Thursday, 26 May 2016

Those we have loved .. and lost ...

Kidding season puts a huge strain on humans and animals alike and, although it is a fabulous time of year for new life and beautiful babies, there are also the inevitable losses.  Every goat is precious to us - they are all individuals and every single one has a name.  Every death is keenly felt and it always leaves another small goatie-shaped hole in the herd.

As we started our herd 12 years ago, some of our ladies are getting a little older and more frail and so it is not entirely unexpected that we will start to lose more of them.  But, in my own tiny mind, goaties should live forever .. and so every passing brings great sadness, especially for those we have loved for many years.

We have already blogged about our lovely Alice and her sad passing ... This season we have also lost our dear Oopsie (she with the enormous udder):

Maisea - Earth Mother and adopted mum of little Rubbish (remember him?)

Laurel - one of younger and more naughty goats.  Entirely unexpected and very sad

Maggie - David's favourite goat and a real sweetie.  It seemed that her wish was to have her two babies, see them grow for a couple of days and then say goodbye.  She literally just lay down and died.

Thelma - one of our oldest girls.  Thelma and her friend Daphne joined us as kids right at the very beginning of our herd.

Chickweed - another older lady.  She joined us many years ago as a companion for her friend Cilene (mum to our dear Beamish)

But the major loss this season was our dear old Wilma goat.

 Regular followers may recall that she had been very poorly a couple of years ago but had rallied round and was doing rather well.  In the end, it was her dodgy old heart that gave up.  She was fine in the morning but took ill in the afternoon, grew weaker by the evening and died in my arms around 9pm that night.  We were at the back of the barn under the big hayrack, and all the other goats just left us alone in peace.  It was a heart-breaking night.

Unknown to me, her sister Betty was standing nearby and, when Wilma had gone, she walked over to nuzzle her and say goodbye.  It is always really important to us to make sure that a sister or special friend is taken to see a dead goat.  They are fully aware of what is going on and they need to have the chance to say their own farewell.  Those people who think we are silly and sentimental have never known the true nature of an animal .. they have emotions and feelings just like us.  Their feelings need to be respected and it is always very moving to see.

Farewell my beautiful girls.  I hope that you are all together again in a lush green field where the sun always shines in goatie heaven!


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