22nd December 2012
So this is Christmas…
Arrival date Saturday 22nd December, 2012
While this may not be the first Christmas for the sweet little black faced ewe we have aptly named Christmas, she may well think all of hers have come at once. Previously known by a number, only to be abandoned and then remain unclaimed at a New South Wales pound with an enormous tumour-like growth on her abdomen, things were looking pretty bleak for Christmas. But touching the heart of a caring pound volunteer, a convoy of kindness swung into action and spirited Christmas to our care.
Already acquainted with the interesting treat called Wheetbix, for now Christmas will spend her time getting to know her new human friends and vice versa. Once her tumour has been assessed by our dedicated veterinary team, a course of action will be planned. But whatever the outcome, Christmas will never have to worry about being abandoned, unloved or made a meal of ever again. One thing is for sure- Christmas will think every day here at Edgar’s Mission is Christmas!
While the Christmas season is a time of great sadness for many animal lovers, it is also a time of great hope and a firm reminder that things will only get better when caring people act. We give thanks to pound volunteer Melanie, Tracey from Peanuts Funny Farm and our very own Paula and her oh so special partner Darin for agreeing with us that Christmas is indeed worth every effort to save.
Update on Christmas
You may recall the sweet faced little Black Suffolk ewe who arrived at Edgar’s Mission just in time for Christmas. She made the marathon journey from a NSW pound, not with a sack full of presents but rather some not so welcome baggage – a very large tumour like growth on her abdomen. It was quickly determined that the huge melon-like swelling would need to be addressed as it was proving most problematic for the hapless ewe we named Christmas. Despite the grave verdict of the attending pound veterinarian (who stated the lump was a malignant growth that would soon claim the ewe’s life) we held out great hope Christmas could indeed be saved. Whilst our society proffers millions of dollars each year towards medical expenses for beloved ‘pets’, so often sheep are viewed as mere production units with any medical expenses weighed against commercial outcomes and overall profit. Overcoming dire situations, such as the one Christmas found herself in, requires great thought and expertise and sadly, these resources are rarely ‘wasted’ on an animal viewed simply as a means to generate income.
Several hours of literally heart stopping surgery later and, thanks to our dedicated and compassionate veterinary team, Christmas’s lump was declared to be not an aggressive tumour but rather a massive hernia. While this certainly sent the chances of her survival slightly north of grim, it was a miracle the intestines had not been strangulated, having passed through the tiny hole in her abdominal wall. Christmas was far from out of the woods. Ruminants such as sheep are never good candidates for surgery- even at the best of times. Christmas proved this to be true as she stopped breathing more than once as she lay unconscious on the operating table. If not for the astute eyes and quick actions of her surgeons we perish the thought of what could have been the outcome. But even after several feet of intestines were returned to their rightful place, it became a waiting game as to whether they would kick back into gear and Christmas would indeed come around again.
Spending several days in intensive care back here at the sanctuary, her demeanour was far from the vocal and happy gal we sent to surgery. Whilst we put on a brave face for Christmas, we couldn’t hide our concern from one another. Our spirits rose one morning when, much to our delight, Christmas pooed! The most celebrated sheep poo in all of history! This was a tell-tale sign that things were working on the inside. Still, such gruelling surgery and such a massive wound placed an enormous amount of pressure on the tiny sheep. Day by happy day, Christmas became stronger and the pain began to subside, which saw her slowly begin to gingerly move about. Her sprightly manner eventually returned and her demanding baas were a welcome sound to our ears. She has found a firm friend in the otherwise allusive ‘House Sheep’ Rosie and the two are often seen adorning the back porch, looking sheepishly inside in anticipation of their expected treats.
Christmas first came to our attention through the compassion of an individual who determined to make a difference in the life of one less fortunate. The tale of her rescue will long serve as a reminder to us all that Christmas is not about opening our presents, it is about opening our hearts.