Every summer we try to take a trip to the Chesapeake Bay to visit friends who have a house there. We made that trip this past weekend, and celebrated our wedding anniversary.
This brief trip is always the pause that refreshes... two days spent with the best of friends, boating, biking, eating, laughing, playing. We took the dogs with us and they, naturally, had a blast.
Anna and her family took care of the farm while we were gone and kept us informed of all the happenings there....which did include one escape of the equines. You all know, by now, that these crafty animals seize any opportunity to take advantage of a gate left unlocked... and that's just what they did. I'm not sorry to have missed that pony round-up! My weekend was much more relaxing than that!
Upon returning home, I headed out to check on all of the animals and to let them know that I was home. Everyone was doing their usual... horses hanging out in the stalls beneath the fans to escape the heat and the bugs.
Chester was a little out of sorts from his weekend of travel, until he discovered that Anna had saved the cat food cans for him.
He got to work, licking them clean . He eagerly does this to help us out. This way the cans don't make the recycling can stink!)
The sheepy girls were grazing in the shady section of the pasture.
And the pigs.... well, Ginger was grazing (her favorite activity.)
MaryAnn, on the other hand, was no where to be seen. I knew, though, where I would find her. I walked down to the lower half of the pasture to the bramble that grows around the telephone pole, and there, in the dry ground beneath, was MaryAnn... sleeping. I called to her and she returned the greeting with a feeble grunt. She did not, however, get up and come to see me.... her normal behavior.
months. We suspect that she has cancer of some sort. Not wanting to put this sweet girl through all sorts of medical procedures (you might remember that just vaccinating the pigs is an extremely traumatic procedure.) we have opted at the present time to do no interventions. I am a firm believer that when it comes to terminal illnesses in my beloved animals, I prefer to allow them to live out their lives naturally without a lot of intervention that can cause them distress. I wholeheartedly believe that quality of life is more important than quantity. To me, putting her through a lot of medical treatments would be more selfish than anything. If, at any point, she seems to be suffering, then, we will do what is humane and necessary.
I hate the idea of losing MaryAnn, who is truly my spirit animal and closest critter friend. But, after years of living on the farm amongst so many animals, I have come to accept the finite nature of life. That is precisely why it is always so important to me to give my critters the very best lives that I can.
So, dear friends, I am giving you a little warning about the inevitability of what lies around this last bend in the road. I will keep you informed as the coming days progress. And though I write this in a calm and accepting manner.... this will be a great loss for me. There will be tears. But, there is so much joy in the friendship that I have had with this soul over the past ten years. I will cherish the days we have left together.
PS: I have had some readers tell me that they are not receiving my daily emails. If this is happening to you... please check your spam or junk mail folder on your email server. Most likely it is going there. All of you who have contacted me remain on the list. I have no other ideas why this might be happening. My apologies.