His heart and soul remains with us to this day...
He is my inspiration

Well  I am home now  mentally and physically exhausted  tapped and crushed. Today had to be the hardest day of my life.  I had to say goodbye to my best friend.  

Elvis has been one of the biggest prides and joys of my life  and I want to thank those responsible for rescuing him and allowing my family and I to be a part of his life.  This horse had the biggest heart and was so forgiving with my husband  he was his very first horse.

I can't begin to tell you how I felt when I got the first call from the barn  that they found him  he couldn't get up  and something was seriously wrong with his leg  and that they called the vet.  Then  half hour later  the vet called.  He started by saying that Elvis' injury was very serious... and then he started to get technical with the diagnosis and every thing got woozy and he sounded like the teacher from Charlie Brown.  Then I hear "at this time the only humane option would be euthanasia"... and I snapped.  My husband  on the other line of the phone  was sobbing.  My daughter stood at the door looking confused.  I asked if I had an hour to get there  or should he be put down on the spot.  Dr. G said come on up  he's given him some stuff for the pain and will make him as comfortable as possible until I got there.  

I dropped off my little one and drove to the barn.  My one hour drive seemed to take four.

I get there step out of the car  and I look down in the mud  and I see the deep impressesion of Elvis' feet  and the doubled over impressions with the snowball pads and the spikes from his boriums.  And I broke down.  I could tell he had been hopping.....

I turn the corner of the barn and there he is standing  looking so unhappy  with hay  grain  treats and all my friends  like "mom what took you so long my leg hurts and all these people are staring at me".  Then he started to hop on three legs towards us  with his bad leg just weirdly dangling  pivoting  not moving.

My husband and I burst into tears and sobbing spoke with the vet  I asked about surgery and was told no. I asked about layup - anything - for pasture sound at least and I was told he would never have use of that leg and he was in pain and would continue to be in pain for a very long time and then doc showed me - lifting the bad leg away from the body, Elvis' leg just would swing outwards to the side  from the stifle/hip area.

No one saw what actually happened  but there is a theory.  He has been having chronic inflammations of the bad leg - cellulitis lymphangitis.  This latest bout  from two weeks ago  was not healing nearly as quickly.  He finished all of his meds and I had Dr. G out yesterday  and we ordered special antibiotics which would come in Monday.  So  he was not moving around too much  and the leg was really thick with swelling.  He likes to lay down and roll.  The theory is that he layed down and trying to get up he could not get that bad leg under him solidly and it slipped and snapped  since he's so big and heavy.  We don't know for certain  but based upon the condition of the ground around him  it's all we can figure.

We made the decision and he would be put down humanely.  We pulled out his snack bin  but he would not have his pop-tarts.  He did however eat three pounds of carrots.  And I stood there crying  recalling when I got him he didn't know what a carrot was or that it was good to eat  and that I had to put them into the food processor and mix them with his feed and teach him they were good and to take them from my hand.

Elvis loved to lay and roll in mud  so we brought him to a muddy spot a few feet away. Then Dr. G came with three syringes of the blue juice.  Elvis hates needles and the Dr. offered for us to wait inside and the girls from the barn would help him.  I refused I wanted to be there with the big guy  and my husband held him and I continuously stroked his nose and face  telling him he was such a good boy  that we loved him so very much  and that it was going to be o.k.  He was shaking his head hard  and John told him it was o.k. and to be good  and then the first syringe went in.  He stopped shaking his head.  The second went in immediately  and half way through  he went down.  Doc finished that syringe  went in with the third.  I got down in the snow and mud  and held his face  telling him it was o.k.  I loved him and that he would never be worked hard  abused  feel pain and would be happy.  He gasped and had some reflex reactions and looked me in the eye and was then gone.  

I stayed there  unable to leave him for a bit.  Just kept stroking him  telling him what a wonderful place it was that he was going to. Then I got up  and started cursing the amish men that worked him so hard  that he had scars all along his neck and chest that never healed, hair never grew back.  That is feet were not wonderful.  That his leg was never tended to.  And I started to blame whoever the amish farmer was who had him  worked him until he broke down, didn't get him vet care and then dumped him.  And then I said well if he didn't break down  he would possibly be still working and I would never have gotten him and taught him that life as a horse can be good.

I don't know....I feel really empty.....

As my husband said driving away after the renderer picked him up... "Elvis has left the building".

- Cee Segarra

Elvis' 19th Birthday
His best friend Pete waiting for
a piece of the birthday cake.

The Elvis Fund

Elvis died with dignity and knowing he was loved.  We pray that there will come a day when no other horse, who has worked hard and served man faithfully, has to die alone and inhumanely.  Equine Rescue Resource Inc. has created a fund in memory of this noble belgian, who was carried to the foot of the Rainbow bridge in the arms of those that truly loved him.  He crossed that bridge on Saturday, February 25, 2001. To honor him, we would like to one day rescue another Amish work horse. We can think of no better way to honor his memory.

Elvis was extremely special and his spirit lives on in all the draft horses  worked really hard  broken down and waiting for us to help them.

He touched many lives  in many ways.  We love you big guy...

Elvis giving a ride to a child from the city who have never ridden
a horse before in October 2000.

Keri's first draft of the Elvis illustration for our home page.

Once again  I want to express my deepest sympathy for Cee and John  and want to thank them for adopting Elvis and for bringing so much love and joy into the last years of his life. Love and joy he so truly deserved. You have been there for him  even though he always needed special (medical) care and always had issues that prevented him from being fully ridable.  I also want to thank Ladybug who fostered him until he was adopted and who we have to thank for his rescue. She was the one who found Elvis. Without her we wouldn't have been able to save him from going to New Holland and ultimately .... well  you know.  I also want to thank his Save A Life sponsors Sylvia in AZ and Lisa in NJ who donated the money to make his rescue possible.  Cee  please try to focus on the fact that you brought happiness in Elvis' life and that you turned his life around for the best. You guys made all the difference. Even though this is a tragedy  he was allowed to die with dignity and surrounded by people who love him  and by his best friends: you and John.  It really hurts to know this wonderful boy gone  and at the same time I feel grateful that he touched our lives and showed us how fulfilling and rewarding compassion and therefore our cause really is.  My thoughts and prayers are with you tonight. We all know how much it hurts to loose such a special friend.

- Anja