It is -7 degrees F, and I am wondering how Louise is doing. Today is January 13. It is the coldest of the cold snap that will hit us this week. We had a break for a while and the temps hit 40 degrees F. I have begun to give Louise massage and physical therapy on her hind legs since she showed me that she had no desire to leave the planet just yet. (This might be the moment that you want the back-story posted on Dec 30.)
Louise is a sheep who I have had the good fortune to know for nearly fifteen years. She had been down for nearly three weeks. One of those weeks I was away and she had not gotten up at all. What I didn’t realize is that she was often moving her legs to push herself closer to hay or maybe she did it knowing she had to. I do not know. What I do know is our friendship, our communication and our relentless spirits are enjoying this time that we share.
Over the past few days she has stood up on all fours, with help of course, and has taken a few steps. The boldest steps took her outside of her pen into the warming sun. She had to step down a bit. She did it. And all the other girls came round to check on her and to see what goodies she might have for them to eat. They had been noticing that her water is warmed, and her apples cut. They had also caught on that if they were close to her pen there was hay left for them and sometimes a piece of squash came their way. Oh, and they definitely smelled the grain. They only get a bit of grain at shearing time, so that caught their attention as well. They are an observant lot.
The camaraderie does her good. I have contemplated putting her with the others but sheep lack the niceties of proper company and would never give her time to eat. I think she knows that, too. So a bit of time together – not meal times – works out well.
Many of you ask about her and I tell her that you are thinking of her. I am cherishing this time. I am continuing to learn about indomitable spirit and the sweetness of each moment. She is strengthening me as I help her. I am still under no illusions. But like my good friend and best veterinarian on the planet, Dr. Burch said with a giggle as we acknowledged the unlikelihood of this moment, “She just isn’t ready to go yet.”
So that is your update as I go to the barn, heavily layered and knowing one thing for sure: Wear your woolies. The sheep got it going on. She is so warm in her au naturel. And today will be brilliantly sunny. That is Nature’s way of compensation for the deep cold. I erected a plastic door to let the sun shine in on her. I feel her gratitude as I learn about her needs. So very grateful to have this moment. Very Best to All.