Ever since I was a toddler, I wanted a pet sheep. My parents used to take me to lots of farms and every time I would gravitate towards the field of sheep and name them as if they were mine. I used to ask my mum for one and she would say “maybe one day, when you’re grown up” and that was that. I never thought I’d actually become a “sheep mum” as I lived a pretty normal suburban life. Today I have three beautiful lambs, one of whom holds a special place in my heart as I bottle-fed him from a few days old. Had I not taken him in I dread to think where he would be right now. He’s the sweetest, friendliest, funniest little bundle of cotton wool I’ve ever laid eyes on!
Eko is now 12 weeks old but to look at him you’d think he was an adult sheep as I have quite possibly been a bit too generous with bottle feeding him. He was nervous when he first came to me but within two days was following me everywhere and never left my side. He lived indoors at first with the dogs because we didn’t have any other sheep at the time and we developed such a strong bond. He often joins us on walks with the dogs and people always stand and look amazed whenever they see a pack of dogs casually walking down the path with a sheep amongst them! He loves the dogs and wags his tail when he spots them, and the dogs are all great with him too.
As well as the three sheep I also have 20 dogs, 18 cats, 17 chickens, a rooster, 10 ducks, two indoor rabbits, two indoor guinea pigs, a gerbil, two budgies, two degus, a bearded dragon, three horses and last but certainly not least, 25 Kune-Kune x wild boar pigs! This takes us to 107 animals (excluding the tank of fish) over 75% being rescues or re-homes but all now with us for life.
Many people ask how just the two of us, Michael and I, manage to care for this many animals as well as work full time but I think that as long as we communicate, organise and stick to our routine, it’s not much more difficult than having a couple of dogs and cats! My dream of owning dogs, horses and living on my own farm has certainly come true but of course there are always difficult days as with anything. Each and every one of the animals are a part of the family and many are with us because other people just couldn’t handle them, simply because nobody took the time to understand them and find out why they acted the way they did. If we commit to a new family member then the least we can do is take the time to understand them and communicate in a way that they understand. After all, if we were taken to another country and spoken to in a language that we’ve never been taught but expected to understand, we wouldn’t feel comfortable!
Despite the tough days, the heartache, endless mess, throbbing headaches and empty bank account, I really wouldn’t have it any other way (I just need to remind myself of this when it’s raining and I’m up to my waist in mud)!