I spent most of last night and a fair portion of today letting myself grieve the loss of a goat.  Shamrock, the goat the vet skillfully tended to, died.

I knew that it was a possibility.  I was aware of the risk, but wanted to give her every opportunity to survive and thrive, so the vet was called.  She was my oldest goat, and frail in her own way.  This last stressful episode of being off feed, having a dead baby stuck inside her that potentially cost her life, and the cold...was just too much for her.  

After the vet left, I saw she was getting shock-y.  She was drooling, shaking, and despondent.  Covering her with blankets, and offering her molasses water meant nothing.  She was on her way out. 

I held her head to my chest for close to an hour, cried tears of regret, what if's, and profound sadness.  I told her how wonderful she was, how much I appreciated what she had given--milk, babies, a level, calm personality.  I still feel responsible, even though I did everything I could to help.  Too late on some fronts, but I moved with the information she gave me about being unwell.  My small comfort is in the fact that she had over 10 years of a good life with green pastures, comfortable housing, and an opportunity to live a fulfilling goat life.  She was a foundational part of my goat family.

The vet followed up this morning with a phone call; he was shocked that she had died.  He again comforted me with kind words, potential reasons for her death, and wished me well.  Bless that man for his big heart!

Even as I type this blog, tears are running down my face.  Who knew that a goat would cause this reaction?

I have been making sure that Shamrock's little guy is getting milk from other nanny goats.  I love on him extra hard, am quick to defend and nurture him in these last 12 hours, and pray this cold snap ends soon.  It will make this surrogation situation less crucial in terms of life and death.

I'm a farm girl, and I am well aware that farm life says that all things live and die. It's part of the cycle.  I am grieving this death and my part in it.  Time will heal, I am sure, and for the time being my tears are the expression of my heart.  

As the Good book reads,"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn..."

I'll squeeze the baby goats a little closer tonight when I check in on them.  I'll love the beauty of my momma goats tending their little ones, and I'll be sure to allow the potential of what is, and what's yet to come fill the hole in my grieving heart.

Goodbye, Shamrock.  You are so well loved...


Stu Masterton on

Many months after your sad loss, I’m experiencing the same thing. We lost our matriarch doe Cassie at the weekend, and the sadness we feel is very real. She was a character. Full of mischief, affection, and yes, even humour. It’s going to take some time for this sense of loss and sadness to ease. She was very special, and our wee world is the poorer for her loss

Deb on

So sorry for this loss my grandson will face this one day not too soon. Would you advise me after a pet goat passing, how did you bury? I am afraid I have no idea.

Aaron on

I am sorry for the loss of your goat. I know how it is.My boy Franklin the goat just died today. I miss him greatly. He brought life to the farm.

Joan on

I just watched your farm tour on Farm Connections and looking for your goat milk soap, came across this blog. My sympathy and understanding for your loss. I’ve also suffered many domestic animal losses over the years. Now I also have goats to add to my farm. They are special.
Thanks for what you do!

Deb Becker-Galewski on

Again, reading this many months later. With tears in my eyes, I send you my sympathy and commend you for the gentle care you gave Shamrock. Grief is the result of love. We don’t feel the same depth of sadness if there isn’t a depth of love.

Mona on

Thanks for sharing your loss. I cry as I read, feel the loss & the love.

Sharon Anderson on

Sorry for your loss. Sending a hug.

Linda Carlson on

Shanna, I can guarantee that Shamrocks death was not due to any fault of yours. She has been with you through many trials and tribulations and has helped you establish an amazing business. It is so hard to lose any loved one and your goats are family. Cry, think about your time with Shamrock and smile about all the good that came from her time spent with you. Thinking of you💕

Donnarae Davis on

I am sorry about Shamrock, and I share your grief. I had dairy goats for many years and I made soap with their milk. I now buy your soap. Your Shamrock reminds me of one of mine, Amelia. She also lived to be about 10. Take care.

Julaine on

So sorry for your loss Shanna!
They become family and loved so much.

Nancy Chadbourn on

Your love for her says it all…these are times when farm girls dig in and love our animals harder . .💜strength and peace to you my friend, and to the rest of the herd , who will also mourn her absence . .

Carl Rolfs on

So sad for you in losing Shamrock. I know she is missed and her place will be very hard to fill.

deborah cassity on

So sorry for your loss, Shanna…animals become family, so hard when they leave us….Thinking of you! 🙏

Judy on

Poor Shamrock 😭 She knew she was loved. I hear goat heaven is nice.

Mary Lisser on

I am so sorry for your loss. I have tears running down my face. I feel your pain as it has been four years ago we lost our precious Mosey, and it still leaves an empty pit in my stomach. Maybe I can bring the girls to your farm this summer to see the goats, they love animals.

Lea on

Sincere sympathy for your family loss. <3 <3 <3

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