It was a happy day for Tank.
He got to eat as big a tub of his favorite feed as he wanted while getting all spiffed up.
His favorite filly was no more than three feet away, where he could still keep his eye on her.
He was halfway blissful about all the brushing.
Then a familiar truck and trailer pulled up to the barn, and head up!?He heard the voice of his old rodeo partner Rick. It must be time to go roping!
In truth, Rick works at the nearby vet school, and wanted to take his best good horse there for the end-procedure himself. I got a picture of him with Tank as the old guy strained against his lead rope, surely thinking, Come on, let's go! I can see the open trailer door!
Then, for a little while, it was kinda like old times--one last time-with just the two of them going down the road. (The rest of us can only imagine what thoughts and memories went along on that trip.)
I'm glad Rick and Tank got to do that. And also happy that my last memory of Tank is of him standing bright-eyed in the trailer, all perked up because the sight of Rick and trailer had triggered some exciting long-life-together memories of his own.
I called Ed after Rick's rig turned out onto the highway, and he was there to meet Rick at the vet school destination. It doesn't matter how tough a cowboy (or girl) you are--this is one of those times when it's good to have a friend standing by at the journey's true conclusion.
Because it's just the most indescribably lonely feeling in the world when you walk away with that empty halter.
?? ? ? TANK (A.K.A. DUNNY WIMPY, AQHA)
?? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?1979 - 2009