The vet administered antibiotics and painkillers. Romeo rallied quite a bit by the afternoon. Debbie had more injections to administer that night. She and the children put the horses in the house near them so that she could monitor Romeo's progress.
On Wednesday morning when I got into the big house, both horses were standing up and Romeo, especially was munching on the hay spread out on the floor as their bedding. The horses were taken outside and although Romeo didn't run about the garden, he stood quietly eating a little grass and drinking water that the children offered him.
On Wednesday night the children brought the horses indoors but by Thursday morning, Romeo wasn't looking at all well. Outside in the garden he lay on his side while the children propped his head up on a bag stuffed with hay. The vet had told us to keep him on his chest or with his head propped up to avoid contracting pneumonia.
Thursday lunchtime, Debbie had to run an errand and both Joshua and Eryn were exhausted from caring for the little horse. Grant sent them to sleep and I took over the horse sitting. Although his breath was terribly ragged, we all thought he didn't look like he was at death's door. I held his head on my lap and stroked him telling him he could get better.
At 1.30pm Eryn and Joshua came outdoors. Grant and I had to take luggage to our next door neighbor as we're off on a motorbike tour to the Free State. We duly set off to the next door farm (which entails opening and closing four gates - yes, this is my privilege) and as we drove back into the yard 15 minutes later, Elijah ran up to the car and told us Romeo is dead.
We were shattered.
Namusa and Thandiwe immediately set about digging a big and deep enough grave in the garden which could take a 150 kilogram horse. When the grave was right, Namusa, Eryn, Bethany. Elijah, Joshua, Debbie and I hammocked the dear little horse from where he'd died on the lawn to the dug hole.
Much sadness for the little children. And as Grant said later that night:
"That brave little horse fought so hard for his life, I thought he would live..."
Rest in Peace, dear sweet Romeo