11/21/08

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.

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.

The End!

(for now!)

61 comments:

  1. This as been such an awesome sweet story!!

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  2. I stumbled on your blog today and I love your sheperd story! My husband and I are working towards someday buying a farm, but for now we are in a very suburban neighborhood...with chickens hidded in the back yard! LOL!

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  3. Beautiful story. I would love to be known as a shepherd, animal caretaker, or chicken lady; it is so much better than the corporate world and much more fulfilling in the heart (maybe not the pocketbook). I'm hoping I win that pumpkin. They are so cute!

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  4. LOVED IT! Thank you so much for sharing such a wonderful tale of being the good shepherd! As a stay at home mother of 3 boys that are growing so fast I often wonder about going back into the business world, mostly to help financially. Your story has inspired me to strive harder at being a good shepherd and continuing my own journey! Thank You!
    Many Blessings~

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  5. We've not had just one or two goats at a time with no other animals eating the same stuff - so haven't had this issue. Would be scary as all get out though! Good work and hooray for belching. Those are two VERY blessed sheep.

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  6. I love that story! You really could write a children's book. So very sweet! I'd give anything to live your life...sounds so wonderful! I may live outside of a big city, but I'll forever be a country girl!!

    Your package is on it's way!!

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  7. Oh, what a precious story! You do have a shepherd's heart, Paula!

    Have you ever read Mountain Born or The Secret of the Andes. Both of those books reminded me of you...both shepherd stories...the first one of sheep and the second one of llamas! We've read those through homeschooling and loved them both!

    Thanks for the story!
    Tammy

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  8. What a gifted story teller you are! I have enjoyed this so much. Sometimes God knows more of what and who we need in our lives than we do. I can't think of any better or more admirable job title for you right now than shepherd girl.

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  9. Very sweet story. With a happy ending to boot :)

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  10. I am SOOOOOO glad this story had a happy ending....they last story had me worried that we would hear of Edie's demise.....I just don't think I could have taken it!! Thankfully your shepherding skills saved her!!!! I loved the story!!! When I think of laying in the grass on a warm summer day and scratching sheep bellies or tushies (which ever they prefer) it brings a smile to my face and a warming to my heart. I can't wait for the next adventure!!!

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  11. The story is good and makes me want to hear more!!
    Your pumpkins are really cute...after sewing this week I remember why it's a bit of a challenge at times!

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  12. I picked up your blog from Tammy in Florida & stopped by to see you. Beautiful story on the lambs:) My sheep love really, really warm water on cold winter days right after they have their morning grain & they only get grain once a day. Raising sheep brings such serenity to a farm. I love just hanging out with them in the barn on a snow winter night! But you definitely need to add more:) Thanks for sharing your story!

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  13. Oh Paula, what a wonderful story. I'm really love your farm and animals, who would have ever thunk to give baking soda and Pepto Bismal for bloat, sure glad that man was around to give you his remedy.

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  14. I'm very glad that Edie is ok....you did great. You are a terrific shepherd.
    Hugs,
    Pam

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  15. Hi Paula:
    That was a sweet ending...I was so afraid it was going to be sad. Glad they are both fine. Is that their actual picture you posted? love the property all around them, looks so peaceful.
    Ginger

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  16. I have loved your story, Paula, and I do hope you'll write future installments. It's been both entertaining and educational! :-)

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  17. I am so glad the story has a HAPPY ending....I was tearing up afraid things were not going to turn out well. Thanks goodness for the man from the co-op!! I know those were the best sounding burps EVER!! Love the picture of Daisy and Edie at the end. So nice to be needed and to realize how much the animals give us back in return!
    Thank you for this wonderful story!
    :) Tracey

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  18. Oh, Paula, your sweet story has me tearing up in my eyes! What a sweet story! I am so glad Edie belched, too! LOL! I know what you mean about her flatus being music to your ears! I've taken care of people where it has made all the difference in the world, LOL!!!

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  19. That is a sweet story. It is just like us 'shepherds' to learn the hard way at our sheep's expense. But those lessons I learned that way are the ones I don't forget. How wonderful your hard learned lesson had a happy ending. The sheep are pretty, but then I love sheep !

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  20. Awww....what a great story! I have to admit, I never liked belches...but there are times with the goats that a belch is like an angel singing!!!

    Juri

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  21. What a great story. I've really enjoyed reading it! I miss having sheep so badly. I showed sheep back when I was in 4-H and just loved it.

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  22. A beautiful story, Paula. Very touching. We keep toying with the idea of getting a couple of goats, so if it does ever actually happen, I'll be coming to you for advice!!

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  23. Oh i loved that story...And i am so glad it had a happy ending for Edie! Phew! You are a wonderful story teller my friend! :)

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  24. Paula, i tagged you! Please come on over to my blog to see what's up!

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  25. I've been hanging on to every word! I haven't been on a farm since I was in Kindergarten many years ago. I would love to live on a farm. I stop by a couple of farms on my way to the cabin and take pics of the animals from the road. I wonder if the farmers think I'm crazy....LOL Your stories are beautifully worded, I look forward to many more in the future.

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  26. Naughty sheep - they always like to pig out. My goats are like that... I think they should have been called pigs in the first place just to warn us! I got an introduction to Probios last year when my goat thanked my (then 4 year old) son for a bucket full of chicken scratch by downing the WHOLE THING. That silly goat has been much nicer to me ever since though! Animals know who cares for them - and your sheep are sure lucky to have you!!

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  27. Oh, man...I'm totally bummed that I didn't win the pumpkin! Congrats to the lucky winner, though!!

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  28. Great story, Paula....you have the gift of story telling..all your readers were waiting for each installment....I've heard of that happening to cud chewing animals..didn't know good old Pepto Bismol and baking soda would do the trick....but it makes sense, most of the old remedies are quite sensible.

