Goodbye, Slipper

I’ve been sharing a lot of highlights, lately, of our new life on the farm. Barefoot Meadows has been an exciting place. There have been things to explore, new animals, and fun. Tonight, though, I’m going to share something different.

Remember those lambs?

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Tonight we lost one.

I won’t get into all the details, but Slipper ended up with bloat. It’s a very serious thing that sometimes happens to lambs, particularly ones that are bottle fed. An abundance of gas causing bacteria accumulate in the lamb’s abomasum (the fourth stomach of a ruminant). The pressure can cause heart and lung failure, or even a rupture of the abomasum.

Once it starts, it all happens very quickly. Slipper was running all over the place, this morning, and fighting Fluffy for his bottle. Around four, Jude and I noticed that Slipper looked really, really fat. I started googling home remedies for bloat, but it was to no avail. By 6:30, I’d gone from mildly concerned to very worried.

Jude and I had been praying for God to save Slipper’s life, and after I put the boys to bed, I heard them discussing Milo. Elijah doesn’t understand, which frustrates Jude immensely. I went back out to the lambs with a heavy heart, and came back in to a very worried 8 year old. We cried together, and then Jude cried himself to sleep. It has been a long time since he’s done that. He’s growing up..

I fought with Slipper all evening, trying to massage the gas out, trying to keep him moving, and trying to get a home remedy into him. He died just before 10:00. Fluffy has been baa-ing, piteously, since I moved Slipper’s body.

I am dreading tomorrow morning’s conversation with my tender-hearted sons. Please pray for us. I am weary of watching small, helpless creatures die.

Jude is not the only one who will fall asleep on a wet pillow, tonight.

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