2/8/09 Dealing with Loss

Discussion in 'Rainbow Bridge' started by StaceyRosado, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    Topic suggestion by Liz - thank you liz

    Most of us have had to deal with the loss of a pet, and many of us have dealt with the loss of a dear goat friend. It is a sad thing to go through but those willing to share how they coped may help someone who is having difficulties.
  2. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    I came here. And cried. Lots. It's good for you.

    Having people who understand is a huge help. It's sometimes hard to admit you lost a pet or goat, especially when it was an accident that you feel you could have prevented, but most people understand and are not judgmental. You really need that reassurance.

    Also, keep going with your plans. Don't give up on a goal because of it. Were you going to get some new goats? Don't stop, go ahead and bring home the new ones.


  3. Sonrise Farm

    Sonrise Farm Guest

    Sep 18, 2008
    I can relate to that.
    I felt really, really devasted and sad when Saca lost her bucklings, but it sort of woke me up as well. *or reminded me* everything ends, sometimes prematurely, but it does. I had been looking forward to my Nigie babies, but I had taken for granted they would be there and forgotten the fragility of life.
    I cannot explain exactly what that meant to me, but although it was a sad and I don't want it to happen again experience, it was a good reminder.

    Take it as it comes, shoulder it, cry about it, then go on.

    *goes away tearfully*
  4. Victoria

    Victoria New Member

    Dec 20, 2008
    Vernonia, Oregon
    Well, I lost two of the very best goats ever. Lion King was the most wonderful buck a breeder could ask for. Guinevere she was so so special to me. I felt like I failed both of them, this feeling was and still is so overpowering to me. They were relying on me to help them and there was nothing at all that I could do.
    So how did I deal with the loss? I realized how personal grief is, how devistating and powerful. I owned my sadness but also I own my precious precious memories of my friends.
    I also believe that animals come into my life for a reason, to teach me. Wether it be kindness, or patience, or how to grieve. My two beloved goats tought me all of this, and what a blessing to know these things. Animals have such capacity to live in the moment, it is beautiful.
    Madgoat likes this.
  5. rgbdab

    rgbdab New Member

    Nov 26, 2007
    Two years ago we had unusally wet, warm weather and the worms got ahead of me (and many others in this area). I had a young, beautiful doe named Roxie and she had a buckling kid Frodo. One day I noticed Roxie had the runs real bad, so I gave her some pepto and electolytes. By the next dayshe was very weak and I took her to the vet. That's when I found out about the worm problem, she was extremely anemic and the vet said she wouldn't make it. I went back home and got another goat and went back and had them give her a transfusion and of course wormed her good. It perked her up a bit, but within a few days she was back down. Took her back to the vet and was told nothing would help her, she was so anemic again that she had to be put down. AS if that wasn't bad enough, she left little Frodo behind, he was 1 month old. I never could get him to take a bottle, and had to feed him with a syringe. He was small and delicate, but I had promised Roxie before she was put down I would take good care of her baby and I even took him to work. He lived for only 3 weeks after his momma and I already felt guilty for letting Roxie get so sick and now I had also let her baby die. I was in deep mourning and I took Frodo's little collar off him before I buried him and put it on my ankle like a braclet and wore it all the time. Finally after about 5 months I was able to remove it and let him go. I will never forget him.
  6. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    It so true how we deal with grief and theres no one size fits all. Or time frame. Rgbdab your wearing Frodo's collar on your ankle really touched me.

    I had to put one of my first girls down 4 days after she kidded. She woulndt get up to feed her kids by day two she hadnt touched her water and I had to drag her to her feet by her cold horns so the kids could nurse.
    That was my first time kidding. I dont honestly know what could have been done differently; necropsy showed mummified kid way up in the horn; vet couldnt feel it on day one.
    I didnt cry much cause I was busy bottle feeding her kids and taking care of everyone else.
    What really broke my heart was that her two sisters took turns walking up & down the outside of the barn, looking up at it at it and calling for her.
  7. Bona Fide

    Bona Fide New Member

    Oct 9, 2007
    Loss is never easy, no matter who it is. The problem is coping as we know all cope differently. I hash the situation out until it's beat into the ground - I go over a million times what I did wrong and how I could have done differently (as you see with my losing the baby post) and I start questioning my capabilities as a breeder...I find it reflects on my competencies as a livestock handler...

    THIS IS NOT THE WAY TO DO IT...it only makes it harder on yourself. As anyone with goats knows - sometimes things just...happen.

    I've found good friends make it easier - no matter how many times you're told - a reassuring word always helps.

