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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Love is....a lamb who pees on your foot.

Sorry, dear blogosphere, for being absent of late.  I haven't been blogging much and I haven't been reading many blogs either.  Things have been a bit busy here - a wonderful visit for 5 days with some friends visiting from Canada, sewing tablecloths for an upcoming charity event (why did I think I'd have time to do that?), cuddling baby goats, celebrating my 41st birthday (gulp!) and the usual mess of school (exams approaching in the first week of May), work and other sundry things.  I've scarcely got time to do this post, but somehow writing a blog post is a pleasant break for me, so as I sit here eating my supper at 9:37 pm (because I finally finished the tablecloth sewing), I thought I'd do a quick update.

My friends arrived last Wednesday after long delays in Chicago due to miserable weather.  I was so excited to have friends from home visiting me here.  Although my parents have visited on a number of occasions, nobody else has visited me since I moved here nearly 8 years ago.  Sometimes that makes me sad.  It's hard to make strong friendships later in life when you move somewhere new, so I cling to the old friendships I have but they are all long distance.  Having visitors for 5 days made me stop work, school, and all the usual things, to enjoy their company, enjoy laughter, enjoy having 2 extra pairs of hands to help out with some farm and garden projects, and above all enjoy the luxury of stopping to smell the roses.  Well, the roses aren't out yet, but the daffodils are!  Here's one of the projects we accomplished - edging one of the garden beds with bricks to make it easier to mow around, and to stop the ever-encroaching grass from taking it over.  We also planted 3 new fruit trees to replace some of those that didn't make it through the winter.

The 4 baby goats that have been born so far are energetic, healthy and incredibly cute.  They sleep...

...they get weighed...

...they sleep some more...

...they play...

...and then they sleep.

So, back to the title of this post.  You may recall Amethyst, who was one of the bottle lambs from the blue-faced Leicester ewes.  She had been doing well and had gone outside to live with the rest of the flock.  She fit in well and was enjoying life in the pasture.  Every morning and evening when I took out a fresh bottle, Amethyst would fall all over herself to get to it, and then she would be unable to decide whether to suck on my finger or the bottle, although I could usually convince her that the bottle was the better option.

On Sunday evening, suddenly, she didn't come over when I brought out the new bottle.  I went in and checked her out.  She seemed a little slow...a little lethargic.  No other signs.  I took her temperature - no fever.  I thought maybe she was weaning herself.  I kept an eye on her.  The next day, she still didn't want the bottle.  She was a bit droopy, and she developed a pathetic little lambie cough.  Also, I noticed that as she breathed, her sides were really heaving in and out, and she had some foam around her mouth, accompanied by grinding teeth.  I was getting worried.  I turned to my trusted book - Detecting, Diagnosing & Treating Lamb Problems, by Laura Lawson.  I went through the charts and determined that the most likely problem was pneumonia caused by aspiration of milk into the lungs, which is not uncommon among bottle lambs.  I gave her a shot of Excede, a broad spectrum antibiotic, and hoped for the best.  The next morning, she still didn't want her bottle, and she was still coughing, but she seemed to be having slightly less trouble breathing by the time I got home from work.  This morning, thank goodness, she was eager for her bottle.  This evening when I got home, the bottle was empty and she was eagerly trying to get milk out of my finger once more.  I sat on an upturned crate that I have in the pasture, and picked her up for a cuddle.  She gets all wiggly and excited when I pick her up, and can hardly keep still in her attempts to lick my face, suck my earlobe, and sniff me all over.  Today, in her excitement, she generously relieved her bladder all over my foot.  As I sat there holding her, looking at my wet foot, I couldn't help but smile and hug her a little bit more.  You see, a lamb who pees on my foot is a lamb whose body is functioning properly, who is definitely drinking well, and who is therefore regaining her health, and that was all that mattered.

15 comments:

Mom L said...

Awwww! In that situation I, too, would be happy to have a lamb pee on me!

You don't ever need to apologize for not blogging consistently - I've never even started a blog, although Diane encouraged me!

Nancy

kenleighacres said...

Glad she is back to feeling better and peeing on your foot :)

Your goat kids are so cute!

Kelly said...

Aw! That ertainly IS love!

IsobelleGoLightly said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CLAIRE! Weee Hooooo! My lady says that those little white goats are....gasp...cuter than ME! She made all sorts of disgusting noises when she was looking at the photographs. Kind of cooing and aww-ing and sighing. I'm glad Amethyst is better! She sounds fun! I haven't tried peeing on my lady yet. I'm going to give it a go!

Louise said...

I'm very glad that your little lamb is feeling better, but I hope you had your barn shoes on.

Brenda Lelli said...

Good morning Claire, Glad to hear that your ewe lamb is doing better. I did notice in your pix of her nursing her 'stationary' bottle that it sits up too high. It is recommened that the nipple be low enough to mimic a ewes udder, so that the lamb has to lower its head, and stretch out its neck to make the milk flow into the correct stomach chamber. otherwise you get the milk gurggling noises after they drink. Hopefully that will help with her problem? Have a great weekend.

Brenda Lelli said...

I forgot to mention that having the bottle too high also causes a bloated looking milk belly.

polly's path said...

Good grief. I was having Claire withdrawals, badly.:)
The baby goats are precious! And I am glad the lambie girl peed on you. I would have welcomed it too.
We had some chicken tragedy yesterday, and a stitched up goat the day before, but other than that all is well!

Flartus said...

So much of what you've written resounds with me--being too busy to blog, having only long-distance friends, encroaching grass in the garden--but you've got it all over me with those fuzzy babies! You must go rushing home at the end of the day, anxious to see them all.

I had a baby rabbit pee on me once, but I didn't have nearly the happy reaction you did, lol. Glad this story had a happy ending!!

Split Rock Ranch said...

I'm so glad she's feeling better! Sorry she peed on your foot but you certainly have a great attitude about it!

My Life Under the Bus said...

Yeah for foot pee! Ironically this is why you don't mind when the baby pees in your face at 2:00 in the morning ! LOL *Go Amethyst* !!!

thecrazysheeplady said...

Amen.

taylorgirl6 said...

What a victory!! I'm so glad the little lamb is recovering. I am constantly amazed at how resilient some animals can be. This post, above all others, really made me smile today. Thanks.

And Happy Birthday!!!

Jenny Holden said...

Yay, well done fixing Amethyst! Hope she continues to improve. Gotta love those kids, they're sooo cute :o)

btw... my Chris was 41 this year too, hehehe ;o)

John Gray jgsheffield@hotmail.com said...

lovely to hear the lamb is going fine!!!
lovely pics