Last Dance

Esme and Eleven.jpg

Yesterday was a glorious day and the baby goats spent it outdoors playing on the climbing objects and dancing.

This was good, because as fate would have it, it was Esme’s last day.


At 3pm today I went to milk Iggy Pop and check on the goats. Esme was lying in her creep, bleating. I got her out and she stood on three legs with the other leg dangling in a way that wasn’t right.

We took her to the vet to be sure. They confirmed it was broken. Even if it could be fixed it would be very expensive and would mean crate rest for Esme for months. We have to be realistic about our smallholding animals and we also have to be kind.

We asked the vet to kill her. Well, actually we asked the vet how much it would be first – we know how much the knackerman charges. Luckily the vet looked kindly on us and didn’t charge too much, so Esme died with us holding her.


Here’s Eleven dancing like there is no tomorrow – which to be fair, is probably how we should all dance as you never really know.

N.B. When Elsie (eventually) realised she could only find two of her kids she was distraught and stood in the snow bleating and looking for Esme. So we took Esme over to her and showed her to Elsie whose distraught bleating changed to a howl of acknowledgement. We then led her back to her pen with her other two babies. Animals do need to know ……

18 responses to “Last Dance

    • Vet said, it can just be a jump or landing gone wrong. Hurting her leg earlier in the week might have weakened the bone – although she seemed fine after this – which gave it a propensity to break ….. now there are only two – you’d better get here quick ……

  1. Oh my Claire, that’s so sad, I’m crying. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been, and to see Elsie reacting that way must make it even more heartbreaking. But you’ve done the kindest thing. Rearing animals can really suck sometimes. Big hugs. X

    • Elsie was distraught looking for Esme and bleating into the snow. Then I remembered my friend saying about dogs that they need to see their dead owners or dog friends to understand what happened. When we took Esme to Elsie her bleating immediately changed – she knew what had happened and didn’t have to look for her lost kid anymore more. I am pretty sad about it especially as she was going to be part of the herd and was adorable.

  2. Tough… tough… I remember this kind of stuff growing up. (although my parents always made me do the deed if they were my pets… no vets… hated that) I remember my dad saying it was more cruel to let an animal who doesn’t understand suffer. I lost two goats that I was very attached to when I was a kid… so I send you my thoughts…

    (the goats died horribly in an accident when they were tied up… I was heart broken… and I remember my dad joking… You know their feet have to stay on the ground when you tie them up. I never did like that joke)

    • Your dad is right about it being more cruel to let them suffer, but wow that is a real learning curve making you kill your pets yourself. I know you have told me this before, but it still gets me – which I guess shows how detached I still am from death despite the farm and killing poultry. I think I would prefer to start killing my own animals in these circumstances, but we don’t have the means – no gun – and no skill set. Maybe it is something I should think about. Daisy Dog was under anaesthetic when I found about about her cancer so I just didn’t have her woken up. But part of me thinks that being able to be with your beloved dog and end their suffering although hugely (maybe for me impossibly) difficult is part of the journey of your life together, if that makes sense?

      I am really sorry about your goats – I am not even going to ask about the accident as I have an over-active imagination and it will haunt me forever – in fact I think it might anyway. That’s the thing with animals you try and do your best but there is always something unexpected around the corner and you can’t predict it. I might have to go and check on all the animals now just in case …. that is exactly the type of unfunny joke James would make!

      Total change of topic, but I hope your brother is doing OK – I am thinking of you all.

      • Thanks Claire… Brother is making progress.. No more removal of flesh… He is somewhat awake…. He wasn’t breathing on his own Friday… But I heard that yesterday he started to breath… Hoping that means they will remove the trachioatomy soon… We were warned that it would be a long recovery… But he is heading in the right direction.

        • Glad to hear he is making progress. No more removal of flesh has got to be a good thing … right? I am sure it will be a long recover, but my thoughts are with him and as they say in Turkish when people are in difficult times (especially when they are ill) geçmiş olsun – may it soon pass.

  3. Oh no!! This is just heartbreaking. I am so sorry. But I have just watched the clip of your dear dancing goat and it did make me smile. Her life was lovely, albeit over too soon. She was obviously the happiest creature and I’m sure that you played a big part in that.

    • She did have a life full of dancing and a quiet death which is something and I guess goat’s don’t really have long-term plans or ambitions anyway

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