16th February 2011
Tammy arrived at the Edgar’s Mission in the arms of a Good Samaritan who had found her. She was severely malnourished, dehydrated, fly struck and suffering from scabie mouth. Weighing less than 10kgs on arrival, Tammy was too weak to stand and she was immediately placed on a drip and given antibiotics and we waited. However, we quickly realised that Tammy’s spirit was stronger than any of her ailments and her determination to live has seen her transformed from a weak and frail little soul to the confident, happy, Weetbix-demanding girl we see before us now.
Tammy’s road to recovery was particularly rough, suffering many setbacks along the way. We were truly fortunate to have a wonderful WWOOFer (willing worker on organic farm) staying with us at the time. Maria spent countless hours working with Tammy, massaging her joints, providing vital physiotherapy, picking grass and even chipping in with the nightly task of checking and moving Tammy about to ensure she did not get pressure sores or place undue stresses on her rumen.
As sheep are ruminants they make a lot of gas in their stomachs from chewing grass. You can often here a sheep burping as they do this quite often and is very important for them to do so. It is also equally important that sheep do not lay on their sides for lengthy periods or roll onto their backs as this can cause their stomachs to invert causing a build up of gas. The consequences of which are very serious and can include heart failure and death.
They say that necessity is the mother of invention. This was so true in Tammy’s case. One of her hind legs had atrophied and would simply buckle under her weight. We needed to devise a way to offer the joint support and provide her with a means of mobility until she could regain her strength. To this end we fashioned what looked like some medieval contraption, but it certainly did the trick. Soon Tammy was able to stand unassisted and her curiosity grew each day as did she. Wandering further and further, we had to keep a watchful eye on her least she fall and be unable to regain her balance. Again, Maria proved an amazing angel, dutifully watching over Tammy, keeping her distance but there when needed.