Several days ago I went out to the barn to do morning chores and, as soon as I opened the barn door, I knew that what I was seeing was not good. Our old lady goat Pumpkin was lying on her side in the straw, but, rather than getting up and bleating at me to demand her breakfast this instant! as is her way, it seemed that Pumpkin could not move. I got down on the floor with her and she whimpered a little. I tried to help her to her feet but she was too weak to get up.
I guessed that maybe Pumpkin had had a stroke.
I pulled my phone from my pocket and called the vet, who said she’d be over in 20 minutes. I stayed on the floor with Pumpkin, stroking her face. I told her what a good old goat she was.
The vet arrived and checked Pumpkin but told me what I already suspected: There was nothing that could be done, and that the poor creature was probably in some pain. She gave Pumpkin an injection of a painkiller-tranquilizer, then another injection to euthanize her. All the while I continued to stroke Pumpkin’s face and talk quietly to her.
That afternoon Leah and I buried Pumpkin at pretty spot on our property.
The image above is the last picture I took of Pumpkin, a snap I made with my phone on the first day of May. It happens that I also shot a video, and today I posted that on YouTube. You can view it by clicking this link:
It was a warm, summer-like day when I shot the video, the kind of day Pumpkin seemed to love because she'd perfected the laze-about-in-the sun routine. You’ll see Pumpkin yawn, then purr contentedly as she munches hay (without bothering to get up from her nap nest.) I think you’ll agree that that old gal had a good life. Several weeks from now I’ll pick strawberries and I know I’ll miss having Pumpkin nearby, begging treats.
Leah and I were concerned how our sheep, Smokey, would do alone, without his pasture-mate Pumpkin, but a neighbor kindly brought over a loaner sheep to keep Smokey company. I shot the photo below as the two creatures tentatively got to know one-another.
And so it goes...