    I just have the biggest issues with knowing I had someone/somethings life in my hands and let it slip - for whatever reason. But it's always well I could have done this or should have changed that - if you can take what happened and learn by it - something was gained - and as awful as it sounds, you move on for the rest of your herd - to improve in nothing else other than to keep the same situation from coming about again.
  8. goatshows

    goatshows New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    I have recently lost a 7 month old doe suddnly. She was healthy and eating and drinking fine the night berore she died. When my friends went to do morning chores they found her dead with no signs of sickness or attack. I cried alot and just kept thinking what did I do wrong. I found that talking to people helped alot and trying to figure out what could have killed her helped me out alot.

    Bringing in a new animal into your herd also helps. I recently (since that doe died) brought in a new doe. Who is very wild and will need a lot of work to calm her down. Finding something else to keep your mind on always helps. Kepping your self busy and dont let it sneak up on you.
    Old Post Farm likes this.
  9. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Any loss, wether it be a goatie or a different pet is very hard to handle.

    When those losses come too frequently it is the caring responses of those "close" by that make the healing seem to be faster.

    My first loss came with a dropped off pup, Daisy Mae just stole our hearts and quickly fit in here wth my old cocker and my 3 cats. We had her for just a short time but in those 4 months she was such a part of us that it felt as if she'd always been with us. She had a habit of running along the top of the yard when the occassional truck would go up the road and then one day, the week before Thanksgiving 5 years ago, she didn't stop as usual at the bottom of the driveway and the Township truck got her. Her death came a month after we got the news that my dad had 6 months left here on earth with us. Daisy Mae was the first to have grave up on the "hill".

    My dad passed on in April of 05......but he had chance to meet our "replacement" pup, Brandy Lee...a beauty of a black and white border collie that was such a character and just seemed to fill the void left by Daisy Mae's death. In December of 05, we lost Jake, our 12 year old "original" farm cat from the farm I grew up on....his was the second grave, next to Daisy Mae.
    In September of 06, my Petey, protector of goatie buddies and my guardian, ended the life he had with us.....8 years after we took him in as he was wandering with a chain imbedded in his neck....vet said that Pete was an old dog and that we gave him the best life he ever knew, Petey was laid next to Jake.
    In May of 07, I lost my beloved Dolly. She had such a hard labor and her babies were pulled dead....had I known then what I know now, I might still have my precious pygmy doe...and maybe even the doelings too. She was the first dear goatie I lost....I left work the morning after to be with her, she laid her head in my lap, too weak to even breathe, looked at me with those beautiful baby doll eyes and left me.
    2 weeks after we laid Dolly to rest next to Petey we were digging another hole, my Brandy Lee met the same fate as Daisy Mae....ran out of yard to run along and got hit running after the school bus, I was numb....just minutes before she was at the gate as she always was waiting for me to finish milking. As we were digging Brady's grave, I saw smoke coming from the neighbor's barn....my hubby was on the quad and up the road to get the farmers mom...I buried Brandy and was back down the hill as the fire department arrived. Thankfully it was minimal damage to the silo and the fire was extinguished.

    Angel came to me 23 days after my Dolly left me, I was the first to lay hands on her and I feel so Blessed to have had the chance to love all those that I lost in such a short time......we had to dig 5 holes within 3 years and each one of those lost has left such happy memories of them and yet it still hurts to "talk" about them.

    Having the kind and sympathetic words of others helps with the heartache of losing a special pet, remembering them in specialways helps too, I can see the patches of Daisies that I planted on each of those spots on the hill....and Petey's box is still where it was in the beginning, Dolly's collar is hanging on the steer horns above my living room doorway , Daisy Maes as well as Petey's and Brandy Lee's collars are tied with ribbon and hanging on the wall.....a tuft of my Jake's fluffy black and white fur is in a pretty vase in my china cabinet.....all special keepsakes that will always remind me of how special each of these pets were.
  10. farmergal

    farmergal New Member

    Jun 19, 2009
    Northern California
    This thread has me in tears! I think one of the hardest things is that those of us who choose to bring animals into our lives, do so for a reason... and I think it's because we have so much love to give the world (in other words, we're huge softies). Which makes it hurt more.

    When we lose an animal, I think that we have to tell ourselves that it is good that it hurts -- because it means that we loved our animals, and that because they were loved they had a better life than the majority of animals out there. And even if we made a mistake, we did our best -- and that the fact that we will learn from our mistake is the animal's parting gift. I also think that telling the story to others helps heal, and bringing new animals in your life (as someone else suggested) helps divert your attention a little, and remind you that loving animals doesn't just bring pain -- it brings joy too. Do something to honor the animal's death, whether it's keeping something that belonged to the animal (the collar story touched me too!), or making a little memorial of some kind.

