The Accidental Shepherd, Part 3
Daisy and Edie gradually settled into their new life with us- Edie still missed her mother but had attached herself to Daisy, (much to Daisy's chagrin) following her around like a big puppy. Daisy finally got used to not being in our living room with us all the time, but she still looked for her bottle LONG after it was time for her to be weaned. (My fault...) She would sniff around at the feed and hay we put out for them, then go rooting around my backside for the bottle she knew I had hidden in my coat pocket. Edie, on the other hand, was devouring everything we put in front of her since she had already been weaned for some time.
One day while going about my chores I glanced toward the sheep pen and saw Daisy, but not Edie. This was unusual since Edie was Daisy's shadow, so I walked over to the pen. Edie was laying on the ground- her belly was bloated and she was unable to get up. I dropped the water buckets I was holding and ran to the house. I called Hubby at work and he could tell from the sound of my voice something was wrong.
"It's Edie... I think she's foundered herself and I don't know what to do for her." I said, my throat feeling tight. The nearest vet was 30 minutes away, and I told Hubby I didn't think I could get her loaded up (by myself) and get her there in time.
He remembered a very helpful man that worked at our Farmer's CO-OP who also raised sheep, and said, "Call and see if he knows what to do for her."
Thankfully the man was working that day, and once I explained what was going on, he affirmed what I already knew- she had eaten too much and, not being able to belch it back up to chew it, it was backing up dangerous gasses in her belly. He said, "We have something called Probios, but if you're in need of something quick, just give her some baking soda mixed with water and some Pepto Bismal."
Huh? Okay... I'll try anything at this point!
I thanked him and hung up the phone, then ran to the medicine cabinet and the pantry to mix up a miracle cure for my sweet little Edie.
I ran up the hill with my little drenching syringe. I found Edie with her head on the ground, blinking her eyes and scared out of her wits.
I whispered in her ear, "Edie, don't you die on me.."
I pulled back the corner of her mouth, put the syringe tip close to the back of her tongue, and squirted.
She coughed, sputtered, spit, swallowed.... and then belched.
And belched again.
After a series of very unattractive belches that were music to my ears, she was able to raise up... and then she began to chew!! And chew.... and chew...
Within a half an hour, she was back on her feet again. And from that day on, the days of unlimited grain in the feeding trough were over. Another lesson learned the hard way- at least with a happy ending!
Not long after this, I was at the mall when I ran into a good friend from high school I hadn't seen in several years. We spent a few minutes catching up, and then she asked me, "So where are you working now?"
A little embarrassed that for once in my life I didn't have a big title or job description, I said,
"Oh, I just... work at home.... taking care of our animals..."
"Really? What kind of animals?"
"Oh, just some chickens... and sheep..."
"Sheep? Does that mean you're a shepherd now?"
We both had a good laugh over that, and after talking a few more minutes, we parted ways.
But as I walked to my car, I thought about what she said...
I guess that does make me a shepherd. A real, live, modern day Shepherd Girl. I never expected at this point in my life to be taking care of two little spoiled lambs, but things were different now.... they needed me.
And in some ways, I need them just as much.
And I wouldn't trade that feeling for anything I've ever accomplished in my life before now.