Arthritis, Alba and All


I got Wish (with Hope) back in December 1999 also at about a week old.  She was also a Charolais cross but her out cross was to a Suffolk Mule (That’s what Breagh is) and Alba’s is to a Texel one.

It’s never a straight cross and all commercial sheep are mules of some sort or another but Wish and Alba do share the Charolais bit. She was a bit weedy was Wish and tottered about on film star legs. She had very thin and long legs that didn’t look too strong, but clearly have been, lol.

Wish soon showed a bit of a domineering side and rose to be above Hope very easily. She was very bombastic with her bottle (and after this morning I can say she still is but will come back to that…..  She didn’t like being weaned at all and I had a cat flap……. The 2 things came together one night.

I gave her and Hope  a free hand to roam with Ilk the fields and since

left to right Hope, Got and Wish

they were 5 months cut out all the bottles, they had been cut back to 3 a day prior to that. I did that with the others before her and no problems but Wish was Wish….. Sequel had been a special sheep and when she died at 9 months Ilk was again on her own and Wish sort of helped me get over Squeaks and had become a ‘bit’ spoilt… her then nick name with my ex was the ‘Spoilt Brat’ and there was some truth in it, lol.  Hope and her were inseparable but she was still very much a mummy’s girl and felt weaning was a bit too soon  so she decided since she had used the cat flap before and indeed had made the hole grow as she had till about 3 months,  at almost full size she could do it still. I had gone to bed and was crashed out to be woken by this crescendo of noise coming from the kitchen. I went out to Armageddon! The door had a gaping hole in it and the missing bit was laid on the back of a spinning sheep with her head through the cat flap in the middle of the room.  Said sheep was yelling predator and spinning to try to get it off as well as that a lot of things had been ripped off the unit via their flexes and some were also spinning about holding on to the remains of the door as they flew…… the rest all over the floor.

Grabbing the end of the door I got hold of the spinning top and them her collar (my sheep ware them as well). Calming her down a bit I then had to try and get the cat flap back over her head… eventually Wish and I were able to let go of each other and unceremoniously I got her back out the hole and cobble some struts to keep the door in its hole… or so I thought…..

Went back to bed and was woken at around 3 with a huge weight on me….. Ilk had got the door out the way, came in and had jumped on mummy and sat with her head just above mine chewing cud. Try as I might I could not get her to get off me and as she was a good 85kl (she was a 7/8th Suffolk) I hadn’t a hope but to stay there until she wanted to get off or someone rescued me. The rescuer came in at about 9 in the morning by which time I had had enough and decided I would never keep sheep again, lol. Oh and never have had a cat flap since, lol.

Wish and Ilk

She calmed down and accepted she was weaned and though good friends with Ilk and Got she was Hope’s shadow, or Hope was hers maybe?

Odd really, those 2 were very close and Ilk and Got were as well. Ilk was so good, played mummy (be it reluctantly t Wish and Hope) to all 3 of the others. She was a kind and patient girl but also the lead sheep at her death all 3 of the others seemed quiet and sad for a few days, Got a few more and then ish became leader. She had been pushing at Ilk’s leadership for some time though.

She was bigger than Ilk but not (or so I thought) more intelligent than her so however much she pushed a bit it was never an out-and-out challenge but maybe with sheep they don;t? Maybe the eldest is always at the top as Hope was only 2 weeks older it might not have made her older in the sheep’s view?

What I do know is after losing Hope Wish became so sad she really was so sad.  Over a few days she and Got were forced to become better friends. Hope and Wish had not taken Got under their wing too much when Ilk died so it’s not too surprising Got had withdrawn from Wish somewhat but just the same when Got died….  Wish fell apart, no other way of describing it really. She became nervous, very clinggy and wouldn’t stop calling.


Gotley AKA Miss Stampy Feet

She had been ok till we carried Hope out to be buried and that’s when it started. Got  was there and she did settle down and they became friends of a sort but Got was independent and Wish didn’t really want that she wanted something like Hope who needed her.

Got was a character, I can’t say how she ended up in my care but she needed help big time. Half dead she went straight to the vets and we never thought we would do it but she made it to bag on 11 and that’s not a bad thing for a sheep who had such chronic orph as a lamb. (Orph is nasty. Primarily it does the tongue and that makes the lamb unable to suckle – they also call it wooden tongue because of that If un treated it will go inside and d damage to the internal organs so that makes Got’s life span even more amazing really)

Got’s mum had died and she was very unwell but had been weaned because of it too early. Her rumen had started to work so that wa ok but though she had to be over 5 weeks old she was smaller than Alba now.

Without the hand rearing side she was not as tame and maybe that’s something Wish needed as well? Being a laid back sheep maybe meant that just up to then it mattered if you ha something cavorting about the place yelling ‘threat, run for the hills’?

Hope and Wish

I have to say it doesn’;t bother her now but Breagh is calmer than Got though not as tame.

Through the last winter together Hope and Wish both got slower, Wish the arthritis and Hope just got slower with age (I assume though not sure now) The vet came in a few times as Got also had a lot of arthritis and foot trouble by then as well.

Then without real warning Hope was gone and inside 2 months Got was gone as well and Wish totally fell apart… totally means just that.

She just wouldn’t settle, kept yelling, looking and was so distressed that I had to find another sheep asap! Any sheep would have done but actually despite some misgivings I think I got the right one, certainly the one I was meant to get and that…. Well Breagh deserved her own page!


Comments on: "Alba’s Present Sisters" (2)

  1. sarah williams said:

    I liked reading about the sheep. Sarah x

  2. Thanks Sarah I don’t do them justice but they are lovely Cris x

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