Righting A Wrong

The sheep through the barn window this afternoon.  Pumpkin, Biddy, Constance, Lori and Liam.

Mucking out the barn, my shovel scraped over the spot where Rosemary’s blood stained the hardpacked dirt yesterday.  Today, there was no evidence of it.

For a week I entered the barn looking for blood, hoping I wouldn’t find any.  Knowing a sheep was very sick, but not which one, was more disturbing to me than I realized.  It was only when I stood in the barn this morning, shovel in hand, that I felt that a wrong had been righted.

A sense of peace vibrated in the air and settled on me.

With each passing sheep and each new sheep that comes to the farm, I grow more attached to the animals and the place.  My art has always been the main focus for me, but I’m beginning to see myself as both an artist and a shepherd.

All the animals who have moved in and out of my life and care have had a meaningful and lasting effect on me.  I feel my commitment to them deepens with each decision I make regarding them.  The more I take responsibility for them, the closer I feel to them.

I’m still struck at how Rosemary came so easily into the barn and how accepting Jon described her death.  It is through this experience that I’ve come to believe that the best we can do for our animals, is be calm, confident, and direct around them.

When I am, I find they are the most responsive to me.  And the more responsive to me they are, the better we can live together and I can care for them.

I do see that the sheep trust me.  Even if they are skittish like Rosemary was, there was something in her that made her come to me at a time when she could have run in the opposite direction.  I know the donkeys and dogs are experts at reading my intentions, maybe the sheep are too.

If so, Rosemary would have known I had the best in mind and heart for her.   And she seemed to be ready and accepting of that.

8 thoughts on “Righting A Wrong

  1. When it became apparent that my 15 yr old lab (my first dog) was struggling I made arrangements for the vet to come to our home to euthanize her. Shortly before the vet was due to arrive I sat on the floor next to Tammany and asked her if she was ready to go. She licked my hand. I asked her if she was sure, and she licked my hand again. I felt a true communication between us that I cannot really describe. I think she knew what I was doing and answered me in her own way. So yea I think you’re right Maria. Rosemary knew your intentions .

  2. I loved this, Maria: “the best we can do for our animals, is be calm, confident, and direct around them.” All my dogs taught me this in some shape or form and my last dog made it really hit home for me. Especially at the time of their death should we need to help them pass. I vow to be calm and as present as possible for my next dog someday and when that day comes when/if I should have to help her pass. It really is a gift…to both human and animal. Thank you for your beautiful thoughts on this as I really resonate with this.

  3. Not a reply to this post, but unless I missed it you ran a contest for naming your lamb in which you promised to select a winner and award a prize, but that prize was never awarded. This is illegal in the state of New York and could be considered fraud if you were reported to the NY gaming commission.

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