Bill passed away overnight. My dad and uncle buried him inside the horse pasture by the pond. As I said before, Bill had many tumors, had begun to act unlike himself, and we expected him to go soon. He’ll be missed, but we’re happy he’s not suffering anymore.
While Bill and Eddie aren’t in top condition, they’re hanging in there! I visited both of them this afternoon.
I love that Eddie’s using a rusty chain for a pillow here.
We’ve got two animals on the farm that aren’t doing so well.
Eddie the sheepdog is showing his age. He has a hard time getting up, and his back legs are really weak. He barks for no reason, constantly, making us think he’s senile. He’ll growl and bite when you try to help him up, and he’s having some digestive issues. Eddie’s about 13 years old. I think we could best describe him as a grumpy old man, but the lovable kind.
Bill the Percheron draft horse isn’t doing well either. He has had tumors for a few years now, and in the past week or so he’s started acting strangely. He lies down a lot, which he never does. He doesn’t eat his grain, and he even had some convulsions last night. Today, he seemed to be off in his own world when I went to visit him. I’m guessing he’s about 18 years old, and there’s not really anything we can do for him except make him comforatble and let him spend time with the other horses. His teammate Vinny lives in the pen with him, and Annabelle and Isabelle are right next door. Yesterday, I went to visit him and they were out to pasture. It was a beautiful view of Bill lying on the hill, the sun setting through the old maple tree on the horizon. I didnt’ have my camera, but I’ll never forget how pretty it was. Here are some other pictures of Bill.
Bill’s on the left
Bill’s in the middle (1999)
While I’m hoping that both Eddie and Bill will make full recoveries, I know that’s unlikely. Growing up on the farm, I learned that death is a part of life. While I’ll certainly miss these animals when they’re gone, I take comfort knowing that they had long, happy lives here with us. We love them, and they love us back.
I’ve decided to write about the horses I’ve known and loved in a new feature: Horse Tales. We’ll start with an introduction to the horses who currently live on the farm.
Whinney is a miniature horse. Her full name is Mini-Whinney, and she’s not a pony, she’s even smaller. I’m not sure how old she is, but she’s getting up there. Her talents are scratching on the fence and eating grain from happy children.
Bill is one half of our Dapple Gray Percheron team. He’s a draft horse who specializes at pulling hayride wagons and eating hay.
This is Vinny, the other half of the hayride team. He sometimes has an attitude, but Bill keeps him in check.
And of course you know Annabelle. She’s a Shire, another draft horse. We don’t have any regular sized horses at the farm, only the mini one and the giant ones. Annabelle and Whinney have become their own little herd and like to spend their time together during the day when they’re in the same pen. We expect Annabelle’s foal to arrive in a few weeks, since she has started to produce milk, and we can’t wait for the new little Shire to arrive!
Future Horse Tales posts will include stories, pictures, and memories of horses past and present.