Rowdy and me, during one of our last fluid treatments.

I wrote this the other day but only just got out to Sebastian to post it.

It’s March twenty-second and an hour past noon, forty-nine hours after I lost Rowdy, my horse and friend of twenty years. I’m having a hard time sitting up without gasping from pain, and I am reminded by every aching inch of my body that a mere girl of my stature is incapable of holding down a frantic horse, ineffectual in containing him as he struggles. Yet that’s what I did as I gave the okay for the vet to put him to sleep; I held him down, laid across him with my feet digging into the ground and whispered over and over:

“It’s okay, it’ll all be better. I love you, I love you. You are such a good boy.”

I never let go of him, foolish as it may have been, even as he backed himself into a corner of fencing, his mane and catheter ensnared in a tree’s limbs. He was rearing and coming down blindly, falling on top of me as I untangled him from the branches. I refused to let him hurt himself in his panic; I did everything I could to keep him on the ground. As his gums went grey, we quickly made the decision to put him to sleep. Euthanasia is a merciful gift we are able to give our furry loved ones, and in that moment, I was grateful to be able to bring him that peace. My hands were shaking and I was weeping as I lay over him, but he was not alone. I was with him until his last breath.

Dr. Ciaccarelli ran to her truck and came back with a syringe full of bright pink liquid that she quickly flushed through his catheter, the same catheter that brought him a dose of Banamine (a pain killer) just moments earlier and then tangled itself in the branches of a barren citrus tree. Later on, it was supposed to carry 3000 mL of fluid through his body and in return, make him feel a little relief. Our daily routine of IV fluids came to be his favorite time of day – we had lots of bonding time during those hours. He would turn around and give me a gentle nudge to let me know he was getting restless, or a nuzzle just to show me love. It came to be my favorite time of day, too. It was a welcome comfort to see him feel better, his eyes visibly brighter. This unfamiliar, brightly hued fluid made him feel better, too – but his eyes began to dim and everything faded. I rubbed his cheek and muzzle and kissed the broken star on his forehead, talking to him even after he was gone. The vet braided his tail in sections and clipped them for me, reassured me that I did everything I could have possibly done. I appreciated the genuine sorrow in her eyes; the vets at East Coast Equine were absolutely wonderful from start to finish.

Once the vet left and we were alone, I fell to pieces. I laid with Rowdy’s lifeless body for three hours, until they came to bury him. They picked me up and helped me inside; my legs just refused to support me.

I couldn’t stand to watch them bury him. I gathered my wits, grabbed his lead rope and a braided lock of his tail and sped off to the preserve, where I screamed until my throat was completely raw. That’s one of the beauties of being in the country: no one can hear you. I screamed and cried and drove around the empty dirt trails – I allowed myself to completely lose it for about an hour before heading back. I caught a glimpse of myself in the broken rear view mirror; I looked like a crazy person. I was covered in dirt, leaves, blood and tears. The left side of my body was sunburnt from laying in the same position for three hours.

At this point, most of you are probably finding me horribly melodramatic, maybe even mildly insane. I don’t expect many people to understand and I couldn’t possibly care less if my image is marred by this recount of events. I have said time and again that the worst experience of my life was watching Spanky (my first horse) die, and this time is no different. I’ve endured the passing of family members and friends and many of my animal friends, too. I’ve even been present for some. But there is nothing that compares to watching these beautiful, majestic, massive creatures fall. Horses are fragile, and they fall hard. One moment they are absolutely fine and full of life, then they are gone. Something as small as a tummy ache can turn into a deadly ailment if it’s not caught in time. Since they are unable to tell us what’s wrong, we have to watch them closely, and when we miss something, it can be deadly. But it isn’t just fragility and size that make it difficult to cope with the loss of a horse, it’s the irreplaceable companionship. There is a particular place in my heart that is completely off limits, save for my original three: Spanky, Shawn and Rowdy. With Spanky and Rowdy gone, I am terrified of losing my little baby boy, Shawn. I am absolutely terrified.

There’s a reason why horse lovers are so devoted. There’s a reason why, as kids, every shirt we wear has a horse on it and our belts are tooled with their names. There’s a reason why, in times of economic strife, our horses are better fed than ourselves. But the truth is, you have to be one of those crazy horse lovers in order to understand it. There is nothing that can compare to the bond of a girl and her horse, or in our (my sisters and my) case, horses. From the time we were little kids, we turned to our three horses for happiness and stability. They were the most wonderful part of my childhood, possibly one of the only positive aspects in general. That’s why I’m such an animal lover; they have never let me down. The problem is that we almost always outlive our companions and the loss is overwhelming – and that’s exactly what I’m feeling: overwhelmed. It’s like I can’t remember how to breathe properly.

“Let’s Get Rowdy” was a registered Appendix who stood sixteen hands high. He was a Grand Champion with exquisite bloodlines, was exceptionally fast and cut barrels like no other. Above all the bells and whistles, he was my family. This week, I’m mourning the loss of two family members – my grandpa’s funeral is this weekend. The main difference is that I don’t have much of a right to grieve for my grandpa, since we weren’t that close. So if you think it’s weird that I’m writing a thousand times more about Rowdy than I did about my grandpa, consider this: Rowdy was a bigger part of my family and more important to me than even my dad ever was. So, my mourning is a little different in my grandpa’s situation – I’m so sad that he’s gone, but I’m even more upset that I never got the chance to know him the way my cousins did. We’ll just leave it at that.

I’m not really asking for anyone to fully understand this…I just want to let you know where my head is, since I haven’t been around and probably won’t be all that active while I’m still in Fellsmere. I still have Shawn, Diablo, Cocoa, Thelma, Louise and Miku to look after, which is keeping me from spending my days in bed, but I’m not ready to go on with my normal life just yet. This weekend is my grandpa’s funeral…I guess I’ll give myself until then.

Love love,
Keiko Lynn

p.s. After I wrote this, I took an axe to that cursed citrus tree, chopping off all of the offending branches. Strands of Rowdy’s mane were still dangling from its limbs.

I just couldn’t bear to look at it anymore.

p.p.s. I drove to my grandpa’s house to use their internet. I still don’t have a computer or internet connection, but if you bought something, you should have received an email from Kim or Bobby – and your items will be sent out by one of them. Please understand.

  1. esme and the lane way says: March 24, 20101:35 am

    I am really am so sorry for your loss. Reading that was incredibly moving.

  2. Brandon says: March 24, 20101:37 am

    Call me if you need anything.

  3. Alison says: March 24, 20101:37 am

    I'm so sincerely sorry for your loss. I've never had a horse, but I certainly understand the powerful bond we have with pets and how miserable it is to lose one. I wish you all the best in your recovery, and commend you on a beautifully written and heartbreaking post.

  4. danika jane says: March 24, 20101:37 am

    i'm so sorry to hear about this keiko. losing a loved animal is very painful. sending lots of good thoughts your way.
    lots of love.

  5. Jessica - Wardrobes and Whimsy says: March 24, 20101:38 am

    So sorry to hear about this. I'm not going to pretend to relate or understand. I think it takes a certain person to bond with a horse. A few years ago I tried horse riding and got my own horse, but I lost interest. I never really bonded with my horse and couldn't overcome my fear of horses. It takes a special "horse-person" to make that bond. I have witnessed it, but never experienced it. Again, so sorry.

  6. Kyla says: March 24, 20101:39 am

    I truly think that pets of any kind are irreplaceable. I'm so sorry for your loss, but you're right – love is sometimes watching watching someone die. Your story had me in tears, so I certainly do not think you are being melodramatic in the least.

    Take care of yourself. Hopefully, you'll be back to things soon.

  7. Sophie says: March 24, 20101:41 am

    You dont sound melodramatic at all! You've got me crying and I don't know you, your horse…or your grandpa! Losing a pet is so so hard. I lost my dog of 14 years a few years ago it was SO tough. I've never had a horse but I understand how attached people become to them and that losing them is one of the hardest things- especially when you've had one for 20 years like you did.

    Hang in there!

  8. Amanda says: March 24, 20101:44 am

    I am so sorry for your loss. I fully understand the pain of losing a pet. Maggie, my dog – an animal that I loved more than any other pet and more than most people – passed away about six weeks ago and I'm still having trouble getting back to being happy. Things are never the same. My thoughts are with you.

  9. kelly ann says: March 24, 20101:45 am

    i am crying. oh, keiko, i'm so very, very sorry. :( i can't even begin to imagine how heartbreaking this must be for you… and i hope that through this difficult time you find comfort and warmth. <3

  10. Dip-tea says: March 24, 20101:50 am


  11. ieatmodestmouse says: March 24, 20101:51 am

    you are NOT at all melodramatic OR insane! my heart goes out to you…sending love all the way to you. feel better soon.

