Monday, March 7, 2011

The One Eyed Pony

Words can not express how much I love and adore my little one eyed Janie.  I think I love her even more because she is missing an eye than if she were perfect.  Of course, I think she's perfect anyway. She gorgeously adorable, a dark bay, short but with a stocky build like a quarter horse, and that big white blaze that goes around one eye.  That big white blaze is most like the reason she only has one eye, since she had a sarcoma in her eye that is usually found in cases where there is no pigment to protect from the sun's rays. 

Her eye was just removed the first week of January. We were hoping it was just an infection and tried creams and shots and other less invasive treatments, but it just kept getting worse.  Finally, I talked the vet into removing the entire eye.  The other choices were to do nothing and she would live in pain and eventually die or to try to remove the sarcoma and save the eye.  That option was simply cost prohibitive, and the chances of success were slim.  Call me hard hearted, but saving a horse's vision is not as important as feeding my children. 

The day after Jane's surgery, she was up and running in the pasture with more spirit than we had ever seen from her.  She must have been in so much pain before.  She began to show gumption that we didn't know she possessed.  Now when we tighten her saddle, she snaps at us at every move.  It's become almost a joke just to watch her.  She only flaps her lips, really.  One time I let her "bite" me, and she was really confused a little disappointed that I called her bluff, I think. 

My youngest daughter rides Jane.  And I guess I need to back up a bit and explain why Jane and her one-eyedness is so special to me.  Just last summer, Ainsley had a hearing evaluation and failed with flying colors.  We were told there was no way around it; she must have hearing aids.  I sobbed my way through the next week or so before I adjusted to what life had thrown at her.  My husband, Peter, wasn't the least upset and tried to comfort me.  Finally, I threw it in his face that he had no clue what it's like to go through life not knowing what others are saying, and smiling and nodding, hoping you didn't just agree to single handedly host the visiting youth group at your home next weekend.  Now my daughter was going to live this life. It's not a bad life, but it's not one I would wish on someone either.

That was before I realized two things:  My daughter is made of tougher stuff than me.  And kids' hearing aids are way cuter than when I had to wear them!  Her's are pink and green.  Mine were brown. Hideous ugly brown.  Not fair.

Ainsley wears her hearing aids like a badge.  She tells people, "I look just like my mama, and I wear hearing aids like her too!"  And she's proud of that.  I hope she keeps that outlook on life.

Nevertheless, she is "different" now.  And look, so is Jane!  What a pair those two make.  My little hard of hearing, cute as a button Ainsley riding her one eyed, preciously sweet Jane.  Jane pretends to be disgruntled while she's being saddled, but as soon as Ainsley climbs up, they are off!  They ride over the hill and every once in a while a catch a flash of color or hear laughter floating on the wind.

Ainie and Janie. 

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