Hope…

Something beautiful happened in the last fortnight: my heart filled with Hope!

Allow me to explain: Hope is a beautiful 2 month old lamb who has not had the best start in life and when he came to me he had many issues. So many in fact that the farmer ‘gifted’ him to me, believing he would not survive. He even offered to pay for the removal of his body when he did die! When the farmer’s wife delivered Hope and I said I would get the vet to look at him, her reply? “oh don’t bother, it’ll cost you a fortune”!

These farmer’s love their animals do they?!

Well, that was 9 days ago. Hope had weeping, half closed eyes, was very weak in his back end, with his left hind almost useless, had Orf around his mouth and was skin and bone. He had a ‘vacant’ air about him and he absolutely broke my heart.

Within a day of nibbling around the garden, he had found some Echinacea and his eyes the following day were wide open and bright.

The vet also came out that day and diagnosed past or current joint abscesses and possible joint damage, especially to his left stifle. He delivered a shot of vitamins and an antibiotic/anti inflammatory injection that would last 4 days with another one for me to give for a further 4 days.

Well, Hope picked up. He was bright, inquisitive, came to me for scratches and cuddles and seemed more comfortable in his hind legs. On the 8th day, however, he went downhill, as the meds wore off so, having spoken again to the vet, off I went to collect 2 more syringes of anti inflammatory medication to be given 48hrs apart.

Hope has filled a hole in my heart and there he will remain as long as I live.

That was Friday and he is due his second jab this afternoon.

He is certainly not as comfortable as he was on the combination medication but he is coping and he is eating well. He still comes over for cuddles and he seems quite content.

My dilemma is what happens after the second jab wears off. I am not going to keep injecting him every other day; it hurts him and it doesn’t seem to be making that much difference. Apparently, there is no oral medication I can give him and, anyway, he is not interested in eating anything other than grass right now.

He is heartbreakingly vulnerable but not at all needy; he potters around the garden, quiet and unassuming. He is such a sweet, gentle soul and every time I look at him (which is pretty much every minute of every day!) I am reminded of the millions of gentle souls, just like him who face the terror and agony of the slaughterhouse every single day for no other reason than humans’ lust for their flesh.

Hope has filled a hole in my heart and there he will remain as long as I live. He will soon be joined by 2 other gorgeous lambs and I am overjoyed that I am able to save these 3 from the fate that awaits their brethren.

I wish I could save them all but, as my little card says, I can only do what I can do and this is what I can do right now.

Just being vegan will never be enough for me. I have to do more and giving these little guys a home for life is a start.

Tomorrow I shall speak to the vet about a long term solution for his pain and I can guarantee that he will suggest euthanasia but, as a friend once said to me: “where there’s life, there’s hope” and as long as Hope wants to live, I will do all I can to help him live, as comfortably as possible.