Friday, July 29, 2011


Sometimes.... No matter how hard we try, or how much we love a living creature.... They still slip through our fingers like grains of sand, and that fragile thing called 'life' fades from our grasp....

 Yesterday evening, we lost dear, sweet Penny.... 

Since early July, I have been in hand to hand combat with a "mystery illness" that plagued my goats. A few other goat raisers in the area were complaining of the same thing, but no one, not even the vets, could figure out what this was. All of my adult goats got it, but the majority sprung back to their normal selves within 3-5 days. Except Capri and Penny...

 For some reason, they couldn't handle the stress of being sick, and spiraled down in to coccidiosis... Capri seems to be slowly making a recovery, but is still in a very precarious position. I thought Penny was doing better... Until I saw her yesterday afternoon.

 She was away from the herd, and curled up like a cat. She had lost all motor skills and could no longer swallow anything. The spark of life had gone from her eyes.... And she wanted to die. I pleaded with her to get up; to try and live... Her three week old babies cried softly, wanting to nurse. Penny just looked at us.

I decided that whether she was going to live or not, she couldn't do it where she was, in the far corner of the pasture; so I gently picked up her scant 100 lb. form and carried her towards the barn...

With tears, I cried out to God and asked for a sign of some sort. Should I keep on trying to save her, or was it her time? I rubbed Penny's back, and kept her company... Then an interesting thing happened. Every single animal on this small farm, came over and they all gathered around Penny. Right down to the 13 laying hens. Heidi, who has always hated Penny, lay right next to her. This probably lasted 15 minutes, and then in one accord every single animal left. Just like that. And I knew then, that Penny would not live to see the next day.....

 If I couldn't save her, I at least wanted to make her last moments as comfortable as possible. I cradled her head, massaged her with lavender oil, and sang 'Into The West'.

 And then, at the last... She just laid down.... And her heart stopped....

 Some dear friends of ours came over and helped us bury her....

And she is now in peace...

'Into The West'

Lay down
Your sweet and weary head
Night is falling
You’ve come to journey's end
Sleep now
And dream of the ones who came before
They are calling
From across the distant shore

Why do you weep?
What are these tears upon your face?
Soon you will see
All of your fears will pass away
Safe in my arms
You're only sleeping

What can you see
On the horizon?
Why do the white gulls call?
Across the sea
A pale moon rises
The ships have come to carry you home

And all will turn
To silver glass
A light on the water
All souls pass

Hope fades
Into the world of night
Through shadows falling
Out of memory and time
Don't say: «We have come now to the end»
White shores are calling
You and I will meet again

And you'll be here in my arms
Just sleeping


And all will turn
To silver glass
A light on the water
Grey ships pass
Into the West 


Christi said...

I'm so sorry, Caity :(

Isn't it neat how the Lord does those little things to comfort His children?

I'll be praying for you.

Jazkabor said...

Sorry to hear. Though what an amazing witness of God's creatures. Thinking of you.

Hannah said...

Oh, I am so sorry Caitie! That must be really hard.

I will pray for you as well.

Melissa said...

Oh sweetie,

How very sad to read about Penny. What a beautiful and peaceful way to leave this earth. May your memories of her give you comfort.

Aunt M

Krista M.V. said...

:'( I'm so sorry, Caity! Poor Penny. It' strange, but we had a VERY similiar illness with our goats a couple years ago. It took a a lot of our Does just as you described.

Praying for you! ((hug))