Thursday, October 27, 2016

Thank you all.

Thank all of you for your very kind thoughts and much-appreciated hugs.  I was reflecting on how different Juno's passage was than that of Flora - her mother.  This was entirely due to the vet.  Dr. D and I sat in the barn with Juno from start to finish, and a little longer, out of respect for her excellent-ness.  He spoke kindly to both of us.  He told me stories about being a young vet, the vagrancies of human nature (four deer hunters hit a deer with their truck, then brought it to the vet and paid the large bill to have it treated), we talked about President Kennedy's death, Viking ships, our families, breeds of horses, the anatomy of ruminants.  Juno had her head in my lap and her passage to TNGA was peaceful, although it takes a long time for sheep (and ruminants in general) to give up the fight.

It took us both a few minutes to get up off the barn floor (some much-appreciated levity) and then we moved her to my car.

When I first launched myself into this venture, I was pretty much clueless.  While I don't recommend this approach, it is what it is.  I haven't harmed too many innocent creatures in my sharp learning curve, I am happy to say, but there is always a lingering fear that you could have done more or, even worse, that you were the cause of it all.  As Dr. D and I sat with Juno, we discussed her rather rapid deterioration and how none of the treatments that should have worked, did.  It did make me feel better, but it is an enormous responsibility to make the decision of treatment or death of any living creature.  You spend a lot of time wishing that, as Michelle so aptly put it in her comment, (and I paraphrase) you could keep them alive purely by loving them enough.

We tried to make Juno's removal from the barn as non-threatening as possible for Linden, Apria and Norman.  No one was noticeably affected except for Norman, who is a very sensitive sheep (in a sheep's fight-or-flight reaction, Normal is 100% flight).  He was very upset and he bleated, off and on, for a couple of hours after Juno was gone.  However, this morning - after a liberal dose of graham crackers - he seems to have recovered.

Sheep.  I love them.


Michelle said...

Your comment about how long it takes sheep to give up the fight makes me feel a bit better; I thought that was just MY experience and that we just haven't found the "right" method. It sure is traumatic for the caregivers!

Janice Grinyer said...

Oh!((((hugs to everyone there-never easy))))

Buttons Thoughts said...

HUGS HUGS. I know this feeling. B

Susan said...

Michelle, according to Dr. D, they take a very long time (comparatively) and seem to want to hang on. It really is traumatic, but I am glad I was forewarned.

Fiona said...

Too few people understand the strength of that "spark". Life is precious to all! It never gets easier and I don't think it should. The great joy they bring us is to be remembered and appreciated beyond all things!

Susan said...

It's awe full and awful. More hugs for you, Dr D, and the four legged crew.

Casa Mariposa said...

I'm so sorry you've had to experience this. :o( What a lucky sheep to have been able to share her life with you.

Sandy Livesay said...


Juno will always have a special in our hearts.

Graham crackers are great soothing treat not just for Norman :-)

Sending hugs and prayers to you.