  12. mani says: March 24, 20101:52 am

    I hope things get better for you. Reading this made me feel horrible and I couldn't stop crying. I have a pet (a small rabbit) and I can't imagine losing him.

  13. The Daily Fashionista says: March 24, 20101:53 am

    As I write this I have tears pouring down my face. I am so sad for you. Rowdy sounded like a great companion, and nothing can replace the love between a pet and it's best friend. After my dog of 16 years past away it was like a sister dying. Worst day of my life. So my thoughts are with you.

  14. Marissa says: March 24, 20101:54 am

    I just started bawling while reading this. I'm so sorry for your loss, and I hope the pain eases soon.

  15. Diana says: March 24, 20101:56 am

    Your heart has been through so much these past few days. This was a great eulogy for Rowdy. xoxo

  16. Sarah K. says: March 24, 20102:02 am

    this post almost made me cry. I know nothing anyone (particularly a complete stranger) can say will make anything better, but I am truly so sorry for your loss. I've never been lucky enough to have a horse, but I've loved them and been around them my whole life, and I can only imagine the pain you're going through. they really are such amazing, spirited creatures. take comfort in knowing that you did the right thing, and loved him with everything you had- I'm sure he had a very happy life.

  17. Louisa Valentina; says: March 24, 20102:04 am

    I've loved horses all my life, and for a majority of my life i've felt that their gentle demeanor and big wise eyes communicated better with me, and vice versa than any human. So, when I read your paragraph about little girls with horse shirts and undying love for such great animals I completely knew where you were coming from and couldn't help but tearing up myself. As an avid reader of your blog I've come to know you through your posts as someone full of love and joy, and I know you were the same with your horses. I am so, so sorry for your loss and hope that things begin to pick up, my thoughts and good wishes are with you.

  18. Anonymous says: March 24, 20102:07 am

    I cried reading this. I don't know what to say, except I'm sorry and I'm glad you had so much time with Rowdy.


  19. Jasmine says: March 24, 20102:07 am

    I am so, so sorry for your loss, sweetie.

  20. Danielle says: March 24, 20102:09 am

    I am so very sorry for your loss, Keiko. Your story brought tears to my eyes… Losing a beloved animal is never easy, but I know Rowdy was special to you. This is incredibly random, but I remember you talking about Rowdy many years ago. Not sure if you'd remember me, but we used to read each other's Open Diaries and Livejournal's way back when (I usually went by "sweetcharade"). I stumbled upon my old LJ and ended up here (and following you on twitter) just a few weeks ago. I'd hoped to say hi under happier circumstances, but your story broke my heart and I just had to say that I wish you the very best. Rowdy was very lucky to have someone like you to care for him and be with him during the difficult times at the end. My thoughts are with you while you cope with your loss. Only the best <3

  21. katrina says: March 24, 20102:09 am

    Keiko, I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. I know how hard it is to lose someone who is such a big part of your life and I can only say that I hope things get better for you soon. ♥

  22. natalia says: March 24, 20102:10 am

    Keiko — That was a beautifully-written tribute, and I'm really sorry for your loss. I've never had to go through losing a pet before — my kitty and I have only been together for a few months, but already feel a little terror in the back of my mind for when that day comes, years down the road. I hope your memories of all those years together will bring you comfort.

  23. Molly Elizabeth says: March 24, 20102:12 am

    you are such a strong lady. I know exactly how you feel. I cried just reading this. I put my dog down a little over a year ago. Animals love you without asking for anything in return; it's such a beautiful, pure, and unconditional love it has to be recognized. I wanted to lay in bed for the following month, and I cried everyday. But it gets easier, I promise. You're in my thoughts. My biggest fear was leaving my dog alone somewhere I wasn't; but you have to realize they really do appreciate it. Your horse knows how much you loved him. I LOVE your blog, but take all the time you need before worrying about us readers :)

  24. Francine says: March 24, 20102:17 am

    Your strength is unbelievable, physically and emotionally. Keep your head up and breathe.

  25. JINIAN says: March 24, 20102:22 am

    my heart broke when i read this. you'll be in my thoughts <3

  26. Renee ( says: March 24, 20102:24 am

    i'm so very sorry to hear about your loss. your writing has me in tears as i can't even imagine what it would be like to lose a pet. the first time in my life i have grown so attached to an animal, my dog nathan and the thought of one day losing him is beyond devastating. you are in my thoughts and prayers..xoxo

  27. KelsyC says: March 24, 20102:25 am

    HUGS! I am so sorry for your loss. Your post brought me to tears.

  28. Nora Southall says: March 24, 20102:26 am

    I'm so sorry for your loss Keiko, I had to put down two of my dogs within two months of each other a while ago and it still upsets me. Horses were a huge part of my childhood and I can't even imagine losing one that you've had for twenty years. Its ok to be as upset as you were in your post, I feel like most people, horse back riders or not, understand loss like your own, feel better<3

  29. Nora Southall says: March 24, 20102:26 am

    I'm so sorry for your loss Keiko, I had to put down two of my dogs within two months of each other a while ago and it still upsets me. Horses were a huge part of my childhood and I can't even imagine losing one that you've had for twenty years. Its ok to be as upset as you were in your post, I feel like most people, horse back riders or not, understand loss like your own, feel better<3

  30. HAL says: March 24, 20102:28 am

    I'm so sorry to hear that. The piece is very well-written and heartbreaking. Beautiful horse.

  31. Lulu says: March 24, 20102:31 am

    i'm so sorry you had to go through this…losing a pet, a companion, a friend is one of the hardest things in life. i can't begin to understand what you're going through, but my heart goes out to you. like a lot of others, i cried while i was reading this. and although this is a horrible tragedy, i'm so glad there are people out there who understand just how pure the souls of animals are. it's a rare thing. please don't worry about the blog. take care of yourself. i'll be sending lots of warm thoughts your way.

  32. Trishna says: March 24, 20102:32 am


    I am so sorry, so so sorry. I was reading this and halfway through i went up, got my pup Rishi and clutched him very very hard. I would not even pretend I understand what you are going through, because I have only had Rishi for 2 years while Rowdy was with you for 20. But I do understand love and I know from my own experience that animals never ever let you down and want absolutely nothing in return for their unconditional love.

    I know it is the reality of life but I truly curse the fact that we live to see our furry friends fall asleep eternally.

    Love you Keiko and Rowdy does too.
    Be strong and remember that, everything love could do was done.


  33. Laura Lauber says: March 24, 20102:41 am

    I'm SO, SO SORRY to hear that. Letting go of our fur babies is the hardest thing we do as humans and animal lovers. I lost my dog/best friend a few months ago and had a sort of similar experience as you – he died in my ams and I laid on the floor with him for hours afterward, unfortunately it was only halfway through his short life. Writing and talking about it is very therapeutic, so do what you gotta do: write, talk, cry, look at pictures, remember, feel, love. I hope you find peace.

  34. sarah louise says: March 24, 20102:47 am

    Never have I been so touched or affected by a blog post. My heart goes out to you. Loss of a pet is heartbreaking because of the unconditional love and comfort they have provided. But I'm sure Rowdy appreciated all the unconditional love and comfort you have provided him in return, and rarely are animals so lucky to have such a caring owner as yourself. I, too, have felt like others think I am a bit "crazy" as a pet owner, but they just don't understand the bond that forms. My thoughts are with you.

    Sarah Louise

  35. Heather Lynn says: March 24, 20102:49 am

    I'm so sorry for your loss. It's always so devastating losing a pet. It never gets easier. Hoping for happier days soon =)

  36. Ce qui m'inspire says: March 24, 20102:57 am

    I am so sorry for your loss. Reading this just made me remember how much I miss my dog. He had to be euthanized because of a msssive tumour in his neck. This post was an incredibly moving tribute to your dear friend, I'm writing this with tears streaming down my face. I sincerely hope that you will feel better soon.

    Something that my grandpa said that helped me when my dog died: "It’s unfortunate that the life span of dogs doesn’t more closely match that of their owners, but it does give us the opportunity to share our lives with more than one of these remarkable creatures." I would say that the same goes for any animal. Rowdy had the very best because of you.

  37. Hannah says: March 24, 20103:06 am

    This post has left me in tears. I've never had a horse, but I would definitely say I have had strong bonds with the dogs I've had, and it never gets easier to loose a friend. My thoughts are with you!

  38. Sher says: March 24, 20103:07 am

    no matter if its a human or animal, when you are that close to them it becomes painful when the time comes to leave them. everyone grieves differently, I would have probably done the same. My thoughts and prayers go out to you.

