It has been a very rough few days around here. No matter how much I tried, I could not stop blaming myself about Lambykins death. What had I missed? Why hadn't I questioned this? Why hadn't I paid attention to that? Anyone who talked to me (or more to the point, was subjected to my blubbering) can attest that I have been a stone-cold mess about the entire affair.
Matters were only made worse by the heart-breaking spectacle of her now-orphaned lamb. He spent most of his time alone. Ewes are not kind to lambs that aren't theirs, and he had to learn to avoid their head butts. We rigged up the heat lamp in the creep area, so the big sheep couldn't get to it, to give him a warm place since he had no warm body to curl up to.
Terzo christened him Nemo, "because he lost his mom just like Nemo in the movie." Cue more tears.
The problem was, what to do with him? It would be a very hard life for him to continue as the odd man out.
Luckily, oh so luckily, another 4-H family had approached me last year to keep them in mind if we ever had any bottle babies. They own a pick-your-own farm about 30 minutes away, with a small petting zoo. They wanted ewes, but I called her anyway. Was there any way they would consider wethers* instead?
She called me back a day later. Yes, they would take them. We arranged that the small white ram would go as well, because he was also on the bottle and his mother would still have two lambs left. This way, Nemo would have someone to curl up and pal around with. Even better, the family raises dairy goats, and the kids are separated from their mothers at birth. More buddies for Nemo, fresh goat milk as his food, and a family that is well-versed in raising bottle babies.
It was truly an answer to prayer. Terzo was happy, knowing that he would be in good hands in a good place. We could all rest a little easier.
So today, Nemo and his buddy left for life on a new farm—yes, in a rubbermaid tote in the back of her Suburban!—with the understanding that we will take them back should things not work out.
I think things are going to be okay, though. And hopefully, finally, I can get a little closer to okay myself.