On Saturday morning I went out to my barn and found my 30-year-old Arabian gelding wedged up against the barn wall; he had tried to roll over too close to the wall and had gotten stuck, unable to roll back. I couldn't roll him over myself, so I called the Fire Department. Chief Toby Tyler and his crew arrived and went into action, quickly getting him back on his feet again. However, he kept trying to lie down and roll again, a warning sign of colic. Toby found an available vet, and while we were waiting for her to arrive, he went to his own farm and got some medication to relieve the pain of Jamaica's bellyache. He stayed until she arrived and started treatment. Pepperell is very fortunate to have a Fire Department that is well-trained in handling equine emergencies.
After initial treatment, my horse seemed a little better, but as the day and evening wore on, it was becoming clear that the problem was not resolving. I will be forever grateful to my wonderful neighbors, Nancy Lebedzibski and Carol Murdock, and Ken and Leigh Ann Colvin and their daughters. They helped with an all-night vigil, propping him up with hay bales to keep him from thrashing around, walking him when he needed to move, and bringing me food, hot cocoa, a sleeping bag, and most important, moral support.
By morning, his vital signs were deteriorating and it was obvious that he was not going to get better; at age 30 equivalent to about 95 in human years), he would never have survived surgery. Dr. Clark was called, and he was humanly euthanized early Sunday morning.
I want to express my thanks to Toby Tyler and the Fire Department, to Amy Clark, DVM, for her compassionate care, who did everything she could to alleviate Jamaica's colic, and to all my friends and neighbors who helped out during that difficult day and night. Jamaica loved people, especially children, and was a neighborhood pet; it is comforting to know that he was surrounded during his last hours by people who loved him. It is impossible to adequately express my thanks to everyone who helped out, but I know that Pepperell is a great place to live because of its great people. Thank you all!