Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Coming Up Short

I noticed her sitting in the shade on Sunday afternoon while the other girls were grazing. I didn’t think much of it. The temperature had gone from 50 degrees on Thursday to near 90. Blanche never liked the heat. She always appeared to suffer more than anyone else.

(Photo from last August)blanche

I sat down with her and checked her over. She seemed fine. No obvious signs of illness, no cough, no runny nose, she just seemed hot. It made sense given it was another day of 90 degrees and 70 percent humidity. When I stood up she rejoined the rest of the girls.

Monday morning my Shepherd sense told me she wasn’t well. She just wasn’t the perky Blanche we all know and love. I phoned the vet. Blanche was running a fever and starting to pant. We administered Draxxin (an antibiotic) and Banamine (a painkiller). Three hours later she was gone. Pasteurella Pneumonia.

From what I am told these things just happen. Nothing I could have done about it. The roller coaster ride of weather we’ve had lately was just too much for her immune system. That doesn’t make me feel any better. I still have to roll the woulda, coulda, shoulda thoughts through my mind.

The shepherd sense is on high alert right now. If any one else so much as blinks a little too long they’re going to get a thermometer up their behind so fast they won’t know what hit ‘em.

I just wish I could turn off the shepherd’s instinct to count heads. For over a year now I’ve subconsciously counted 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Many times a day 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Today 1, 2, 3, 4, 5…

I’m coming up short.

christinesig

Thank you all for your kind words, it means so much to me. I know you will miss her too.

22 comments:

A Brit in Tennessee said...

I'm so sorry to hear that sweet Blanche has passed, she'll be in sheep heaven, that's certain.
This heat and humidity takes it's toll on us all, but most especially the creatures who live outside and endure extreme weather conditions.
Blanche knew she was loved, you may not have been able to help her, but you gave her love.
Godspeed Blanche girl.
Hugs,
~Jo

Wendy said...

Sweet little Blanche. I was just about to comment the other day on how happy all your critters looked, even the new llamas. They are the fortunate ones who get to know what paradise on earth feels like. Blanche had a loving home while she was with you, and what else can anyone ask for?

I'm gonna tell Mom! said...

I'm sad for you. Such a lost feeling when you turn your head and look, or stop and listen for that missing pet.
kim

Rayna said...

So sad :( Unfortunately our stubborn little sheepies like to hide their illnesses sometimes :( So sorry for your loss :(

Niece said...

I'm so sorry for your loss....I understand all to well. I lost one of my wethers this winter and it was and still is so hard, I miss him every day......doesn't seem right with only 3 instead of 4....we are now searching for a new boy to join our little backyard herd.....these animals grab our heartstrings and don't let go. I know what you mean how you knew something wasn't right with her, I am the same way. We never did find out what happen with our Murphy, he was great the night before and down the next morning.....rushed him to the vet and he just never recovered....I so wish we had a good goat vet here....and yes, I have come to realize these things do happen with farm animals, but it never is easy. Not sure where your located, we are up near Fort Wayne....but we are looking for a new wether if you hear of any, I am a bit picky with the health of one, bringing him into my herd.

Kim said...

I know what you mean by counting heads. I'm sorry that there is no longer a 6. I know Blanche was special to you.

Julie Nelson said...

The kids lost one of their rabbits today. Rabbits are like sheep and hide their illness until sometimes it's too late. I'm feeling like I should have done more. Everytime he didn't come running for his food even though he was the greedy one. That should have warned me. I feel guilty. I'm sure you have nothing to feel bad about. You were more attentive then I was and she will understand that you did everything right. I will do better with the other rabbits in future.

Penny said...

I'm so sorry Christine.

Me and My Stitches said...

Again, I am so sorry about Blanche, but at this point your family better keep their backs to the wall - you are sounding quick with that thermometer! Keep an eye on the rest of them - that shepherd in you is a good thing.

macy said...

Tears and prayers... she will be missed.

Gone Country said...

Heartwrenching! My thoughts are with you and I would be exactly the same way. On high alert and counting, wondering where the other one is. Like you, my animals are part of the family. Time will make it easier although she will be missed. So sorry for your loss!

Debby said...

Christine, I am so sorry for your loss. It is strange how even though I only met her once, her loss makes me very sad. I know I will experience sorrows like this, as they are inevitable on a farm, but I am sure that is something you can never prepare for. Prayers coming your way.

Whosyergurl said...

Christine,
This makes me soooooooo sad. Know Blanche is in lambie-pie heaven.
xo, Cheryl

thecrazysheeplady said...

I am so, so sorry :-(. {{{hug}}}

Mary Ann said...

Blanche was a handsome sheep, with a face that seemed as if she was interested in you as a person!

"Sometimes these things happen" doesn't make it any better....

Nancy K. said...

What a lucky ewe Blanche was ~ to be so loved! I think of all the sheep that are considered 'livestock' and am so happy for all of those who have the good fortune to be born into or somehow find their way into the home of a shepherd or shepherdess who truly loves them.

I'm sorry that you are hurting. I share your pain and am sending you BIG hugs...

Michelle said...

So very sorry to hear this....

Jayne said...

Aw, gosh. Poor, sweet lil Blanche. She couldn't have had a nicer home or a better shepherd...well, now that I think about it, she's with the Big Shepherd in the Sky now. Hope He has some cookies for her.

Karen Patrick said...

I'm so sorry about Blanche and I'm also sorry about the email I sent yesterday. I should have read your blog first. Mybad. Anything I can do?

Karen Anne said...

Cats are like that, too. Hiding when they don't feel well.

Left of Ordinary said...

I'm sorry to hear about Blanche.

goatgirl said...

I am so sorry you lost Blanche. She was beautiful. I lost a horse when then weather went from 100 to 60. The vet said he is always busy when the temperature has such extremes.
Hugs to you.