Thursday, February 26, 2015

When You Are Forced Out Of Your Comfort Zone

I am not a sheep midwife.  I am neither a shepherd nor a goat herder.  I am a relatively sophisticated city girl.  I love petting the fur of a soft puppy or kitten as much as the next person.  But being kicked and pushed by filthy sheep ready to give birth is NOT my idea of a good time.
@BatteredHope #comfort zone, animals
 


Rochelle and her family are in Hawaii enjoying the sand and sea.  Of course, this mom is taking care of their home, sheep, goats, five dogs and a cat.  Before leaving on this trip, Rochelle informed me that they will be getting one or two cows and a horse....soon.  She also informed me they are planning several trips this coming year.  Oh, and I almost forgot, they will be getting a Llama; apparently they are very protective of the other farm animals and will fight to the death.  Good to know.

@BattteredHope  farm animals

The day I arrived here to house/animal sit, I found out that not one, but TWO of the sheep are pregnant.  They may be giving birth while I am here alone.  "But, don't worry Mom, there shouldn't be any problems.  If you see the mama is struggling and there is a little leg sticking out of her, just give it a gentle tug."

@BattteredHope  farm animals
Is she out of her mind?  Has she met her mother?  She proceeded to instruct me on how to clean the babies, disinfect the umbilical cord, encourage the babies to nurse, clean the stalls properly and the list goes on.  I listened but I was not hearing her.   I was still in shock that there are TWO sheep pregnant.  I have never seen birth -- not even my daughter's as I had a C-section.  No pulling or pushing.

I put the neighbor farmer on speed dial.  I'm good at 'watching'.

Trust me, I am not afraid of stepping out of my comfort zone.  In fact, most of my life I have lived outside of my comfort zone to the point where that is my New Normal.  But dirty sheep, knee deep in poop......I love my daughter.

My daughter.  This is a girl who is a gemologist and worked for one of the largest diamond companies in the big city and traded her high heels for flat work boots.  I don't get it.  But she loves it and she is good at it.  The animals love her.  The goats hug her.  The ram actually listens to her and the sheep follow her as if she was their shepherd -- I guess she is! 

@BattteredHope  farm animals


Tonight I was headed to put the animals in their shelter for the night.  I heard a noise at the front door.  It was the goats.  They jump their fence regularly and like to come visit the house.  They walked extremely close to my side to the fields as they knew it was feeding time and enjoyed the game of 'Let's See If We Can Trip The Old Lady.'

I get to the barn, grab the hay and proceed to the fields.  Opening the gate, the ram decided he wanted out so he could go to the neighboring field and visit his wives.  No amount of coercing or pulling or pushing would bring him back.  Did I mention that he is very large and a lot stronger than I ever hope to be?

I was covered in hay because I was trying to maneuver the gate, the goats and the ram.  Bending over to gather up the hay, I remembered Rochelle telling me you never turn your back, let alone your bum to a ram.  Fortunately, he was more interested in the girls than me.  Back to the barn, get some grain.  This is like dog treats.  They will follow you anywhere to get it.

I ache in places I didn't know I had.  This was Day One.  It is supposed to rain tomorrow.  Slippery sheep and goat poop is even more fun to walk on.  I'll keep you posted.

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