Saturday, February 16, 2008

Okay, here’s the deal!

Sweet Valentino is NOT mine!! (Everyone say it all together … “AHHHHHHHHHHHH!”) I knew he was a foster child when Norm brought him home, but was hoping and praying that I could keep him.

However, I have promised to let him go when *I* say he’s ready and it’s safe to take him back – probably the end of next week. And I have promised to not cry, whine, scream, yell or beg IF Norm promises to bring me lambs and/or kids that are even LOOKING like they are in danger.

Since Norm is the prime animal care person at the Farm, when he’s not there, sometimes things go by the wayside and too many babies have “gone by the wayside.” I have objected before, but now I have a lever - bring them home to me or suffer with my nagging (and, boy, can I NAG!!! – Just ask Norm!).

But for now, he’s mine! And he knows it! Now that is he stronger, he follows me around a lot – which makes it difficult for pictures! And Peanut still says that he’s her baby and cleans him up when he messes and washes his face.

Now to day one and a half – I’ve had him since Thursday afternoon and he has gone through amazing progress.

When he came, he was in his box, covered with towels, shivering and shaking. I gave him the lamb / goat replacer formula in a syringe because I had no bottle (can’t find the ones I have saved from before) and because he couldn’t suck, anyway. By bedtime that night, he was able to suck the formula out of the syringe by himself – I didn’t have to push the plunger down.

Candy loaned me a baby bottle on Friday morning when we met at exercise. He was able to drink a little bit from the bottle, but not too well.

Soon-to-be-neighbor, Jody, came down from the cities – and she happened to have handy (where she could find it before she came down) a baby goat / lamb nipple that is much smaller and easier to use that those humungous big black calf nipples!

So, with the new nipple, Valentino is drinking much better and is up to three-fourths of a cup of formula per feeding, which is about every four hours (but during the night it was six hours!).

Being much stronger, he is spending more time out of his box walking around before going back to bed. I let him wander and explore in the kitchen until he starts to lie down, showing that he’s tired. This morning it was almost an hour between the time I got him up (he was awake and fussing) and the time he lay down to say he was ready for his bed. He has been running, a bit, jumping, a bit, and even trying to butt Peanut, some!!

And now he’s sleeping. Peanut is, as well. Being a foster momma is hard WORK, she says!! She loves him, though! She woke me up several times both Thursday night and last night to check on him. And has gone outside to scare away any bears that might, just MIGHT, be thinking of sneaking up and taking her baby. When Jody came by yesterday, Peanut was almost vicious at the door! She wants NO-ONE to steal her baby!

I hope to have more pictures tomorrow. I will need a lot of them to remind me of this precious time with a precious young life.

It will be a beautiful day today – you have a beautiful day!


Grandma Rosie said...

Try not to get to attached. Oops, to late. Poor little Peanut is not going to understand that she can't keep him! He is so sweet. Glad to hear he is doing well.

Gardengirl1952 said...

He is a beautiful guy and a box is better to sleep in then the bathtub mom put our little (triplet)lamb in when I was a child. Fostering is great and it sure hurts when they grow out of needing us.


Anonymous said...

Amazing progress!
Thank you for this post Connie - it brought back a forgotten memory to me of feeding orphan lambs with a bottle and teat at my sister's farm when I was wee.


Candy Duell said...

Oh what a great story. It is so good to hear he is gaining and getting stronger. From the sounds of it, you will be fostering more animals. Enjoy him for the while you have him. I had to laugh at the reaction Peanut had to the knock on the door.

jayedee said...

i love it! and can't wait for the next chapter in sweet little valentino's story!

The Unusually Unusual Farmchick said...

a baby! How sweet of Norm to have brought the babe home to his new mommy. Makes me hope Chia will hurry up and settle to her mate. I am missing her and hope to have a babe of our own this summer from her.
So precious.