It’s take a farm to say goodbye
The passing of an animal hero. No one came to the farm without meeting Louise. No one went away without being touched by our rooster angel. Almost every visitor held him in their arms. Until this Spring, so unlike him, he only wanted to be held by a few of his special caretakers and we respected his wishes. His badly deformed leg finally got the better of him, and we struggled to keep him comfortable. On every nice day we carried him into the garden to hang out under a chair, in his wheelchair or in the garden box. And every day he got his foot soaked, antibiotic cream, and fresh bandage.
I am beyond sad. I think I’ve reached another level of deep grief. Louise did his best to help us with his passing. He had a beautiful last two weeks and showed us that he was ready to go.
We got to the point where we couldn’t make him comfortable outside, so we brought him into the house. It was that time of the year at the farm when the rains come and all the animals hunker down inside their shelters (except the ducks and cows). Inside the house, he wasn’t as happy in his wheelchair as he used to be. We had to come up with alternatives and adapt almost every day. We built a resting box, a sling, and were constantly adjusting his wheelchair. The biggest challenge was at night when he just wanted to be held.
The infections that we fought so hard to keep at bay on his bad foot, crept into his leg bones. There was now nothing we could do except give him pain meds, make him as comfortable as possible until he told us he was done.
He was done in early November. We didn’t want to take him to a vet clinic for his final time and thankfully Dr. Aaron was able to come to the farm to help Louise cross over.
All the animal care volunteers said goodbye to Louise that last week. That is really hard knowing that the next time you come to the farm he will be gone.
The magnificent rooster, even his final days assisted children with their own loss and grief. This is why I was so privileged to take care of Louise – it was such a blessing to be part of his flock.
I will never forget the last two days with Louise. Thanks to the Animal Care Teams, I was able to spend both those days by Louise’s side. We talked, we reminisced, and I asked him for his wisdom on what he wanted his legacy to be. I highly recommend quiet time spent with a beloved animal. You will be a better person for it.
Written by Anna Butz, Children’s Program Coordinator:
“In the PEACE Program one of the topics we cover is family changes: separation/two homes/loss and grief.
Louise bless his soul helped with this.We had Chris Mayworm, Louise in his wheelchair, Heather Villeneuve and myself create a safe warm caring space to talk and share a bit about their young lifetimes of grief and loss.
Heather lead check in, Chris talked about Louise and I read Lifetimes.
After check in, Chris and Louise hung out around the fire pit while we went out to spend time with the animals. When we gathered back for snack and closing we all ate carrot dogs, laughed and and talked while roasting marshmallows.
What a beautiful afternoon for Louise and for the kids. “
The media loved Louise and his story and he was featured in many news programs, newspapers, magazines and online articles.
Here are some of the links
My life was forever changed by a rooster who we thought was a hen. A rooster who defied all odds and lived to to see 5 1/2 years of love and kindness.
He was the epitome of a gentleman, survivor, beautiful inside and out, and a healer. Forever magnificent in our hearts.