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Ripley

janice fischer
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Ripley

Postby janice fischer on Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:53 pm

I first met him about a year and a half ago and he has affected me ever since. Why? I was not quite sure. All I know is he affected me. He was an old soul. That I knew. But there was something else. Something about the way he looked at me. He looked straight into my eyes as if to say, "I know something." Something I could not place.

Ripley is a thirteen year old, 19 hand Belgian Draft, up for adoption. I fell in love with him immediately And how could I not? He had soft, honey- colored fur, gentle eyes and a head about half the size of me. His head was so big and beautiful, I just wanted to go over and lay my head against it, you know the type. I went over to say hello and stopped immediately. I was shocked. His right rear leg was huge, about three feet in diameter. I had never seen anything like it in my life.

Jennifer Finkelman, one of his caretakers, brought him out of his stall and explained. Ripley was a draft horse used for hay rides at a livery stable. They got a call and went to see him. He was living in a pasture of sewage water with other, more aggressive horses. He was malnourished and his leg was swollen and infected. Arrangements were made and he was brought back to Destination Safe Haven. Destination Safe Haven is a rescue and retirement facility in Marengo, Illinois.

Jennifer continues with her story while cleaning his leg. I am not going to get into all of the medical conditions, diagnosis etc. It is too much, The reality was, his leg was huge and not in a very good condition. It would have to be washed, dried and dressed 2-4 times a day for an unknown, if not indefinite, amount of time.

I first thought, "Maybe I could adopt him? I only have one horse and one more is really not that much more work". Then I thought again, "Well he is a pretty big horse, his care would probably be twice as much as a normal horse. I can't afford it." Then there was the leg factor, "Do I really want a horse with a leg that I have to care for 2-4 times a day? I would have to give up going out late at night, weekends with my girlfriends and almost all travel." Not sure I was ready to give that up. Then came the final excuse, "I really don't know this horse. If something happened to Ruby my horse, I would do it forger for sure. But him, "I really don't know him." So I easily convinced myself to walk away,

Sad to say, I left and did not go back to see him for awhile. I thought of him often though, and every time I did, I thought about me not adopting him. The excuses constantly popped into my mind and while I tried to suppress them, I could not.

I went back to see him this past December. He was just as beautiful and knowing as ever. His leg was so much better, even though it was still pretty big, and Jennifer was very happy with the progress he had made. I spent the day photographing and getting to know him and his friends. It was a beautiful day.

I got a call two weeks later; Ripley died. He just laid down and never got back up.

I still think of him often. I think of the first time I met him and the look he gave me. I now realize what he knew. Actually, I knew it all all along, I just did not want to face it. He knew I would never adopt him. And he knew the excuses why.

Destination Safe Haven, was founded by two unselfish women, Jennifer Finkelman and Deb Novak. They give their lives to horses who have nowhere else to go. These are horses that most other shelters will not even accept. Ripley was fortunate enough to find them. They gave him food, shelter and love. He made friends and had a wonderful last four years of his life. And they cleaned his leg 2-4 times a day.

Side note: I mentioned him to a beautiful and kind lady the same day I photographed him. She was going to adopt him regardless of his leg condition.
Last edited by janice fischer on Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

janice fischer
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Re: Ripley

Postby janice fischer on Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:04 pm

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Re: Ripley

Postby janice fischer on Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:07 pm

Ripley2
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Re: Ripley

Postby janice fischer on Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:07 pm

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Re: Ripley

Postby janice fischer on Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:08 pm

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Re: Ripley

Postby janice fischer on Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:09 pm

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Re: Ripley

Postby janice fischer on Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:09 pm

Ripley 6
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Re: Ripley

Postby janice fischer on Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:13 pm

Ripley 7
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Carol Lynn Coronios
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Re: Ripley

Postby Carol Lynn Coronios on Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:23 am

Have I said before that I HATE it when I cry at work and my makeup runs down my face?

Janice, my heart goes out to you - but please don't beat yourself up. 'Que sera, sera' is an honest, realistic assessment of life, if we don't use it as a fluff-off excuse: we can change some things, and some things we cannot.

Your pictures of his leg/wound are graphic & heartwrenching; your headshots are heartwarming. I especially like the last one with his mane blowing.

Bless you,
Carol
Carol Lynn Coronios
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janice fischer
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Re: Ripley

Postby janice fischer on Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:32 pm

Thanks Carol, You are sweet.
And sorry about the makeup!


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