Saturday, January 29, 2011

Farewell to Herbie

The smartest sheep I've ever known; Herbie was born in the spring of 1994. He passed away during the night of Jan 28, 2011. Herbie was a bottle baby, since his mother had twins she decided to give him to me to raise. So Herbie grew up with the goat kids that year, thus his superior intelligence. Who says environment doesn't make a difference.

As a lamb Herbie would follow the kids around, only problem was he wasn't as agile as the goats. One time I heard this pitiful "BAAAAAA" from the top of the haystack! The kids and Herbie had climbed to the top, only problem was the kids bounced down, leaving Herbie stuck at the top.

So guess who had to climb the haystack to rescue the lamb .......

As Herbie grew and grew and grew, he eventually became the largest animal in the herd (except the bucks). Uncle Herbie became the protector of all. He probably topped out around 250# in his prime. The wool that he produced was wonderful! The first few years, he gave a fleece weighing around 24#. Herbie was once even mistaken for a buffalo wandering our pasture, when a British visitor to the alpaca farm next door saw him.

Although very large Herbie was always very tame and easy to handle. He would stand patiently in the corner while I hand sheared him (this could take several hours).

Missy, the white angora/pygmy in the picture below, has been his companion since birth. Herbie survived Missy having several kids (he was fun to climb on). In their senior years the two could often be seen laying near each other warming in the sun, slowly chewing their cud.
I know she will miss Herbie, but she was there with him when he passed.

Herbie's spirit was strong, even though the last few weeks he had trouble standing and I often had to lift his back end to get him going. His body gave out on Wednesday, but his spirit hung in there. I convinced his spirit it was ok to leave this life. He did me a final favor in the end, I had planned to call the vet on Friday morning, I didn't have to.

His immediate family (Missy's kids and grandkids) had time with him to know that he was gone. Animals seem to adjust well to the passing of their companions if they know what has happened.

Goodbye my Rastafarian friend......

1 comment:

  1. Lori,

    It was an honor, Friday night, to be asked to assist in moving Herbie's body from his home these past several years, at Westfarm to his final resting place...there was a brief stop by Auntie M's Natural Farms, where a subset of your goat lineage has taken up romping around. Mandy (daughter of Avalon), Cinnamon (daughter of Annie), Olivia (daughter of Iona) and Mr. Darby got to bid Herbie farewell. The Geldings stood at attention inside the corral, as the F-150, carrying Herbie, left Evergreen in route to his final resting place. Bill & I stayed with him that evening, securing him in the enclosed F-150, as we slept in the house...Early the next day, as I left for morning chores, I had one last chance to bid him farewell & to remind him how sweet a guy he has been and how I'll always admire his coat...his gorgeous brown locks you could get lost in...he was a great companion & guardian over the Westfarm Goat herd! Sweet Dreams, Herbie...I can hear your "BAAAAA" calling.
    Sincerely, Auntie M