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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Letting Go

I'm not sure how many of you know, but I have been asking for prayer for one of our lambs. She has had a rough life, and it's now coming to an end. Her name is Puddles, and it's time to let her go to the lord.

Puddles was born at the end of March this year. The ewe, who is experienced, but not very smart, had her lambs outside on the snow and ice. She was in the barn, but as most sheep do, escaped. I was busy with other ewe's so I decided she was still a few days away from lambing and I would get her put back in when I had some help. Well as nature would have it, "Sophie" didn't wait on me. She had two jet black lambs outside on the ice. I was on my way to town when I found them. I rushed Puddles and her brother into the house. Felicia (my eldest daughter) and I went right to work to save the lambs. They were both frozen. I was sure they were both dead, but using my stethoscope (I'm trained as a Medical Assistant) I could still hear a faint heart beat. We tubed each lamb, and gave them warm colostrum, to warm them from the inside out. Then we placed the lambs in front of the heater and began rubbing them to get their blood flowing. The little ram lamb was up and back out on the ewe in about four hours. But poor little Puddles was a different story.

Puddles was so close to death I told Felicia that we couldn't save her, but Felicia just wouldn't give up. She gave Puddles warm colostrum every hour, and stayed with her on the floor, in front of the heater, rubbing her little body for 18 hours. Finally, the next day, Puddles began to come around. She got to live in the house for three weeks. We had to teach her how to lay down, she would just get someplace and fall over. Then, when her nap was over, she couldn't get up. We spend hour and days teaching her how to be a sheep. The physical therapy worked. She soon moved back to the barn, but this was after she left little puddls on my dinning room floor. Thus her name, Puddles. She would go right at the instant we would take the diaper off.

Puddles wasn't much to look at when she first went back to the barn, but we decided to giver her a year to grow, then decide if she would join the other replacement ewe lambs, or be sold. Puddle grew nicely, and even went to our county open sheep show and got third in ther class. She has continue to grow since July, and was looking really nice, but then two weeks ago, disaster struck.

Some how, while everyone was at work on Monday, September 26th, Puddles got both of her front legs caught in a wooden gate that led from the barn feeding room, out to the market lamb lot. We have no idea how long she had been hung up, but her front legs were in bad shape when we found her at feeding time. Dustin (my son) and I called the vet, then loaded Puddles into his truck and took her to Kyle's for surgery. Nearly three hours later we were headed home. The good news was that no bones were broken. The bad news is she had 50+ stitches, the main artery in her left leg was severed, and there is lots of vein damage in both legs. If the bill is below $1200.00, I will be in shock.

For the past two weeks we've spent hours giving Puddles shots, changing bandages, doing physical therapy, and praying. My husband, Tom, would come home every night and get Puddles up for therapy. Every time anyone walked past the barn, they went in to get her up, give her food and water and get her on her feet for therapy. Even though we have worked hard, hoped and prayed for Puddles to recover, but it's not looking good. Now we are stuck in those hours of asking ourselves when is it time to just say "we gave it our best shot, but now it's time to let go, and put Puddles down?" 

We'll be praying about what we should do. I know that in God's wisdom, there was a reason we have had to go through all this pain and suffering with Puddles. Maybe it was so we buile the new gate we should have put this spring. Maybe it was to teach me how to be a better "home vet" and learn better management practices. Only God knows for sure what the lesson is in all this. I sure it will come to light someday soon.
Maybe God simply gave us a lesson in "letting go."

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