Where We Are

Sadly, I found Perdy dead this morning.  I feel awful, responsible and useless.

So I took Pongo back to the kitchen.  He was very cold and, after some very useful advice from a friend-who-knows-lambing, I put him in the bottom oven of my Rayburn.  For those that don’t know, a Rayburn is a poor-man’s Aga.


After an initial warming-up, Pongo rallied and was transferred to his box with Staff Nurse BeAnne on stand-by. Either that or she was gathering mint and roast potatoes (we have had words).


There has been some serious getting-to-know-you and BeAnne is chaperoned at all times.

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I trust BeAnne about as far as I can spit a rat.


Pongo’s Mum is in the shed. I still force-feed her porridge, honey and water gloop but I am not holding my breath.  She has that look of one who is waiting to die.


So all my efforts are being spent on keeping Pongo alive and I hope that S/N Duvet will do her bit.


Loki spends his day saying “there is no lamb, there is no lamb”. Funnily enough,  I trust him more than BeAnne.


I went over to Sandness (4 miles away) just to quickly check my mares.  En route I saw two Bonxies (Great Skuas – Stercoriarus skua) standing beside a hill ewe and her dead lamb.  You could see what they had in mind.  These are known as “pirates” of the bird world and I told myself myself this is how it is in the scattald.


So, back to Pongo.  He talks to me and I am willing him to live.  Perdy died, probably, of watery mouth – lack of colostrum when it mattered.   There was nothing I could do but there is are the what-ifs going through my head.

Later today, with BeAnne.

So healing vibes, living-thoughts, for Pongo. He is a darling and I am doing my very best.

9 thoughts on “Where We Are

  1. Rebecca Final

    Being an animal caretaker is a constant rise and all of wonderful enjoyable highs and sad and awful lows. My feeling is, we either do not have them at all and miss the great parts but can avoid all the sorrow, or deal with the natural way of things and in doing so, get to enjoy the beautiful experiences of being around these creatures. I choose to be around them and expect that sometimes it’s going to be sad.

  2. celeste

    Oh, it’s SO very hard to lose a sweet young one! But there is only so much we can do and you went way above and beyond in a very difficult situation. Good luck with Pongo, I sure hope he rallies with your love and attention. He sure is cute! My thoughts and prayers are with you both.

  3. Betsy Hadley

    I look forward to reading your blog every day. I grew up raising Suffolk sheep in Oregon. How very familiar your words were about sheep just wanting to die! We always said sheep don’t have a will to live, they have a will to die!

    I found with new lambs in this tenuous state that after good sleep, vigorously rubbing along their spine really got them invigorated and I believe this helped them recover. Sort of got the blood flowing. Anyway, they seemed to enjoy it.

    Good luck and god bless!

  4. Terri

    I am so, so sorry. Those of us who have nursed sick or weak creatures understand the joy of success and the heart-break of loss. We keep trying anyway, as other needy creatures come into our lives. The video had me in tears — at least Pongo is curious about his new surroundings and wagging his little tail! He’s still here, and there is still hope! xoxos

  5. Sandy

    France’s, I, too, love your blog and look forward to it every day. I am so very sorry for your loss. I have raised sheep for 20 years – both Shetland sheep and Finnsheep. It is always so heart wrenching to lose a baby lamb. And the worst of it is that we always second guess ourselves, when most probably there was nothing more we could have done. You have already really extended yourself to help out your neighbor and probably have saved Pongo. If these sheep were still on the hill, they probably would have passed on by now. You are doing everything you can for them – remember that we can’t control the outcome. But you have given it your all and that is all you can do. Thanks for lending a hand in caring for these critters.

  6. Michelle

    Francis, can you get ahold of some high-potency injectable B vitamins for the ewe? That can make all the difference in the world for a sheep who isn’t eating, or eating well, preventing “polio.”

  7. Linda

    What a tiny little bebbie Pongo is! And it sounds like his mum has given up.
    If he can be saved, I have no doubt you’d be the one to do it, Frances. Prayers of life given for Pongo.


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