I lumbered back to the house, exhausted beyond my limits and weighted down by the unknown. As much as I needed rest, I needed to be prepared more. My mind raced from the assumptions I had made.
They were after all only assumptions. I was giving this woman the benefit of the doubt based on my good friend's trust in her instead of listening to my own internal warnings. Then I deduced this partnership notion out of who knows where wanting this situation to be something reasonable instead of the nightmare it would become.
I don't know if my thought process was something explainable by my deteriorated physical and mental state or what, only that it was. My mind tricking me into thinking I was in control of a situation where clearly I was not.
I am not aware how long I rested when my sleep was broken by the voice of my friend. Her tone alarmed me to such an extent my eyes popped open searching her face for clues to the cause of the heightened concern emanating my direction.
I had not heard a normal tone or seen a relaxed expression on her face since I was first diagnosed. Her look since then fixed and reflecting back at me the worry I knew she didn't want me to see but too grave to be masked by such a caring person. Now as I struggled to consciousness, the lines were broader, the furrows deeper, transmitting something more than my health was amiss.
With the cobwebs thick, I barely heard the utterance, "Mare.....bad...." Once again forcing myself on feet that had long since lost their usefulness, I walked to the barn with my friend trying to grasp the reason for this abrupt change in my her demeanor. My mind raced trying to understand.
We got to Lilly's stall to find her wheezing. Twenty-five years ago had I discovered a horse breathing in this manner it would have overwhelmed me like the expression I now saw on my friend.
The woman's alarm didn't stop there. Next I was informed that Dare was lame. That was followed up by talk of poor hay and weight loss, particularly on Aana.
All of these things are situations that can and do happen in a herd the size of mine. Not to minimize any one of them but normally these things would just be something to deal with. Stuff happens, we fix it and move on. Of course my observation has the benefit of hindsight.
At the time it happened I did not see that in the course of a couple hours something had changed my friend's viewpoint. She was alarmed by things that would not normally faze her either since her experience is more extensive than mine. Suddenly she had lost faith in my ability to handle these situations or they appeared bigger than they really were. Whatever it was, the perception was skewed from the reality and the door was opened for the wolf to feed.
To be continued......