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Don't give up on me: Anakin's Story

Jessica Farren
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Don't give up on me: Anakin's Story

Postby Jessica Farren on Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:57 pm

Don’t Give Up on Me: Anakin’s Story

We met him at a low point in his life. Starved nearly to the point of death, the chestnut thoroughbred was so emaciated that even the bones of his pelvis and femur were visible. But in spite of his horrific condition, the horse had an unmistakable message for us. “I’m okay,” he told us. “Don’t give up on me."

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With a bit of internet sleuthing, we discovered who he was. His name was Anakin, and he’d spent the large part of his life working at a research lab in Northern California. He ran on a treadmill, leaped over small jumps covered in data-gathering equipment, and climbed mountains to help study the effects of high-altitude on mammals. Scientists and students who worked with him remembered Anakin as a kind and easy-going professional in the lab, everyone’s favorite research assistant. How this horse ended up nearly 800 miles north in Washington state remains somewhat of a mystery. But at Save a Forgotten Equine (SAFE) horse rescue, all we really cared about was saving his life.

Saving this horse was not an easy task. Anakin was so weakened by starvation that he could not lift himself back up after laying down to rest. He spent three weeks in intensive care where veterinarians used a hoist and a sling to get him upright again. Anakin was a bright and active participant in his own rehabilitation. He ate every meal that his refeeding diet plan permitted. He dutifully allowed vet techs to take blood samples to monitor his kidneys and liver, to treat his bedsores and abrasions, and to put him into his sling every day to be hoisted to his feet. He never stopped telling us to keep the faith. “I’m okay,” he told us. “Don’t give up on me."

In time, Anakin’s muscles grew stronger, and he was able to leave the hospital. Transforming him from a skeleton into a beautiful redheaded Thoroughbred was a long process filled with accomplishments that were celebrated far and wide. The first time he stood up unaided. The first time he was allowed out into his run. The first time he was given free choice hay. The first time we caught him splashing in his water trough. The first time he was turned out onto a small pasture. His first roll in the grass. His first joyful gallop across the field.

And finally, the biggest accomplishment of all. Anakin was adopted to a wonderful horsewoman who saw him on TV and decided at that moment that she would be taking him home. He shares his new life with three other horses also adopted from SAFE. We visit them on a regular basis, and Anakin always looks remarkably relaxed and happy. “I’m okay,” he tells us. “Thank you for not giving up on me.”

To learn more about SAFE (Save a Forgotten Equine) and its mission to help horses please visit http://www.safehorses.org
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Last edited by Jessica Farren on Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jessica Farren
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Re: Don't give up on me: Anakin's Story

Postby Jessica Farren on Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:01 pm

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Re: Don't give up on me: Anakin's Story

Postby Jessica Farren on Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:02 pm

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Re: Don't give up on me: Anakin's Story

Postby Jessica Farren on Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:06 pm

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Re: Don't give up on me: Anakin's Story

Postby Jessica Farren on Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:08 pm

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Re: Don't give up on me: Anakin's Story

Postby Jessica Farren on Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:09 pm

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Re: Don't give up on me: Anakin's Story

Postby Jessica Farren on Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:10 pm

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Re: Don't give up on me: Anakin's Story

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