My Nikos loved Pasha. Both bay Thoroughbreds, tall, athletic, strong, they made a striking pair.

Sue’s barn was horse heaven. The horses lived outside 24/7, no confinement in cages, and they could hang out in the indoor arena when they wanted to. Sue told me that many mornings when she came down to feed, Nikos and Pasha would be sleeping together in the arena, leaned against each other like an old married couple.

A friend, Julie, was staying at Sue’s one weekend, caring for the horses while Sue and her husband were out of town. One morning, Julie picked up the phone to make a call and heard heavy breathing on the other end. Startled, she hung up. Then she walked into another room and picked up another phone. Heavy breathing. Panicked, she left the house and headed down to the barn to see if the horses were OK. This made no sense, of course, but for some reason she had convinced herself that the heavy breather on the other end of the line

was either in the house or on the property.

She headed into the arena. The phone receiver had been knocked off its wall base and was lying on the ground, and several of the horses, Nikos among them, had their noses pressed to it—heavy breathing.

I’m sure Pasha had nothing to do with this silliness. She was probably on the far side of the arena with the other mares, rolling her eyes.



6 Replies to “Perspective”

  1. Hi Pam,

    Thanks for sharing this story. I chuckled at the image of a bunch of horses breathing down the phone in the barn. (It sounds like something out of one of those Far Side comic strips!) Julie’s choice of actions (go down to the barn to check on the horses) might not have made much logical sense, but clearly her intuitive sense was right on the mark!

    I’m sorry to hear about Pasha and the loss and grief your friend is experiencing right now. Thank you for reminding her that the love she had for Pasha and the grief she’s experiencing right now is also valid and does not need to be put into “perspective” compared to another individual’s loss and pain. I hope your friend will also remember that “it takes as long as it takes” to fully grieve the loss of a beloved companion, whether the companion was human or animal.

    1. Thank you for your response, Sue.

      It seems that accepting and fully experiencing loss and grief is very difficult for many, many people in our culture. Some seem to think they will recover faster if they turn their backs on it. But I’ve never known that to work. Grief is a part of life, to be not only acknowledged, but experienced, respected. It is painful, sometimes horribly so, but if we allow it to, it can also open our hearts in amazing ways.

  2. Hi, Pam,

    Your story about Pasha and Nikos is beautiful! Thank you for those thoughts, though I hope reading it will not bring the tears forever!

    You have been a wonderful friend to me and all my critters, and got me started on the path to keeping my horses in the healthiest way possible. It helps to know that they get to live the best life they can when living with humans. Mine can thank you for that!

    I hope Pasha and Nikos are blasting around as they used to! The thought makes the grief a little easier.

    1. You’re very kind, Sue. I know I probably didn’t get all the details exactly right, but my heart was in the right place. After I published this, I panicked for a minute, realizing you might read it, hoping I didn’t offend in any way.

      I hope it brings you not only tears but peace.

      Nikos had some of the very best years of his life at your wonderful barn.

      Be well, my friend.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *