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

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Floyd, my soldier

It has been up and down since Floyd fell on late Thursday. Each day since, I have had high hopes, then he seems to fade. This could just be his way of going through what we call "the death spiral", but I am being fooled by the fact he is eating and drinking. Yesterday, I really thought he was fading, but mid day I helped him stand, and he took three steps. At night, he was upright and seemed stronger to me and I stood him up again and this time his legs weren't wobbling. But he still can't get up on his own, or walk on his own, and when he walked with me today, it is only with me holding up his rear end.

This morning, he ate, but not as well. But this is how yesterday started too. Still, I felt something shifted in him. I think he is tiring. I am torn about pulling the plug and am going to go through one more day and reassess. He is a good soldier, but I am the admiral and have to make the choice that is fairest for him. He is not lying there afraid to die, but when a sheep can't move on his own, has to be held up to pee, my job is clear.

So today, as morbid as it may sound to some of you, I will dig a hole for him. We talked about cremating him if he does doe, but the thought of having him hauled off upsets me-which is silly. But it is how it is. Martyn has warned me I must come to grips with how to deal with the larger bodies we now have in our care and what we will do with them. It is part of what I take on here, no whining, but just letting the many of you who see this place as all puppies and rainbows-it is not, never has been. Once you have to deal with a body of a large equine or other creature, you learn somethings you never thought of before-and why would you? It is part of this life though.

It has been pouring for days. I have Scooby Keith in the same large suite with Floyd, and Victor and Sophie too. A small, low window in the stall-which was created a long time ago when we first brought home Lucia, then a baby donkey so she could see out at night-allows light in and lets Floyd look out if he can, and Marcella can look in. As always the reverence of these times come through in the light of the barn, somewhat mystical for sure, and the bustle of the other animals goes on as Floyd lays in repose.

I will continue to get him up and down until I feel for certain that this brave soldier just wants to sleep on.