Casino was a beautiful, chestnut Thoroughbred, a fleet-footed former racehorse, with a heart of gold. The love my friend Jade shared with her horse Casino was the stuff of YA novels, a girl and her horse with an unbreakable bond.
I met Casino and Jade, a decade ago, shortly after Jade purchased the horse of her dreams. At the time, the hot-blooded gelding was a bit too much for a first-time horse owner. And so, for the first few years of their relationship, Jade only hand-walked her new friend. Slowly, but surely, bond developed, as good solid relationships do, into one of implicit trust and loyalty.
Last year, on chilly winter’s eve, I attended Casino’s 30th birthday party. He was a shadow of his former self, thin; his once slick coat was long and shaggy. I feared the inevitable.
A few months later, Casino passed away. I was worried about Jade. I wanted to comfort her. There’s a beautiful tradition at horse boarding stables, to leave bouquets of flowers, potted flowers and plants, and/or cards in the empty stall of a horse who had died.
Flowers and a card wasn’t enough. I wanted to give Jade a memorial she would treasure for years to come. She loved the Anam Caras, so an Anamabet print of Candra was an obvious choice. The decision to add a longer blessing was born from my desire to express something personal and intimate that would comfort Jade.
Flowers and a card wasn’t enough. I wanted to give Jade a memorial she would treasure for years to come. I knew she loved the Anam Caras, so an Anamabet print of Candra was an obvious choice. The decision to add a longer blessing was born from my desire to express something personal and intimate that would comfort my friend.
I wrote two versions:
Ultimately, I settled on the version written to Casino and gave it to Jade. Her eyes welled up with tears when she saw it.
“I am framing your beautiful art. I must of read the message a dozen times and it brought tears - this is so precious. Casino is giving you a "Spirit Nuzzle" of Love to you too!”
Jade loved her print so much, I began making similar prints for other people in my life, whom I wished to honor or thank. And, now I’m offering them to you.