Book Review: FLame – The Horse that Refused to Die


Flame - The Horse that Refused to Die

What do you dream of doing when you retire?

When Bill Reilly retired from IBM, he didn’t sit on the beach sipping cocktails. He became an animal humane law officer for Dutchess County, NY and then wrote a book about his experience. The book is titled Flame – The Horse that Refused to Die, and was released earlier this year. The majority of the book focuses on one animal case and how Bill deals with a horse and its owner. The book details the rescue and survival of only one of them. Bill describes the owner as a hermit who lives on a mountain. The remainder of the book contains a series of short stories about some of his other unique cases and his interactions with the animals (dogs and cats) and their owners.

What To Expect

For those of you who are new or unfamiliar with rescuing animals, you may be surprised at just how much drama, time and energy is spent rescuing a horse, as well as the other animals from the short stories. For those of you who are experienced with animal rescue, the stories will resonate. You will easily relate to the hurdles and the challenging decisions that come along with rescuing an animal. As those who are involved with animal rescue know all too well – there is no easy rescue.

The Book’s Message

Bill’s writing style is very simple, and I would bet anyone a dollar that he talks exactly as he writes. He comes across as being genuine. Bill does an excellent job telling this story without being judgmental about the horse’s owner. I personally have been involved with animal rescue for over a decade, and I know it can sometimes be difficult to not get emotionally caught up in a situation or let your judgement cloud your reasoning. Seeing a neglected animal should arouse a strong emotion, but Bill keeps his emotions in check and this allows him to befriend the owner of the horse. As you will see, this was the smartest thing he could have done, as he attempts to save the horse. I think Bill’s message is subtle but clear – animal rescue is just as much about helping people as it is about helping animals. A good tip and reminder for all who want to be involved in animal welfare.

The book can be found on Amazon.


Image: Courtesy of Amazon

WagBrag’s co-founder, Russ Boles, has a deep history in animal rescue and welfare. For the past 12 years, Russ has served in various roles with Atlanta-based animal advocacy organizations focused on rescue, training and education. In addition, Russ led a local rescue volunteer team into New Orleans immediately after Hurricane Katrina, assisting in efforts to rescue and care for stranded animals. This experience changed his life, and animal rescue and advocacy will always be a part of everything he does.