Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Once Inside...

This Tool Saves Lives!
        Continued from "Old Dog...":

        When I arrived, Peter had a warm bottle of milk waiting, and a heating pad all ready to go.  Our frigid little kid was still unresponsive, so I laid her in with our Nubians while I loaded up the syringe and got myself settled. With a heating pad and towel on my lap, I tremulously tubed our kid and hoped for the best.  Peter slowly pushed in 60 mL of warm milk, and we removed the tube...and waited.  Nothing. Her head lolled to the side, eyes open, but her heart was beating strongly, and she was breathing evenly.  We had done what we could.

       The next thing to do was to warm her up.  Her little feet were still as cold as ice, so I tucked them up under her, and held her limp little body to my chest, with the heating pad as a blanket.  When I got too warm, I removed it, and used a sheep skin instead.  After about a half hour, she felt warmer, so I tucked her up with our "herd" (the remaining two Nubian doelings and a premature Togg), who all snuggled in close, to keep her warm.  Instinct is a wonderful thing.  I let them rest together; after an hour or so, I checked her rear hooves, and found them warm to the touch. I tubed another 30 mL into her little tummy, fed the three tiny girls, then replaced  them all in the pen for goaty comfort.  A few quiet hours went by.

Little Goaties Warming Up a New Friend
      She gazed off into a world no one else could see, while she waited for that milk to enliven her.  Her limp body lay on its side, and her open eyes were unresponsive, unfocused.  When I lifted her head, it fell listlessly to the play-pen's floor.  I have never seen a goat so weak; even the little baby we lost a week ago had better responses than this one, right up until the end.  I prayed my goaty prayers, then fed her a bit more milk before bed, just before midnight.  I tucked her in with the herd...and though I hoped for the best, I feared the worst.

  At 2:30 AM, I woke to the alarm, and stumbled downstairs, scared of what I might find.  Much to my surprise, she was sitting up when I looked in on her, not laying listlessly on her side like the night before.  I warmed her milk-replacer, and tried to get her to suck my finger; she fell over, so I tubed her and gave her 40 mL, a nice in-between number, I tucked her up with the little ones, and went back to bed.  It was so hard to sleep.

    6:00 AM: The alarm goes off, and I listen: no sounds.  I showered and dressed before going downstairs; I was afraid of what I'd find.  Peter woke more slowly, so I crept downstairs alone.

    Little ears...a fuzzy nose, and there she was, sitting up, alert; I peeked in and smiled; baby-style, she oogled up at me, head bobbing.  I crept away, happy.  She made it through the night...alert, whole, blossoming.  I tip-toed upstairs to Peter, and we hugged and smiled.

Fluffy and Fairly
   An hour later, during my first class, Peter emailed me a picture of her, frolicking on the floor with the rest of the "herd"; all four in infant-sized pampers, all four frisky and jolly.  He called her "Fluffy". He told me she had taken a bottle right away; all she needed was the strength, and that's what we had given her during the night: some heat, some nourishment, some goaty warmth.  She fell asleep on the first step to the second floor, after playing tag with her new friends.

     We are blessed by being allowed to share in the lives of our animals; we benefit by knowing them, by helping them, and by coming closer to our source through them.  This little kid will make it;  balance to the one we lost.  And once again, life perseveres.


  1. Thank you for this post. It made my day. So, so, so very touching.

  2. Thank you, Q! The whole experience was pretty wonderful, in the end.