On June 21 2017, Juan, Leo, and Randy found a hungry weak black lamb separated from her family in the Bee Sting Pasture at Patos Suertudos Finca. They found the mother with a white twin lamb, and guided them up the long trail to an enclosure near the house. The mother continued to reject the little black lamb, so the Patos people and Canela the dog adopted her.
Canela kept her clean, licking up the formula from bottle feeding and other not as nice stuff.
Onyx was last spotted close to the rest of the herd of eight sheep, back in the Bee Sting pasture at Los Patos where she hopes to grow into a mommy herself.
I think this is sort of a smile. Happy times at the yoga mat.
Randy tries to get the mother to nurse the little black sheep. It is likely that she is the same mother who lost twins last year. It was the rainy season then, too They likely died of exposure. The shelter was muddy. Grazing time is limited in the rain, to generate enough milk and to keep babies dry and warm. She probably decided that she had a better chance with just one. With a bigger trench around the shelter, the floor higher, and a bedding of rice husks, all is ready. But it appears that the animals prefer the ridge at the end of the pasture in Bee Sting, where trees make a cover.
Canela was constant companion, caregiver, protector, sister, friend, playmate, enforcer, and mother. She made the job of raising a baby easier.
Getting stronger in the enclosure near the house, Onyx’s family waits to rejoin the herd.
Matt re-purposes a chalk bag into a baby carrier. In her first days, Onyx was too weak to walk, and needed constant attention.
When Onyx was born, Karlee was farm-sitting. Her brother Matt and his girlfriend, Sheila were visiting. They took on the role of parenting, bringing the baby to life.
A typical pose on the porch. Canela snuggles up to the baby.
Canela cleaning up Onyx. Everything from licking up pee and turds, to bot flies.
Canela keeps Onyx clean and smelling good. Of course. Gross, but adorable.
Leo, Juan and Randy get into the construction of a new, larger, improved house for Onyx, the quickly growing lamb.
Onyx loves all parts of the tomato. Here, she chomping and stomping main stems before Kristy chases her out of the garden.
Onyx’s mother stomped her foot and made threatening head-butts to re-state her position that Onyx was not ready to join the herd.
Onyx resists a snuggle from Theo, a friend from the farmer’s market.
Pete the Cat and Canela want to be hand-fed banana along with Onyx.
Yoga time gives Onyx time to snuggle in the herd. She competes with Canela for body contact on the mat.
Students from a local distance-learning university came for a Permaculture cram course to prepare for helping with gardening programs in the schools.
Canela leads the way as we check in on Onyx’s family. Curious and cautious.
David makes sure Pete the Cat and Onyx can keep up with him and Canela.
Onyx and Canela pose with David and Kristy to try the Manzana de Agua wine brewed over the last few months. A sack of fermenting cacao hangs above Kristy’s head.
David checks to make sure Pete and Onyx are with him as he nears the lower pastures on the property.
Onyx follows Canela to check in on the ducks that have found the pond on the way to the pastures.
Canela goes on ahead as David, Onyx, and Pete follow to assess the destruction of forest on the neighboring property.
Canela beams with pride as she keeps watch over the baby to try to prevent poops and pees all over the human spaces.
Onyx follows Kristy. Everywhere. While working on inside projects, she chews on anything that looks remotely like a tit or something to eat.
Canela took on the diaper wipe role, as well as alerting humans to bot fly larvae in her skin.
The alpha male takes a defensive pose while Onyx’s mom and twin sister come close for bananas and to see Onyx. She hangs back to wait for a signal. Her sister comes up to check things out, and the pregnant sheep is hungry, so braves the human to get to bananas. But Onyx isn’t showing signs of being ready to join her sheep family.
Onyx prunes the cranberry hibiscus while Kristy harvests lemon verbena for tea. Onyx might get enough calories grazing if Kristy gardened all day. But rain and indoor projects make it necessary to supplement her expanding leaf diet with dog or cat food.
Kristy tempts Onyx with a banana on her last morning with the humans. She has been weaned from the bottle, has learned to drink from a bowl, is grazing, and strong.
Sasha smiles with relief as Tony picks the guitar. They will begin sitting the finca the following day. After three weeks of crash course, they are relieved to see that Onyx is now ready to re-introduce to her family.
Leo leads Onyx with leaves of zorillo. Canela is tied up. Kristy sheds a few tears. Juan and Leo take Onyx back where they found her, in Lower Bee Sting pasture to re-unite with her family.