Finally summer is back!!! I’m so excited but yet… I’d rather not be. It doesn’t sound right when I say it like that, but maybe my story will help this make a little more sense.

This has been a busy year. The beginning of the spring was rough and I had a feeling it would get worse. I have a lot of dancing coming up to prepare for our June shows. My dance school presented a contemporary show. I was on stage along with many others!

Having just finished the May show we are jumping right into the June show.

But for now, I just have a story to tell…

The beginning of spring started off unexpectedly, here’s why. On April 14th, when the roads were clear and dry, I took my beloved horse, Hollywood, out for a little ride. Well it wasn’t little it was basically four hours, but yah know. We walked around on the roads and checked out the highway like we always do.

He had quite a bit of fun. Personally I don’t think he wanted to go home at all… but, that feeling changed.

We stayed on the side of the road for about five to 10 minutes. He enjoyed the warm breeze brushing through his mane, and the peaceful sound of walking through the dry grass. It was very peaceful.

I was looking around and scouting out the ditch on the other side, I was just about to turn Hollywood around so we could go home before dark, when an unusual, black figure caught my eye.

I stopped in fright and looked straight at the figure. Black bear. I calmly spoke to Hollywood to move along, he did but then a scent of bear came to him as he lifted his head.

Oh dear! He started running straight home with me still on his back. After a distance we walked the rest of the way. I didn’t want him to run at all because of his age, his bone structure and he hasn’t ran for pretty much a whole winter and all fall. This wasn’t good. But we got home safely and had a good long time alone together in the pen. We had a good day.

That night I went to a friend’s house to spend the night. It was now April the 15th. In the morning I visited for a little bit, then went home to see Hollywood. When I got home, I found my grandparents putting a horse blanket on his back.

“Why are they putting the blanket on without my permission?” I muttered to myself. They said he wasn’t doing well, and that he was ill. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

I went down and stayed with him for a little bit, patting him and just hoping he would be okay. Then 45 minutes later I apologized to Hollywood for the way this was happening then I left to do homework. It was a really slow, boring day. Around bed time (10-ish) I laid awake in bed thinking about Hollywood. “I hope he’ll get better soon.”

I couldn’t stop thinking, how is he ill? Next morning I woke up and went straight to Hollywood to give him a treat. I checked his food to see what there was and I wasn’t happy with what I saw. He hardly touched it. I didn’t know what to do. Later I went to do some chores around my cabin, then the time came. I had to go to dance. When I came back I didn’t go see Hollywood. I was exhausted and had to do a few things before bed.

On Tuesday, April 18th, I woke up and did my homework right away. Later around 11 o’clock I wanted to see Hollywood. I found out that he hadn’t been eating since the 14th. I didn’t understand why he would starve himself, but I didn’t want to go to deep into a thought that would be very upsetting.

I stayed with Hollywood for a few hours, cried a little, laughed a little when he did something funny, then broke down crying when I felt his back, he had lost so much weight.

Then I went down the Mendenhall Restaurant and got a puppy that was free. I wasn’t allowed to, but I did it anyway, for Hollywood. I knew how Hollywood did like dogs but I wanted one for the both of us. I kept the pup in my room on my bed snugs in a blanket. Then I went to meet my grandparents at a neighbour’s house.

When we got back I rushed to the cabin and stayed in there finishing a project, making a blanket. Later, my grandma screamed my name.

I rushed to put on my shoes and ran outside. I looked toward Hollywood’s pen and found him lying on the ground. I screamed and immediately cried, rushing to his side. My grandparents got him up while I ran to a neighbour’s house for help.

When the neighbour got to our house, Hollywood was up and standing without the blanket on, I hurried to the halter my grandmother put on him and started brushing his neck.

I insisted we call a vet once our neighbour mentioned it. He did, and I stayed with Hollywood walking him around with our neighbour. We brushed him out and made sure he didn’t lie down again.

Two hours later the vet showed up and checked him out. Then… the bad news. I had to let my horse go, he was getting old and he was sick. I had to let him go… I couldn’t let him go. I wasn’t ready. I still needed my best friend.

But I knew it was the right choice. So I let him lie down on his own and fell to my knees feeling weak and crushed.

I took off the halter and lifted his head onto my knees. He was in pain and I could see it in his eyes. He needed to rest. And it was his time. I stayed with him for about four hours, patting him and talking to him, bringing up memories. I promised I’d never leave his side. Which I didn’t. I apologized for never being around when he needed me and always busy at dance or somewhere else.

My grandmother had made a call to a friend. He showed up, right away I knew what it was for. He came to see us. A few minutes later when me and Hollywood were alone I told Hollywood he’ll get better then we could go on an ever lasting journey together. He snickered and remained still with his head in my lap.

The vet gave him a drug that would make him fall asleep. As Hollywood was falling asleep trying to keep his eyes open, I told him I loved him, and I am so sorry he was ill. But then kissed him and said he’d get better.

Right before he fell asleep I whispered goodbye my friend, along with another kiss then backed away as my grandfather shot him.

I know this story seems intense and long, but this is how much Hollywood meant to me. We were a pair of peas in a pod, we took leaps and bounds that no one could measure in miles… We were our own, we knew each other’s fears, we couldn’t go anywhere without each other when I was home, we could never be apart. We knew each other then we knew our self we were the best of friends. He saved my life before just as much as I saved his… but… then this had to happen. I didn’t want it to end but, he was 27 going on 28. For a horse that’s kind of old. But I’ll never forget him, never forget the journeys we’ve had, and all the ups and downs driving along in our life.