Tammy, who raised Lambert with her daughter,
wrote us this lovely elegy for our beloved sheep friend.
I knew when Lauren wanted to take a “market project” in 4-H that it was mistake, but as a mother, I had to let her make her own decisions. From early May until the fair in late July I was trying to come up with methods on how to keep her little sheep, to not go through with the sale. To us, Lambert was not a project, he was always treated as a family pet. He was always fascinated by cats and would take off after them, sometimes nibbling their tails before they retreated. He was a mighty jumper and would “dance” in his pen at dinner time.
Growing up, my father would buy back my 4-H project sheep and return them to our farm to live out their lives. One of my former “projects” named Henry lived to be 11 years old. When sale day arrived, I talked my husband into buying Lambert under his company’s name. However the auction price for Lambert just kept going higher and higher. Before I knew it, Lambert had been sold to buyer number 71 and I was heartbroken! But the buyer ended up being my cousin who had planned all week to buy Lambert for us.
We brought Lambert home but after a couple of weeks, I knew he needed a sheep companion. Unfortunately, with me working days and with such a large coyote population on our land, getting another sheep seemed unreasonable. Therefore, I had no choice but to look for a better temporary home for Lambert, a place that would treat him as well as we did.
My final hope was CAS. I remember calling Kathy Stevens crying, explaining that needed to find Lambert a new home very quickly. The day we drove Lambert to CAS (August 25, 2012) was emotionally and physically draining. Every time we stopped, I would get out of the truck and offer him hay and water. At each stop, there would be people that would come up to us and ask if they could pet him and or have their picture taken with him. I’m sure that there are pictures of Lambert in scrap books in several states!
When we finally arrived at CAS, it was hard not to beg my husband to turn around, but I knew in my heart that this was a temporary solution and that I would return for Lambert some day. When we all got out of the truck, Lambert was so happy to get to stretch his legs and walk around from such a long journey. He followed me through the CAS barn meeting new friends, with senior sheep Hannah and Lumpy following at a distance.
Unlike most animals at CAS, Lambert was not a “rescue”, he was not mistreated or abused at his former home. He was loved and groomed and played with every single day. He was given the best feed and high quality hay and he enjoyed his life. We were not heartless humans who raised him to become someone’s dinner. Although I no longer had my father to help me, I knew from the beginning that I could save Lambert, like I had saved other animals in the past. I always planned to return and bring Lambert to our home, hopefully adopting his sheep companion Hannah as well. Sadly, I no longer have the option of watching my boy grow old. However, I truly believe that Lambert will be waiting for me, along with my other animal friends that have passed, when I too join them someday.