Friday, June 22, 2012
Being a shepherd brings such joy to my life most of the time. My little shetland ewe lamb, Sharieka, made me laugh from the moment of birth. Her entrance into this world was a tight squeeze requiring me to pull.... hard. As I pulled, she shreiked into my ear. Hence her name, Shareika. As soon as she hit the ground she was on her own. Uncatchable for CDT shots,worming and just plain attention. She ate grain through the fence so I couldn't grab her from behind. She was crafty and good at avoiding me. Last week I noticed a twist to her head a stagger to her gait. Catching her for treatment was a fierce battle of human versus lamb and I was elated when I won round one. Successive treatments were curtailed by Shareika's craftiness. Everything about her that made me laugh was suddenly NOT funny. It wasn't until she fell over and could no longer walk that I captured her and began serious treatment for meningal worm. All the while I treated her,every six hours, her mother stood behind me watching. She stood sentry like over her lamb. But I was losing the battle. Extreme heat added to my worries. This morning Shareik's mother was gone out to pasture. An omen for sure. Mom told me it was time for all of us to give up.Sharieka died shortly afterwards. Every shepherd knows something always happens to you favorite lamb so you try to be impartial or just not acknowledge "specialness". Sometimes being a shepherd loses its joy. For all you folks who think when you get sheep they just stand around and eat grass with little care, think again. It is a labor of love.