Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Grief?

Sylvia, the older Soay Ewe died suddenly last week.
I found her laid out by the access gate to the new graveyard. She still had grass in her mouth.
Her end was peaceful.
Since then Irene has seemed lost and vocal. The neighbours, I have noted have rallied around to give her tidbits which she takes pragmatically, but to me she looks more nervous and is calling out for her mother who has been her world since she arrive here in 2011.
I have debated whether to rehome her in a larger flock but after discussion with the Prof now have advertised for a field mate for her...another tame  ewe or castrated ram to keep her company.
In the mean time, I took half an hour out of my morning to sit with her in the field.
She also seems more clingy than normal.
I fed her some oats and carrots and she came up to me for a while and ate before trotting up to the cemetery fencing where she again raised her head over the railings and called into the wind for her mother.


72 comments:

  1. So happy you have the Prof to lean on.
    So compassionate that you spent time with her.

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  2. So sad. Traumatic for you finding her too John I would imagine? x

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  3. I've never believed those that insist animals don't grieve. This is proof. So sweet that you spent time with her.

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  4. Oh god, this is sad. I just woke to news of a death in the family then read this, poor Irene .. a companion will make all the difference in the world .. bless her heart ..

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  5. So kind of you to take time out in order to comfort a bereft sheep. If there is one sorrow (to me) with animals it's that you can't "explain" stuff to them, any communication done more by osmosis than anything else. Do you remember "The Horse Whisperer" (Robert Redford)? In our household the Angel was the cat whisperer. When a pill had to be administered he'd say to me: "Just leave the room, Mama, I'll do it." Not, of course, that he was implying that I was flapping and unsettling the cats, making them dead suspicious of my intent.

    Hope you'll find the right companion for Irene.

    U

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    1. I totally agree , you can't explain stuff to them, and all you can do is hold them or wrap your arms around them and just give them as much love as you can.
      Works with people too ~

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  6. This made my heart clench. Thank you for being a caring person who will support her. I am glad you and the Prof have made a plan. I hope she gets a great friend soon.

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  7. Poor girl! Her whole world is changed. Definitely a companion will make all the difference.

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  8. How sad. She knows something has changed. Don't tell me animals don't have feeling and grieve. I have seen too many examples to count to believe otherwise. Take care of her John.

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  9. Beautiful animal. And how odd she seemed to be near the gate to the new cemetery. People don't give animals any credit on emotion. One day when I was headed into the fair hamlet, I passed a deer practically on top of the road. I slowed down and stop. The doe could have turned and her head would have been in the car. I then saw her fawn had been stuck by a car, and didn't survive. It seemed to me the mother was beside herself and didn't want to leave her babies side. Tears welled, and I just returned home.

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  10. I was only thinking recently that you don't "talk" that much about your sheep. How old was Sylvia? I am sorry for your loss and sorry for poor Irene - I presume Irene was Sylvia's daughter. A field mate would be perfect or perhaps 2. I wonder if sheep are accepting of new arrivals or if there is an introductory period (like the dreaded chicken integration)? Good luck with finding a friend for Irene and keep us updated - I love sheep and would like to know how you and Irene go on.

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  11. That breaks my heart.

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  12. Most likely. My sheep have definitely expressed themselves with loss. Also, if they were mother and daughter they had a double bond. Sheep, as with most livestock, are herd animals and need companions. The sooner you can find her one, the better. I had two Forest Guinea hogs and Ethel dropped dead of an aneurism. Kate lamented her loss for weeks and weeks.

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  13. Aww bless her.Glad you're getting her a new friend.RIP Sylvia 😣

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  14. Animals do grieve. Jill is grieving Jack, she seems to be starting to adapt, but she has changed. Here's hoping the prof can find an amicable companion for Irene and she feels comforted.

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  15. Her new friend will arrive quickly from your sympathetic neighbors.

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  16. She is lucky to have you to care for her.

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  17. Worlds get turned upside-down and we all need a little help from others once in awhile. So glad there is someone who cares for a little lost ewe.

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  18. So sorry John, perhaps it won't be long before a new companion can be found for Irene. Rehoming her after her loss would prove very traumatic if not cruel.

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  19. and humans think animals aren't conscious and only act out of instinct.

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  20. Awwwwww . . . sad.
    Nice of you to sit with her!

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  21. So sorry. I hope you find a friend for her.

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  22. Hope you find a friend for Irene quickly so she is not lonely for long. Do you shear your sheep?

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  23. How emotional and poor animal yearning for some love and comfort, and for a knowing presence which is no more.

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  24. This is so sad, poor Irene. I do hope you find a new companion for her very soon.

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  25. This is why I hate to drive by the feed lot in town. The bawling of the calves newly separated from their mothers is too much to bear.

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  26. When people ask me what superpower I want I always say I want to talk to the animals. What a help that would be, especially today for you.
    thehamish missed Watson so very much. He was a happy dog these last two years but he slowed down very fast.

    cheers, parsnip

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  27. I must have missed somewhere that they were mother and ofspring. Really please that you are getting a mate for her, what about a goat? there's a field near us that has the two types of animal together and they seem to be getting on okay
    Briony
    x

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  28. See The Prof is a closet animal lover. He was there with sound advice when needed. You make a great pair

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  29. So sad. I hope you can find her a companion soon.

