Sunday, January 6, 2013
Yesterday, our caretaker called to deliver some bad news. Our yak Lucky was dead. I experienced a sadness that I hadn't really expected. Not the grief one feels for the loss of a friend or family member, or even a cherished pet. But a sadness, driven by the unexpected nature of sudden death.
Lucky was pregnant. By our estimation not too far along, perhaps 3 or 4 months. She had trouble in the past, making it to full term, but had calved several times. Cooper is hers, her legacy, born 2 years ago.
On Christmas morning, Lucky and the others greeted us up at the ranch, and I gave them a treat of dry hay and alfalfa. Alfalfa is quite the treat, and Lucky ate some right out of my hand. Which was unusual. You see...she really didn't like me very much. When we were looking at The Ranch, prior to purchase, she charged at me. A no holds barred charge. She wasn't scared of me, and made it very clear.
Her eating from my hand should have been indication that maybe she wasn't herself. She looked tired and worn, and we attributed it to her pregnancy weighing her down a bit. We planned to have the vet back out this month to take a look at her to assess the pregnancy and the next steps.
Lucky beat us to it. Her body just gave up on her. Not far from the house, on a well worn footpath, she laid down and died. Her last breath not much before we got the call.
Immediately, Mike and I packed the car and drove to the ranch. We arrived here well after dark and in the rain.
There aren't a lot of choices when it comes to dead livestock. leave it or bury it are really our only options.
There are plenty of wild animals that could benefit from a meal of her rich meat; eagles, vultures, coyotes, hogs, mountain lion. We decided to let nature take its course.