Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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©Katherine Dunn.

Monday, March 09, 2009

We lose Rosie

Rosie died last night.

Post Note: We came to call it "The Spring of Death". In 2009 we fought our first fight with Ketosis and lost two treasured ewes, Rosie and Coral Bell, along with all 6 triplets they carried. The posts leading up to this one will tell you the struggle.

She was progressively getting weaker all day and I knew her time was near. Her breathing was slower, and she could not swallow well. She showed no signs of pain. She was still coherant most of the day, but by late afternoon she was pretty much in a state of sleep, occasionaly opening her eyes, or a twitch here and there - a clear sign her body was slowly shutting down. The little son who lived so she would die is gaining strength, and is wobbly but on his feet. I brought him out to the barn for the day and he stayed cuddled up with her all day until I brought him back in the house. I took this photo and imagine she died within a few hours, as is this how I found her this morning.

I sat with the two of them for an hour or more yesterday, Rosie's head cradled on my lap, while I said my final goodbyes and thank you's to this magnificant mother, herd leader and friend. She was our first sheep. While Coral's death left a huge impression, Rosie's death leaves a hole.

But it is time to move forward. We had healthy twin ewes from Blue on Saturday, and Daisy should lamb soon. Then we are done for the season. We have learned. Tomorrow is my 51st birthday. I feel 90 after the last 8 days, but it will be a day of peace for the farm, as our girls will all be buried, safe. And that little boy of Rosie's lives on - he is here for some reason.

Rosie, it was such an honor, all of it.


Mare said...

Oh...so many goodbyes Katherine. Thank goodness for the sweet hellos from the new ones. I am so sorry you lost Rosie...love, mare

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine your sadness now; so very sorry.

Eileen said...

The past few days posts have brought so many tears to my eyes...I can't imagine how you must feel.....best of luck with all the new babies

leh113 said...

Katherine-I've been checking your blog frequently,hoping that there would be good news about Rosie...am feeling heartbroken for your losses this past week,realizing how much you love your furry children. I'm praying that Daisy's delivery will be uneventful & that Rosie's son will continue to gain strength & grow in good health...and that you will soon be able to get some much needed rest.

Balou said...

"in their own element, with the smells, sounds and beings around them that they know."

How peaceful she looks. I hope your heart fills up again with the new lives surrounding you.

Claire MW said...

Oh Katherine, this has just been a completely heart-wrenching time. I am so sad you lost Rosie. She is with my Rosie the beakless chicken now. I suspect that my Rosie is sitting up on your Rosie's back, keeping a watch out for all their friends. My Rosie loved to sit out with the sheep. I'm sure Coral Belle is happy as can be to have a friend with her.

Blessings to you on your birthday. I hope it will be a year of renewal.

Scritches to Rosie's boy, he's going to be a handsome man.

deedledumpling said...

Kathryn, I wasn't able to catch up until today. I am so terribly sorry! I know this must be so hard and bittersweet for you, but the ones who remain will give you strength. I am so sorry for your pain.

Cathy said...

My dear, I am so sad for you. I'm sure Rosie knew that her boy was nestled against her and I'm happy she's at peace now.

Her life may have been too short but she was blessed to spend it with such a loving, caring shepherdess. Renewing your flock will be a tribute to her; I hope that baby boy grows up to father many more healthy, happy Apifera sheep.

Kathy said...

Oh, how sad. I have been praying for Rosie and now she is gone. I hope her little boy gets strong and grows to be an asset to your flock. I am so sorry for your losses. Happy Birthday.


Unknown said...

your post brought tears to my eyes. Im so sorry but very happy too. Im glad you have new little ones to tend to. now rosie can rest.

it's in the details said...

i cannot imagine how difficult this must be for you. i'm writing to let you know that people miles away thought of you and both Coral and Rosie, sending all three of you positive and comforting thoughts. I know that they are at peace now and that these traumatic few days will have taught many of us reading your blog what it means to be human. thanks for your courage to share.

MA said...

Dear Katherine,
Thinking of you and the farm and your family...all.

Phyllis said...

That picture of Rosie and her baby is heart wrenching; I'm in tears.

gangstalking-australia said...

Hi I am so sorry for both of the losses you have suffered through, the photo bought tears to my eyes. But she was so loved. Happy Birthday for today, yours is three days before mine, although much older than you. Love your blog.

livingston lamb said...

Your blog inspires me. I really am sorry for the farm's loss. But every ending is just a beginning and though Rosie's death may feel heartwrenching, she is a brave creature whose son surely has survived at her cost for a purpose.

All the best wishes.

Amy Schimler-Safford said...

Oh Katherine, what a time you have had. My heart is so heavy thinking of your losses. That photo sums it all up. It is all about the love we give and receive and all of your animals leave this earth with so much love. My heart is with you....
Try to celebrate wonderful you tomorrow - let the love in.

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Thank you for reading! The farm and my art/writing keep me hopping, so might not respond immediately. Thank you for understanding. ~Katherine & Apifera ~