End of the Road

Poor Dot.

Despite all our efforts, and the best work of our vet, she never got her appetite back. She was still alive this morning, and I gave her an injection of antibiotic. Drenched her with lots of apple cider vinegar and warm water. Wiped the mucus from her nose. Expressed as much of the junk from her udder as I could. Told her what a good sheep she was. But she was clearly just barely hanging on.

The most interesting part of the last few days was watching the bond re-establish between Dot and her lamb. Although Dot had “officially” rejected the lamb, she grew too tired to drive the lamb away any longer. The two of them slept together, and the lamb tagged along everywhere Dot went. I was providing the nutrition, but Dot was still clearly her mother figure and companion.

Then, just a few minutes ago, Homeschooled Farm Boy was in the barn milking. He came to my office saying that Dot had gone down and wasn’t moving. I ran to the barn, but she was already gone. The saddest part was the little lamb, still standing by her, trying to figure out what was going on.

I just wish I could’ve been there when it happened.

I know we did all we could for her. But it looks like I’m going to be spending this miserable, cold, rainy Good Friday afternoon out in the pasture digging a grave. We’ll have to pick a good spot. Maybe near Scooter and Tabasco, close to the route the sheep use going in and out from their paddock to the pasture.

If there’s any bright spot in all of this, it’s that the lamb is healthy and that Dot will have a final legacy. No matter what her physical conformation to breed norms, we’re keeping her as a breeder. And now we need to name her!

I’m leaning heavily toward “Ellipsis.” Dot. Dot. Dot. Trailing off, into a new beginning.

7 thoughts on “End of the Road

  1. Ellipsis. I like it. “Elly” for short? I am sorry you lost your treasured ewe. It's a shame she went off-feed before there were raspberry leaves to tempt her! When I can get them to eat nothing else, my sheep will almost always eat some raspberry leaves.

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  2. So sorry for your loss! Dot was such a good ewe. Sarah & I love the new lamb's name! Ellipsis… always a part of Dot.

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  3. I am so sorry. I think the name for her lamb is great. And I'm probably too late, but maybe cutting off her horns to craft a memorabilia would be nice too. May little Ellipsis have the same leadership strength and her mom.

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  4. Appreciate the condolences from all.

    HM – I had the same thought about the horns. We haven't put her in the ground yet, and my intention is to cut the horns off before we do. We know someone local who's been interested in getting horns from us for crafts, and I think Dot's would be an excellent set for him to start with. Good to hear that my thought wasn't too “weird.”

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  5. I just finished reading your last few posts… I am so sorry about the loss of Dot. Our Lord sent you a special cross to bear during the Holiest days of the year. -Loretta

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