I haven’t written on the blog in a while. This first entry back is a sad and difficult one.
We lost one of our most beloved members of the farm family this morning–sweet Spot the ewe.
We had been giving all of the sheep a mixture of alfalfa pellets and dried corn once a day in winter (twice a day if it was really cold and windy). As usual, the sheep got their treat this morning. Spot had a tendency to hack and cough more than the rest of the sheep, possibly combined. For whatever reason or unfortunate conjuncture of factors, she seems to have choked on the alfalfa pellets and she died in Ron’s arms.
The horrible, painful irony is that we got the alfalfa pellets mostly for Spot’s benefit because we hoped she was pregnant, but she was small and skinny. We had read that skinny ewes can have more problems with pregnancy, labor, and delivery so we were trying to get her to gain some weight.
Instead, this. A truly awful morning on the farm.
The rest of the sheep are not acting normal and they seem lost.
So are we.
Brownie may have been the matriarch of the flock, but Spot was its heart. And she had made her way into ours.
Spot was an unusual sheep. She didn’t have all the characteristics of most sheep. She wasn’t flighty and easy to startle. Most of the time the rest of the sheep would startle or spook, she’d slowly look up and around. The cartoon bubble over her head indicated something along the lines of–“What are you doing? Why are you running away? It’s just that guy.” She was gentle, friendly, affectionate, and sweet. Apparently she came out of the womb like this. The woman who owns the farm where we bought her said that Spot was like that ever since she was “itty bitty.” Spot liked both of us, but she particularly liked Ron.
The farm feels like a extended family that crosses species lines. We lost a family member and friend today. We’ve lost farm animals before, but this one is an especially difficult loss.