Back in 2005 we went out to collect a second hand chest freezer and came home with 3 sheep and 2 pigs!
One of those sheep was Geraldine, a real character. Having never owned sheep before, she taught us a lot and gave us our first ever lambs. It wasn’t long before we were hooked on the woolly beasts and built up our own little flock.
She had been hand-reared so she was pretty tame and would go anywhere in pursuit of a bucket, so if we wanted to move them about, we would use her to lead the way. The others, would always follow.
She got into so many scrapes, like the time we found her stuck in a drainage ditch. She squashed out of a small gap in the fence, in search of greener pastures. We hauled her out and soaking wet, she laid on the ground. The only way we could move her was in the bucket of a tractor. Unfortunately, on the way back to the shed, the tractor got stuck in mud, so we had to abandon it and wheel her in a barrow!
With careful nursing, she recovered.
Another time, we went out one morning and found her flat on her back with her legs in the air. We thought she was dead, but no, not Geraldine. Once again the wheel barrow came out and we tucked her up in a warm pen and nursed her back from the brink. She had twin lamb disease.
Then there was the huge abcess that came up on her face. She received plenty of tlc until she recovered.
At the end of last year, we decided not to breed from her again, so she didn’t go in with the tup. We thought she had earned her retirement.
Sadly, a couple of weeks ago, despite more careful nursing, we lost her. It was very upsetting as we had all been through so much together.
She has left behind many of her offspring, we have daughters, granddaughters and great granddaughters. Some of them have her sassy attitude but none have as much character as her. She was definitely a one-off.
We miss her dearly but she managed to instill in us an enduring love of sheep.