  39. Sarah Dee says: March 24, 20103:08 am

    Im so sorry, Your post moved me to tears. I cannot imagine your pain.

  40. Keke says: March 24, 20103:13 am

    Dear Keiko,
    Coming out of lurking here to say I am so sorry for your losses. The love of an animal is like no other and don't feel melodramatic, there are so many of us who totally understand.

    Are you referencing the Death Cab for Cutie song in the title? If not it's "What Sarah Said" and it's on the album Plans. Driving back from the vet after we put my beloved pup of 13 years to sleep, I listened to it over and over and cried myself silly. Please remember that Rowdy is at peace now and all your readers love you dearly and are sending good thoughts your way.

  41. In the Veganing says: March 24, 20103:16 am

    I grew up around horses and lots of animals. It's SO hard to let an animal go when they dont understand what is happening.
    Im so sorry you had to go through this. You did the right thing and I hope you recover soon. You dont sound like a crazy person at all, just a girl in love with her horse and having to face a hard reality!

  42. tina says: March 24, 20103:20 am

    I am so heart broken after reading this. Sososo sorry for your losses. My very best to your and yours. <3

  43. Anonymous says: March 24, 20103:21 am

    reading that made me cry. i am so sorry for your loss. i completely understand the love you have for your baby. look after yourself, love beth xxx

  44. libys11 says: March 24, 20103:32 am

    i dont have any pet but for some reason, i totally cried reading over this. i know the feeling of losing someone and i think that's what struck me the most in this post.

    i hope you feel better soon. :)

  45. Sidewalk Chalk says: March 24, 20103:32 am

    I'm really sad for your loss. I've never had a horse, but one of my best friends does and she's been riding him for 10 years, even through college and pharm school. I think you're right — some of the best relationships in the world are with animals, some who may understand us better than the people in our lives. I hope you are able to get through the next few days and weeks, and my thoughts are with you in this time of loss.

  46. winniecoop says: March 24, 20103:36 am

    Your account of this traumatic occurrence had me sobbing uncontrollably. I can see it all playing out in my head like an emotionally gripping scene from a film. Loss is such a horrible part of life that we're all forced to endure. I'm sorry that you had to lose one of your closest friends.

  47. Becca Joy says: March 24, 20103:45 am

    I'm so sorry you had to go through this, at one point in a life everyone has someone they love die and the pain that you experience can never be measured. Take your time, stuff like this takes a lot out of you and I for one can wait as long as you need to before you come back. My thoughts are with you :)

  48. andrea k (blonde bedhead) says: March 24, 20103:53 am

    I'm so sorry for your loss. i know how it feels to lose a horse so precious to you and it's good you were able to spend time with him. you're brave to stick by your horse through the pain and his death–even though it was quite difficult for you, it was comforting for him to have someone he trusts by his side.

  49. Charmalade says: March 24, 20103:53 am

    Dear Keiko– I'm writing this in a bleary-eyed haze of lack of sleep, so I'm sorry in advance if I sound any less eloquent than I want to be. But even though I feel like I can barely function, I read your words and they really were sincerely heartbreaking. I know the feeling of going wild and losing your sanity, but I never knew of the love between a girl and a horse firsthand. What I love about your blog is that not only are you a fashion maven, you allow us to take a peek inside your personal life. Your love for animals and all little creatures is obvious, and such deep love can bring you great pain. But I don't say that in a negative way; it's wonderful that you found a loving friend. I'm just so sorry you had to say good-bye. My friend's pet dog recently passed away too, and I dared not think about the terrifying future when I look at my dog.

    If it helps any, if at all, I send hugs your way. Feel better, Keiko.

    Toast with Charmalade

  50. tiffany says: March 24, 20104:10 am

    i'm very sorry, if you ever need anything at all i'm here. i know you don't know me but sometimes that's the best person to talk to.

    xo tiffany

  51. katrina says: March 24, 20104:23 am

    you poor girl. i am so so sorry.
    this is heartbreaking & awful.
    i wish it didn't have to be this way.
    my thoughts go out to you.
    rowdy looked beautiful from these photos.

  52. Lisa says: March 24, 20104:29 am

    I'm SO sorry for your loss.. It brought me to tears as it reminded me about my own personal loss. My cat died a while ago, it brought me to a stand still, I actually couldn't stop crying for a good three hours so I understand some of your pain!

    Rowdy looks like a gorgeous horse, the colour is amazing :)

    I shall pray for your healing process over such a sad time in your life!

    Much lovee xx

  53. Jocelyne says: March 24, 20104:31 am

    Darling Keiko
    You once again brought tears to my eyes! First with the story of your lil kitty and now with this terrible loss. I have been through pet loss and have shed many tears as well. More tears than I have ever cried for a person passing on. Animals are so precious and helpless, we lovers of them are both blessed and cursed to live and love them but then lose them as we always outlive them. I hope you know that you gave the best life possible to your big guy and that he loved you more than you will ever know. I hope things get easier, just remember all the beautiful times you had, that should make you smile soon!

  54. ♥Lola says: March 24, 20104:41 am

    I'm so so sorry for your loss Keiko! I too had horses when I was little, and it was so hard to let them go. The bond you have with a horse is so strong, they really do become your best friend. I know this is absolutely no comfort to you but my little gift should be arriving in NY soon :)

  55. Chelsea says: March 24, 20104:41 am

    Please know that there are total strangers who are caring about you right at this moment. Your account of what happened to Rowdy was so sad. I'm so sorry for your pain and hope for moments of beauty and healing for you in what, I'm sure, will be a long process of recovery. I wish you the best.

  56. Paige says: March 24, 20105:03 am

    Oh. Keiko! I honestly don't know what to say. I feel your pain. I am not a horse lover, but an animal lover and I understand how you feel, even if it's sympathy, not empathy.
    Rowdy lived a long life, and for that I'm sure you're grateful. I don't think you melodramatic. Your post put tears in my eyes. Keep holding on. Everyone goes through tough times. G-d gives you what you can handle, and obviously, He thinks you're strong enough.
    Stay strong, honey.
    Sending you lots and lots of love and hugs and giving you both my shoulders to cry on, Eliana. 333♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

  57. B. says: March 24, 20105:07 am

    I've never had a horse, but I have had two very amazing canine companions in my life. While one passed away, the other is still here, and has been for almost 10 years. I love him to death, and am terrified to lose him. You're nowhere near insane dear, just hurting; but things WILL get better, and time will go on. <3

  58. Ollie Otson says: March 24, 20105:23 am

    I'm so sorry, dear. Tears were coming to my eyes as I was reading this. I can't even begin to understand what you are going through right now, but understand you have the love of people who don't even know you more than from reading this blog behind you, and that we care and send our thoughts out to you and your family.

  59. Kimberly says: March 24, 20105:24 am

    I've been with my horse, Doc, for fifteen years and he is in his mid-twenties now. Scary! I'm so sorry for your loss and hugs– I get it. You were way stronger than I can ever see myself being in the same situation.

  60. Chelsea Whipps says: March 24, 20105:43 am

    This was so powerfully written, and I am very impressed that you could muster up the strength to write this. I can't personally understand what it is that you are going through, having never had a horse, myself. However, I have seen how hard it can be, losing one. My mom got her horse, Cisco, when she was about 16. She didn't live on a farm, so it was a huge deal for my grandparents to get him for her, and let him live on their 2 or 3 acre lot. My mom did everything with Cisco, including delivering newspapers while riding on his back. We moved from my hometown in BC, to Ontario when I was 2. It was hard for my mom to leave her home, and especially hard for her to leave Cisco, but she knew how much my dad wanted to move back to his home in Ontario. I was about 8, I think, when my mom got the call from my grandma, saying that Cisco was going to have to be put to sleep. It was so hard for my mom to lose one of her lifelong friends, and not even be able to be with him one last time. So, while I can imagine it was almost unbearable to be there with Rowdy in his final moments, you will always be able to cherish the thought that the last person he felt near him was you. I hope that you will be ok, I really do.

  61. jarsika says: March 24, 20105:51 am

    I think it was very brave for you to write this. I also hope that by writing it down it was able to help you in your time of loss. Thank you for sharing your sorrow.



  62. Silvara says: March 24, 20106:41 am

    Wow darling – I don't think you could have said anything as more beautiful or eloquent as you have there. You brought tears to my eyes as I read every word of your pain…I might not truly understand the infinite bond between a horse and owner, but I can relate to losing someone who gave back love unconditionally without wanting anything in return.

    I'm sorry again to hear about your grandpa, I know that the loss is a different one and perhaps the mourning for what could/should have been. Take your time…the world goes on, but you need toget through this in your own way.

    lots of hugs



  63. Anonymous says: March 24, 20106:42 am

    That's a hard loss to bear. I wish you the best. Remember to breathe.

