She talked to me.  From the first time I walked up to Tori she was talking.  Loudly letting me know that she was here and wanted my attention.
After her arrival, she continued to beckon.  Singing her song with enthusiasm.  Her eyes filled with an appeal for recognition and insistence.  While I went about my chores of feeding, watering, medicating, brushing, cleaning for the TIER residents, she kept a watchful eye.  Every time I passed close to where she was eating or standing, she would talk to me.  No matter if I had stroked and spoken to her just minutes before, upon my next walk by her she would talk to me.   She would lift her head, look at you with those imploring eyes while she munched her feed and call out.
When I would step out of the house and walk toward the area where the horses are, hers was the first voice I would hear.  Loudly greeting me and claiming my immediate attention.  Usually, she was out and about because I wanted her to be able to walk freely, meet the other horses, perhaps form a bond with another resident, and hopefully add some strength to her terribly diminished muscles.
She would trumpet her &ldquoHello!," walk towards me and stop several feet away.  Respectfully asking me for a word or touch of acknowledgement while giving back encouragement and trust.  Such a lovely, kind mare.  Whenever there was a need to halter her and lead her somewhere she would elegantly dip her head into the halter and wait for my cue to walk forward.  Never pushy, always respectful, always right there.  A definite presence.  She talked to me and I was filled with hopes of seeing her fat, sassy, full of health, sashaying around.
We had several days of rain and wind so Tori was now in a pen where she could get out of the weather and be under cover.  I didn&rsquot want her to expend what energy she had slogging through the mud.  She was so very thin in spite of FINALLY having feed in front of her 24/7 for the past month.
One morning I walked out, heard her voice, but noticed a difference.  She was not loudly proclaiming her existence.  Instead I heard a soft, low summons.   She was lying in her pen.  She was not lying flat out, her head was up, but her back was to me.  I ran over to her and she talked to me in a low, tired voice.  She made an effort to get up but could not.  I tried in vain to flip her over as she had probably been down for a while and I felt that her legs might be numb from the inactivity.  I could not turn her over on my own, so I worked feverishly to take the front panel off the pen then got some straps and hopped on the tractor.  I eventually managed to flip her over, massage her legs and body that had lain on the cold, wet ground all night and I talked to her.  She tried to get up but could not get her hind legs under her.  I gave her some water and her favorite pellets/grain, gave her a shot of Banamine, and then ran in to call our vet.  He was unavailable until later in the afternoon so I began calling people to come help me get her on her feet.  Much later, someone I had never met who works with the emergency rescue folks in our area came out.  We rigged straps around her body, tied them to the bucket of my little tractor, and finally lifted her to a standing position.  She was shaking for a bit and then she was able to walk out into the arena!  I walked her over to the water trough and watched her drink.  She stopped drinking, and then she just looked at me for a very long time.  I hugged her, talked to her and quickly set about getting her some feed and a clean blanket.  I placed the food in front of her and she began eating.  When I put the clean blanket on her, she lifted her head and she talked to me.
The vet arrived and was pleased she was up and eating.  He felt, that due to her deplorable condition that she might go down again.  In fact, he was surprised that she had not gone down previously.  He told me that she definitely had the will to live, but he was not sure if her body would cooperate.  I monitored her throughout the night.  Each time I came out she was eating her pellets or standing quietly by the water trough.  Each time she would talk to me in a low voice acknowledging me and twice she rubbed her head on my chest while I wrapped my arms around her murmuring encouragement.  Odd.  She was not one of those horses who rub their head on you.  She was always on her best behavior, dignified, respectful of your space.
The next morning I rushed out to the arena to see how she was.  As soon as she heard me coming through the gate she talked to me.  There she was, lying flat out.  She tried to lift herself into a sitting position but could not.  I ran for the tractor and the straps.  I managed to flip her over, undo the blanket and massaged her legs & body.  I gave her another shot of Banamine and held buckets of water for her to drink.  She could not sit up.  I used the tractor to lift her into a sitting position and placed several rolled up blankets next to her to give her support.  It worked for a few minutes but she did not have the strength to remain up and the strain of trying was difficult to watch.  I called the vet but he was in the middle of a colic surgery.  I called another vet who arrived within 20 minutes.
As she lay in the arena, with her eyes closed yet keenly aware of where I was, I knew.  You see, she talked to me.  The long term lack of feed and care had taken its heavy toll.  Her spirit had been willing but her diminished body had failed her.  Her gallant efforts.  Her graceful demeanor.  Her loving personality.  She appreciated every touch, every word, every act, every mouthful, and every step.  She demonstrated the total fundamental nature of a horse.  Who she was touched me to my very core.  She moved me so deeply.  I had but one thing more I could do for this wonderful mare and that was to give her the final gift.
The vet arrived, assessed the situation and quickly prepared to set her free.  I held her head, rubbed her face and murmured to her while my tears fell on her eyelids.  She opened her eyes and, for the last time, Tori talked to me.  There are no words to adequately express my feelings.  The vet proceeded to let her go.  She left us with grace, dignity and a huge amount of respect.  This lovely Arabian mare who asked only to be cared for and gave much, much more than she received.
She talked to me.