    With that, I hope it's okay if I steal a bit of thread space to tell my story and how I dealt with one of my losses. I have not yet lost a goat, but I have lost chickens and dogs. You might think that losing a chicken isn't a big deal, but my Barred Rock Tux had the soul of a golden retriever! She would wait on the doorstep for me to come out of the house, fly on to my shoulder, and she even taught my Australian Shepherd not to mess with the poultry by pecking her on the nose if she got too near. She was the chicken "welcome committee" for any visitors to our farm.

    Early this past summer I made the very difficult decision to fly back east for my fiancee's cousin's wedding, and left my chickens in the care of a friend/neighbor. I told them several times (both in person and in a written list) to check under the porch each night as two of my chickens, Tux and a wyandotte, had been trying to go broody down there.

    I was gone four days. When I got back at midnight, I immediately went to the coop to check on the girls. (I didn't yet have my goats, so chickens were the priority.) I immediately noticed Tux was missing. My fiancee and I spent the next three hours looking for her, in the dark with a flashlight. I was crying... eventually I suggested that we look across the road, in the vineyard there. He found her carcass, or what was left of it. She had been killed by a raccoon. We were both sobbing when we buried her at 3:30am... I saved some of her feathers to remind me of her, and I apologized to her over and over again.

    This was my deepest, darkest fear when leaving the farm, since she was my one chicken who wasn't just a hen... she was a pet. I was furious at myself, although it was the people I'd left in charge who'd messed up... They somehow managed to not collect about 30 eggs underneath the porch, and to leave Tux there overnight. (And there's not that much space under the porch -- we boarded it up so the chickens could only go about two feet in to lay their eggs there.)

    In the morning, I was able to trace her awful path across the road. She fought the raccoon, and there were several bunches of her feathers between the porch and her final resting place. Interestingly enough, wherever I found her feathers, I found polka-dotted guinea feathers too -- and my guinea hen looked really scraggly. So my lone comfort is that even though I wasn't there for Tux in her final hour, my guinea hen (who is otherwise a pain in the butt!) was there fighting the raccoon for her. And my guinea hen is mean, so that raccoon didn't get away unscathed!

    Finally, I have named a goat in Tux's honor. I can't bring myself to call the goat "Tux," but I call her "Tuxedo." She's a black Nigi with a white poll, and is a total lap goat... so she has the personality of my Tux too :) (I didn't intend to bring her home when I went to the breeder, but I couldn't resist... and my fiancee even forgave me because he understood, even though he made me promise that I wouldn't bring any extra goats home!)

    So I guess my final advice is... if you lose a chicken, get a goat... if you lose a goat, get a... horse? Just kidding. It's also important to try and laugh through your tears sometimes, too.
  11. 3pygmymom

    3pygmymom New Member

    Nov 16, 2009
    Lancaster, PA
    I had to get the tissues to read this post, how much you all love your animals! They are all part of the family and my kids learned about life on the farm with the loss of twin black faced lambs. One was born with no muscle control, very floppy head, weak sounds, the other could hold her head up but neither could get up. We pinned mom and gave the babies milk with a syringe and my youngest daughter held the sickest and said you wont die alone, I'm going to hold you til you go to heaven. It broke my heart to see her crying and holding this little thing. She stayed in the barn with me until 4 am and I didnt think the lambs would make it the night. The weakest she named Lilly lived four days and she was heartbroken. The other we named Bella and we taught her to walk. First we used a towel as a sling and held her enough to get weight on her legs and learn to balance. After a month we could stand her up and she would run around the yard with our dog, but if she fell she couldnt get up again on her own. At first she slept in a box with blankets on our sunporch and I would bottle feed her every 4 hours. But at a month old we put her in her own little barn with hay and bottle fed her and she was growing and doing well. The vet was coming to run some tests but the day before she was to come, we went out to feed Bella and my daughter went running in and Bella had died. Oh the tears and heartache from working so hard. It was devestating to everyone even my husband cried. I know we will have more of these times and it never is easy.
  12. DanaG

    DanaG Guest

    Jan 5, 2010
    This thread is wonderful. I am sitting her crying my eyes out. I am on day 8 with my baby Deni with listeria and I still cant get him to stand...I dont know what else to do..
    My bestfriends bulldog Daisy had a stroke this afternoon and we rushed her to the vet and just heard that she has possibly had another stroke. Will probably have to put her down if she doesnt improve a lot; shes 9.
    Thanks for everyone sharing their stories. I am new to goats and this forum. :kidblue:
  13. farmgirl1

    farmgirl1 New Member

    Mar 14, 2010
    Monroeville, NJ
    When my goat, Pisces passed away I cried for a while but after a while I decided it was not something me, or my mom could have prevented (We think that when he was playing around with the other bucks, he got hit really hard and it damaged his brain). I am still sad about it but now I just think that he is in a better place and now he doesn't have to deal with the pain and he can't get hurt anymore. RIP Pisces
  14. cyanne

    cyanne Senior Member

    OMG, there are not enough tissues in my house to deal with this thread!