  64. Lady Times says: March 24, 20107:02 am

    I know nothing anyone can say will make you feel any better right now and that you have to go through the process and it is such a lonely process but later you will find comfort in the fact you did everything you could for him and were with him till the very end.

    I read a post secret once from a Vet's assistant, she said that when people take their animals to be euthanized they should stay with them because when they leave them, their pets look for them. You stood by him the whole time! and whispered in his ear, you gave him comfort beyond what anyone of us will ever understand.

    He is pain free now. So much love form one horse-mad girl to another…

  65. Melissa says: March 24, 20107:08 am

    That's not even remotely melodramatic. It's vulnerable, and beautiful, and achingly human.

    A few hours after I read your post Muford and Sons' Timshel came on, and I got all choked up again. The lyrics made me think of what you'd written, and what you're going through, and how much support and loving thoughts your readers have sent out to you. So I'm stealing their words and adding my big web hugs.

    And death is at your doorstep
    And it will steal your innocence
    But it will not steal your substance
    But you are not alone in this

    So hugs from BC.

    ~ m

  66. Ash says: March 24, 20107:31 am

    I am so sorry for your loss. We can all understand it in some way or another.

  67. Arliz says: March 24, 20107:35 am

    Dear Keiko,

    Im hopefully by based on the sheer volume of
    comments following your post that many if not majority
    of your faithful readers (myself included) have wept with you and shared vocariously through you the emotions you
    felt when letting go some one so beloved to your heart.

    Making me cry in public is not becoming either. So I'm Sending good thoughts and vibes to you and all the furry loves of your heart.

  68. butterfly307 says: March 24, 20107:39 am

    Dear Keiko,
    this is such a sad story…
    I am really sorry for your loss..
    Be strong…

  69. Arliz says: March 24, 20107:39 am

    Apologies for the typos. It's my iphone's fault.

  70. bestie says: March 24, 20107:41 am

    I don't know you, nor did I know Rowdy. Perhaps I will never understand just how deep your love for him was. IS. But today I mourn with you.

  71. miha, skinny buddha says: March 24, 20108:04 am

    I am very sorry about your loss. you've got me all emotional over this. my thoughts are with you, stay strong!

  72. Lucile says: March 24, 20108:07 am

    As an animal lover, I understand what you said : bonds between a human an his pet are irremplacable. It's like losing a part of your life. I'm so sorry for your loss Keiko.

  73. Fiona says: March 24, 20108:34 am

    I'm so sorry – I can't even imagine the pain, losing my horse is my worst nightmare, yet I know it's something I'll have to face too one day.

    It sounds like you did your absolute best for him, and really, that's what matters in the end.

  74. Marielle (from Sweden) says: March 24, 201010:52 am

    Oh my, I'm so sorry. I've loved horses my entire life so I get it. I never had to put a horse down but I borrowed a horse once, and fell in love with her completely. When I had to return her to her owner after about 8 months, that was one of the worst days of my life. I'm so, so sorry for your loss..

  75. Raquel says: March 24, 201010:59 am

    tears fell while I was reading this.
    there are no words when something like this happens I know, but I hope you'll feel better soon.

  76. Rhianne says: March 24, 201011:19 am

    Oh Keiko, I'm so so sorry :( my heart is breaking for you right now

  77. Kristel says: March 24, 201012:15 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. This is a terrible situation for anyone to go through. Take time to heal.

  78. Anonymous says: March 24, 201012:30 pm

    I'm so sorry to hear that Keiko! While I've never known a horse (but I hope to someday!), I'm also someone who feels more of a connection with her animals than with most humans. As a believer in reincarnation, I believe that you will meet Rowdy again someday. Stay strong!

    Xo, Sarah

  79. Vixel says: March 24, 201012:33 pm

    I don't know you, and I've never been a horse person, but your post brought tears to my eyes even though I'm at the office right now.

    So sorry for your loss, and I hope you take all the time you need to get back on your feet again. x

  80. Celine says: March 24, 20101:32 pm

    I've never owned a horse but I've been with pets when they've died and I can feel your pain. Your post made me cry. I'm so, so, so sorry for your loss. I know nothing will ever replace him…I guess you just have to be thankful that you had him in your life. Remember, time heals all things.


  81. Ellen says: March 24, 20101:35 pm

    I'm so sorry for your loss. Hopefully your grief will lessen in time.

  82. Linda says: March 24, 20101:54 pm

    I guess I've never had what people call a "real pet". I've only ever had one fish, who I hated and a couple of hamsters.
    When I was a kid and our last hamster died off, I was devistated.
    I decided to get another hamster in my adult life and it lived with my boyfriend and his mom. I loved that freaken adorable hamster. One day, he just died. I felt really bad, to tears even, but I was afraid to show it because I didn't want to cry over a tiny little rodent.
    I couldn't even imagine a horse or a dog…

  83. Diane says: March 24, 20102:07 pm

    keiko- i'm sooooooo sorry to hear this. as i was reading this post i started crying here in my cubicle. losing a pet is such a hard thing to deal with…especially one that was around as long as your horse.
    my thoughts are with you! and if you need ANYTHING you just let me know.

  84. A.M. says: March 24, 20102:09 pm

    What a beautiful tribute to your Rowdy! I was moved to tears reading this. I hope time eases the pain, even though it may never be completely gone. Sending positive thoughts your way…

  85. Graceful Elements says: March 24, 20102:14 pm


    I am so very sorry for your loss. Your recollection of events brought tears to my eyes. I wish there was something that anyone could do to help ease your pain… but alas, most of us only know you through this blog, and can only provide you these meager words and small comforts. Stay strong, and don't rush yourself to return to your routine. Take time for yourself to grieve.

    of Graceful Elements

  86. Lorena says: March 24, 20102:23 pm

    I am sorry, really sorry.
    I could not stop crying as I read your post.
    I can only say that Rowdy was one lucky horse.

  87. Lauren says: March 24, 20102:26 pm

    Deep, heartfelt sympathy to you. I understand your post and all that your heart wrote.

  88. Aleksandra says: March 24, 20102:31 pm

    Dear Keiko,

    I have lost my little child, my rabbit 3 weeks ago. It was my boyfriend favourite boy, his pride and joy. And my little treasure.

    I understand you 100%. And I know that your Rowdy is thankfull for your presence with him till the end. It is called LOVE.

  89. bellisimama says: March 24, 20102:41 pm

    i'm so sorry. i lost a horse when i was 13 and i've never ridden another since, it was that upsetting. i understand completely.

  90. Johanna says: March 24, 20102:45 pm

    I am so sorry. I know it's hard. I know how easy it is to love an animal more than some (or most) people in your life. My best friend, a dog, died in an accident last year and I've never felt so much pain. There are only a few people in this world whose deaths would be as heart wrenching for me. Take care. xo

  91. Dianne says: March 24, 20103:03 pm

    Keiko, I don't know you, we'll probably never meet, but I read this and just cried at my desk, in a crowded office for you and for Rowdy, and am sending you my love. As one who has grown up around horses [My mother breeds welsh ponies] and whose best friend is a 43 year old welsh thoroughbred I have known since I was 11, I can only imagine the pain and loss you must be feeling. I live in London, Tequila [the offending mare] lives in New Zealand, but my family are full aware that I will be on a plane tomorrow if I need to be there for her in this way. I've watched my Mother have to put down her old Anglo Arab, who we had since before I was born, a few years ago and it was one of the most painful and horrible moments of my life. I admire you for being able to write this blog entry, and Rowdy sounds like an amazing friend and Steed.

    I am sure it doesn't mean much coming from a total stranger, but I hope you are doing ok, and Rowdy is enjoying the big paddock in the sky, with plenty of rolling spots and delishus hays.

    All my love,
    Dianne. [I'm totally still crying!]

  92. Starry-Eyed says: March 24, 20103:27 pm

    i am really really sorry for your loss ='(

    from one animal-lover to another, i understand how hard it is.. stay strong

  93. alamocitystyle says: March 24, 20103:36 pm

    This isn't melodramatic AT ALL. I myself have a horse I've had my entire life who's only got a few years left and I'm sure I'll be in the same state when that day finally comes. I am sincerely sorry for your loss, losing a member of your family, human or animal, is the hardest thing in the world.

  94. Michelle says: March 24, 20103:48 pm

    This beautiful post made me weep. Your animals are so lucky to have you, and no need to explain the powerful love and painful devastation you feel for Rowdy and his passing. Non-animal lovers will never get it. My thoughts are with you Keiko.

