Scotty died Saturday morning. I thought he was doing well until a few days ago.
That’s when I saw that he had a small patch of wool missing from his leg. Two days later there was wool missing from his tail. I put antibiotic ointment on it and wormed him.
But there were other indications that he wasn’t well.
Suddenly his posture was hunched and he seemed even more bony and weak. Although he was a different breed than the two Romney lambs, Merricat and Constance, they have at least an inch of wool on them and his wool didn’t seem to be growing.
Jon and I talked about calling the Vet on Monday, but even on Friday afternoon, I didn’t have much hope for him. I’m not into prolonging a sheep’s life if they can’t recover fully and live naturally. And I’ve been around my sheep long enough to know when something is seriously wrong with them.
That’s why I wasn’t surprised when Scotty wasn’t at the gate on Saturday morning with the other animals. I had a feeling and was almost expecting that he wouldn’t make it through the night.
When I saw him laying on his side in the pole barn, barely breathing, I kneeled down next to him and placed my hand on his body. I told him that soon it would all be okay, it would be over. Then I covered him with a blanket I had in the barn. I didn’t think he wasn’t feeling the cold anymore, but I hoped there would be some comfort in it for him.
He was so close to death, the only thing to do was to help him along. So I went back to the house and told Jon who got the rifle. I’m always grateful that Jon is willing to take over when it comes to euthanizing one of my sheep.
A few minutes after Jon fired one bullet, Scotty died.
I put him on a plastic sled and took him into the woods. It was 16 below zero, but I hadn’t felt the cold till I started walking back to the farm. And it was only when I was in the warm house, that I cried.
Scotty’s life was supposed to be even shorter than it was. He was supposed to go to market, but Liz who gave him to me, just couldn’t send him. She saw something special in him. That’s why he came to live at Bedlam Farm.
From the first time I put up a picture of Scotty on my blog, people emailed me that he was too skinny. It was as if I didn’t know he was skinny and wasn’t doing everything for him I thought necessary. I suppose they thought they were being helpful. But they weren’t. And that makes writing this even harder than usual.
Everyone cares for their animals in their own way. I feel good about the life I gave Scotty, short as it was.
Scotty was the most unusual sheep. He was curious and friendly, awkward and oblivious. He was the strangest sheep I’ve ever had. It was almost as if he inhabited a different reality. Like he was a spirit who didn’t really belong here.
I suppose that’s why I loved him so much.
There’s an ache inside my chest when I think of Scotty, but I find I’m smiling too.