Tuesday, April 26, 2011

my heart hurts a little.

I've written about Purdy in an earlier post and had many more planned for her because she has had a tough go and well, she has a special place in my heart. Her mama and brother didn't make it and she’s been on her own since the day she was born. She quickly became our most special bummer.

For the record, it wasn’t just me who fell in love with her. ;)

Purdy was all alone and we all knew she could use a little extra loving. Purdy was born with some jaw problems and she would often get pushed away by other ewes which would leave her limping for a few days. She also never quite got over a runny nose.

J and his mom's daily routine included feeding Purdy three times a day. I would visit her as much as I could especially on the weekends. Purdy took to us and we obviously took to her. She would come running when she saw us and would follow us around like a puppy.

Naming her and visiting her more than necessary was so very, very wrong for me to do. Purdy died this past Wednesday from pneumonia and my heart hurts a little.

I don’t know how (experienced) ranchers do it. I know losing animals gets easier, you eventually don’t see them as pets because well, they aren’t our pets. We give the sheep the best life possible while they are in our care and I feel good knowing that is what we all did for Purdy. I’ll learn (and live) this eventually.

The reality of ranching (so I've been told and am quickly learning) is that I can't get attached. There is a lot of death and there always will be. There is death every single day; I’m just not around to see all of it.

I wish I wasn't such an animal lover, but at the same time I am so glad I can love as strong and as much as I do. I’m reminded of this quote by Anatole France, “Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened."

Thank you for letting me vent. We've buried Purdy where my husband plans on planting a few vines. I like the symbolism in that.

Sorry for the downer post - last week was a doozie. There are some other things going on that have really gotten me down the last few days. I’m sure I’ll snap out of it soon!

I leave you with a picture of my Jigs...she can always make me smile.


Leslie Kirk said...

:( I'm so sorry. I just have to say that I think it's great that you feel compassion for your many "pets" and I'm sure they appreciate it too.

Jent said...

I hate to break it to you but it doesn't ever get any easier - I have been around livestock my whole life - big herds, little herds, production herds and hobby herds - I think part of it is being female and part is just being human - it doesn't get easier you just handle it better! We just lost a new born calf last week - so know how you are feeling and will say a prayer for you.


Tales from the Ranch said...

Jent says it best, you never get used to it and it never gets easier, I would worry if it did for me. Four years in and I still get as upset at loosing one as I did that first spring and summer. My thing is I know that the cows are not my pets, but some have names and they all have their own personality and they are part of our family.

gin said...

oh honey, I am so sorry! growing up on a cattle ranch, I was the same way about all the animals. I could never understand why they had to die and I was always out there playing with the herd dogs. let your heart hurt, it's okay. your compassion is a great gift to those animals!

A Rancher's Wife said...

Thanks guys! I was afraid some would think I was silly for feeling a bit sad.