Wherever Spirit roamed, Banker would be by his side as a wonderful calming adult influence, Banker would warn Jessica if he was at the Goose feed or had escaped the confines of the field, they had a bond between them that went beyond companionship, he was the patriarch of the pack but most especially of Spirit. He had an amazing influence on so many people and horses in his 34 year longevity including his incredibly loving owners. Whilst all were loosing their heads around him Banker remained steadfast and reliable, he was indeed the Old Major that had been on this plane a few times before. Not much surprised or shocked Banker, he was Jessica’s rock.
Two years ago on 12th November Banker collapsed in the field with life threatening chronic colic, Jessica was by his side the whole time whilst someone ran to fetch the vet. She soothed and talked to the old boy praying he would be alright, it was looking bad as he could barely move. Jessica would never want him to suffer and knew she had to give him permission to leave this life if he felt it was time, so with tremendous strength she told him he could go if he wanted to, that she would be sad but okay. All of a sudden Banker had an amazing jolt of energy and pulled himself to his feet as if exclaiming ‘he was not done here yet!’
Banker’s previous owner travelled some distance to see him for a day each year as indeed she did on Sunday 11th November this year, they all had a wonderful day in the sunshine, grooming his teddy-bear winter coat and catching up on cuddles. Banker was chatting away the whole time, happy to have his two loving ladies pamper him. Jessica was so pleased with him she had commented on how he had the look of a foal about him.
At 3am the following morning something woke Jessica, she opened the window to check on the boys but only two heads appeared at the stable doors: Banker was not responding. She could hear his feet pounding the floor and the sound of straw being thrown around. Jessica knew at once he was in trouble, as she rounded the corner to Banker’s stable he staggered towards her: the colic had struck once more, two years to the day. This time he was not going to recover, the vet was there very quickly and Banker passed quietly in the early hours with Jessica by his side and his pals nearby.
I visited Jessica, Spirit and Blacky later that day to offer my support; Jessica and I were worried about Spirit’s reaction to losing his best friend, we could not have been more wrong; Spirit galloped for the first time in years with his tail in the air, racing into the field with Blacky as if Banker was by his side. He was sprightly and happy, Blacky was the confused one. As a healer I have often felt the complete understanding and almost dismissal of dogs that have lost fellow dogs, it is an understanding of death that I struggle to find in other animals: they know the deceased has simply moved on to the next life continuing on their journey, there is no remorse or sadness, they are almost happy for the deceased, it is so refreshing to feel. That day I watched Spirit play in the field after his best friend had died was just the same; he was fine with the situation, almost excited for dear Banker. Spirit could feel Banker’s soul close and free and he was happy for him.
Blacky was not so sure of the situation, he is a sensitive soul that has a need to know how, why and where everything is. Though Blacky could feel Banker watching from the trees he did not understand Spirit’s euphoria.
I think Banker will be keeping a close eye on them all for some time to come.
All the best dear boy, I'm privileged to have met you in this life and I have no doubt you will continue to be a strong presence.