It has been a big week at Calan. We’ve welcomed a new member to the herd, and sadly said goodbye to another.
Rico was put to sleep last weekend, on the 11th of December, after coughing up blood. I wasn’t there but the whole experience was rather unforgettable for the visitors at Calan that day. Being a Sunday, there was no local Vet to attend but someone had managed to get hold of a Vet in Perth who, with the symptoms described and some photos, quickly assessed that the best thing to do for Rico was to put him down. Rico was losing blood at such a rate that he would surely have bled out – It was just a matter of time. After a carefully and compassionately placed round from Alan’s rifle, it was noted that there was no blood – even the neighbour who helps with the digging of the graves noticed the peculiarity. Rico lived to be 33 in horse years, the last 15 of those have been here at Calan. True to its mission, Calan really is a forever home.
As hard as it is, and as much of a toll letting a horse go takes on Alan, these are the realities of a “forever home”. With each horse that arrives at Calan through the double gates, there is a knowing that one day that horse too will pass and leave a mark. In the time between arriving and passing, each horse receives all the care possible to ensure it lives out its days comfortably. They receive vet care, dental treatment, regular hoof trimming, daily feeding, and access to open paddocks for grazing.
New to the herd is Apache. Neither neglected, or abused, Apache comes to Calan as a guest. Apache’s owner is moving into the cottage to help Alan with the daily duties caring for the herd. Apache has quickly been accepted into the herd and after meeting him I can say that he seems to be very happy with his new home.
James McDonald, on behalf of Alan Gent and Calan Horse Sanctuary