Friday, 22 November 2019

Bramble’s story

Since her arrival at the Sanctuary Bramble has grown in stature and in confidence. She scoots around the garden in her own wonderful way and is independent of mummy Saffron now. She is utterly adorable and loves to be adored. If anyone is in the garden sitting on the hay under the shelter tree she will come over for love. Craning her neck forward, her yellowy, hazel eyes large and enquiring. Waiting to receive what she believes to be her rightful amount of love and affection. She smells like warm dandelions and mud and calls with a rather stringent voice if ignored. We are waiting for her to reach her adult size and then we will get her fitted to see if a prosthetic will help her to lessen the strain on her back from being a little lopsided.

She is the first to the food bucket and has learnt to ignore the pigs, except for Phoebe pig, whom she cuddles up with to sleep. Phoebe may not like many humans and is bossy to all the garden animals, but to those that are a bit wobbly like Brynn and Bramble she is kind and gentle and she has all the time in the world for Gerty Goose. So Bramble has chosen wisely in her dream guardian Phoebe.

Bramble was taken from a filthy barn floor, kept in the darkened gloom of this fetid space with eight other lambs. All destined to be slaughtered for someone’s table. Bramble suffered from neglect and in the process came to harm. She hurt deeply, from infected wounds, inflamed joints and acute abscesses. Pouring in pus, covered in excrement this little poppet was surrendered to our sanctuary. There was no profit to be made from her, she didn’t have enough healthy legs to put on weight for the table. Due to luck, timing or perhaps our charm, we were able to get mum Saffron out, too.

When she arrived, Bramble had only one leg unaffected by the neglect from the farmer, her exploiter. Initially she had seven abscesses, which we drained and dressed daily. We massaged the leg she preferred not to use, every three hours day and night, keeping the tendons stretched and promoting movement. She also had  arthritis injections costing €15.60 a time every four days, long-term anti-inflammatories and antibiotics with local anaesthetic for the wounds, calcium and traumasedyl solutions to drink, and Bach rescue remedy.

It was a long and lengthy journey back to health. Jerome and I took turns sleeping in the barn so as to be on hand if needed. Gwynnevere gave Bramble her best teddy. The one that was next to her the moment she entered the world, the one that she cannot sleep without. She said that Bramble needed lots of love and comfort and she trusted Teddy to do that. I asked her how she would sleep without Teddy, “I will be OK, as Teddy is looking after someone very special for me”, she replied. Bramble certainly took Teddy in her arms and snuggled up close. Perhaps because he smelt of Gwynnevere or perhaps because he was passing on his magic that he had given our human child for six years.

Eventually, Bramble was declared infection free due to her guardians. Not just us, but those that follow her story, those that sent her love and kept her in their minds. Those that sent her bandages, ointments and little jumpers, that we lovingly applied every day and changed. We may have been the ones physically wading through those dark, horrible places and we may have been the ones giving the care. But you, our supporters, care for us and her, you care for them ALL.

Life for Bramble is now blessed, as she is with her mummy, her home is safe, her belly is full and she is surrounded by humans that care and respect her. She is one of very few sheep to know this level of peace. The time will soon be upon us again where these little folk will be coming into the world again just to be used for a festive meal. They are more than food, they are individuals who think and feel. They are not stupid, they are bright, funny, inquisitive and gentle. They are only afraid and act in a fearful way when they are scared. So please stop paying for them to be scared. Thank you.

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