Tuesday, January 13, 2009

RIP, Sweet Belle

Silver Belle captured our hearts as much as we tried to stay a little distant, and I am feeling pretty broken-hearted right about now as she died this afternoon. For whatever reason, something was just not right from the start and we tried everything to give her a chance.... round-the-clock bottle feeding to rule out infection, bloodwork, and lastly a plasma transfusion. This is the last picture I took of the sweet thing, at the vet's yesterday.

Although her IGG had been good (we tubed her with her mom's colostrum the first day), she could never get the hang of nursing. We even had our suspicions that possibly her neck was injured somehow as she always seemed to find it awkward to put her nose up. Despite round-the-clock bottle feeding, Belle wasn't growing. I told Paul last night that the transfusion was either going to pep her up considerably or she would take a big downturn today, which is what resulted. In the end, she died quickly.

I hesitated to write about this on the blog, but this is in fact a reality of raising any kind of animals. The loss is sentimental and emotional, but also represents a loss of time and money. Farming is not for the weak!

I chose to do something which I did once years before, and is extremely difficult.... I skinned the hide. Belle had an absolutely exceptional fleece, and I am going to have it tanned. It will honor her in some way, either through becoming a piece of art or for being used for education.

This is not a common occurence, we almost never lose a cria! But, death is a part of life and life will go on... it always does on a farm and spring is just around the corner (well, maybe around a few corners). I hope that my sharing the bad with the good will help someone else in some way.


Alpaca Farmgirl said...

Lindy, so sorry that you lost Belle. But I'm glad that you did post this. It is part of the "transparency" of blogging. We so wish they wouldn't die, but some do. Farming is a rollercoaster ride, unpredictable, and exciting with extreme highs and lows. I know you will find some comfort in your other cria playing in the fields, but it is a bittersweet pleasure after such a loss. Thinking of you.

AlpacaLindy said...

Thanks, Katie, that is very sweet of you. You're right, the other crias are taking away the pain of losing Belle. I enjoy your comments and love your blog as well!