolding drama. She was out this morning, too, between when Ellis walked Aggie and when I went out to check on Dewey’s body. How did he do this? Was my mother (dead since 1999) involved?

It doesn’t matter to me if no one believes that Ellis and I had nothing to do with this ratty old hairbrush appearing on Dewey’s body this morning. I will still have tears when I think about Dewey not being here with me in physical form every day, but I am forever altered. He IS with me. I am peaceful and actually pretty joyful right at the moment.

It’s even okay that the excavators can’t come until tomorrow morning after all, because I need more time with this Magic Mountain of Mysticism that Dewey has transformed into overnight. Maybe Dewey needed to exit a day early so he’d have time to execute his plan after death.There could be no more obvious and perfect place for him to leave his brush and get his message to me.

Dewey told Laura to tell me,“Please know there is only door after door after door to be opened. Only love after love after love to be opened. ONLY AMAZEMENT TO COME.

I can’t take much more amazement today but I just hope that this narrative lets you know that Dewey’s death is bringing me joy today and maybe the first optimistic feelings I’ve had in many years. Horses must be the most AMAZING creatures on this earth. I hope Dewey’s stellar ability to communicate across the divide uplifts all who knew him, and all who didn’t. I am so, so, thankful for his presence in my life. And I thank Laura Brown,, who facilitated this happy ending, which is just the beginning.

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