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February 2013 proved to be a very difficult and sad month for Big Ears. After 40 years of life, the difficult decision was made that it was time to let Pedro go. He had been suffering with his legs for a number of months and despite medications, special diets and treatments, he rapidly diminished in his capacity to stand and to get up after lying down. It became apparent that he was in pain and after much consultation and tears the humane decision was made for him to be peacefully helped to leave his pain behind. Pedro passed with both Jacqui and Brett with him, whispering love and goodbyes from so many that loved him so dearly such as his sponsor Andrea and Saskia our hoof trimmer who developed a very special bond with Pedro.
A week after Pedro died a routine nail trimming for Milton the 12 year old steer went wrong. Milton was lame due to the overgrown state of his back foot’s nail. Even though Milton was a gentle giant, if he didn’t want to have something done then there was no stopping 1 tonne of steer. Therefore we had to have him anethetised. Without going into all the sad details, Milton just did not recover properly from the anasthetic or the reversal drug. Jacqui checked on him at 11.00pm and he was sleepy and she kissed him and told him she loved him. Jacqui woke at 3.00am and just knew Milton had passed. She raced outside in her pjs to find that the King of the Farm had indeed passed away. Everyone is heartbroken, including his girls Roxy, Nelly, Katie and Blossom. They paid their respects as did Jacqui and Milton’s first human owner, where they both cried in the pouring rain and said goodbye. Milton spent 9 years of his 12 years at Big Ears and we loved him dearly.
As if this was not enough pain the rest of the week saw us saying goodbye to Castro the turkey who had spinal damage, Daisy and Moh and Bepo the rabbits, 2 roosters and a hen.
Other news. Big Ears took in 52 hens that were ‘spent hens’ and to be ‘destroyed’. They are happily part of the main population of hens and roosters and are enjoying freedom to dust bathe and lay their eggs in nesting boxes filled with hay.
20 rabbits were vaccinated this month. 10 were de-sexed.
Big Ears took in a new rabbit named Winston and a sheep that was seized by the RSPCA that we have renamed Woolf. Woolf is loving being friends with the other sheep.
Good news, Jacqui saw her oncologist this week after a number of scans and tests, and he declared Jacqui a “medical marvel” and told her to continue working with the Sanctuary animals as it is obviously doing her good. Jacqui’s type of cancer should be attacking her tissue and organs but scans show no sign of this. Great news and once again it shows the healing power of being with animals.
For those who have been following Jacqui’s battle with stage 4 breast cancer here is an update. After undergoing a number of treatments the cancer remains a part of Jacqui’s body and will continue to do so. Jacqui will receive treatment as and when it is required to improve quality of life.