The farm is dispersing. I recently learned that I have not one, but three bulging discs in my neck and no insurance company will cover the disc replacement I need. I am no longer physically able to sustain the farm. There won't be a garden this year. The sheep have found a wonderful new home. The horses are for sale. When they go, I'll be moving into town. Not much of a farm goddess anymore.
Rory took leave of this mortal pasture during the night. We're not sure what caused his demise. He was young and seemed healthy. Hopefully we'll get at least one nice, strong, spotted ram lamb out of him. Hopefully lambing will go well, and soon!
Hope the dog (see Ballyhoo Critters) has not been well. Her tumors have grown and a few new ones have appeared. She has good days and bad days. On the good days she ambles around, wags her tail, eats well, and likes to be petted. On the bad days she has trouble getting outside, her tail hangs, her breath is labored, and she cringes if I try to touch her. My criteria for The Decision were: she must be eating, she must be able to go outside on her own power, and she must have more good days than bad. Last night she had trouble even going out the front door. I gave her half a vicodin and I'm not even sure she slept with that. This morning she didn't want her breakfast. So it's time.
Knowing I'm doing the right thing doesn't make it easier. How can I be certain she's ready to go? How can I prepare her? What kind of last day should we have, to celebrate the end of her very tough life? I take this very much to heart. I am responsible for my animals' lives...and their deaths. It's the covenant I made with each of them the day I brought them home.
*I will provide you shelter, food, and safe boundaries.
*I will strive to give you a good life and, when the time comes, a respectful death. You will not die alone.
*I will try to be the person you think I am, to be worthy of the unconditional and untiring love you give me.
I've encouraged Hope to go; I'm not sure why she hangs on, unless it is her sense of loyalty. She spent the most comfortable years of her life with us. Why leave it behind? She's a dog; I can't explain things to her, things that are difficult enough for me to grasp. Later this week, when I feel strong enough to be the friend she so deserves, we'll have a good day. Then we'll say goodbye, and though it will be a rotten day for me, it'll be the best day she's had in a long, long time.
I worry that I've not done right by the little dog I saved off the road. I'm not as attached to her as I am the other dogs. It will be a relief to us, in part, that she's gone. But when I stroke her head, watching her relax into that painless final sleep, I'll know I gave her a good life, from the moment she walked into mine until the end of hers. A happy ending. Who co