Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Continued Contrast ~ Highs and Lows
Somehow another three weeks has managed to pass between entries. There is much to share in our continuing "Good Times, Bad Times" period, but I admit that when I feel overwhelmed, I'm not the most communicative. Thank you for understanding.
On the HIGHEST note, we received our first grant-type contribution from the Robert and Mary Jane Engman Foundation on August 1 in the amount of $3,000 to pay for entire month of August's feed bill! I cannot express the relief and gratitude this check delivered. I've written more about it on our Fundraising page, along with the unexpected expenses that made the timing even more divine.
Here and now, however, I would like to focus on some of the critters.
Jackson, the elderly La Mancha goat, has left us, staying for a mere 14 days. Trust me when I tell you that goats can be very personable and loving pets, and Jackson was special. Of course, we have softspots for seniors, which made him even more endearing. After about 10 days, Jackson became unable to rise. I believe the weight he gained here was too much for him to bear. We began plans to fabricate a cart for him while making him comfortable under a tree on a bed complete with a pillow. We visited him every two hours, moving him and changing soiled bedding, continuing to bring treats which he always enjoyed. The bed sores started quickly, along with rub marks from his attempts to rise. There was really no other option. Though they do not normally care for goats, Dr. Fielding of Loomis Basin Large Animal agreed to help us help Jackson.
It was a short stay and losing him was not easy. I thoroughly enjoyed grooming, feeding and just hanging out with him. There is always a wisdom in the seniors. After he became immobile, I asked Jane to check in on him, looking for the sign that he was ready to go. Instead, the message was just that he was thoroughly enjoying all of the attention. We had removed a great deal of old coat and he was beginning to gleam. He was receiving Pawier, joint supplements and ground flax in his feed. I tried lots of different foods and he enjoyed most of them, but primarily the fruits, of course. Bananas, strawberries, mango, apples, carrots (not a fruit, but with horses, we always have those around).
As if that weren't difficult enough, Horseshoe's problem did NOT resolve itself and he needed surgery which we could not afford. UC Davis quoted $1,500-$2,500 and after four phone calls, they were the only ones we could find willing to do it. As much as we hated to, we were forced to euthanize our gorgeous Myotonic goat which was a wedding present we gave one another. On Tuesday, August 5th, Guy and I took horseshoe for his final ride. He was cooperative and sweet through the whole process. It was more painful than I care to attempt to convey.
When Buck passed on July 26, Princess stopped eating. She nibbled here and there for a while, but the cute little food-monger that she was ceased to be. When Princess arrived and Jane checked in regarding her name, the message was also revealed that we shouldn't expect her to be here for long. We SO hoped that would change, given the medication for the Cushing's Disease and her love of the food here. Some things, however, just simply are. We tried many, many things to get her to eat, but didn't force her. On the evening of August 5, Princess had a seizure and we rushed her to Loomis Basin to help her out of her failing body. Woody left work to meet Guy and I at the vet, and our truly special Princess girl died in his arms as the room was being prepared. Three months is never enough time and she was so easy to love.
In her short time with us, if Princess wasn't in the kitchen (and any little sound in there called for a visit), you would find her sleeping on the green rug by the front door, usually in full glory, as below. In every other way, she was a lady. Not a gaseous BT, gentle when taking food, and happy to kiss you, but not too much. The EMTC (Early Morning Treat Club) will never be the same.
Yes, Princess and Horseshoe left us on the same day. It felt surreal. We were so elated to receive the Engman check, and it was being eaten up in euthanasia and rendering costs. Because we cannot bury the animals and we have traditionally done a private cremation on the dogs, our total bill for Buck, Jackson, Horseshoe and Princess totalled $1,100. We did the right thing by the animals, however, in every case, as they are Priority One.
Losing "kids" is never easy, but four in 10 days, including two on the same day, is something I hope to never experience again. It is draining to write about it, too, as it produces a feeling of finality. I'm out of time and energy for today. I will share more tomorrow ~ lighter and good stuff ~ promise. There's lots of life and love here.