Saturday, March 17, 2012

Unconditional Love

The wonderful thing about most animals, goats and sheep included, is that they're always happy to see you.  If you take proper care of your feathered and furry friends, they have so much love to give in return.
They don't care if you brushed your hair and put on make-up before you go out to see them.  They probably prefer that you don't!  They would love some treats, but if you don't bring any, they still love you.  They don't make demands of you or expect you to entertain them, although they will entertain you endlessly if you let them!
Yesterday, when I was feeling particularly low, I went outside to spend some time with the goats and sheep.  They cluster around me like bees to a hive, nudging with their heads, stepping on my feet, and trying to see what I might have in my pockets.  Once it's been established that there are no special treats to be had, then they just follow me and seek out my hands, nosing me for attention.  After my usual hugs and snuggles with Fezzik, I spent some good times with Lucky Nickel.
Even though she is a bully with the other goats at times, she is still my baby, and she never tries to butt me or bully me.  In fact, if anyone else comes near while she's got my attention, they're the ones who get shoved away!
I took the camera out to take pictures of my little friends, and ended up doing the "extend arm - aim camera - press button and hope" routine a few times.  I was fairly pleased with a few of the pictures that I took of myself "snuzzling" my Lucky Nickel.  She put me into a much better mood and told me that I was well loved, regardless of my lack of treats for her.  This is my favourite picture - just a kiss planted on her face, and a goat who loves back.  By the looks of it, my hair and her fleece will be matching colours in no time!
 Thanks, Lucky Nickel.  I'm so glad you came to Canada with me.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

I'm still here

Just a short blog, to say that I have not dropped into an open manhole or a previously undiscovered well.  I am taking time to process the events that have led to my current situation, and have found myself essentially unable to write about it for the moment.  In the week following Richard's totally unexpected decision to abandon everything we had been intending, I noticed that Stickley had developed a limp in his front leg.  Within a few days, he was having a very difficult time putting any weight on that leg.  In the barn, I had also been dealing with Westley, one of my little angora goats, who had paralysis of both legs on his left side as a result of deer meningeal worm infection.  With Westley having been unable to stand up for nearly 6 weeks despite my attempts to get him moving, I decided it was time to let him go.  He was not having a good quality of life for a little goat, and it wasn't fair to keep hanging on to hope.  I took both Westley and Stickley to the vet.  Unfortunately, I learned that Stickley had developed osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer that is relatively common in greyhounds of advanced age.  He would have been 11 this month.

Westley and Stickley were humanely euthanized on the same day, just 10 days after Richard's bombshell.  It was one of those "just when I thought things couldn't get any worse..." moments.

So, still dealing with a lot of loss in my life, and a lot of uncertainty.  I'm not sure where all this is leading, and I dislike instability.  I leave you with some pictures of Stickley and Westley.  It has taken me some time to be able to write about their passing, and even now I have hot tears coursing my cheeks as I write this.  Too much loss in too short a time, and no light at the end of the tunnel yet.

Stickley, retired racing greyhound, track name "RJ's Elk River"
Run free my big dog, you are not forgotten.

Westley, the wee angora goat, not even a year old.  Loved while he was here.