Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Parallels

This evening as I snapped a couple photos of the sunset, it reminded me of a parallel I am facing. When someone gets old, they are said to be in their "sunset years." Dear old Inky is definitely in hers. Truth be told, I thought we'd need to put her down before this winter got underway, but for the most part she has remained mobile, eating, and interested in flock life.

Yesterday morning I found her flat out on her side in her protected corner of the fold. I tried to help her get up, but she couldn't even maintain a sternal position on her own. I propped her up against my leg and administered sheep drench and Banamine, then busied myself with other tasks to give the stuff time to work. When I came back, she was on her other side. Assuming she had tried to get up on her own, I went it and helped her again, this time successfully. Although none too steady on her feet, she tottered right over to her hay feeder and started to eat.

This morning I turned the sheep out to graze. Inky didn't look very comfortable from the start; she often appears to have a neck problem or neurological issue, standing with her head held oddly. So I gave her another dose of Banamine this evening, which always seems to help. But Rick thinks the time is approaching to put her down, maybe before lambs arrive and the need for jugs would necessitate her being jostled in the shared fold space at night. Perhaps this is why lambing isn't generating the usual anticipation in me. It's hard to get excited about new additions when you are facing farewells.

That's it for now from . . .

11 comments:

Nancy K. said...

I'm praying Inky will be able to hold on long enough to have and love her last babies. You don't have any of her offspring do you?

Michelle said...

Nancy, I didn't breed Inky the last two falls; her condition was just too poor. I still have Bramble, her three-year-old daughter. Unfortunately, Bramble has never settled....

Theresa said...

Oh Michelle, I know all too well that final progression
of decisions. It seems daunting, but we both know it's pretty clear cut. Quality of life. It's never ever easy though, so big hugs going out to you and Inky and the Boulderneigh family.

Christine said...

Awe, that's such a hard decision. How old is she? Our beagle just turned 10 the other day, she's fine now but I realize we are nearing her sunset.

thecrazysheeplady said...

:-/

Kelly Bartels said...

I just happened to be scanning my photos yesterday and came across a shot of my sweet Annie (my Maremma) that had to be put down due to cancer. That made me cry and then your post today did it to me again. The joy we get from these sweet souls is equal to the pain of saying goodbye to them, but I wouldn't trade their place in my life for anything.
Hugs to you as you struggle through this trial.

Laura said...

It's very hard to determine when the right time is. I think you're right - the time for Inky is before lambs arrive. It will be hard, and you will miss her. Her last fleece will hold a special place in your heart, necessitating a "perfect" project (I have several of those...).

She has had a wonderful sheepy life with you. Ease her passing so that she doesn't suffer too long.

janna Edrington said...

This is the most difficult part of having special animals in our lives. I feel for you.

A :-) said...

This makes me sad :-(

Becky Utecht said...

So sorry Michelle, I know how this is. I also know you will do what's best for her and you will see to it that she doesn't suffer needlessly.

Alice said...

Feeling your anguish at this difficult time. Prayers of strength for you and yours.