* A little footnote about the last post where I said we had planned on not getting any animals for our new farm until we had the money to build fencing - a few of you commented on how it always seems the animal comes first, then the fencing... I have to say that's been our experience, too, but in this case we really had good intentions in putting it off.
And you see how those intentions worked out- we wound up with a lamb in our living room, watching the nightly new with us. (LOL)
In case you missed part one, go here to read it.
After Daisy's first six weeks of life, it was becoming apparent that she would not be able to live inside our house much longer. We didn't really have any game plan for the future, but we were quickly realizing that she was in fact, a barnyard animal. We discussed what we needed to build for her and how to secure it, and how close we could put it to the house so she wouldn't be so isolated and vulnerable; I mean, she came to live with us when she was 3 days old, so we were all she'd ever known. But none of this made me feel very good about the situation, and her being outside all alone was almost more than I could stand. We had no other sheep to put her with, and even though Smokey was her buddy, I couldn't cage him up with her full time.
Then Hubby said, "If Cody has some more lambs, do you want to see if he'll sell us another one for a companion to her?"
Brilliant!! (Why didn't I think of that?)
So, the call was made and yes, he had 1 more he would be willing to sell. The next evening, we set off with money in hand and a dog crate in the back of the suburban. This was going to be great! We would have another sheep not only for companionship, but also for protection since Daisy had never been outside at night before, and a lamb that was used to being in a barn would show her the ropes. Sounds like a winner to me.
Boy, were we in for a surprise....
After the money was exchanged, the new lamb was loaded into the dog crate headed for her new home. Since she had never been away from her mother, she did not take this situation very well. In fact, she bawled all the way home. VERY LOUDLY. I looked at Hubby and said, "how long do you think this will go on?"
He said, " Ah, she'll be okay when we put her in with Daisy."
Okay. I'm fine with that.
Once home, we carried the crate up to the new pen we had built. (Daisy had already been spending the afternoon in it, so she was used to her new surroundings.) We carried the crate inside the pen, opened the door, and...... encountered a major problem. The new lamb was still bawling, and Daisy was horrified. You have to remember- up until that point, Daisy had no idea she was a sheep, or even what a sheep was. So her introduction was a little on the traumatic side, to say the least. And when the poor little lamb finally saw something she recognized (another creature with black wool) she made a dash for Daisy, at which time a very scared Daisy took off in a blind run, ramming into anything in her way. The insanity that followed cannot really be described, so use your imagination.
Once the dust settled, we had two very banged up lambs, both of them bawling like babies, and the two of us scratching our heads and wondering what in heaven's name we were going to do.
We brought Daisy back inside so she could calm down, and left the new lamb in the little pen we had built. After Hubby and I went to bed, I lay awake listening to the new lamb until I had heard all I could stand. I raised up and looked at the clock. 1:30 a.m.
I knew there was only one thing I could do. I got up, put my coat on and went up to the pen with Daisy in my arms. The new lamb had literally been crying- her eyes were wet. And now her bawling sounded like a weak baby's cry. It was about 35 degrees outside, but I laid down in the straw with Daisy on one side and the new lamb on the other. I stroked their heads and talked to them. Daisy quickly fell asleep. In a few moments, the other lamb did too. All night long I held them. I began to think of all the stories I had heard about shepherds long ago and I wondered if any of them had ever done this before. Then I thought of THE Shepherd. How he had brought comfort to me during so many sleepless nights. It wasn't long before I too fell asleep in the straw, with a lamb under each arm.
Things slowly improved as Daisy got used to her new companion. There was such a difference in size- the new lamb was a large, healthy, robust lamb raised on her momma's milk; Daisy was a scraggly little runt raised on powdered milk by a very inexperienced mother. Even though there were only a few days difference in their age, they almost looked like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito in "Twins".
Hubby asked me, "What are you going to name the new lamb?"
I said, "I think I'll name her "Eatie" because she eats all the time!"
Hubby said that was a very fitting name, so we changed it to Edie.
Little did I know the way she earned her name would almost become a tragedy......
to be continued!
Daisy and Edie at 8 weeks old in their pen.