Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Big Day



Honestly, I had my doubts. I'll never forget the animal control officers opening the back of their truck to show me the most horrifying sheep I'd ever seen. She was laying on her side so covered in burrs that for a couple seconds I thought she was a hair sheep...with mange. The smell was overwhelming. Her wounds were beyond "significant". I was in over my head.

As soon as we dragged her from their truck into the back of my car - using a sheet because there was nowhere to get ahold of her, jostling her, causing her to cry out in pain - and I was headed down the road, I called Saint Tim, trying unsuccessfully to hold back my tears. "I've gotten myself into a horrible situation. This is unbelievable. I'm probably just going to have this poor thing put down. I can't believe she's still even alive in the first place."

I remember Dr. Baron opening the back of the car, taking one look and telling me and the tech that had come out to assist to stand shielding her so no one in the parking lot could see in. This was a PR nightmare. On several levels. Only because Renny had made it this far, fought so long, we decided to give her a chance. Any other sheep we'd have put down. Any other sheep wouldn't have made it this far anyway.



I remember my friend Kathy coming out to help me get her out of the car when we got home. We got her out of the car, she scrambled to her feet and we herded her into a stall. I couldn't believe she was standing up. I threw her some hay and she immediately started eating. I remember saying "Well, at least she's up and she's eating. I figure anything that's still eating has a chance."



I remember being able to stick an entire betadyne scrub sponge inside the hole in her leg. I remember monitoring the heat in that leg - too hot, infection; too cold, it had died and needed to be amputated. I remember Louann smelling the wounds each time she came out to monitor the amount and type of infection she was fighting. I remember hearing from too many people how they'd faced similar situations and never had one live through it.

I wish now that I'd taken pictures of how bad everything looked in the beginning. I had been encouraged to do so, but just. couldn't. do. it. I stumbled across this picture the other day. It was about halfway through and I had printed it out to take over to the clinic to show the vets how great everything was looking, how far she'd come. Everyone was amazed.



Here is a picture I took last week.



The picture I could've taken this morning would show no scabs. Nothing but some very minor scarring on the right hip and a patch of hairless skin on the bad leg, smaller than the size of a dime. Everything is healed. Even, as far as I can tell, Renny's mind. She shows no signs of trauma. None. She stills watches out for Iris, who quickly skirts around her at times trying to "herd" her, but she's more likely to direct her attention to fighting Weaslie for ewe nuggets.

I was worried that she'd never learn to trust or even like me - because of all the painful scrubbing, shots, oral meds - but recently got her eating ewe nuggets first from a scoop I was holding and then from my hand. Watching her bound across the yard when she thought I had food? I could settle for that. However, Hank startled her one day last week and she came running to me for protection. That made my day.

I'm not sure why Renny was so tough. Why she held on for so long. Did she just have faith that her life was going to get better? Was she just putting one foot in front of the other? Regardless, I believe there's a lesson there for us all. We can take from her what we need.



And truly believe in guardian angels.


Renny, Ewenice, Saint Tim and I would like to send out a huge thank you to everyone for your caring kindness and support and especially your prayers. This truly has been a miracle.

39 comments:

Janna said...

I'm going to cry now. What a tough little sheep and what a patient, caring home she stumbled into. I am so very happy for you both. You know I love a happy ending.

Alice said...

A moving recount of Renny's injuries and healing. How blessed that she had some angels here on earth to nurse her back to health as well as ones up above to give strength when needed. I commend you on your compassion, comfort and care for this little lamb.
The wool figurine is a perfect tribute ;-)

CathyD. said...

How blessed we all are to have shared this experience. Thank you so much for being brave enough to put it all out there even though you couldn't know how it would end. It's a beautiful story. I once read somewhere that the Talmud says that "every blade of grass has an angel whispering 'grow, grow'". Surely there is a whole flock of angels hovering over Equinox Farm.
LOVE the felted "angel with Renny"! Hugs to all.

Nancy K. said...

