Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Passing of our Grand Dame Ebony

This afternoon at 4:12 pm the lead goat girl Ebony passed away in her sleep. I had just been in the barn for the 1 pm bottle of her baby Wynonna and nothing seemed out of place. Ebony was enjoying her heat lamp because there was a chill in the barn and so I kept her lamp on. I gave her the head scratching that she got every time I was in the barn and she licked my hand as always. She was snuggled in her hay bed and all was right with her normal routine. So imagine my shock to come in three hours later to find her in the same spot but with eye closed and still as can be. At first I thought she was in deep sleep but I could tell by the mood of the other goats that their friend was gone. Everyone was talking to me quickly - they had to tell me all at once - they do that, like a bunch of kids who want to be the one to tell the bad news. As I opened her pen Wynonna came running from her pen with Olivia and Opal and wanted to be picked up immediately. I picked her up and she buried her head in my jacket collar and shock like a leaf in the wind. I calmed her down and hugged her while I checked with the other hand for a pulse on her Mother. Once Wynonna was fed her bottle and placed back into her pen I had to go about the business of removing Ebony from the barn and calming the rest of the goats. I miss her already but she lived a wonderfully long life - 19 years total with 15 of them here. We have been through much more great then sad. Her and I have talked over the past year about how we are both getting up there in years and how life has been full. I knew that this was going to be our last year together but still it does not make the loss any less. She has been my rock when life threw me some hard times and I always could count on her lending an ear when there was no one I wanted to share my thoughts with - she was like the best girlfriend you could ever have because she never judged me, just listened with care and gave unconditional love even when we disagreed over amounts of treats she wanted or how much time I could sit on the cold hard barn floor so she could snuggle in my lap. Her start here was not easy - she was a mean, cold, single minded goat who was more then a handful. Slowly we grew a bond that within a year I could not remember what life was like without her. She cared for her kids with great skill and love while keeping the herd in line. She produced the most incredible smokey taupe down and stood like a champ for me to pluck it out. I knew it broke her heart not to be able to care for Wynonna but I think deep down inside her she knew that I would gladly take over so she could rest. I will do my best to honor that Great Grand Dame and raise her girl the way Ebony would - with a strong hand and kind heart. Love and Light to you Ebony - You are forever in my heart

4 comments:

Split Rock Ranch said...

I'm so sorry for your loss Grace. It sounds like Ebony had a wonderful life with you. She grew old gracefully and went in her sleep - I can only hope I am that lucky. You're in my thoughts. Sweet hugs to her little Wynonna baby.

larkspur funny farm said...

I with you Brenda - that is how I wish to go - we all do it but I have sat with two many humans who had anything but a peaceful passing. How are you doing with the loss of your sweet dog - I was thinking of you before I walked into the barn and found Ebony - seems like all of us are feeling the loss of long loved ones.

Jane said...

Well I just put some tears in my morning oats. I am so sorry. You are have had a bad few weeks. I remember you saying that there are un-seen reasons that a goat will reject the baby. Amazing how she knew it was her. We humans cant even tell when we are hungry! Animals are so much more complex than most think. Well it was a beautiful death for a beautiful long life.

larkspur funny farm said...

Thank you Jane - I am so sorry to add tears to your oatmeal. I always wonder if sharing the sad times is the right thing to do but I felt that you can not celebrate the great times if you do not understand the hard times. It sometimes feels like the hard times over shadow the good but that is not the truth it is just the appearance of the truth. I am so blessed to have had her in my life.