Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A Happy Tail

Scott has declared Super Bowl Sunday an official holiday at our place. No phone calls, no visitors (unless they are there to watch the game) and certainly no work. But someone forgot to tell the sheep and they decided to drop a bunch of babies on us. During one of the pre-show breaks Scott found a baby that had been born outside of the barn in the snow and wind. It was only about an hour old and it was suffering from exposure. We decided to bring her inside to warm her up. If you haven't had sheep before then you will be unaware of what bad mothers they can be. If distracted, they can leave their babies and refuse to claim them afterward. Taking a lamb away this early can make them forget they even had one so it is a risk. We brought the little one in the house and wrapped her in heated towels and put her on the heating vent in our kitchen. (I know, I hate having them and all the straw in the kitchen but you do what you have to) We had to be careful not to rub her dry with the towels because it would rub all the mother's scent off of her and the mother would be sure to reject her later. We didn't hold out much hope that she would make it. The inside of her mouth was cold which is a sure sign that death is near. Scott milked the mother and brought in a bottle but this lamb didn't have the strength to swallow. All we could do was keep her warm and wait. By the first quarter of the game she could lift her head. I felt the inside of her mouth and it was warm!
She took the bottle and swallowed as much as her belly could hold. By half time, with her own cheering section rooting her on, she stood up and yelled, "Maaaa" (some people think lambs say Baa but if you listen close, you will hear that they are actually calling for their Ma) We rushed her out to the barn and her anxious Ma. Keeping our fingers crossed, we watched to see if she would accept the baby back but we had nothing to worry about as she contentedly nuzzled her lamb.