Brenda arrived over a week ago now. Her full story is only now beginning to be told. It was obvious that this little lamb had suffered an awful trauma so early in life. She was timid and scared on arrival and sought comfort from her carer to a worrying degree. We don’t usually encourage lambs to sleep with their carers, but for a traumatised little girl like Brenda, this was the only way to make her know she was safe. Even feeding time, which is usually the favourite time of day for any lamb, was the cause of much angst for Brenda. She could not cope with the flurry of activity and instead hid under the table. For the first few days Brenda needed a human to be with her at all times.
We think Brenda’s trauma was caused primarily by the loss of her mum. We are not sure how long she had been with her dead mum but it looks like she was trying to feed from her. This led to her suffering from malnutrition, being underweight for her age and having little energy. She also had an entropion eye (where the eyelashes rub on the eye because the eyelid has turned inward). This then caused an ulcer on her eye that has now been stitched and is healing. All these physical ailments, in addition to the emotional trauma this poor little one had suffered, did not give her a very good start in life.
We are pleased to say that after days of love and care, Brenda realised she was safe. Although we are sure the emotional trauma of losing her mum will stay with her, at least she now knows that she is safe and her physical wounds have healed well. Having a knowledge of how to treat the emotional wounds these babies arrive with is as much a part of the care we offer them as healing their physical ones. We promise each and every one of them that, although they may once have been left alone to fend for themselves, they never will be again.
Photos: Meg Mason