Sundeep Bhutoria

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ess bee

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Friday, July 23, 2010

An agonizing decision

I got a call from Tollygunj Club that Michiko was suffering badly writhing in pain and that if I would give them the permission to put her to sleep or still stick on to my decision – which hoped that nature would take its course. But life isn’t necessarily that simple, particularly with horses.
It was one of the most agonizing decisions of my life and I told the Club authorities to do what they thought was best. That is, to put Michiko to sleep.
Michiko is our horse that I had leased and gifted to my wife who had liked her at the very first sight. Like us, anyone would have fallen for the big attractive tilak- like white mark on Michiko’s brownish forehead (picture).
I used to do horse riding in Class 11 and 12 and also at many places when I was abroad. I remember when I was in a summer camp in Switzerland I opted for horse riding as my favourite activity (picture).
About two years back I got the first call from the Tollygung Club saying that Michiko was old and could not be used for riding or any other purpose and it would be better to put her to `sleep’ - an euphemism for a lethal injection that would put her to death.
Putting horses to sleep or to euthanize is practised across the world when the horses are senior enough and their condition renders them incapable of comfort due to age, injury or disease.
Veterinarians generally choose lethal injection or gunshot for euthanasia. In Europe, gunshot is the preferred method; in the US, lethal injection is more popular, likened to the emotional ideal of dying in one's sleep.
I told the Club then that we were very attached to Michiko and ready to bear all expenses required for her proper care. I also ensured that she should not be used for riding.
I was approached three or four times by the Club authorities in these two years and each time I made it very clear to them that unless there is no option left Michiko should not be put to sleep.
But this time I realized that my decision was causing Michiko immense pain every moment she lived. So I finally took the painful decision that would relieve Michiko of her misery and pain. I sent a formal authorisation letter to the Club saying that they may do what is best.
As I pen this blog, I am not sure whether Michiko is alive. I had instructed the Club officials to spare themselves the trouble of further informing me on this matter. I will know when the monthly bill from the Club stops.
What should I say - Michiko take care! Or Goodbye Michiko!
ess bee

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