The ol’ blind Rambouillet ewe that suffered obturator nerve paralysis during lambing and that subsequently fell on and smothered her lamb recovered, as you will remember, and was happily wandering around with the rest of the flock, albeit bumping into things along the way.
Sometime during the day on Sunday, she met with another mishap. Perhaps she was startled by a sudden noise, or the lambs racing by frightened her. (I have actually been in the barn when two ducks got into a fight and a lamb that was sleeping with her front leg under the wooden fence was so startled and leaped to her feet so violently that she shattered her thigh.) I found old Rambouillet Mon Ami in a partially down fence, legs entangled, as though she had tried to leap through the woven wire fence and didn’t make it. Once untangled, she could not get to her feet unassisted but could stagger along if helped. I took her to a protected area of yard and let her graze on the fresh green grass where the other sheep could not bother her. That night, I was able to help her stagger into the dog kennel where she demonstrated that her appetite for food and water was quite unharmed. Monday morning, she was not able to get to her feet at all. I did my best to help her up before I went to work, but she couldn’t even stand. I placed feed, water, and hay within reach, then left for work (arriving late). *Sigh*
Monday evening, she was again unable to stand. I put her on a wagon and took her a particularly green area, removed her from the wagon, returning frequently to drag her to fresh grass as she grazed it down. I left her in the yard all night but decided to move her under shelter with hay, feed and water in case of rain. I power lifted her onto the wagon again, arranged her comfortably, did the rest of the feeding and bottle feeding of the lamb, and arrived to work 5 minutes late again.
This evening, her paralysis doesn’t appear to be getting any better, but her appetite is intact and she doesn’t appear to be feeling any pain. I loaded her onto the wagon again (who needs to go to a gym for weightlifting!) and pulled her out and unloaded her for some grazing before the thunderstorms arrived, hoping the neighbors were watching t.v. and not calling each other and saying things like “do you think we ought to call the authorities and Baker act her?” “Better not. Remember her shotguns?”
While Mon Ami was greedily grazing, I bottle fed the lamb, let the rams out to graze with the horse briefly, went out to eat (early bird special–15% discount!), picked up some snacks for the school kids at the grocery store, came home and fed the ewes, dropped hay to the ewes, fed the horse, fed the rams, bottle fed the lamb again, fed the dogs, chicks, chickens, ducks, duckling, and fed the cats. By this time, the lightning was flashing continuously and I ran out with my lil’ red wagon to load up the ewe, praying that if I got hit by lightening and B-B-Qed, the papers wouldn’t mention the sheep in the wagon. Oh, you KNOW they would.
On the way back to shelter, I kept looking back to make sure none of her legs were falling out of the wagon near the wheels because all she needed was a broken leg in addition to her possible spinal injury/inflammation. Her head was lolling off the wagon. Was she injured? Going into shock? Nope. She was grazing as I pulled her along. Talk about adjusting to life with a disability! I tucked her away under the shelter with feed, hay, and water once again, and dodged rain drops and lightening into the house. This was a great relief to the duck on the nest that she had put inside an empty muck bucket under the shelter. She dealt with my comings and goings with equanimity. The sight of a sheep on a red wagon was just too much for her to bear and she took off, watching suspiciously from a distance until I removed the sheep from the wagon and went inside. Maybe she thought she would be next.
Now, I know that I am not supposed to take a shower during a thunderstorm because I can get electrocuted, or so they say, and I’m sure they’re right. On the other hand, I couldn’t bear the thought of the electricity going out and smelling of sheep urine all night, so into the shower I jumped. Despite scrubbing myself down with various perfumed soaps and anointing myself with the smelliest of lotions, I still smell of sheep urine.
I wish I could report that sheep urine has a miraculous effect on wrinkle removal, but it doesn’t, really. People just stand so far away from you that they can’t see the wrinkles.