Friday, April 24, 2009
I was at the farm visiting one day when Johnny came out to chat. He loved to talk and most times he would would bend down on one knee instead of standing. His breathing was often labored and this was about the time I learned that he may need a heart transplant. I was shocked to say the least, I really did not know his condition was deteriorating so badly. He never complained and never asked me to do much. I just did it, because I could and I was there. He told me he had to have a lot of testing done before he got on the "List" at Vanderbilt Medical Center.
Johnny was planning on taking Salina up to Lexington Ky. on her foal heat to be breed back. He worked hard to pick the studs out and had a book of all of the prospects. I checked in on Bucky that day and he did fine without his Mom.
In the next few weeks I would take care of the horses often as Johnny had overnight tests and or went to the hospital because he was having a hard time breathing. I would later learn he was in congestive heart failure, fluid would build up in his lungs, thus making it difficult to breath. I had offered to take him to the hospital many times, I did not like him being alone, but he said he was fine to do so. He had a son who lived about 30 minutes away but he never liked to bother him.
Johnny was a very independent person, liked to do things his way. I was in the stall one day putting down fresh wood shavings and Johnny was talking to me from outside the stall. He came in when I was finished and had to rake it to get it just right, but even that was a big chore for him, he was so out of breath.
One day I showed up and was in the stall mucking when I heard some unusual noises from another stall. I walked down the isle to check it out and I found a funky looking white and grey pony. He was making a racket and was so so funny looking! Johnny had got him to help with the other Mares when they would go into heat. They too would be breed back on their foal heat. I did not get it at first but then I did. Something about that little stud I did not trust, I think it was his very light blue eyes, they looked strange on this little horse, so I stayed away from him. Johnny would bring him out and walk him like a dog, which I thought was funny!
The two other Mares bellies were getting so big. They both were due in May. Artic Roll was due around the Derby again. I couldn't wait for more babies!