Goodbye Old Friend – Mr. B d. June9th. 2015
Late yesterday evening we said goodbye to a highly popular, and much loved member of the White Bird family. Mr. Bowersox, or Mr. B to all who made his acquaintance, has been with the rescue for nearly five years. Blind, and some years over 40, he was the mainstay of our Equine 101 for new volunteers. Young and old, with or without horse experience and even a little afraid, Mr. B treated them all with a kind snicker, put up with the clumsy attempts at fitting his fly mask and halter, and reveled in the extended periods of grooming which were his reward. Rescued from the auction house in Missoula, Montana, by the wonderful Jeff and Virginia, the awful predicament that his owner left him in was turned around as he found friendship and security. Persistence, and J & V’s huge hearts got Mr. B to White Bird via a three day trailer journey, and the “best horse I ever trailered” report from the hauler.
We never discovered how his life ended up at that auction house, or at what stage he lost his sight. A Cushing’s horse, he bore his ailments stoically and, never failed to whinny back at “Hi Mr. B”, that is until the night before last. Our usual hello was met with silence, and his untouched food bore testament to something wrong. Well, untouched food by a 40 yo is not unusual and some tempting alternative will usually get them going again. This time seemed different and with an elevated heart rate (but no fever) our Vet was called. Initially, looking like a choke, the final verdict was a probable tumor completely blocking the esophagus.
There is little more devastating for a rescuer than that there is nothing to be done. We all know that we must part at some stage with the horses we take in, but that doesn’t make it any easier. We try not to have favorites, but some rescues are special and Mr. B was to many volunteers what White Bird was about. He did indeed live out his life in safety and dignity, and was stoic to the end; curling his nose back in response to his name to show he heard. He will be missed by everyone who knew him, and not least by Mona his companion, who was with him to the end. Goodbye old friend, enjoy your freedom – reunited with Alison, his BFF.