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  29. How did you change the color on your weather widget? I liked yours better than the one I had, but it has a white background and I am inept at computers, on occasion.

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  30. You have brought me to tears once again! With this heartwarming story you have also given me knowledge. I have been wanting a few little critters on our little piece of land and through your lessons you are teaching me in advance. Take Care :)

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  31. Congratulations to the winner of the pumpkin!!

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  32. We found Icelandics that we are hoping to get in the spring :)....and yes, you are a Shepherdess now! Congratulations, I think raising sheep is a wonderful and noble thing to do.

    Love your story,

    Have a wonderful day,
    Doreen

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  33. There for awhile I thought it was going to end badly.

    Love your pun'kins!

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  34. Wonderful story! One of these days, I'll follow in your footsteps, except for the sleeping in the barn part!!

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  35. What an awesome and much-loved person you are...to be loved by chickens and sheep. I just love it. I can't wait for more sheep and chicken stories.
    Love, Debra

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  36. You always make me smile.
    I love you, Paula, for your heart and spirit. You are amazing.

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  37. Wow! I just now had a chance to sit down and read all three parts of your story. You can't imagine what a ministry that has been to me on this Sunday morning. Thanks for sharing your story and thanks for caring for God's little creatures.
    RiverBend Farm
    Texas

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  38. Hi Paula my little Shepherd Blogging friend, I never knew they could kill themselves by over eating and getting bloat? I just loved your story, I really love all your stories about your cute little farm animals, I thought for sure this was going to end in a sad way but I am so glad it didn't. You are such a good shepherd and mommy to all your animals....and congratulations to the lucky winner of your pumpkin!
    Love, Ann

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  39. Paula,
    What a great tip for a bloating goat or sheep! I'll make sure to remember that!
    You my friend, HAVE A VERY IMPORTANT JOB... don't let "the world" ever make you think otherwise!
    Later shepherd girl,
    holykisses,
    Lea
    I LOVED your story!!!

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  40. Loved the story! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! blessings, Kathleen

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  41. What a sweet ending!! Thank you for sharing.

    My daughter had one of her goats bloat and it was very scary. We were all very excited to hear belches too!! So glad your story had a happy ending.

    Have a happy Thanksgiving.

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  42. I think you should make a book-this was great!

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  43. A happy ending! yeah for Edie and Daisy and Paula!
    wonderful story, so special!
    Rose

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  44. Oh, what a sweet story~and with a happy ending! Thanks so much for sharing it, Paula. I love the term 'shepherd girl', too. It's always great to be proud of who you are and what you are doing with your life!

    R~Mary

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  45. I have an award for you on my blog. Stop by to pick it up!

    Hugs,
    Kay

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  46. Wishing you Many Blessings for a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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  47. That was a great story, all 3!! Your sheep are sooooo cute. That picture is beautiful with the rolling hills, green grass, and those beautiful sheep. Now I can say I know a shepherd, a female shepherd at that.

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  48. Hi Paula! This story is so touching. I enjoy every minute of it. I wonder if a magazine would publish it, it certainly is worthy of publication in my opinion.(I've added you to my blogroll - love it!)
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving - it sounds like you have a lot to be thankful for!!!
    Merry

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  49. Hey Paula,
    You sure can tell a story.
    I have a lot of catching up on blogs, and I can't wait to read the whole story now.
    Paula, I wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.
    Have a good one.
    Pam

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  50. Have a blessed Thanksgiving, dear friend!
    Love, Debra

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  51. Oh thank heavens! I was holding my breath, waiting for little Miss Edie to be okay. I'm sure she's very thankful for her own special Shepherd Girl!
    Happy Thanksgiving!!

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  52. I love this story so much! I agree with Dani--you should write this for children! I wouldn't have known what to do for the poor lamb that had over-eaten, but it was good to get that info from this for future reference! I too wish I could be a shepherdess! I am not interested in goats--I know a lot of people have them, but I want sheep, and chickens, and a donkey or burro. I love that you have Daisy and Edie! They are beautiful sheep! I can't wait to hear more about them in the future!

    Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving today! God bless you and your family and all your animals on your wonderful farm! And, I love those pumpkins--pretty neat! All my best--
    Marie

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  53. What a great story! I loved all the installments! We just got sheep a couple of months ago, and now I will know what to do in an emergency bloat situation. Glad to have found that useful emergency cure!

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  54. Miss Paula...I am missing you!!! I hope you all had a GREAT Thanksgiving!!!

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  55. Just surfed into your blog and promptly subscribed to your posts... great blog!

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  56. Congratulations to Pam!

    It never ceases to amaze me the tricks that old farmers and animal carers have! Who would've thunk that baking soda and pepto bismol would've helped a sheep?!

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  57. I just popped on over from my sister's On a Rainy Night blog. I enjoyed the journey with you and your woolies. Tey grew up to be very nice looking ewes - good job! We also raise sheep, along with chickens, cats, dogs, goats and several equines, including a Clydesdale, a mustang and a miniature donkey. Due to a knee injury and surgery, I have not been blogging as much since last spring, but am now tolerating sitting with the computer for longer periods of time, so am hoping to resume soon.
    Come visit soon and take a look at our family's farm journey at Pawleyfarm seasons. We have so much in common.
    Good luck keeping up on those fences before aquiring more critters!
    Susan

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  58. Hello again Paula~ ooh I just love this story :0) I have an award waiting for you on my blog :0)
    Have a great day!

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  59. It's amazing how these animals just work their way into our hearts. They are more than animals in a field, they are pets and friends and part of our family. Love your story.
    Debbie

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  60. I LOVE the story! I am so glad the pepto concoction worked! I would have been so scared! What a wonderful shepherd you are!!!

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