YOU are truly a guardian angle when it comes to caring for 'lost souls'. I don't know of anyone else (except maybe 'Tammy' ~ Boone's Mom) would have or could have done what needed to be done to keep that precious ewe going. I think the biggest miracle of all is that Renny came through it MENTALLY intact!

Did you just make the angel/lamb sculpture? It's gorgeous! Will they be available for sale???

I've always believed ~ and Renny's story just makes it all the more obvious ~ that God hold's a special place in Heaven for people as good, and kind and caring as you.

Christine said...

(Hug)

Christine said...

When life bites you in the ass you have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again.

I love Renny. :)

Camp said...

Angel Sara to the rescue..again...Renny is as tough as they come and Sara's heart filled with patience and kindess. May God continue to bless you both.

Lori Skoog said...

Your guardian angel says it all. Thank you for believing in Renny and going through all the pain you must have felt seeing her like that. You and St.Tim are very special people and I, for one, really appreciate all that you have done for your entire menagerie. Everyone who reads this is going to be crying! And we all love Renny for being so brave.

Susan said...

She truly is a miracle - such an amazing little sheep. We should all keep her in mind when we're whining about something so small and mundane. She must have been blessed to have fallen in your lap. You are a very caring, loving person and I thank you for sharing Renny's story and keeping us in touch. And please give Ewenice a kiss on the nose for me. I love that face.

Tiggeriffic said...

Oh I love it when you post something about Renny..I'll bet Ewinice is happy too that this little guy is doing better.
There has to be something about the word "Love" and "Prayer".. combination of both works miracles.
So proud of you and St.Tim and anyone else who touched this little one and gave it lots of love and care.
Ta Ta For Now from Iowa..
I love your blog~!~!

Donna said...

You brought tears to my eyes with this one! How anyone could do this to one of God's creatures is just plain mind bobbling....and what an angel YOU are to have taken her in and made her whole again! Bless you for your kind heart. Thank you for being who you are and caring for this sweet and lucky little sheep!

June said...

What a wonderful story, and I'd just like to add "and they all lived happily ever after". God Bless!

The Sprollies 'n' Border Collies said...

Thank goodness she's OK!

Michelle said...

Her toughness adds credence to your belief that she is at least Shetland; I've heard other amazing survival stories from Shetland shepherds. But she couldn't have made it without her angels - you and the kind souls who rescued her and helped you treat her. What a wonderful story - and the absolutely perfect subject for a children's book - written and illustrated by YOU, of course! Just make sure the jacket or back notes that it's a TRUE story - otherwise some would never believe that it could be. I can help with editing, if you need it.

KC said...

Everyone has already said what I thought when I read this post. Thanks for making my day and the rest of Renny's life. Wouldn't it be wonderful if all humans had the kindness toward animals that you and your readers have.

Gayle said...

What an amazing story of persistence. The photo of her head against the tree is priceless.

Deb W said...

The previous post was "Something to Make you Smile." This one should be "Something to Make you Cry." I was OK as I read and looked at the pictures (after all, I work in a hospital!) but when I scrolled down to the photo of Renny and her angel, I lost it.

This post is truly a demonstration of the gifts of your heart and hands. Bless you Sara, Tim, Ewenice and everybody at Equinox Farm.

Mom L said...

What a heartwarming story following such a horrendous event! Thank you for sharing, and especially for caring so much. Dear Renny - what a courageous little soul!

Nancy in Iowa

DayPhoto said...

I am crying now. Tears of joy and saddness. I am so thankful that you shared the story of that amazing little girl. Her victory and valor is outstanding. If I could give you a hug I would for I know it took hours and hours of your time and care and love.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being the kind and careing soul you are.

I'm so very proud to call you friend.

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com/

Mud Ranch said...

What a neat needle felted angel with Renny... Who did that? And I am so impressed with the hard work you put in to bringing her back to good health - so many other people would have just put her down. I look forward to watching her in your flock.

flowerweaver said...

