We took Dot in a couple of weeks ago and brought her into the main pasture because she was having trouble keeping up even with the old sheep and I thought she was in danger of getting lost or picked off by predators. She was disoriented. She has been staying with Maria's sheep and has been comfortable, although she wanders off and can't be herded. So we did a temporary adoption, not certain if she would stay or not.
Maria and I have decided that she will return to the flock of old sheep at the end of the summer and go back with her farmer, perhaps to slaughter – it's up to him. Maria and I agree about this. We occasionally rescue animals, but we are not a rescue facility and Dot cannot be herded and will soon need extra care. We have our hands full. We have Simon, still recovering from his twisted legs and a blind 34-year-old pony. And a new farm with new fences, new hay, etc. Managing a farm is complex, Maria and I are both always learning about that.The overall needs of the farm come first. It would be easy enough to fill the farm up with needy animals, they are everywhere, and that raises all sorts of issues about cost, health care, feed, herding and time. We are artists, that is our work, not vets or animal shelters. Discipline and perspective is important.
As always, I am honest with the people reading the blog, and I am careful these days not to get people attached to animals that might not be around. As I often say this is the real world of real animals, and real life. It is not in the interests of the farm to take in a very old animal who is not able to care for herself.
I'm glad she got to spend her last summer on good grass.