  95. Anonymous says: March 24, 20104:01 pm

    ohh, I love death cab for cutie, my fav song 'what sarah said'.
    I'm very sorry for your loss.. I have a cat and a dog and I do know, what it's like to loose a loved animal, who's been there for you for so many years through and then is just the endless emptiness:(

  96. Chiada says: March 24, 20104:25 pm

    Hello, Keiko. I just wanted you to know that your post made me cry. Almost two years ago I lost my beloved Dalmatian, Chloe. Your post describes EXACTLY the emotions I felt and went through. For about three months after her death, which was tragic (she was deaf and was let out of our yard while we were gone by someone who came into our yard, and she was hit by a car; we found her on the roadside the next day), I cried and cried and cried every single day. I screamed in my car as I passed the site of her passing, where for months I could still see the blood stain on the road. It was absolutely horrible. So.. I really feel for you. Although I didn't have Chloe in my life for as long as you had Rowdy, I know how it feels to lose a beloved furry member of the family. Our pets are so much more than animals. We pour our hearts out to them when we feel alone. We sometimes feel like it's only they who understand us. They give us unconditional love. They are always there for us when we need them. Dang it, now I'M crying! Anyways.. I am so sorry for your loss. And for your grandpa.

    On a side note.. is Sebastian near Viero or Vero and Melbourne? I have family in Cocoa, Port St. John, and Titusville. I love it there. Awesome area.

  97. Jennie says: March 24, 20104:28 pm

    Hi Keiko,

    I'm so sorry for your loss. It's terrible losing friends — especially pets. They're just so special. This post reminded me of last year when we had to put our cat Isa down. We'd had her for 14+ years and it was heartbreaking. Take care, sweetie <3

  98. Jonna says: March 24, 20104:46 pm

    I'm so sorry for your loss..

  99. alexandra says: March 24, 20104:57 pm

    I'm so sorry to hear of your lost. Last fall I lost my beloved cat Aku, and similarly to you, he suffered a painful struggle before we decided to put him to sleep. He was a wonderful pet, friend, and companion, and it was hearbreaking to watch him in pain. I hope you can find peace in the friends, family and animals that are still with you, and know your readers are thinking of you and wishing you well…

  100. Elizabeth says: March 24, 20105:17 pm


    I am so sorry for your loss. My mom just lost her boyfriend (of 8 years, he was like a second father to me) and reading this has made me feel a little less alone, though I wish neither one of us were going through what we are right now.

    Sending positive thoughts to you and your family.



  101. Eline says: March 24, 20106:04 pm

    Dear Keiko,
    I'm very sorry for your loss.
    we're all with you in our thoughts!
    be strong!


  102. Emmeline says: March 24, 20106:42 pm

    Oh Dear Keiko. I'm so sorry for your lost! Keep on going!

    // Emmeline

  103. jt says: March 24, 20107:03 pm

    So sorry for your loss Keiko. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  104. Jordyn says: March 24, 20107:39 pm

    Losing a forever friend is never easy. Thinking of you during these dark days. Enjoying your blog always. Love love.

  105. Lillie says: March 24, 20108:12 pm

    You poor thing. I am so deeply sorry for you. This is similar to the experience I had when my dog LB, who was a puppy when I was a baby, passed away. I know it hurts, but you made the right choice, and you'll be ok. You and your family will be in my thoughts.

  106. Jessica M. says: March 24, 20109:09 pm

    I am in tears from this post, and so so very sorry for your incredible loss. I have never owned a horse, but have a deep connection with my pup, and I know that if the day comes to make that decision, it will be the hardest of my life. Take comfort in the good memories.

  107. Sally Grace says: March 24, 20109:17 pm

    I'm so sorry you had to go through that. It's incredibly hard, even when you know what you're doing is the right thing. This post made me cry, even though it's been almost a year since we had to put my dog of nine years to sleep. I stayed with him the whole just like you did, held him in my lap as his last breath left him and that sense of loss when they aren't there any more is just so deep and profound. I understand how it feels to be so upset over the loss of an animal and not have people understand, so here's one person who can at least relate to what you are feeling. I hope you always have that place for Rowdy in your heart and you never let go of fully loving an animal the way you loved Rowdy because it's a beautiful feeling. In time the pain will turn into an ache and then less than an ache, but you will always remember. I'll be thinking of you.

  108. Anonymous says: March 24, 20109:39 pm

    There is nothing I can say that hasn't already been said. "Pets" become family; they are our greatest companions. My heart goes out to you.

  109. Anonymous says: March 24, 201010:24 pm

    I can understand a bit of this pain. My family has been raising horses for all 21 years of my life and I've seen many go since before I could understand what was happening. I put down my very first horse, Sarge about 4 months ago and it was the hardest thing I've ever been through. I had him for 20 years and retired him after 18 from Reigning. I can remember how I felt, knowing he was suffering, but I hung out with him everyday just to get that loving nudge everytime I was close to tears over it. It's like he knew I was suffering too and didn't want me to be sad about his leaving. My father is a vet, so he was able to put him down and the whole family got to be there for support. Afterwards I actually drove off on a dirtbike for about 3 hours and cried under a tree that Sarge once threw me into when he was just green-broke. I actually haven't been out to my parents' ranch since then, because I can't stand to look into Sarge's stall and see another horse in his place. I read your blog sometimes and have never commented, but I thought I could share some sympathy because I understand that pain to my own extent. I hope things are well and that your sadness subsides. Just remember, you can never be less than a friend to a horse and they're always grateful!

  110. Anonymous says: March 24, 201010:31 pm

    I can understand a bit of this pain. My family has been raising horses for all 21 years of my life and I've seen many go since before I could understand what was happening. I put down my very first horse, Sarge about 4 months ago and it was the hardest thing I've ever been through. I had him for 20 years and retired him after 18 from Reigning. I can remember how I felt, knowing he was suffering, but I hung out with him everyday just to get that loving nudge everytime I was close to tears over it. It's like he knew I was suffering too and didn't want me to be sad about his leaving. My father is a vet, so he was able to put him down and the whole family got to be there for support. Afterwards I actually drove off on a dirtbike for about 3 hours and cried under a tree that Sarge once threw me into when he was just green-broke. I actually haven't been out to my parents' ranch since then, because I can't stand to look into Sarge's stall and see another horse in his place. I read your blog sometimes and have never commented, but I thought I could share some sympathy because I understand that pain to my own extent. I hope things are well and that your sadness subsides. Just remember, you can never be less than a friend to a horse and they're always grateful!

  111. Anonymous says: March 24, 201011:41 pm

    I am extremely sorry for your loss. I cryed as I read every word, because last year, my family and I made the chose to put my dog, Chase down. He was my best friend for thirteen years, so in a way, I know what you are going through. Not a day goes by that i don't think of him, but I promise it will get better, slowly but surely. My prayers are with you girl!

  112. Bucca says: March 25, 201012:33 am

    I've never had my own horse but I do understand the feelings you have vented here. I've been there before and reading this made my eyes well up.
    Hope you feel better soon xox

  113. Emii says: March 25, 201012:41 am

    I am so sorry for your loss. Hearing about how his final moments were moved me to tears. Your actions were not crazy in the least; you just had too much inside you that needed to be released somehow. I'm glad you have the rest of your family to support you and keep you going. My thoughts and prayers are with you! Stay strong!

  114. Anonymous says: March 25, 201012:48 am

    To take the words from one of my favorite poets:
    Sadness is nothing more than the cost of being able to smile once in a while, and grief is the trial we stand to offer evidence that your fingerprints were left on our hearts…

  115. - tessa says: March 25, 20101:02 am

    I bawled like a baby. There is nothing like loosing a pet. This website has helped me each time: You might want to turn off the sound – the music is kinda cheesy.

  116. H to the izzo says: March 25, 20101:20 am

    Oh goodness. I'm so so sorry. That sounded terrible, and thank you for sharing, because by doing that, it brings us all a little closer. We've all lost someone or something close to us, and it's a human emotion to be sad, to share, to connect.

  117. dandra says: March 25, 20102:35 am

    Keiko, I'm truly sorry for your loss. I can barely stand to read your post. It really breaks my heart to know that you had to go through this. I volunteer for a no-kill shelter and it's always hard when we lose one our furry friends. They are a part of us and it never gets any easier.

  118. amy says: March 25, 20103:10 am

    Keiko– I'm so sorry. There are no words…
    Thank you for your honesty and willingness to tell us your last Rowdy story. Please tell us other Rowdy stories any time you want.
    Lots of love,

  119. kassia says: March 25, 20103:19 am

    i'm so sorry. i feel so bad for you keiko and your family. i understand how close animals can be in your life. they are fellow soul mates some times. i don't think your crazy for writing your true feelings. i admire your writing skills and honesty and so do a lot of other girls.

