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Honoring Brett: A True Blue Mate to Sanctuary Horses

A tribute to Brett

Thank you to all who have supported and contributed to the horses. Each and every one of you are special human beings who have made a massive difference in the lives the 24 horses currently living here and those who have since passed over the rainbow bridge. Sanctuary work is not for the faint of heart however your encouragement and generosity help keep us going. Many of you have asked us to keep sharing updates so we wanted to tell you about a supporter named Brett.

After the visit by ABC News to the sanctuary, Alan received an unusual phone call.

The voice on the other end had a warm, mature tone about it and the caller introduced himself as “Brett Gillies and my dog Billy.”

He stressed how he loved the news coverage of Calan Horse Sanctuary by ABC and was very complimentary of us indeed. The call lasted a few minutes and Brett and Alan signed off.

“After a week or so Brett rang again and nearly knocked me off my chair by going on to say he would love to give the sanctuary his ute to help care for the horses etc. (I sent him a photo of some of the horses inspecting the ute and Brett got a real buzz from it.) We had many nice phone chats, sometimes he would ring me and I would ring him, every time he had his dog near by and of course Kaylee was not far from me”, said Alan.

Brett arranged with a vehicle carter to bring the ute down at no expense to the sanctuary. When the hauler arrived he showed some emotion in saying the owner of the ute was a very nice person but his life must be a real tough battle. It wasn’t until then that Alan found out Brett was wheelchair bound.

“When Brett and I were chatting again I very carefully inquired was he wheel chair bound and the answer was in the positive. This absolutely rocked me because in all our conversations there was no sign of complaint or indication. Even during THIS conversation he did not mention that he was also connected to a ventilator.”

Brett was a humble and generous person indeed and far beyond his gifting us the ute. Tucked in the tray of the ute was a neatly folded large tarpaulin, boxes of mechanical fittings, six large, blue, fibreglass barrels like Alan has been using here – cut in half for water and feed bins. Brett had even put some wrapped up dog treats for Kaylee our canine farm manager and she loved them.

Some time later Brett rang Alan again and said “I have been thinking” …and what he had been thinking about is that he wanted to get his mate to call in at Calan, pick up the roof rack Alan took off the ute and his mate would bring it up to his place past Perth so he could sell it and send the money back to the sanctuary. Brett’s kind heart was as mighty yet soft as they come- always having others welfare in mind, including animals.

Sadly, on one real hot Saturday afternoon, unbeknownst to us, Brett’s ventillator broke down and this wonderful human, being without oxygen, was rushed to hospital. The following day they turned off the machine – they couldn’t save him.

“With the demise of this “wonderful” “wonderful” person it was too much for me to bare. But because of the more than 30 animals to care for at the sanctuary, I jolted myself into a trot and kept going, remaining silent yet purposeful knowing this man wanted and did make a difference.

We felt that as we always want to acknowledge when one of our beloved equines passes over, we also want to acknowledge those who live according to a higher law that respects and cares for all forms of life and especially our last chance horses. To Brett, we say ‘Thank You’ for being a true blue mate to the horses til the very end. Your legacy lives on here at CHS.

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