Thursday, August 10, 2017

I Live For The 99

Ninety-nine percent of the time life on the farm is idyllic.

The animals are happy, peaceful, healthy...
and life hums along in its rhythmic ebb and flow.

But then there is that one percent...
when injury or illness befalls us...
making the day hard...
chores are done with the yolk of a heavy weight around our necks.

Yesterday morning I stopped by the sheep yard as I do each morning
to open the gates for the sheep to head into the front pasture.
I opened the gates and headed to the barn.
Moments later I heard such of ruckus of "Baaaaa-ing" that I thought
it prudent to go check on the girls.

I found only Gracie in the sheep yard under the trees.
Her daughters had headed out to the front pasture but were calling
and calling for Grace to join them.

I called Grace...
but she did not look at me.
Normally she comes to me when I call.
This time it was quite different.
She was leaning between two tree trunks...
and hardly noticed my presence.
Her mid section looked a little bloated.

I called our local farm vet and they suggested that I give her some mineral oil
just in case she had the "bloat" from some obstruction...
they also said that a vet would be out to see Grace that morning.

I gave her the mineral oil with a large syringe and she took it fine.

The vet arrived a little later and examined her...
finding her to have a fever and some excess air in her intestines.
He thought perhaps she had an upper respiratory infection.
He gave her an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory by injection 
and told us to watch her and repeat the injections over the next four days.

It is all a mystery...and at the time of this writing she is not looking any better.
Gracie is 10 ½ years old... I had hoped to have her for a few more years yet.
I am praying that will be the case.
Although another part of me fears we might lose her.
I'll keep you updated...
time will tell.

I did not take any photos of Grace in her "crisis" ... 
it didn't seem right to do so.
The above picture was taken at a happier time.

Addendum:  Gracie died last evening...we still don't know why.
Our hearts are heavy.
Faith and Hope have never known life without their Mama...
it's all so very sad.


  1. Oh no I am so very sorry that you have lost lovely Gracie. It is absolutely wonderful to keep animals but the heartache of illness and losing them never ever gets any easier. I suppose it is the price we pay for having them in our lives. I know that no words will help but I can only say what a wonderful, wonderful life you have given Gracie. I hope that Gracie's girls will be alright, given time and also that you will be alright after this heartbreak. My thoughts are with you and Gracies' girls.

  2. So sorry. Sad for her babies and you.

  3. I am so sorry! Very, very sad indeed. May God comfort you and the baby sheep during this time of loss. :-(

  4. I'm so very sorry for the loss of your sweet Grace. My heart hurts for her two little girls but I know that under your loving care , they will be fine. I am grateful for the time Grace was here and for you sharing her with us.

  5. Oh Bev, I am sorry to hear about Grace. Even though we know these things can happen, it doesn't make it any easier to bear. Just know that all of us who love your animals with you, through this blog, send our love to you and Jack, and to Grace's girls.

    Karla from Coal City, IL

  6. I'm so sorry. I hate it when out of the blue a seemingly healthy animal get's sick only to die despite efforts to help them.

    I know you are all sad. I am too. I loved seeing them all together. Hopefully, the other 2 girls will be okay.

  7. I am so sorry to read about Gracie. Animals reward us with their presence and love, they make our lives full and the heartache when they leave us is just unbearable. Know that y'all are thought of and prayed for by me.

  8. Oh my goodness. I am sorry to hear of your loss. She was a sweet girl, for sure. May God comfort you in this difficult hour. I am so grateful that she had a life with you. Blessings...

  9. So sad. So sorry. It is always tough to lose one of our four-legged friends. At least faith and hope all have each other.

  10. Very sad . . .
    Gracie was a favorite . . .
    The sudden and unknowns are a challenge . . .
    Thinking of you . . .

  11. I'm so sorry you guys lost Grace. :(

  12. I am so sorry. I hate it when our livestock become ill and we are not sure what is wrong and how to treat them. Recently lost my 22 year old horse to an obstruction so I feel your pain. rest in peace Miss Gracie.

  13. Oh how you love each and everyone of your animals. Each one hold such a special place in your heart. RIP dear Grace, you will be missed.

  14. Heartbreaking news, so sorry for your loss.

  15. I am so sorry. It is so hard to lose any animal. Hugs....

  16. Gayle from OklahomaAugust 10, 2017 at 9:07 AM

    You're right, it's that small percent of the time that is hard. She lived a good long life, happy and content. It's hard losing a wonderful part of your farm life. I'm so sorry for your loss.

  17. I'm so sorry to hear about Gracie. I know it's hard on you to lose one of your friends, but I'm glad that you have so many around (human & animal) for you to lean on in times like this. Also glad that she wasn't photographed in her illness, it preserves her dignity, which I feel all animals possess.

  18. So sorry to hear of your loss -

  19. oh no! i am so very very sorry to hear about gracie. the poor girls! i wonder what went wrong. i agree, when the 1 percent goes wrong, it goes very wrong. my heart is heavy too.

  20. So, so sorry. May the Lord comfort you and watch over the babies.

  21. Oh my heart goes out to you all. Goodness this is very sad news. You are all in my thoughts. HUGS

  22. So sad and sorry to read of this loss in your beautiful family -hugs! You gave her a wonderful life.

  23. It makes me very sad that Gracie couldn't get well. It is heartbreaking to lose an animal. My family has lost so many pets......I guess you would say that Gracie is like a pet to you. I love receiving your posts in my e-mail. Thinking of you with sympathy.

  24. Oh Bev! I am reading this at my desk at work and fighting back the tears. I am so sorry for the loss of this beautiful soul! Hugs and love to you and her babies as you mourn her loss and adjust to life at the farm without her.
    Meghan Grace

  25. What an unexpected loss! Perhaps you can find solace in the fact that you made all three lives better during their time with you and that Hope and Faith know and love you and have learned the ways of your farm well. They will miss their Mama for sure and hopefully will thrive despite her loss. Hugs to you.

  26. I'm so sorry for your loss. She was such a sweetie and we'll all miss her.

  27. Bev, I am so sorry about Gracie. I know each one of your animals on the farm is special to you and losing one is devastating. Take comfort in the fact that you gave her an idyllic lifetime and will have such good memories of her. She will be missed by all of us who read these blogs as well as her Bee Haven family.

  28. It so hard to loose a friend, I am sorry for your loss.

    xo, Kaye

  29. I'm so very sorry for your sudden loss. We had the exact same thing happen over the weekend with our beloved dog. We left town on Friday afternoon and Mandy was healthy, only to get a call from my son the next morning that Mandy was unwell. My neighbor took her to the vet. Bloodwork was normal and overall exam found nothing out of the norm. When I got home late Monday night, it was terribly clear that Tuesday would be "the day". We still don't know what the illness was.

  30. The bitter with the sweet-life. I'm sorry for the loss of your Gracie but take joy in knowing with you she had a very special life for a farm animal. Thank you for sharing your home and animals with us. A good journey Gracie.

  31. diane in northern wisAugust 10, 2017 at 10:20 PM

    Oh Bev, my heart just stopped when I read that Grace died. How very awful and sad for you and for her two little ones. Wow....will you ever find out what caused her to get sick so fast? I'm so very sorry to hear this. I have enjoyed reading about your sheep so much and seeing their pictures and videos. How long do sheep usually live? So, so sorry to read this Bev. You're right, the 1% is very hard. Blessings to you and all your critters.

  32. She was such a sweetie and we'll all miss her.



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