Saturday, February 25, 2012

Jackie O

It's been a difficult and sad week for us. Jackie has passed away.
She had just turned 10 years old, appeared in good health but for unforseen circumstances took a turn for the worse rather quickly from Sunday to Monday. She had reduced her feed intake but still wanted grain until Tuesday morning. I called our vet but he was on an emergency call and couldn't get to us in time. I reached another local vet who was able to eventually come but by then Jackie was down and she and I were only able to hang on to each other and say our goodbyes.
This was an act of nature. Old age and grace. For all of us.
 Unexpected. But then, what are the rules for dying? 

It was a wonderful 10 years.
In July of 2002 Jackie arrived (front left) as a lamb.
She had travelled across the country from Washington with Crystal (front right),
with a layover in Ohio where she joined with Memphis (rear).
These were my first CVM/Romeldales and I was so excited.
This was their first morning after we brought them home from Ohio.
From these first days I called her Jackie O. She was beautiful, mysterious and
very hard to get close to. I was bound to take that fear away.
She was a stunning ewe. Her sire was Dud. He has since passed but had
quite the reputation as a ladies man around the country. The earlier years
for CVM/Romeldales always had a Dud in the pedigree.
Oh,  for those genetics again. Her markings are classic CVM and for
every category from fleece to lambing to dispostion she met the mark
with high honors.
Here she is with her
newborn twins. Alert and attentive.
And her lambs loved her, always nearby.
She took the time to teach the ways of sheepdom.
Building happy lambs.
Always Jackie gifted us with funny faces.
Always she was a joy.
We were lucky to be in Jackie's midst these past 10 years.
Her spirit soars high above the farm now
and despite the earthly grief this week
she has managed to wipe our
tears away.
Til we meet again dear Jackie O.


  1. Oh God Nancy I am so, so sorry to read this! The photo of you two is heartbreaking yet so touching. Sending you love and hugs your way.

  2. I have had Jackie on my work computer wallpaper for some time now. The very same toothy smile. I'm so sorry she's gone.

    Best regards,

  3. and for those ill at ease, we did test for any odd, disease-related issues and of course, she came clean.
    cold comfort.

  4. I am so sad and so very sorry for you, it must be awful. Jackie loved you and she knew you loved her. I'm sure of it. What sweet pictures. I'm so so very sorry.

  5. Oh.... sad news.... I loved that picture of her (the last one). It's so hard to lose our animals. They do not live long enough! But, what a blessing to have these relationships in the first place. Be at peace.

  6. thank you....your thoughts are healing

  7. These photos and words are so beautiful - precious moments, adorable, amusing moments, deep love and also sorrow - all right there. It is a very touching tribute. xo

  8. Nancy... I'm so sorry for the loss of Jackie. I know I have no words, just the common experience of losing one we love. So many would ask "How deep, really, can the love between a person and an animal, a pet, go?" We know, don't we? Deep enough to hurt like hell when they're gone, and deep enough to need the time to heal afterwards. Peace to you and yours, Pam

  9. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. I've always chuckled when I've seen her sheepy smile on your blog. She must have been a very special lady.

  10. Nancy, sorry to hear this news. At least Jackie O had a happy life with Jack and yourself and that is something to be proud of as many sheep do not.

  11. Oh Nancy, I'm so sorry. Mother Nature works on her own terms always. The animals know this, but we are almost always left with asking why and the memories, bittersweet and comforting, all at once. Lovely pictures of a beautiful and much loved girl. I am sure she will keep herself in your hearts, with every magic moment and funny face at Long Ridge. A toast and a candle to Jackie O.

  12. bleesings all for your lovely words

  13. Amanda11:52 AM

    Dear Nancy, I am so sorry for the loss of your precious Jackie O. Only time to grieve and the sweet memories of sharing in her life can begin to heal the wound of loss. I am keeping you and your flock in my thoughts. May the grass be greener for miss Jackie O.

  14. nancy, your words and that amazing photo brought tears to my eyes, and a memory of my first ewe raisin's dead lamb. today i skied with my wendy, it may be her last ski. these endings are wrapped up with so much love...

  15. and we must live our days with our animal friends just this way. love the time while they are here. it does ease the time when they depart.

  16. I am so sorry, my friend. Even though we know we are going to lose our animal friends, it doesn't make it easier when they do go. Especially the ones who were there for us at the start of - and through - important times.

  17. not mentioned before but when the "other" vet came to check and ultimately put Jackie down, he called the state officials because she had some twitching as she was going down. he was afraid she was a health concern despite my paperwork. all of our sheep have annual rabies shots and all have been gene checked for the scrapie gene. she was a clean ewe whose time to go had come. I'd twitch too if I was dying! but the state then demanded her body be taken for post-mortem study ASAP. I was so pissed. they arrived at 6:30 in the morning and took her away. I looked out the window, fresh snow had fallen and I saw their car tracks in the drive. moral of the story...don't call the vet unless he/she "get" it about livestock. thankfully our regular vet does get it.