I honestly wish I would have been able to make the decision a few days before, but it was the weekend and when you have large animals, and you don’t own your own backhoe, you have to plan these things to coordinate burial soon after the vet is scheduled to come out. I also wanted to give him one last chance to see if we could manage the pain and I had just gotten new pain meds Friday from the vet. They didn’t work, and so I was faced with watching my sweet old Eli be in discomfort all weekend… by Sunday night, he went all night without laying down. I believe he knew that if he went down, that would be the end for him, as he wouldn’t be able to get back up.
Yesterday morning first thing, I called the vet, then the county (who thankfully buries farm animals), and bought all his favorite snacks and a friend was able to help make his last hour just perfect. Very few friends ever got to experience the sweet side of Eli, but as you can see here, he was truly a charmer when he wanted to be....
Of course, just like most any time I have important things going on out here, there was a little bit of a diversion. When the vet had come out to ease Eli out of his painful life, he wanted to take a look at Rose’s healing hoof from the barbed wire incident last November. When we all exited the horse pasture, I forgot to turn the fence back on, and guess who decided to walk through the fence just as the county worker started preparing for Eli’s burial? Yes. Rose. After a short-lived moment of free ranging, she was returned to her field with Buddy and Eli was laid to rest.
I’m happy he will always be a part of this field, and his daughter, Ellen, and his mate, Ellie, will always have him near. They are family after all, and were my very first farm rescues ….
It’s funny how quickly dynamics can change after a death. Yesterday Ellen was visibly grieving her dad, and Ellie (who is completely blind), seemed pretty content and immediately started enjoying the new opportunity to be a 'lap goat'....
After Ellen inspected where she watched Eli be placed in the ground, she hung close to her mama, and later I sat in the field with them both, not needing to be on guard for Eli’s horns charging me out of jealousy when someone was getting attention other than him.
Happy Tuesday, y’all.
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