ROTHENBURGER – The Boys: a story of a lifelong bond that could not be broken

Bradley (right) and Tanner — The Boys. (Image: Mel Rothenburger)

IT’S MORNING, and Tanner stands in his paddock mournfully calling in hopes Bradley will answer. He wants Bradley to come sidling in from the hay field or around the corner from the barn, or maybe stepping out of the trailer so they can be re-united as has happened so many times before.

But Bradley doesn’t answer, because last Monday, on a beautiful bright morning, we had to say goodbye. The vet came and relieved him of all his aches, pains and ailments, and we buried him in the field he and Tanner had played in for so many years.

It came suddenly at the end. Brad was 35, celebrating his birthday only a week and half before. We loved that old horse.


Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He writes five commentaries a week for CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (8320 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

3 Comments on ROTHENBURGER – The Boys: a story of a lifelong bond that could not be broken

  1. Deveen Martin // May 9, 2020 at 7:45 PM // Reply

    Great article Mel. It’s not easy loosing a pet they are family & see us through many times where others fail us. A year ago l had to make that awful decision to put my little companion dog Dolly down but I knew it was for the best. Thankfully I had the opportunity. Got give another little girl a good home as the breeder was not going to use her again. What a good decision I made we both know how lucky we are for that decision. You me nation a companion for Tanner. Maybe the Donkey farm has something to offer . I am sure with your wide circle of contacts you will find some solution where everyone is happy. I remember you riding in the parades years ago. My god can’t believe I have been here over 50 years !!

  2. Jennifer // May 9, 2020 at 8:07 AM // Reply

    What a beautiful story, made me cry. If only everyone had compassion for animals as you do, it would be a much better world.

  3. Ian MacKenzie // May 9, 2020 at 7:37 AM // Reply

    This is a beautiful obituary and the inevitable sadness that comes with it.

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