Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Second chances

 Little Man in front of his mother
One of the toughest things about homesteading is that you rarely get second chances. Usually, by the time you realize you've made a mistake, it's too late. This morning was one of those days. I was worried about Little Man, my yearling llama, last night, because I realized he never ate his feed from the night before. He was walking around, however, and looked fine. It seemed reasonable to wait until this morning and then call the U of I vet clinic if he still was not eating. But that turned out to be a mistake.

When I walked into the barn this morning with my milk bucket, I thought I heard him whimper, the way he does when he sees his mother across the pasture. It sounded very weak, so I ran towards his end of the barn. When I saw him laying in the straw with his head twisted around his back and his eyes open, I thought his condition had deteriorated overnight. But as soon as I touched him, I realized he'd been dead for quite some time as he was already cold, and rigor mortise had set in.

I wanted to run back to the house and tell someone, to yell at someone, but there was no one here. I wanted to complain that it wasn't fair. He wasn't supposed to die overnight. I wanted a second chance. But even if there had been someone to listen to me, there was no one who could give me -- who could give Little Man -- a second chance.

22 comments:

Heather said...

I'm so sorry. It never gets easier, no matter how much loss we experience.

Anonymous said...

So sorry for this loss. I can imagine it must be awful to lose an animal like this. Of course, you will always be thinking "if only" this or that. But the truth is that anyone can lose their pet, or other animal, very quickly. It has happened to me. Tough day for you, but overall what a remarkable job you do, and life you lead! Peace and healing to you and your family. Beth

IsobelleGoLightly said...

I'm so very sorry you have lost your Little Man. Heather is correct...it never gets easier to lose a friend.

corinne said...

I am so sorry Deborah.

CONEFLOWER said...

Oh, gee!! This is horrible. I'm so sorry it happened. I can imagine what you're thinking to yourself. But don't do that. Are you going to have an autopsy done?

Nancy K. said...

Oh, Deborah! That is awful! I thought sure this was going to be a story OF second chances. Not, of NOT getting one... I am so sorry. You must feel terrible. At the least the little guy had a good, albeit short, life.

You do the best you can do. And a lot better than many!

LindaG said...

*hugs*
There is no way you could not have expected him to be okay. You couldn't have known. Don't be too hard on yourself.
I do feel your loss. ♥

SkippyMom said...

I am so sorry Deborah. As everyone else said, it is never easy. Take care.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to read about your loss. As a fellow homesteader, I've had similar experiences. Best of luck to you.

Michelle said...

That's so sad! I'm so sorry for your loss.

Sharon -- The OKI Stampqueen said...

You are in my thoughts and prayers! It's tough-and nothing we can say can take away the sting of your loss. Please do not...beat yourself up, however. I believe we make the best judgments we can at the time with what we have-there's no way to tell the future--and sometimes--it's just time. God's way and time-is not always ours...and we may never understand until we're with Him why things that happened-happened. Just try and trust Him-and He will see you through. Blessings, Sharon

Sparkless said...

I'm so sorry to hear of you loss. He sure went fast though. If you had known he was that sick you would have done something sooner.

rhonda said...

I was reading your article to my husband and we were looking at Little Man's picture.... and we both want to say how very, very sorry we are that this has happened to you and him...

Em said...

Awww... I'm so sorry to hear about Little Man... So sad to lose any animal.

Tiggeriffic said...

This is so sad...It's always sad to lose something you love. Little Man was so beautiful.. Have a better day today...

Chicken Momma said...

Oh I'm so sorry Deborah! It almost sounds as if his spirit waited to say goodbye. (((((hugs)))))

Annette said...

I am so sad to hear. =( *hugs*

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this story. In the past 6 months I've lost a beloved goat, a lamb, my cat & my mother-in law. There are several phrases that keep cycling through my head after these losses:
1) no second chances
2) life is for the living (eg, focus my grief on loving those who are alive)
3) listen to my instincts

good luck as you & your critters adjust to life without Little Man. He sure looked seemed like a sweetheart.
-
Rose

Penny said...

I'm so sorry Deborah.

Genny said...

Deborah, I'm so very sorry about the loss of Little Man. I know you'll miss him so much, but a part of him still lives on in Big Mama. He had a wonderful home with you.

Aelwyn said...

You got an award! :)
http://hedgewitchhollow.blogspot.com/2010/10/another-award.html

Cheers!
Aelwyn

Buy WoW Rogue said...

i am so sorry for your loss... i know how it feels:(

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