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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Remembering Marshmallow

It is with a heavy heart that I write this post.  Very sadly, Miss Marshmallow the sheep passed away recently of injuries sustained in a coyote attack.  Although she initially survived the attack and was under veterinary care, she tragically succumbed to her injuries after about a week.  She was well tended by the sweet daughters of the family where she went to live, who fed her grass that they picked themselves.  She is buried in their garden and will always be fondly remembered by them, and by me, and hopefully many of you readers who remember her story.
It had originally been my intent to bring Marshmallow to Canada with me, along with Lucky Nickel.  At the last minute, I changed my mind and decided to bring Kenzie the lamb, whom I felt was more likely to need extra care.  As you know, Kenzie didn't survive her required spaying operation to get her across the border.  Hindsight is 20/20 of course, but I am really internally conflicted over whether I did the right thing.  I can't change the outcome and must live with my choices.

Marshmallow was born June 18, 2009.  She was one of quadruplets and was abandoned by her mother, so I brought her into the house and raised her as my first bottle baby.
I'd never had to do that before and was unsure about what I should do, but I read a lot of information and did my best, and Marshmallow thrived.  She taught me how to bottle feed and diaper a lamb!
 She was a little explorer, particularly interested in yarn and spinning fibre!

 She liked to sleep under my desk while I was studying.
She also liked to sleep in my bed, when she got old enough to jump up into it!
She liked to sleep on the dog's bed too.
She grew big and strong, until she outgrew her diapers!
 Eventually, she moved outside and lived with the other sheep.  She was always a bit small - I guess she was considered a bit of a "runt" of the litter, but she got along fine with the other sheep and she became more independent and "sheepy" minded.
I last saw her on a visit to her new farm in March of this year before I left for Canada, where she was happily living in a pasture with the other sheep from my flock and with my former llama Dolly - she was with friends.  The coyote problem is widespread in Iowa, and there are no guarantees.  Even with the presence of a llama, two lambs were killed and numerous sheep injured.  It may be that the llama prevented Marshmallow from being killed at the time, but her injuries were too severe for her to recover.
 Sleep well, sweet Marshmallow.  May Mother Earth take you softly into her gentle arms and love you as I did, and may you run free in the great pasture.







16 comments:

Millie said...

Claire~I'm so sorry to hear about this. You really shouldn't be second guessing whether or not you made the right choices in your move. You're going to drive yourself crazy. Of course you made the right choices for thing to happen just as they were supposed to . Not everything in life will turn out perfectly no matter what. She lived a happy life with you and it sounds like she was happy in her new home as well. Misfortunes happen, and you can feel like every misfortune is your fault. Blessings. (I promise I won't really feed Opal to the Chupacabra.)

IsobelleGoLightly said...

Oh no dear Claire! I'm so sorry that Marshmallow has died and I'm sorry for her new Iowa family. So many things are out there that can hurt sheep.

I'll always remember her and her lovely growing up story. Many goat kisses to you!

Millie truly isn't thinking about feeding Opal to the Chupacabra, is she? Naughty Millie.

Gail said...

I am sorry...I know she was very special to you.

Marigold said...

I can not tell you how sad we are to hear this. Rest in peace, dear Marshmallow. You were greatly loved and will be just as greatly remembered

Louise said...

I'm very sorry. She looks like she was a lovely sheep.

Pricilla said...

I am so sorry about Marshmallow. It is hard to have them die in an attack.

We have coyotes here too and I am very happy to have a nice barn to go into at night.

farmer said...

Oh Claire! my heart bleeds for your loss..

Michelle said...

What a heartbreak. I am sooo sorry....

denise f said...

Aw, poor little Marshmellow! So sorry to hear...

Flartus said...

So sorry to hear this sad news, Claire. You've had a difficult year. I remember your Marshmallow posts. She was a real cutie!

thecrazysheeplady said...

:-(

Mom L said...

I'm so very sorry about Marshmallow - I happily followed her story from birth. Please don't hurt yourself any more by questioning your decisions - you did the right thing. We can't know the future; we can only do what is right at the time.

Nancy in Iowa

Sheepmom said...

Hi Claire,

I'm sorry to hear about Marshmallow. Death from predator attack is horrible for the sheep and the owner. At least you can console yourself by knowing that SHE knew she was being tended by people she knew and trusted and didn't die alone in a field.

I have a question about the sheep you had spayed - how did that come about? I've never heard of that regulation in conjunction with exporting US sheep to Canada. Could you elaborate for me?

Thanks,
Robin

Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

So sorry to read this, Claire; what a darling sheepie who was and is so very loved. I second Millie's comment above. Wise goat, that one ;) xx

Split Rock Ranch said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. I'm glad that the coyotes around here leave our herd alone. The neighbors have had problems with foxes and coyotes but we've been lucky. RIP sweet Marshmallow.

dizzylettuce said...

Claire, I am so sorry to hear about Marshmallow. Even though I never met her, she comforted me so much during the loss of our beloved dogs two years ago. Many comforts to you & to all concerned.