Bill, the Introvert Philosopher
A 15 year old Halflinger/Peruvian Paso gelding
I first saw Bill grazing on a little hill with green grass and yellow flowers overlooking the beach and the Caribbean sea. What a pretty sight. His flaxen mane in the sun with little yellow flowers at his feet. He looked just like Sam’s pony Bill in “Lord of the Rings” (My daughters and I are fans, no totally geeks of Lord of the Rings we watched it at least 10 times, all of them, maybe more! I’ve read the books and the characters are always in my life somewhere, especially when it comes to names for horses! :)
Bill had a home with an Italian family. There were two little blond angels so tiny, so cute and they would brush Bill, put flowers in his mane and just climb up all over him, hanging off of him at various angles. They adored him and you could see he adored them. He wasn’t very young anymore, but life was pretty good. He would also pull a little carriage behind him and sell fresh baked bread, the Italian father made, to the neighbourhood, including us. In the morning you would hear the little bell, and Bill’s hooves clippity-clop on the stone road. When he was a little down or sick with something the Italian mother would come to me for some natural medicine and he would heal and be happy again.
Then Anya, my daughter Evie’s mare, fell in love with him, and refused for him to be out of her sight, she would have a tantrum so mucho so, that she would start to colic! So we had to ask the Italian family if we could borrow him for a few days to calm her down. It worked and we promised she could visit him, but he had to go back to his own home .
Months passed and I noticed Bill didn’t look so well, was getting skinnier and skinnier. One day my younger daughter Eve came home from school, worried and begging me to come see Bill, who was tied up at a corner lot eating grass. I went with her and my older daughter Lexi came with us. He look awful, skin and bones, head hanging low, lips drooping, whites of his eye red and blood shot, not eating just standing there. From his behind I could see he had diarrhea and from his skin, was severely dehydrated, his body was covered in fungus everywhere. My daughters begged me to take him home and heal him, though our financial situation couldn’t afford another mouth to feed and to take care of. I went off to the family, who were doing very well, sad, they had no money for themselves their own doctor Bill’s or for their 2 beautiful little daughters. It was a sad situation. They loved Bill but with lack of money and lack of knowledge they were lost, they had lots of love, but it wasn’t enough. As Bill didn’t actually belong to them, I had to go ask the owner if he would give him to me so I could save him. Well, believe it or not, he wanted money or he would just abandon him in a pasture and Bill would have to defend for himself! Bill didn;t have much time left, a day maybe 2 maximum, before he would most likely die from fever, dehydration, infection etc. So I paid him his $400 he wanted and went to get Bill.
This is what he looked like when we got him.
I called the vet, a next bill to pay for medication, we then continued his healing with herbs, homeopathy, Bach Flowers and Essential Oils. This is what he then looked like after a lot of love and care spent on him.
The 2 little girls would come to visit their pony, bring him flowers. One day they had to return to their country as their parents just couldn’t make it here anymore. I could see Bill always missed those 2 little girls and wished that he could have another little girl to himself. He stayed with us a couple of years
During that time he would have repeated episodes of hoof abscesses due to his malformation in his legs. We managed with barefoot trimming to get them much better.
But it continued to be an off and on problem which we would treat with Chinese herbs from FLOTH http://www.forloveofthehorse.com. These herb formulas Dr.Thomas creates with his wealth of knowledge and experience, after having studied several years in China. He is an amazing kind hearted and very interesting man, do check his web site, they will help you so much with different dis- eases in the horse’s body and how to heal.
This last year seemed to start a downhill process with Bill. His episodes were more frequent and then he developed something else. The signs were there, but NO ONE saw them, not even the vets. For me this is incredible and unbelievable that these obvious signs the vets did not pick up, it might have changed a lot of things for both Bill & Greyjoy. But it wasn’t.
These signs were swelling up of the hind legs (which we thought was stocking up) a fever and the swelling of the same gland on his lower abdomen. Now after all my investigating, I know that these are sure sign of an acute state of EIA! The dreaded EQUINE INFECTUIOUS ANEMIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
January 2014 started as good month for Bill, he was feeling better and actually joined the Parelli clinic, at first it was only to be as a bystander, grazing on the outskirts while watching everyone else play the Games. But then Miriam, a guest for the 1 week Parelli Clinic Retreat, had some confidence issues and David Lichman, thought Bill would be a good comfort for her. Which he proved to be, in his kindness and the pure gentleness of his heart, he soon had Carolyn feeling good about herself and horses and ready to move on to the next step!
After the clinic Bill seemed tired and then he developed a fever. Then I didn’t know anything really about EIA, so after many vet visits, anti-biotics, holistic treatments……we took blood tests of all sorts, one of them being the Coggin’s test which came out positive. We were devastated. I then had all the others tested immediately too and we waited several days for the results, in agony. During that time my daughter and I had to make the heart wrenching decision to say good bye to Bill and send him on his way to greener pastures in the skies.
It was a sunny day by the beach surrounded by friends and family that we lay him to rest. We spent several hours together my daughter, Bill and I on the beach, Bill grazing, but never leaving our sides as we lay in the sand, the waves breaking on the beach, the gentle sea breeze. All was peaceful as we laughed, talked and cried together with Bill and the stories we had shared together. He would stand his muzzle on our heads, our shoulders, gentle resting, breathing, smelling and transferring thoughts of peace and life. Bill, with his wise old soul, said good bye to us, filling our hearts with so much love. We thanked him for everything he had brought into our lives of all the children he made happy in our Pony Club, the love he gave Anya when she was sad and we hoped in our hearts that we had given him some back.
I believe we did, as his eyes looked at us with such love and such caring and then his soul was free.
R.I.P. dear wise Bill.
In tribute & memory to Bill we with a dear friend Lisa Mason are in the process of starting an Educational Rescue Center for EIA Carrier Horses in Costa Rica.