The angel is lovely. I'm so glad Renny has healed. I can't help but think Punkin was also involved as his spirit of persistence in healing was very similar.

melanie said...

Yes! Yes! A story book! A Renny Book! I love hearing updates..and I know the reason she was able to survive was due to all you guys and what you gave to her.

Verde Farm said...

Sarah, this made me cry. I can’t even imagine what you saw that day you opened the door. Poor baby. What had happened to her? I must have missed that post somehow. I think she has angels around her and she is an angel among us. So happy she found you--bless you all for loving her back :)

Pam said...

Boo. Hoo. AGAIN!!! How wonderful to see a happy ending, and the shot of her scratching her head on the tree just doesn't get any happier. I have a feeling Miss Renny is going to be around for a long time. Kisses to her and Miss Ewenice.

kristi said...

Animals are such amazing creatures. Truly a gift from God to all who open their hearts to them. Beautiful post! Thanks Renny;)

Karen said...

I've been following Renny's story, and this brought tears to my eyes once again. Thank you for taking her in and giving her the care she needed. It's truly a miracle.

Eleanor P said...

What a beautiful story! What a beautiful sheep! I'll be back to visit soon. Love the picture of her scratching her face on the tree--when I saw it, I knew all was well. And little Lorna Doonebuggy would be so glad for you. I am sure she sent Renny your way. Let us rejoice!!!

bayouwoman said...

First time here, and what an amazing story about this sheep. Left me wondering, though, how she got in such bad shape to begin with? Just neglect? Thanks for sharing. I'll be reading more stories in my spare time. BW

I need orange said...

Tears in eyes.......

Renny, you go, girl!

How her luck changed when she found her way to you!

I could not have taken those early pictures, either.

Renny's story is full of lessons. Lessons in perserverance, lessons in consentrating on what's important (food!), lessons in moving on, lessons in not assuming the future will hold the pain experienced in the past......

Thank you for sharing her and her story with us (and for all you did and are doing for her!).

I, too, love your sculpture of Renny with the angel.

more tears.....

thecrazysheeplady said...

Thank you for all the nice comments. I'm glad I was able to share a story with a happy ending.

The needle felted angel was a Christmas gift to one of Renny's original guardian angels. Shelley was the first person to make us aware of the news story. I *may* make some more, but have a few other projects in the queue.

A book? Hmmm...

Barbara's Spot on the Blog said...

Renny's story is very encouraging. A congratulations to you both for Believing :)

amyfibre said...

oh wow...I'm bawling at my desk. I am so happy for Renny...and for you...and for Ms. Ewenice. For all of you! Renny's a true inspiration. And you're a true angel, Sara. Bless you all.

Leah said...

Thank you for sharing this story. I will quit whining about the minor irritations in my life now. I will also do what I need to to keep the faith that things will turn out.

And consider including photos of Rene and her friends in the book. You take lovely photos.

(The idea comes to mind to use both your drawings and photos. Yes, I know that is very, very difficult to pull off. I am good at finding the hardest way to do anything, but I still think it would be perfect.)

Ed said...

Sniff,sniff.. Cheers to Renny the miracle sheep and a reminder to NEVER GIVE UP!! :-)))

tonya said...

Beautiful. She very well might think that she did die and your protection and care is the heaven she was looking for. One thing's for sure, she's got it made now! She would probably say it was all worth it.

tonya said...

ps. I agree with the other comments, your wool sculpture is amazing!

Laura said...

What an angel you are and what a touching story. Thank you from not only Renny, but from all of us who read this, for your caring and kind soul.

Claire the Shepherdess said...

Wow, such a touching and special post. I am so amazed at her recovery. She is such a lucky ewe. And you are lucky that she chose to come to you too. I agree with the book idea! Long live Renny!

Far Side of Fifty said...

You are all guardian angels making a difference..this is one of the best feel good endings ever but the beginning really sucked ..that Renny could teach us all a thing or two:)

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