Socks, Rest Peacefully

Socks died this morning.

I wasn’t expecting it, she’d shown no signs of not being well.  Old, maybe, she was 13 but yesterday morning she was in the barn as usual waiting for her grain.  Last night she was eating with the rest of the sheep.

This morning Socks wasn’t in the barn, baaing impatiently as she has been all winter waiting for her grain.

So I knew something was wrong.

I went looking for her and found her lying on her side in the back pasture.  I helped her up, but she had a hard time standing.  There was something wrong with her front and back leg on her left side.  With my help she was able to make it back to the barnyard.  I thought at any moment she might find her footing and be okay.

But that didn’t happen.  Without me to lean up against, she couldn’t stand.  She couldn’t even sit up and soon Socks was lying on her side again.

When Jon saw her we both agreed that it was best to euthanize her.  Jon said he would do it and came back with his gun.

Jon with Socks

After Socks died, I started to second guess myself about making her walk all the way back to the barnyard.   But a friend reminded me that it’s aways easy to second guess looking back on something.

That made me think that even though I saw myself as responsible for Socks, we were in it together.

Our relationship, just like the relationship with all my animals is not one-sided.  We exist together and do the best we can.  I don’t know what Socks was thinking, but I do believe she trusted me as much as I trusted her.

When I texted my friend Suzy and told her about Socks and how strange it was that she died so soon after my sheep Suzy, she wrote back that Socks probably missed Suzy.

I know what she means.

Socks and Suzy spent their whole lives together. They came to the farm when they were a year old and lived for another 12 years together.   Jon and I often say that when one of the donkeys die of old age, the other probably won’t live long after her.  So why wouldn’t it be the same with Socks and Suzy.

Suzy and Socks with their gray muzzles

Jon called Mike to come and take Socks’ body, but he was on a job and couldn’t come right away.

It’s all about feeling.  On Sunday I wrote that I didn’t have it in me to cut Suzy wool after she died.  But today, the idea of cutting Sock’s wool felt good to do.

So I got my scissor and trimmed a small bag full of Socks soft gray wool.  While I did Constance and Issachar came by.  They sniffed at Socks then walked away.

There was something cathartic about cutting Socks wool.  It was a way of saying goodbye.  It was a tribute to our relationship and what we each brought to it.

Socks wool

18 thoughts on “Socks, Rest Peacefully

  1. So sorry to read about Suzy and now Socks. It is never easy to lose an animal friend, even when they are 13 year old sheep! You and Jon take very good care of all your animals and I think having Socks walk back with you was the right thing to do as it let you evaluate the truth of her situation. She has gone to be with her friend Suzy now – no regrets for her and I’m sure they are enjoying the most lush green pastures together.

  2. May she rest peacefully. Thank you for the opportunity to have gotten to know Socks and Suzy vicariously on these pages. I am so sorry for your loss and wishing you love and comfort in the memory of her.

  3. Maria, I am so sad about Socks. She had a wonderful life, sheep friends, good food, hooves trimmed – blue skies.

  4. Heartbreaking. For Socks missing Suzy, for you losing two sisterhood sheep so soon after each other, for the thought of such future sorrow with the donkeys.
    “The pain now is part of the happiness then. That’s the deal.” – CS Lewis
    But it’s still hard…

  5. I’m so sorry that two of your beautiful ewes died so close together. I do believe animals miss their friends when one dies and that could be what happened with Suzy and Socks. They both had a wonderful long life under your care! Sending hugs to you and Jon. Rest well Socks!

  6. I’m so sorry, it’s so heartbreaking. What a beautiful deep bond those sweet old ladies had. But now they’re together, jumping and baaing and butting heads, and sending love to you.

  7. Maria,

    It is very heartbreaking to hear of this poor sheep suffering at the end of her life. I hope you and Jon find peace having to lose another of your family. My sincere sympathy,


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Full Moon Fiber Art