Invisible Voices

a voice for the voiceless


lola at poplar spring

A new lamb arrived at Poplar Spring this week. She had been raised by people who apparently bred expensive specialty sheep, or something along those lines. Her mother was the grand champion of something or other, and this beautiful little girl lamb was worth quite a chunk of change, I’m told.

But not worth, as it happens, any care or consideration. At least not by the people who bought her and saw her entire worth in the form of profits and loss.

Lola has the sweetest little face you’ve ever seen, and when her foot got infected the people “caring” for her neglected to take her to the vet in a timely manner. Three weeks later, when they finally did, it was too late. At least, too late for Lola’s leg. The infection had entered the bone, and there was nothing that could be done to save the leg.

Her then-owners, having done the absolutely nothing they were prepared to do, left her at the vet’s, having not even the first care what would happen to her at that point. The vet was expected to put her down, but since she was seven weeks old (yes, the “owners” failed that soon), they really didn’t want to. They figured she could live pretty well with just three legs, and so they contacted Poplar Spring, who agreed to take her.

She gets around really well at the moment. She even runs, Terry tells me, and I can well believe it. She has taken to her three legged state with apparent ease, showing only occassional and momentary awkwardness.

But she will reach about 200 lbs. I worry for her, as of course do Terry and Dave. It is clear that she will do just fine while small, however, and whatever life she has in front of her, as a three legged sheep who will grow to be huge, it will be as good as it gets at Poplar Spring.

For now, she runs and she is spoiled and her life is wonderful. We will sing to her and feed her alfalfa. And when she gets older, she’ll likely return the favor by head-butting us, as Clover and Hickory are wont to do.

lola on three legs


5 responses to “lo-lo-lo-lo-lola

  1. Mary Martin June 14, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    What a sweet face! The lack of thought and lack of care of people who “own” animals never ceases to amaze me. My boy Charles had his toe amputated and has always had problems with it and runs at top speed on three legs. He doesn’t even touch his foot to the ground when he walks slowly (which is more difficult because of lack of momentum). Lola will be fine. But still . . . to have had to go through that. I’m glad the vet called Poplar–they didn’t have to do that. There’s hope . . .

    Once and for all, do sheep need us to shave them, or is that like saying Greyhounds need us to race them?

  2. Deb June 14, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    It really is amazing the things that people will do (or not do, as the case may be) when they see someone like Lola as simply an “investment” or a potential ego boost or something along those lines. And how much do you want to bet that they’d claim to be animal lovers?


    Good to hear that Charles is doing so well, minus a toe!

    As for whether sheep need to be sheared, it depends, really, on which direction their genetics were manipulated. Sheep in the wild, of course, do not need shearing, or they wouldn’t survive. I assume that what happens to the wild sheep is the same as what happens to the “meat breeds” – the wool simply falls off in the spring and summer. There are three, maybe four, at Poplar – Chester (a black sheep), Betty and Billy (momma and her blonde baby), and maybe Butch – he hasn’t lost his coat yet, but Betty is a “meat breed”, so you’d think he’d be about the same? I guess time will tell.

    Anyway, the breeds that were manipulated to grow more and more wool (most of the sheep at poplar) do need to be sheared. They were sheared just a few weeks ago, and you could almost feel their relief to have all that heavy wool gone. I’m not sure they’d survive the summer without that shearing, to be honest.

    But that is through the malicious care that humans have taken in specifically breeding them to the point where they grow such unnatural amounts of wool that they really are not a viable species, outside the often brutal care of humans.

  3. Kelvin Kao June 14, 2008 at 11:25 pm

    She is tough, and I think she will train herself every day (not that she can sit in a wheelchair) so I think she’ll be fine. What those “owners” did was simply cold and cruel.

  4. Deb June 15, 2008 at 10:11 am

    Kelvin, I think that’s a good point, that she’ll be gaining the strength she needs everyday and she’ll be able to grow into the strength she’ll need as she gets bigger and bigger. It is overall a lucky thing for Lola that she’s so young!

    And yes, cold and cruel is a great description of her former “owners”. I only wish I could also say it is unusual!

  5. Pingback: time passes, babies grow up « Invisible Voices

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