Lipstick for goats

Lipstick for goats

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Xanthe the baby goat.

Are our lives predestined for us and whatever happens does so for a reason?  Are some events just meant to be destiny?

These are my reflections as I think about Xanthe.

Some of you who followed my earlier blogs  Call the midwife - Hell, not her! and You've got to be kidding!  may have wondered how Xanthe my baby goat was fairing.

It has taken quite awhile for me to be able to write this and then sort through photos to accompany this post without dissolving into tears and putting it aside. 

I have to console myself with perhaps she just wasn’t meant to be, even though I had a darn good crack at keeping her on this earthly coil.

On that dark windy night of her birth if I hadn’t helped bring her into the world she would have died.

Within an hour of Xanthe’s birth hyperthermia tried its best to kill her.  As I frantically rubbed her in front of the heater I kept saying “Come on bubba you can do it, stay with me.”  And she did.

If I hadn’t noticed the following morning she was temporarily birth blind her mother would have abandoned her resulting in her death.  

Surely that was three strikes destiny is out? 

Xanthe was 9 weeks old, robust and healthy when destiny, if that is what rules us, had another idea to take her from me.

Xanthe needed to learn to be a goat and socialise with the other kids and to become independent from me.  I would take her into the paddock for play dates with the other kids watching her fly up and down our dirt hill with joyous abandon and interacting with the other babies. 

Slowly I left her for longer periods, calling her back for her meals and for bed in the evening, although more often she would stand at the back gate and yell for me when it was getting toward meal time. 

One night after her bottle of milk she decided she wanted to sleep in the paddock with the other goats, refusing to come back to the house with me.    Well you can imagine my angst. I was out at the crack of dawn checking on her but she was fine.  It was a step in the right direction to independence for her.  

Xanthe loved cuddling up close to me after her bottles.

But she didn’t have a mother in the paddock to protect her.  I never dreamt she could be so badly hurt by one of the does.

Xanthe must have ventured too close to a doe, posing a threat in that doe's mind or she was simply in her way. I ask what kind of threat can a little baby possibly pose?  To me it is all so senseless and unfair.

The vet and animal chiropractor concurred Xanthe had been hooked by the back leg with a horn and thrown through the air. All the tendons and muscles in her leg were torn. There was nothing the vet could do. Xanthe was in terrible pain and going into shock. I had to say goodbye to her as I held her head gently and kissed her on the nose, she quietly slipped away as I told her I loved her. 

It helps to think of all my beloved pets who have died as bright shining stars, I can look up into the night sky and still feel they are with me.  There are also many 'Rainbow' poems and letters to express our heartfelt loss of a pet. This is one I modified, I am sure the original author, unknown, would not mind.

A letter from across The Rainbow Bridge

Hi Mum,

Now that I’ve been across The Rainbow Bridge for a couple of weeks, they said I should write a letter home.  Sorry mum, but I’m so busy ‘across the bridge’ that I haven’t thought of home much. They said it’s okay and that you would understand.  I hope you do. (I think you will.)

Remember that day when I was in a lot of pain and not feeling well and you were crying? I don’t remember much, but I do remember seeing and hearing you and feeling your touches and hugs....I remember hearing “I love you” and that one last command of “Go through”. I didn’t know what you meant, so I turned around and walked through the fog that was in front of me.  I saw the biggest bridge I’ve ever seen! And so many friends on the other side of it! They were all playing in a big beautiful paddock!  You were right to tell me to go there!

My feet kept moving forward, but my heart kept pulling me back.  Your touches became lighter and lighter and I wanted to come back and nudge your hands for more love, but I was overcome by this feeling of curiosity for the happy place over the bridge!  My feet started moving on their own, like a gentle breeze was moving them forward for me!  I can’t explain it, but I had no doubt that it was the right thing to do!

So I walked across that big bridge by myself. I looked for you, because you’re always by my side, walking with me, but this was different. Even though you weren’t there with me, I never felt alone! I actually felt like I had a huge cape of love wrapped around my body and the more I walked, the easier it was to breathe and my pain was gone. So I kept walking! And I would feel more warmth in the big hug, so I kept walking! I eventually made it over the bridge – I did it by myself mum! When I got there all of my new friends greeted me and helped me walk off the bridge ~ it was so cool!  They gave me a pair of wings and we all have Forever People to watch over ~ that’s YOU mum! You’re my Forever Person and I’m your Forever Goat! We had such a great life together and I do miss you a LOT, but please know that I am happy in my new home across The Bridge!

I’ll send you another Earth Angel so you won’t be alone.  Give your whole heart, like you gave it to me.  I’ll check in every so often to make sure they treasure your love ~  I always did!  When you miss me, think of a rainbow and know I’m on the other side of it, waiting to walk with you again.  I’ll always be in your heart. I love you mum!  Time for me to go play......

Here I am.....see me!!

Xanthe 11th October 2015 - 16th December 2015

It had been a difficult few months for me, not only did I lose Xanthe, my beautiful paddock buddy Otis finally succumbed to urinary calculi, which we had been battling for 5 years and Crusher my faithful farm cat was accidentally run over in front of me.

I came across a great article on Psych Central Grieving the loss of a pet, it certainly helped me sort through and understand my feelings. Healthy grieving is getting "through", not over, a loss. 

Otis 1st December 2007 - 22nd October 2015

Crusher Puss adopted us. She turned up at Easter 2006 and decided I was to be her new human. I think feeding her scotch fillet steak that first night sealed the deal. It became obvious she had been kicked a lot at her old home, she had such attitude until she learnt she could trust her new humans.  I have no idea how old she was, she was at least a few years old in 2006 and she was with us for 9 years. She loved curling up in my lap at any chance she got.  I am so glad she chose to live with me.