  120. Jessy says: March 25, 20103:23 am

    I feel terrible for your loss. Animals bring us so much joy in a world that at times seems to lack any. I feel like we have a lot in common, and I can relate to your experiences of loss. I have experienced much loss in my life. I have lost three of my grandparents. Within the past couple years, I lost both my grandma and grandpa from my mom's side, and I was very close to both of them. I also lost my dog last year, we had to euthanize him due to cancer. He was almost twelve years old, we were lucky to have him in our lives as long as we did. I feel like we grew up together, he was like the brother I never had:) I also have a fourteen year old cat that I've had since age four, and cannot imagine ever losing him. I know the time will have to come eventually, but it seems we are never prepared to lose our pets, our best friends, even when we know they are ill or aging.
    I live next door to a horse pasture, they are beautiful strong creatures. Watching them play and interact with each other is not too different than the watching humans bond. Growing up next to the pasture for the past fourteen years of my life has been a wonderful gift. I couldn't ask for a better home.
    I am glad you are able to blog again, and I wish you luck and positivity. Just know that you are not alone. There are many people who are thinking about you, and can truly empathize with your feelings and experiences.
    p.s. I do not think you are crazy. You are wonderful, beautiful, talented, and very inspiring.

  121. Anonymous says: March 25, 20103:33 am

    I'm so sorry, and I wish you the best. This was one of the most moving pieces of writing I've ever read.

  122. victoriana216 says: March 25, 20103:44 am

    I am so, so sorry to hear about your dearest Rowdy. I am in tears after reading this. I share your deep love for animals, and I know how unbearable it is to lose a beloved pet, family member, friend. Rowdy was incredibly lucky to have you love him for all those years, and I know you gave him the most wonderful life possible. Thinking of you…

  123. Ana - Toil and Trouble says: March 25, 20103:52 am

    I am so sorry. I am a horse lover too, and I spent my childhood with horses. Their companionship is so unique. Being there with him at the end is the best gift you could have given him.

  124. Luxe says: March 25, 20104:01 am

    This is my first comment and I had to come out of lurking to offer my greatest and most sincere sympathies.

    I've never owned or had a horse as a pet but I've experienced the close loving connection that comes with having cats. I think the innocence and pure loyalty of animals makes their absence in our lives all the more poignent and painful.

    I am so sorry for you. I know this is a great tragedy in your life and I pray that in time you can find peace and happiness in what you shared with your beloved horse companion and that they are now in a better place.

    Good luck and God Bless Keiko Lynn, know you are in the thoughts and prayers of others.

  125. KatieLve says: March 25, 20104:47 am

    You are right, there is nothing like a girl and her horse. Post pictures of you and your horse as a child, it will help.

    here is me and my ponies (pumpkin and dynamite) when I was a little girl:

  126. Miss Polkadot says: March 25, 20105:24 am

    I am so sorry about your furry friend. Horses are beautiful and majestic. I'm sure he knew how much you loved him.
    Much Warmth.

  127. Kimberellie says: March 25, 20105:44 am

    This was beautiful. I don't think you were being melodramatic at all. Just reading how you felt made me understand the love you had for Rowdy.

    I am sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing this.

  128. Matilda ( says: March 25, 20109:06 am

    I couldn´t help starting to cry when I readed this. I feel truly sorry for your loss! I can really feel your pain.

    I send you a big hug all the way from Sweden!

  129. Anonymous says: March 25, 20109:37 am

    Keiko, my heart is with you. I too have lost a best friend many years ago, my father, and while it is different I know it feels as though you are completely alone and blinded by your pain. It sounds like you have had a lot of hardship with the animals you've loved and I am sorry for that, and though it must be hard, I am sure you are feeling at the same time grateful to have experienced that friendship and love. I hope you will grieve and find the light and love this animal brought you as you move on with your life. I am deeply sorry for the pain you are going through.

  130. Jen Jen says: March 25, 201012:16 pm

    I've been taken aback on everything you have said. I send you my prayers, thoughts, warmth and tears.
    Everything you had expressed I have felt in little doses of when I lost my beloved cat. She was put down while I was still overseas.

    Be strong, be happy to have experienced such memories you had with Rowdy..

    Many love. I am 100% sure that everyone will understand that you need this time –


  131. Anonymous says: March 25, 20101:35 pm

    You could not have said it any better. My furry companions give me more love and happiness than most people ever do and the thought of losing them is absolutely gut-wrenching.

    My heart and prayers are with you.


  132. MamieGirls says: March 25, 20103:01 pm

    Our deepest sympathies, Keiko. We are thinking about you.

    <3 Mamie Girls

  133. rachelehm says: March 25, 20103:34 pm

    I just had to put my cat, Zebra, down on February 9. I still think I see him walking down the hallway or I hear his heavy feet walking down the hallway to join me for a read after a long day at the office.

    Losing a pet (and they are never just a pet, they are family and a best friend and a nonjudgmental companion) never gets easy.

    I am deeply sorry for your loss.

  134. Liz says: March 25, 20104:45 pm

    Our animals are just as important as our human loved ones–hell, I like my dog more than I like most people 😉

    I'm really sorry to hear about Rowdy–I don't even know you and I can tell you really love him. Take comfort in knowing he is no longer in pain. Take care of yourself<33

  135. Anonymous says: March 25, 20105:03 pm

    Keiko, I am sooo sorry for what happened. When Tessa called me that day I broke down in tears with her. I empathize and sympathize for you and your family. I hope everything gets better soon. I can't stand to see Tessa upset like this and I'll do anything in my power to make you guys feel better. I love you all soo much,

  136. Laura says: March 25, 20105:36 pm

    This post made me cry. I know this isn't the same, but we had to put my beloved dog down this summer, and I'm still a little raw from that. I can't imagine what you must be feeling. :(

    I'm so sorry for your loss. Take care of yourself, dear. <3

  137. Karen Beth says: March 25, 20106:19 pm

    This made me cry. Both for you, for Rowdy and for the thought of my little furchildren at home.

    There is absolutely NOTHING at all wrong with loving your horse or any animal more than humans. They are as much family – most times MORE family! – than our human families are. I feel the same way about my cats and would completely melt away to nothing if I had to go through with them what you went through with Rowdy.

    I honestly cannot imagine how your heart is breaking right now. My heart goes out to you in every way possible. Please take care of yourself through this time.


    Karen Beth

  138. Olga says: March 25, 20106:24 pm

    Animals are so much better than people… They are so innocent and truly devoted – hence their death is always a tragedy.
    I hope you will always keep the best positive memories of your horse with you and they would never blur and get old.

  139. mirattes says: March 25, 20106:59 pm

    Fabulous photos. You look great.

  140. ahhteacouture says: March 25, 20107:45 pm


    I am so so sorry for your loss. I can't imagine the pain that you are going through right now :( I hope you are healed by the memories of your shared life with Rowdy. I hold my dogs so close to my heart I shudder at the thought of having to ever say goodbye to them. I hope you know that letting him go was the most humane thing you could have done. May the love of your friends and family and readers heal you at this time. Sending love and positive energy your way…

    Rachel xoxo

  141. Shenley says: March 25, 20107:55 pm

    My heart breaks for you. I hope time and fond memories heal your heart soon.

  142. gina says: March 25, 20107:55 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. The bonds between people and animals can be very strong. Losing a beloved animal is very hard. Thank you for having the strength to share this.

  143. Emma says: March 25, 20108:51 pm

    Much love to you Keiko. x

  144. Heather says: March 25, 20108:52 pm

    i don't know you personally, but i feel pain and love for you. i wish there was something i could possibly do for you. perhaps just give you a hug, even. just know there is a girl in ny thinking about you and hoping you will be okay. *hugs*

  145. Yellow n Pink Creations says: March 25, 20109:10 pm

    sending you love and stregnth during this terrible time.

  146. Susanna says: March 25, 20109:31 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. In three days (March 28) it's two years me and my horse said goodbye. My beautiful friend for over 15 years. I miss him and it still hurts. Hugs from Sweden /Susanna

  147. lovelikenew says: March 25, 201010:15 pm

    animals don't betray you the way people do.

  148. jesse.anne.o says: March 25, 201010:55 pm

    I'm sorry for your loss, Keiko. He was lucky to have you.

  149. Penelope Nightingale says: March 25, 201011:22 pm

    I don't even know you and reading this made my heart completely ache and tears come to my eyes. I can't even tell you how sorry I am for your loss- there is absolutely nothing like a beloved pet. They are the only ones who are there for you when it seems like everyone in the entire world has let you down, and their love is completely unconditional. He was so lucky to have you, though. I wish every animal would have an owner who loves them as much as you love Rowdy.

