When we welcomed Tracey and her friend Louise to the shelter, they were emaciated and crawling with lice. Having gone years without proper food, water, and care, the two pregnant ewes were nearing the end of their endurance. We knew that getting them healthy was crucial not only to improve their well-being but also to reduce the danger posed by their impending deliveries.
In addition to treating Tracey and Louise for their parasites and carefully helping them gain weight, we gave the ewes a rare mid-winter haircut. Clearing away the extra wool helped us monitor their udders as their deliveries approached (and we continue to monitor Louise, whose twins are due soon). At this time of year, it's too cold for these skinny sheep to be outside without full coats of wool, so they have been convalescing in two cozy stalls inside our Melrose Small Animal Hospital. Here, we can also protect Hazelton and his soon-to-arrive playmates from the winter temperatures, which would likely cause fatal hypothermia if they were living in a barn.
This little family is so appreciative of their newfound comfort and especially of each other. Tracey adores Hazelton and cannot stop grooming and doting on him. In the beginning, she was a little distrustful of us, unsure of our intentions for her son. Now that she's seen we only want to help, she adores us too. This mama has a lot of love to give.
Many people worked long hours, experienced nerve-wracking moments, and lost more than a little sleep helping one little lamb get his start. Now that one little lamb has a whole, big life to live and so many people to touch.