Wednesday, February 1, 2017

No. 21

Three days ago I found one of my goats staggering around.  I knew exactly what had happened.  He had been confronted, challenged and charged by a bigger buck and was in serious trouble.  I had some trees go down on my livestock pen and was in the middle of fixing it when this happened.  Note:  It's best to separate these young billies at about six months of age before they get to messing around :)

Anyway, when I penned him up he was still able to stand even though a little unstable.  But the next morning I found him down.  When I attempted to sling him, turn him over, he moaned in pain.  I couldn't tell where the pain was emanating from.  I kept monitoring him but was fully aware he  wasn't getting any better but only worse so I made an appointment with the vet.

Loaded him up in the truck today but I already knew that he wouldn't be coming back.  He moaned off and on during the trip even though I was going as slowly as I could.   

I pulled into the lot and the vet came out to assess the animal.  He asked me a few questions as to what happened and when.  Then came the examination and the sad news.    I had noticed that now one of his eyes was not right and after further examination the vet confirmed what I had feared.  He had sustained a massive concussion which had led to swelling of the brain.   

I struggled through the details and let the vet know my decision.  He had suffered enough and the vet told me he would not be getting any better but only worse.  Permission was given to put him down.  

If I had not agreed to this, the animal would have gone through a slow, lingering death, only adding to his pain and torment.  

I stood there while the needle was inserted.  The vet had trouble even finding the vein because the animal's blood pressure was extremely low.  I stayed till the end but just before No. 21 took his last breath I bent over and whispered to him,  "Remember I told you I wouldn't leave you."

You know, when I see pictures and hear reports of people treating animals like they didn't matter (I cannot watch the ASPCA commercials and the cruelty that is done to these animals) as I am terribly overcome but also, very angered.

I spent two nights in a pen with a helpless animal who responded to tender, loving words, feed, water  a warm blanket and a promise. 

I told him I would never leave him and today, I followed through. 

It is never easy to go through this no matter how many times you have. 

It is always hard to say goodbye. 

Animals have souls, just like people. 

Each one needs to be cared for, loved and treated with dignity and respect.