    For my own experience, we have yet to lose any of our goats other than two stillborn babies this Spring, but we have had plenty of losses amongst our other animal family members.

    We planted 3 new apple trees this weekend and under each one is one of our special chickens who transcended the category of "just a chicken" and became a special pet.

    Under the first one is a little mixed breed hen that hatched out with a deformed beak (crossbeak). As a chick she was able to eat, but as she grew and her beak became more deformed she needed more and more help to eat and was always very skinny because she had so much trouble. I hand fed her almost every day so she was very sweet and tame. I found her laying in the chicken run one day during the winter.

    Under the second tree is our beautiful black easter egger hen, Jellybean. She had the most gorgeous black feathers that glowed purple and green in the sun. Unfortunately, she liked to sneak into the goat pen to lay eggs in their hay feeder and one day my stupid LGD (who kills any birds that get into the goat pen) got hold of her. I went out to do chores that night and found her by the hay feeder, missing most of the skin on her back. She was still alive and I thought I should put her out of her misery, but I just could not bring myself to do it...she had already been hurt so bad and I couldn't make myself hurt her anymore so I went out and bought a whole bunch of first aid stuff for burns and whatnot and did my best to save her or at least make her comfortable. She lived for another day before dying. I still feel awful for not having the strength to stop her suffering sooner.

    Under the last tree is the hardest loss we have suffered lately, my sweet little Belgian D'Uccle hen, Duckle. She was such a silly little thing with her feathered feet and her sweet, sweet personality. She loved to be held and cuddled and you could walk right up to her any time and pick her up and she'd just let you. I had her for over 2 yrs and it is just not possible to describe how much we loved that little chicken...she was another of my LGD's feathered victims and I found her in a pile of her soft blue feathers in the goat pen. I cried like a baby for days and came within an inch of having the LGD put down because I was so mad at him. In the end it came down to him being too important as a goat protector and knowing that some dogs just are not good with chickens, but if I ever do find an LGD that is poultry safe he will definitely be packing his bags for a farm that does not own birds.

    Whenever we lose any animal that we are particularly attached to, we always wonder if it is worth all the pain to have the animals and get attached to them only to lose them in the end. But then, I wouldn't want to trade the happy memories we have had with our special friends for anything in the world, even if it had to end in a way that was sad.
  15. nigerianmeadows

    nigerianmeadows New Member

    Dec 12, 2010
    North Carolina
    I'm bawling, reading all this. We just lost our first baby goat, still-born, but I still took it kind of hard, sort of in secret I guess. I kept it wrapped in a blanket and cool and waited a day and a half to bury it. I guess I kept hoping I would go out and find it breathing. I finally was able to bury it after the sister to that ones mother had a little girl with no trouble, but it still hurts. It helps to know (it was a bad birth for a FF) that it wasn't really what I did or anyones fault, but I can't help thinking I could have saved it. Guess I like to give myself too much credit, huh? I knew it would happen eventually, the odds and death eventually get you, but knowing isn't feeling. Sooo... I guess I'll cry on here and keep a smile on until it doesn't hurt so bad.
  16. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    Awe :hug:

    I don't think you are giving yourself to much credit but trying to give blame for the loss of what we consider inocent life. But try not to blame yourself its hard but first grieve and then do your best to let go. :hugs:
  17. 4kids

    4kids New Member

    Jul 21, 2009
    It is so hard to lose a goat- I lost three my first kidding year. It was so hard for me too. I think it is important to let yourself grieve and know that we can only do so much. :)
  18. Mon Reve Farm

    Mon Reve Farm New Member

    Jun 25, 2010
    Southern DE
    I think it's been said in a few different ways but I think it's important to remember YOU ARE ALLOWED TO GRIEVE.

    Whether it is self imposed or others make us feel this way varies but you are allowed to grieve. I had someone make a comment to me that they didn't understand why I was so upset when we lost Martini last year. This was someone from work and I knew they had dogs so I asked them how they would feel if the lost the one they had had the longest. They said they would be upset but it's their dog "not just a goat". It took a second for me not to respond in anger... so I said "to me it's the same type of loss". Everyone grieves differently but remember you need to let yourself so that you can gain some type of closure.

    In addition I think this forum :grouphug: and other groups many of us are a part of helps. Fellow goat lovers that understand the feelings of loss, frustration, anger, self blame, etc. Having that type of "community" helps anyone deal with loss.

    Just my two cents...

    (and yes I was crying as I read the other posts too)
  19. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    Everyone has said it all.... :grouphug: I am so sorry ...for your loss... :( but please don't blame yourself.....things happen.... beyond our control sometimes...and there is nothing we could of done to change it..... It is OK to grieve.... we are here for you.... :hug: