12/10/06

Double Shit

My parents have been having a tough time of things lately. First, my dad injured his eye with a ricocheting nail, just two weeks into his new job as a construction supervisor. Now his pupil cannot constrict properly, and he will have severe vision problems for the rest of his life. All of this happened only two months after his brother died.

Then, earlier this week, they began fielding new births in their goat herd. They had seven pregnant does ready to deliver in a week's time. After two successful labors on Thursday afternoon, resulting in two bucklings and four little does, they hit the sack. Early, early Friday morning, Mom checked the baby monitor they have listening in on the barn and heard more kids -- another doe had delivered. When they got to the barn, they found Chance, one of the two Great Pyrenees who live with the goats to protect them, eating one of the newborn kids.

These dogs are incredibly gentle to the goats and generally live among them as if they ARE goats, but the smell of blood and the temptation of a small, helpless newborn must have overridden much of Chance's innate protecting instincts. Obviously, that shocked and saddened my parents profoundly.

Charlotte, a fourth doe, delivered yet another two does/one buckling package yesterday. However, she is a new mother and is suffering from something called white muscle disease, which is a severe nutrient deficiency when a mother gives birth to so many kids. Mom went into the house to get Charlotte's medicine when her neighbors came to the house carrying one of their two house dogs, Shadow. He had been hit in the road and killed instantly. My sister-in-law wrote about it.

Mom had been considering adopting Shadow out to another home. He was an English Sheepdog and highly governed by the internal programming of his breed. He loved running with the animals, and he refused her attempts to keep him out of the road. He would just wander over to the neighbor's farm across the street to converse with their dogs and harass their stock. Mom and Dad discussed finding another family in need of a more active herder -- he was not doing well inside their house! -- on a farm off of major throughways. They just knew he was going to meet with a bad end on their (relatively) busy little country road. Mom said he aggravated her to no end, but she didn't wish the poor guy dead. I think she regrets not having acted sooner to place him with another family.

The shock of life -- Charlotte's three births -- followed by Shadow's death, and literally in the span of a single hour, is messing with Mom's head. The intensity of those two experiences buttressed together, coupled with the fatigue of their busy birthing week and the fact that Charlotte is not out of the woods health-wise, left her pretty worn out when I talked to her last night.

However, a glimmer of hope spreads on the horizon. She teased me that she has an idea for a new entrepreneurial venture, but she would not give me the details. She said it would take too long and she didn't have the energy. I'm eager to hear her ideas.

In other, less farm related but potentially shitty news, Keven is at the doctor this morning. He has a lump of some sort on his abdomen, about four inches left of his belly button. We think it's a cyst -- Jenn mentioned that her dad had something like that on his back, and doctors easily removed it -- but he wanted to get it checked out and clear our imaginations of nasty, ominous thoughts before our trip.

When he gets home, we'll decorate the tree. That means I have to conjure up some manner of Christmas spirit, which has been lacking in all this messy news. However, I only have to think about the car crash Jenn and I saw when we were out Christmas shopping on Friday night to remember to count my blessings. The Toys-R-Us is immediately adjacent to that highway, so while we were inside picking out ponies and barn animals for the kids, we heard the med-evac helicopter evacuate a 5-yo boy. This LIFE thing can be bizarre and a little scary.

2 comments:

Mircalla said...

That's terrible and shoking to read it hear... why did you not give us a call?!

Jessica said...

Oh man, Lindsey. Give your parents my love and best thoughts and don't you dare let us not know how Kev's appointment went.

Crappy stuff happens in droves, but so does the good stuff. We just don't seem to notice the runs of good stuff. :-\ Give all of yours a hug for me and I'll give all of mine a hug for you.