    Please, take all of the time off you need, and we will be here when you return =).


  150. Nada Nada says: March 26, 20101:05 am

    My heart is breaking for you.

    Rowdy (and all of your animals) are lucky to have you as a companion.

    Stay strong. Remember to breathe. And know that the beautiful emotions you expressed in this entry are some of the many reasons that so many or us adore you.

  151. Lynda D'Souza says: March 26, 20102:31 am

    Dear Keiko – I am so so sorry to hear of your loss. You will be in my prayers tonight. Stay strong and let time do its thing. Lynda

  152. Jessica Eubanks says: March 26, 20103:01 am

    i am so sorry. losing a beloved pet is a private hurt that no one can understand until they have gone through it. it is just like losing a member of the family. i'm sitting here crying as i read this. i'm so so sorry :(

  153. Kyle says: March 26, 20103:05 am

    I'm so very sorry.

  154. Noelle says: March 26, 20104:54 am

    I'm so sorry for your loss. Stay strong and know that Rowdy is always with you. Thank you so much for sharing. I attempted futilely to fight back tears as I was reading this entry. He must have been so glad to have you by his side in his last moments. Wishing you peace and healing.


  155. story of a boy & a girl says: March 26, 20105:33 am

    When I read this I cried, I am so very very sorry for your loss. I am SUCH an animal lover, I have seven dogs and two birds..I used to have three cats but sadly I developed allergies so severe my throat closed and I ended up in the hospital. I fought for soo long to keep them some people thought I was insane and stupid that I was endangering myself for them, but my animals are my family. I feel as though animals should have the same love and protection as you give to people. So I understand the feelings you had. I am so sorry for your loss and the only comfort you can know is that for what you did, he left knowing you loved him and that he was not alone, and I think that is the best way to go.

  156. malin says: March 26, 20107:55 am

    I´m so sorry for you! I´ve held my cats in my arms while they took their last breaths and then slowly got cold, I know how you feel, and tears are running down my face when I read your story. I have two cats now, and I fear for when the day comes for them too…

  157. hello birdy says: March 26, 20109:14 am

    This really moved me to tears. I understand, almost. My first pony Fudge had to be put down after liver failure but I hadn't had him for much more than a year, not the 20 year bond you had with Rowdy. But I felt completely shattered in to pieces when it happened. I can't even think of my horse now passing away, it's too terrible to imagine, especially as I rarely get to see him now as my Mum looks after him in Wales.
    I'm thinking of you.

  158. Jenni B says: March 26, 20101:59 pm

    I should've never read this post at work, because it's uncool to be crying your eyes out in public places… But as a horse lover since pretty much the day I was born (my very first actual toy was an orange my little pony that I still own), I can feel your pain – literally.

    I don't even have my own horse, but I hope to have one someday, though losing him/her eventually would probably be the most terrible day of my life…

    I'm so sorry for your loss, I wish there were some words to make it all better.

  159. Aviatrixt says: March 26, 20102:47 pm

    Wow. I'm so sorry for your loss, Keiko. I know we don't know each other at all, but I hope the outreach of sympathy has helped you in your time of grief.

    I know it's silly, but I gave you a "blog award" in my latest post. I'm not sure whether or not these things are the blog equivalent of a chain letter, so feel free to just soak in the awesomesauciness and go about your day. :)

  160. Ari says: March 26, 20104:01 pm

    My heart goes out to you honey. <3 This post was so moving.


  161. Anonymous says: March 26, 20104:53 pm

    I have never commented on your blog before, although I read it alot. I'm very sorry about your horse. I lost my cat about a year ago, and I never realised that it could hurt so much. I remember hugging her and trying to make her feel better although she never was that kind of cat, and even when she was sick she didn't like all that human contact. I think writing about your suffering on your blog can be a good thing even a bit therapeutic, since you need to get all that stuff out. Maybe this seems odd, but the feeling, emotional person is not all that normal nowadays and I admire that you can show how you feelings since it's something people noemally hide.

  162. J*marie says: March 26, 20104:54 pm

    I don't expect to understand, but i want to let you know that i am TRUELY sorry for your loss, your image is not marred, it just shows that you are a real person with real emotions.


  163. anna says: March 26, 20105:14 pm

    i am so sorry for your loss too, and write these small words through my own tears after reading your blog post. i hope that rowdy rests in peace.

  164. simonesays says: March 26, 20109:44 pm

    I'm not a horse person – I tried it out once, and simply, it's not for me. Reading this actually makes me understand what this bond between horses and their riders is. My heart goes out to you. ♥

  165. Becca Jane says: March 26, 201011:59 pm

    This is so horribly sad! My heart goes out to you, truly.

  166. { I V Y } says: March 27, 20103:56 am

    sorry about the news!

  167. Chelsea says: March 27, 20104:38 am

    When I was a teenager I had a big bay Quarterhorse named King who had to be put down after suffering a broken leg. Even when it's the kindest thing to do for them, it's the hardest thing for us. Xo.

  168. Zoee says: March 27, 20109:30 am

    I understand how you feel. The same happened to my horse a couple of years back, alot of people don't understand, your right, you have to be a 'horse person' or whatever to really know how it feels…

  169. Julie says: March 27, 201010:05 am

    I'm very sorry that you had to go through the loss of someone so close to you. I know that pain. Two days after Thanksgiving I lost Jack, my dog and best friend of 9 and a hlaf years. The pain was horrible. I still cry every so often when I think how much better I would feel if I could hug him and tell him my problems. I used to do that because in a way, I think he knew I needed him and he always assured me in his own little way.
    I'm glad your vet was compassionate and able to do all they could. Mine sadly misdiagnosed my baby and it led to a heartattack. He died when I fell in a heap on the couch (i'd been up for 20 hrs at that point). I laid next to him after petting him and sobbing uncontrollably. I eventually had to be pulled away because I began to scream until I could barely breathe anymore.
    Although after the time I have had to mourn him, it hurts, but I did figure out something that helps me. I hope it can help you too. Having anyone in your life, animal or otherwise, that you feel that close to is a lucky thing to have. They never leave, not in our minds or our hearts. They shape us without us even realizing it and after we learn something more, the courage to one day find that special bond with another. It will never be the same, but that's the point. I still feel Jack around sometimes, like a guardian angel, when I feel like I need someone to comfort me. When you need him, I'm sure Rowdy will be there for you still. You'll just know.
    Oh and just think of the wonderful memories and smile, it really helps!

  170. Anonymous says: March 27, 201010:51 am

    Hello Keiko

    I don't have a horse, but I do have some animals to take care of and I love all animals so much. I really feel for you, I know it must be devastating to lose a loved one, it doens't matter if it's human or animal. I hope all positive comments will help you get through this not-so-fun period. You did the best you could and gave him a wonderful life. Kisses from Belgium.

  171. Lauren says: March 27, 20105:21 pm

    I'm very sorry for your lost and I genuinely hope that my short note of encouragement will contribute to helping you move on. I wish you health, positivity, and happiness above all else. May God be with you.

  172. Gia says: March 27, 20105:57 pm

    Hi Keiko,

    I couldn't stop crying.

    I just want to say that I admire your love for animals. I had a little glimpse of that in your beautiful pictures but the depth of it we cannot fully see but can be felt only in the presence of our beloved pets. We are forever changed by these beautiful creatures. I, myself, is a testament to that. And I'm sending you hugs and hoping to give my support from a thousand miles away. I would no doubt do everything you did if I were in your situation. I guess in loving our pets, we are also teaching other people how to love. Love and tissue papers from Manila.

  173. Allison says: March 27, 20106:28 pm

    I remember losing my first horse. She was an Arabian, and was struck by lightning one night, one of the curses of living in the lightning strike capitol of the world. Hearing the shocking news the next morning, I collapsed halfway down the hallway to my room and didn't move for about two hours. She was my best friend when I didn't have anyone else. And I'll always miss her. I can only imagine what you've gone through losing not only one horse but two. And I am so sorry for your loss.

    Best wishes. <3

  174. Amber says: March 27, 20109:14 pm

    That was a very touching blog entry, and I am so sorry for your loss. I have a vague idea about the love of a girl and her horse – one of my good friends is an avid horse rider and pretty much all she can really talk about is her horse and the barn – so it really is quite heartbreaking for you to go through this.

    I cannot fully imagine, though, and I hope that the sympathy I feel for you helps to ease the searing pain at losing a pet, which I do have experience with, unfortunately.

    I wish you all the best in your grieving period.

  175. melissa says: March 27, 201010:42 pm

    I've been reading your blog off and on for a really, really long time, and I don't think I've ever actually commented since you were on LiveJournal. I just want you to know that reading this brought me to tears. I know how hard it is to lose a member of your family, animal or not, and it took a great amount of strength and love to stay by their side even when you are watching them die. You are a beautiful, strong person, and though I don't know you personally, I'm proud of you.

  176. dancing fool says: March 27, 201010:43 pm

    I'm am so, so sorry for your loss. I know how hard it is to lose a trusted friend and companion. Please take good care of yourself. You are not being melodramatic, we SHOULD be able to grieve for our animal friends when they pass, yet at times we can be criticized for doing so. Shame on those who are so insensitive!

  177. kimvee says: March 28, 20101:05 am

    aww I'm so sorry about your horse :(

  178. Netta says: March 28, 201011:11 am

    I´m so sorry for your loss.

    The greatest sign of love is to be able to let them go.

    Our loved ones live on in our hearts.

  179. Ladybastard says: March 28, 201012:59 pm

    I am SO sad about this!
    I can't even imagine your suffer :'(
    I'm holding you in my arms!
    be positive and think about all the love you gave him!
    This is very important! and this is what really matters..
    love you


  180. Annie says: March 28, 20108:47 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. I can relate because I didn't cry at my grandpa's funeral because he was mean to me for most of my life, but I cried for months when my cat got hit by a car and I saw her body in front of my house. Everyone thought I was weird for crying more over my cat then my grandfather but animals can become such a part of your life and when they are gone its so heartbreaking.

  181. Jordan says: March 29, 20101:32 am

    Though I have not lost a horse yet i can understand your pain. My horse Louis understands me, all my problems go away the second I take him out for grass and i just could not bare to lose him. your post made me realize how much I appreciate our bond. I know that even if all my friends turned on me he would still love me. It must be so hard and I am so terribly sorry just think of losing Louis makes me want to cry. The fact that you lost Rowdy makes me even sadder. Rest in peace Rowdy

  182. Lemondrop Marie says: March 29, 20101:38 am

    So so sorry about both of your losses. I lost two animals this year and haven't been the same since. We shouldn't underestimate the toll losing an animal takes on us. We give ourselves time and space to grieve for people more than our pets. Best, best wishes for you to feel a little peace soon.

  183. Siri says: March 29, 201011:47 am

    I'm sitting here, crying after reading your story. I know. I am a horselover to. There really is no way to describe the pain as there is no way to just let it go. I am not going to say "it's going to be ok", I know it's pointless. I just wanted to say that it's ok. To greive is painful but it's inevitable. And some day you'll be thankful that you made it through. And it's increadibly strong of you even to write this post. All my love to you, even if I don't even know you. You deserve it.

  184. Yvonne says: March 29, 201011:59 am

    Sending light and love your way. I am aching with you. :-( Just remember you have people out there who are thinking of you and wishing you well. You bring inspiration to so many. Thank you for sharing you heart so openly.

  185. Sara says: March 29, 20105:14 pm


  186. RougeRibbon says: March 29, 20105:28 pm

    Keiko, i really feel your sadness… I send you alot of love, strength and light. Rowdy is in horseheaven now and i'm pretty sure that you was the best for him :) Love <3

  187. Mousevox Vintage says: March 29, 20106:51 pm

    I'm sorry for your loss. Losing a friend like this is never easy. You are very brave for helping him through it.

  188. Soooali says: March 29, 20107:07 pm

    I have been following your blog for a while now and would never wish saddness on you. This tribute was written so beautifuly, you are truly talented.

  189. Matilda says: March 29, 20107:15 pm

    Horse lover over here and I can't even imagine what you're going through. I sold my beautiful horse when she was 21 and suffered enough only from giving her up in that sense. Never had to watch her go and I realize I'm lucky. I feel for you. Thank you for the beautiful words.

  190. Jennifer says: March 30, 201011:42 pm

    No you are not melodramatic or insane. That was beautiful. A beautiful expression of love. So sorry.

  191. myownlittleuniverse says: March 31, 20102:45 am

    OMG…keiko….i am SO sorry! you're prob over getting comments about this. but wow… reading that made me cry. i think it is amazing that you were strong enough to be there like that for him. and even more amazing that you allowed yourself to completely lose it. that is so healthy. holding it in would just hurt you in the long run. i have never lost anyone or any animal that has been really close to me. i just can't imagine the pain. you are in my thoughts!!!

  192. yoli says: March 31, 201011:05 am

    I'm so sorry about your horse, and I understand you completely… it made me cry…

  193. Mascara or Motoroil says: April 2, 201011:52 pm

    even just looking st the pictures, i started to cry. my parents put my first horse down when i was in 5th grade, and we just put my favorite one down last summer. it never gets easier.

    i'm sorry keiko lynn- you'll be in my thoughts.

  194. Laura says: April 4, 20104:51 am

    I am so sorry for your loss. As everyone else has said, this was extremely moving and I legit cried like a baby reading this, and actually still am.

    I've had a pretty rough year as well, and I sincerely feel your pain.

    Thinking of you,

  195. Robin says: April 4, 20106:12 am

    dear, dear keiko lynn, your story of your dear horse was so moving. i can completely relate, albeit my experience was with a cat (a small being compared to a huge horse), but i think i understand your pain. i, too, held my boy for that final shot. and stayed with him afterward, for as long as i could. it really is he ultimate show of love to do this. and i can also relate to what you said about the difference between losing loved ones, human!, and the loss of an animal that you share this unconditional love with. there is no comparison, strange as it sounds. my heart goes out to you. and as i have recommended to friends who have lost animals, there is a book called 'the soul of your pet' – you can replace the word pet with furry family member :o). i think the author is scott smith. anyway, it's very comforting to know they are still 'there' just on the other side of the veil. you'll see your dear boy again – i just know it. love like that never dies. hugs to you, dear girl – robin

  196. Ciara says: April 4, 20108:00 pm

    I'm a little bit late with this comment, but I'm terribly sorry for your loss. This story brought me to tears, you described your love for him beautifully. I'm also sorry for the loss of your grandfather and my thoughts are with you at this awful time. xx

  197. unebellefille says: April 5, 20109:47 am

    Dear Keiko, I just came across this post and wanted to extend my condolences. I had to stop reading several times because your tribute to your beautiful horse was so moving. As a fellow animal lover, I dread the day that I have to say goodbye. I'm so sorry for your loss. xx

  198. Candycane says: April 6, 201012:36 am

    Gosh what a sad story – I am so sorry for your loss – that was a beautifully written tribute though!

    CC xXx

  199. Emily says: April 6, 20103:33 am

    As a fellow animal lover, I admire you in your strength to stay with your horse in his last moments. Many of us cannot do it, and I find it extremely honorable that you did. That is the best gift you can give to a passing friend of the furry kind. I'm sure he had a wonderful life, and thanks to you – a merciful, peaceful passing.

  200. isabelle says: April 6, 20101:00 pm


  201. DivaShop says: April 7, 20109:50 pm

    I'm a newcomer to your blog, but I just felt compelled to leave a comment. Keiko, I am so sorry for your loss! I've never had a horse, but recently a dog of a friend of ours died. You might not think that's a big deal, since he wasn't ours, but we would dog sit for them & visit them quite often & we bonded with Bud. When we found out that Bud had to be put down, my sister & I just sobbed & sobbed. It was so hard. So, even though I've never had a horse, I can completely sympathize. And I don't think you're crazy by any means. HUGS!

  202. tone almhjell says: April 21, 201011:51 am

    Not melodramatic, never insane. I understand.

    If your grieving mind is anything like mine, the agony of those last hours will fade, but never completely. They remain as flash thoughts before you fall asleep. The trick is to school yourself to immediately veer off to happier memories.

    I'm sorry for your heartbreak.

  203. Lauren says: April 24, 20102:33 am

    I just found your blog. This post made me cry. I am so sorry.

  204. Vicky says: April 24, 20109:07 pm

    Just want to say that reading this made me cry. What an incredibly moving story. I just found out the other day that a pony I owned about six years ago were put to sleep last summer since she had problems with her lungs. I haven't seen her for six years but it still hit me really hard. I've never had the same horse for such I long time as you had Rowdy, but still I can imagine hw you must feel right now and I suffer with you! To loose a friend like that is something that no one should have to endure! I'm so very sorry for your loss and I hope that you have a lot of beautiful memories of him to help you move on. (as a last thing I just want to apologize for my english, I'm from Sweden but I'm trying (: hope you understand)

    once again I'm sorry and I wish you all the best! <3 /Vicky

  205. Anonymous says: May 19, 20101:41 am

    This was powerful and heartbreaking to read. I am so very sorry for your loss.