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  30. Poor soul. My heart aches for her.

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  31. They know. I hope you find her a companion soon.

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  32. Oh, that's really sad.

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  33. That last paragraph really tore at my heartstrings. I'm so glad that you're getting her some company, poor wee soul.

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  34. Oh no! So sad. Animals absolutely do mourn. At least Sylvia's end was peaceful. I would think that if you're a sheep, to die suddenly with grass in your mouth is about as good as it gets. I hope Irene adjusts.

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  35. A sad day, I am sorry. I wouldn't advise getting a goat, as someone mentioned, unless the fencing is very high - they jump over. Some re-homing centres have sheep (worth a try?); good luck in finding her a new friend as they are sociable creatures.

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  36. Maybe a young sheep , she can be motherly ..

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  37. The term for a castrated ram is a wether. I hope you find a friend for Irene sooner rather than later.

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  38. This whole world just feels
    so sad.
    We love so much and then.........

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  39. Yes, why not grief? We don't hold the monopoly over it.

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    1. Anonymous8:18 pm

      John Holds a monopoly on being a fucking wonderful saint

      P

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    2. Shame you don't hold the monopoly on being anonymous, then we would know who we are attacking when defending.

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    3. Anonymous9:19 pm

      This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    4. it's that fucking petra bitch again, I bet!

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    5. The fat fag hagiographies? P for Petra!!

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    6. Anonymous10:09 pm

      This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  40. Thin line between man and animal.many an animal brings comfort to man so,yes, whynot the opposite. We all share this earth. Kindness and love revolve it.

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  41. Poor Irene, little sheep.

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  42. poor dear; she misses her mama. she needs a friend.

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  43. I am wondering how long an animal will grieve?
    Hopefully Irene will find a companion soon.

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  44. I am sobbing.Time will heal.

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    1. Anonymous10:10 pm

      This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  45. Poor Irene. Thank you and the Prof for looking for a friend for her. And thank you for sitting with her.

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  46. Poor Irene, I hope you find her a companion.

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  47. I have always had cats, eleven years ago I got two identical sisters. One died at six months and the other looked for her. One evening I had put a black cardigan on the settee, the remaining cat jumped on the cardigan thinking it was her sister. Her sadness was palpable . . . she is now a very contented only one and has a lovely life living in the country with freedom everywhere. Get Irene a friend ASAP. Love Andie xxx

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  48. Animals grieve also. I hope you find a companion for her soon.

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  49. This makes me very sad. Our cat Minuet lost her brother Simon several months ago and she was inconsolable. She stopped eating and was a bag of bones in fur. I cried with her. We showered her with love and attention every day, but she was lonely. She was the runt of the litter--the last to arrive and the one left behind.

    Time has been a great healer since she no longer searches for him, but she's become clingy whereas she always deferred to Simon before and never wanted attention. She hates it when we go out, or when she's left alone upstairs--she's not allowed downstairs--for too long. She waits at the childproof gate until one of us returns, and finally sleeps in their bed beneath the window during parts of the day. Baby steps, all duly noted. :)

    I cannot bring myself to get her a new companion kitten. Pet death hurts as much as people death. You're very loving to be so attentive to your Irene's needs. I hope she gets a companion.

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  50. it's never easy to lose a mother.

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  51. Animals do indeed have emotional lives. They feel happiness, pain, and grief. A partner will help her, I think.

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  52. That's sad. I guess sheep are quite social animals. A mate for her would be a good idea.

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  53. That's horribly sad.

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  54. I hope you find her a new friend quickly...so sad to hear of her calling for her mom (I know the feeling)...

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  55. Poor Irene crying out into the wind for her mother, that is a heart wrenching thing to see and hear, I am sure. I hope you find her the right companion soon.

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  56. Sheep do bond very closely to their friends, even within a flock. I had one here who was a very timid sheep who got very friendly indeed when he became an only sheep, and would even come inside and lie under the kitchen table and chew his cud companionably. When I got a second sheep to be his friend, I was back being to persona non grata. :D

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  57. And people call them dumb animals. The curmudgeonly prof sure has a soft spot along with his good ideas. Grief is hard enough for us "thinkers." I wonder how animals process on their grief.

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  58. Sadly animals also grieve...hope you find her a companion very soon. We all need someone.

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  59. I was working last night so dint get the opportunity to comment thank you all for your best wishes.

    To the troll, all i can say is delete delete delete

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    1. Wow. Just, Wow. Of course I am sad for Sylvia and poor Irene. Sheep are the pacifists of the animal kingdom and there is a sweetness in their disconnection from any kind of busy-ness that we humans can relate to. But your reporting of this sad event is what pierces me to the heart. Wait, did I say "reporting"? You are way beyond that. In so few words, and not one of them maudlin, you laid bare heartbreak and sorrow. You are a very good writer. I think that's why so many of your readers have responded. Rest in Peace, dear Sylvia.

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  60. I can still hear the baaaaa baaaaaa baaa lament . . .

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