Joe Romney

Beautiful Joe in his younger years.

Part of my grief comes from sharing.  Sharing helps me to ease through the process, and hopefully explains my feelings about life.   Every life holds a value.  Humans, animals, all of God’s creatures.   We all serve a purpose in my eyes.   This morning I said goodbye to Old Joe.  The decision to say goodbye to an old friend was not taken lightly by any means.  But I have watched him grow old and I have watched his body grow frail.

This winter has been kind in many ways, no brutal cold and deep snow to trudge through to get to the barn.  It was a secret blessing that I was unaware of until today.  It was a gift to let him spend all Summer on the lawn outside of any fences.  A treat to see him curled up under the front steps every morning, and the laughs I had over him nosing into my Yukon as I was unloading groceries were the best.  He trained me to be sure and bring home apples to distract him with as I carried bags into  the house.  It wasn’t until late December that I finally put him in barn and paddocks.  The grass was gone and he needed to be in a warm barn at night.

Does it seem silly that we put so much value into our animal friends?  Is it wrong to humanize a creature that speaks a different language?  We learn to recognize their wants and needs and they in turn know us.  As I sat in the barn this morning waiting for Dr. Doughty to arrive, I sat on the barn floor and held the head of my old boy.  Their was no silence.  The chickens, the Guinea Hen, and the rest of my flock created a hum.  A rhythm of life surrounded us.  We talked about his good long life, and decided that it his old body was ready to let go.  His breathing was soft and slow.

It is the end of an era for me.  Joe was my beginning.  He was my friend, and so yes, today I will be sad.   But he has gone to that big green pasture where he will always be full, he will become fat again and will grow a beautiful silvery fleece.  Judy, my old ewe, is with for him.  I find peace in his passing when think about his long life and knowing that one day I will see him again.  Please do not feel sad for me.  I have been blessed with this life and with it comes many ups and downs -for which I am grateful.

About Kelly L. Corbett

Owner, Artist & Shepherdess of Romney Ridge Farm Yarn Co.
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23 Responses to Joe Romney

  1. Fenbeast says:

    Joe looks just like my wether Coco. I’m very sorry for your loss. We will have to say goodbye to our geriatric ewe Ethel sometime soon — she’s 12, and we know she doesn’t have much time left, but it’s still hard.

  2. Patricia Paul says:

    Oh Kelly! I am so sorry! Through your very eloquent writings, I feel like I’ve come to know your farm “family” even though I’ve never been to your farm! I know you have given Joe the very best life possible! And the greatest gift we can give our animal friends is dignity at the end of their life! This, you have done! Think of all the knitted garments that contain a bit of Old Joe!! He’ll live on forever in your heart! Sending good thoughts your way! Patricia Paul

  3. Eileen Cashin says:

    Kelly, Joe would be so proud of your eulogy. Thank you for sharing the joys and sorrows of being a sherperdess, some days are diamonds and some days are stone as the saying goes, your heart feels like stone right now but the diamonds will be shining again soon when ‘little Joe’s’ start arriving in the barn in a few months. Bless you and all the animals and people in your care. Eileen

  4. gina says:

    beautifully said. my thoughts are with you.

  5. JoAnne says:

    How lovely that you enjoy your life here, in the now, and equally beautiful how you choose to spend it with all living creatures daily:) I’m only human so I cannot be certain, however I have always known throughout my life, good and bad times, that we are all only temporary guests here heading towards our next destination. Thank you for sharing, peace to you today.

  6. Kristen says:

    Much love to you and Joe. May you both continue your journeys with peace and joy in your hearts. ::hugs::

  7. My heart is breaking for you and Old Joe. Your love for him is apparent in every word you wrote and I know that both your lives were better for having each other in them. Good bye, Joe. Blessings and light to you both.
    Deb K.

  8. Dawn says:

    A beautiful tribute for Beautiful Joe. Your animals are very fortunate to have you and you them. May God bless you and all who reside at Romney Ridge Farm.

  9. What a beautiful write up for Joe. He was fortunate to live in a place that brought him so much love every day. I’m thinking about you today.

  10. Melanie Smerkanich says:

    Dear Kelly,

    I am sorry for your loss. You have provided a lovely tribute and farewell to Joe. I believe that all of God’s creatures deserve love and caring.

    You are a kind and caring shepherdess. Every any animal should be treated as well.


  11. Therese says:

    May your heart remain warm and peaceful as it is wrapped in the fleece of his memories……

  12. Kelly, I am sad to hear the news of Joe. My kids will be heartbroken when I tell them. It was only a few months ago when we visited your farm, and my kids took to Joe right away. They couldn’t stop feeding him apples. My daughter was so excited to go to school the following day and share the yarn we bought, and the story of Joe. I’m pretty sure she told her class that yarn she had all came from Joe. He had a beautiful home, and a beautiful family.

  13. What a moving tribute to your big guy! It sounds like the two of you were both very blessed by your time together.

    It is never long enough.

  14. How lucky you are to have had such a loyal pal. He is frolicking in green pastures with Judy and will remain so in your loving memory of him.

  15. Debbie says:

    I believe it is a wonderful thing to “humanize” our pets. I really think they “animalize” us. They get us to come down to the basics of life with them. You and Joe were on the same wave length and he knew without a shadow of a doubt that you loved him very much. Enjoy your memories of Joe and his life will go on forever in your heart.

  16. caroline says:

    so sorry for your loss. and your tribute to him was beautiful. his fleece will be with you for many many years to come.. hugs!

  17. Kathleen says:

    A lovely tribute to Old Joe. Thank you for sharing.

  18. Dawn says:

    What a beautiful ode to Joe! I’m glad we were able to meet him when we visited you during our vacation.

  19. Patti Kuykendall says:

    Wow…. I am sitting here getting ready for work crying my eyes out. Spoken like a wonderful mom, he was your (our) baby just as much as if you birthed him. The love & joy they give & receive is something special that will alwas be with you. So sorry!!!

  20. cyn polo says:

    Oh Kelly I am so sorry and I am crying with sorrow for you and Joe ,what a beautiful friend you had and he had in you …I do beleive he is in a beautiful green pasture with Judy and feeling so happy. Thinking of you ….

  21. Kelly I only just saw this — I am sorry it was Joe’s time. It is hard to lose any, but our first are always so special. What a special story to send him off with that I must admit has moved me to tears. Hugs to you and the rest of your wonderful flock.

  22. AllyB says:

    RIP Joe Romney. I’ll miss your handsome face popping up on FB. Kind thoughts sent your way Kelly. Thank you for sharing all the fun moments with us.

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