welcome, and thank you for joining me on my farm and studio in southern lancaster county, pennsylvania

Monday, December 21, 2009

lesson learned

This is Aster. One of the two shetland ewes I brought home in the back of my VW Bug this summer. And of all the sheep here, she's my favorite. Sweet, friendly, gentle, innocent. And as most sheep are, also fairly helpless when confronted by predators. Their only defense, really, is to bunch up and run. So far around here, the only sheep-type predators I have to worry about are dogs. My dogs. aka "the destroyers". And so I have a good fence. However, when thoughtlessness is added to the mix, the innocent pay. This fall, I stacked some spoiled hay next to the fence, planning to use it as mulch next summer in the cut flower garden. On Saturday, two of the dogs climbed up on top of the hay and used it as a platform to jump into the pasture. When I found them, Aster was lying on the ground with the dogs lying next to her, pulling out wool. Like a live stuffed toy. They were so happy and then so surprised when I went berserk. Quickly removing said canines from the pasture, I examined Aster and found she had a rather large tear on the inside of her upper thigh. Of course, this was on a weekend. During a blizzard. Unable to come, the vet talked me through what I needed to do for her, and my brother-in-law (owner of a big 4WD pick-up) kindly went to the local farm store for the supplies.

On the upside, the vet came out today to stitch her up. In the meantime, I became pretty comfortable giving intramuscular injections of penicillin. Funny what you can do when you have to. But it also brings home the fact that veterinary supplies need to be on hand, that you can't always count on outside help. Another lesson learned.

And Aster? She's looking pretty good, so far no infection. I'm cautiously optimistic about her recovery.

The dogs are also still alive.


Michelle said...

That last line is telling. Glad you didn't blame them entirely. I do so hope Aster heals quickly and without problems. Poor girl!

Kathleen Stoltzfus said...

No, I can't blame them entirely. They are a highly prey-driven breed, it's their very nature. More importantly, I was the one to thoughtlessly stack the hay next to the fence.

~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ said...

What a sweet face Aster has. I'm seeing her healed and kicking her feet up in Joy.

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