Friday, August 14, 2009

Little Lost Sheep

Is there anything more pitiful than a lost little lamb?
Yesterday, the landscape crew from the city of Parker showed up in my driveway with a sheep strapped to the back of their little golf cart thingy. Apparently, they had found this sheep running loose down the center median of the main street that intersects with my neighborhood street. At first they asked if I had lost a sheep - thankfully, I had not had a prison break. Then a police car and the local Animal Control officer both pulled up in my driveway and we all stood around trying to decide what to do with this poor sheep.

She looked really pretty, but her wool, which didn't look like it had gotten sheared this spring, was wet, muddy, and full of sticks and stuff. She had a few scratches and heat rash looking places on the insides of her legs, and she was pretty stressed from being chased and caught. I learned today that the Animal Control officer had followed her over 2 miles down some main streets until she was pretty close to my house.

I was hesitant to just throw her in with my sheep because you never know what parasites or bugs she would bring with her. I didn't even know if I should cobble together a separate pen for her and take some time to assess the situation. I'm such a sucker for a rescue, but I've just thinned my flock a bit, trying to stick to "the plan."

In the end, we decided that Animal Control would take her and hold her for three days to see if anyone came forward to claim her. During that time, I'd run a fecal test on her to see if she had any icky worms or bacterial infections.

Her face haunted me last night. I went back outside to pick up some of her fleece I had pulled off with a wad of stickers and tossed on the lawn. Holy cow - that fleece was incredibly fine and soft and crimpy. Hmmmm. Her breed seemed familiar, but of course, I hadn't had the wherewithal to have my camera handy while she was in front of me. I looked up some pictures on the internet and was shocked to realize that she might be a Cormo sheep. Cormo!

This medium sized fine wool breed is not one I had ever considered for our flock for several reasons: nobody around here raises them, I wasn't sure how they would do in this climate, breeding stock would undoubtedly be very expensive, and I really like old heritage breeds. Cormos seem like really fancy sheep to me and I was a little intimidated. But they have the most gorgeous wool I have ever seen on a sheep. I sought out some Cormo roving at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival last year because I just wanted to try spinning it. It's amazing. Luscious stuff. And it would blend with alpaca beautifully. And I could be just a little bit more like my hero, Susie Gibbs, because she has an incredible flock of Cormos that gives her CSA shareholders some jaw-dropping yarn.

The Cormo breeders' website describes Cormos as "rugged," and I think I have to agree after hearing about her 2 mile run in full fleece on a 90 degree day. I can't believe she didn't just lay down and die. But she still had a little fight in her as the guys tried to move her from their cart to the Animal Control truck.

It was hard to wait overnight, but I made it. This morning I called Officer Tammy and arranged to drop by and pick up a fecal sample to take to my vet. Long story short - she did have stomach worms, but my own sheep's sample came back positive, too, so EVERYBODY needs a good worming. I took pictures today of the girl and e-mailed them to Susie in New York and got a positive vote that she's a nice Cormo ewe. I can't believe it. Officer Tammy really doesn't foresee anyone coming for her, so as soon as I can figure out when her sentence is up, I think I can get her a ride to my place.

First and second orders of business: worming and shearing.

DD named her tonight at dinner - Queen Esther. "For such a time as this."

6 comments:

  1. Oh my, deja vu - I see now that I told this poor sheep's story two days in a row. Sorry for the duplication. You can see what's been on my mind...

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  2. Terri1:00 PM

    Oh what a beautiful face! I hope it works out for you. Sounds like she was meant to find you after running so far.

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  3. If Chris logs on - the periodic table sweater is at http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2009/08/periodic_table_sweater_withstands_t.html?CMP=OTC-0D6B48984890

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  4. Awesome, Emma. The name is PERFECT!!! I'm totally keeping my fingers crossed!!!

    Grandmatutu+

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  5. Thanks for the link, Carol - I'll point it out to her... Good to see you today! The critters loved your visit!

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  6. Wow, been worried about that little guy!

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