When I got to the barn yesterday everyone was talking about the untimely passing of Dr. Novak. There was a lot of people saying "I heard from so-and-so that blah blah blah.", so it was really unclear what had happened. The various stories were that he had been ill for a few years, he had some sort of seizure disorder, that he had a heart attack in his truck, his medications were off, he had an aneurysm, and he was supposed to show up for a barn call and when he couldn't be contacted they went looking for him in the woods behind the barn with flashlights. Someone also said that the funeral would be private and open to family only. I really hope that information is incorrect.
As soon as I heard the sad news I called my friend Marge. I've known her for 15 years, and met her when I moved my horse to her barn. She was the one who called Dr. Novak to come and see my horse, because the vet that I had been using was too far away from the new barn and he said he didn't come out that way. She has known Dr. Novak and his family for years. She had already heard the news, and I asked if I could stop by her place after I rode Kaswyn (who felt great yesterday).
I used to stop my Marge's house frequently after I'd ride my horse. At the time it was easy because her house is next door to the barn, so I'd just drive one driveway over and I was there. I spent many evenings at her kitchen table with her and sometimes her niece Susan. We'd talk about horses and horse people, and it was great. I went over at least once a week, if not more.
When I moved my horse to another barn I came by less, but I still tried to stop by if I drove past her house and saw her car. Then I had the girls, and it became important for me to get home for dinner with my family, so I rarely went by. I'd call every now and then, but we just fell out of touch.
Last night we had a nice visit, complete with dinner and drinks with her niece Susan. We toasted Dr. Novak and talked about him as much as we could bear. Marge's information about what happened to him came from a vet who used to work for Dr. Novak and is currently boarding her horses at Marge's barn. She's a good friend of the family, having been given an orphaned foal years ago by Dr. Novak when she lost her mare. She said that he had pulled into a driveway, but it was unclear if he was making a barn call or if he just pulled in because he felt something was wrong. The lady left her house and found him in the truck, and called 911.
I stayed at Marge's for about an hour and a half, but then I had to get home. I told Marge that it was too bad that it took the death of a friend to bring us together, and she agreed. We said we'd be better at keeping in touch from now on.
I still don't know if there will be a public service, but everyone I've talked to wants to be there if it happens. I understand if the family just wants it private and simple, but I really hope we can all go and pay our respects to Dr. Novak.
The Harmany Muzzle
3 days ago