Every Homesteader’s Worst Nightmare Happened to Us | Animal Loss

** Trigger Warning, this post is about animal loss.**

Homesteading is a fulfilling lifestyle that requires dedication and hard work, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. One of the most heart-wrenching challenges is homestead animal loss. As homesteaders, we rely on our animals for food, companionship, and help with farm tasks. Losing an animal can be devastating emotionally, physically, and financially.

We experienced every homesteader’s worst nightmare last week. As homesteaders, we put so much love, energy, time and finances into raising our animals. They often become like our children. Dorothy, Maranatha and Gyspy were our alpine goats. Our goal was to breed them around 2 years of age and have them be in the season of milking. We had plans to make different goat milk products and sell them on our homestead. When we got them, they were about 7 days old. They were bottle babies. We’d call them our goaty goaties or our goaty girls. They brought us so much joy, love and laughter. 

The Day We Brought them home!!

What really happened?

Dylan got home around 7:00-7:30 on the evening of September 19, 2023. Typically, the goats come running and are at the end of the fence line waiting for attention and love. That evening, they didn’t come. Dylan knew instantly something was wrong. When he went around to check on our girls. He found Dorothy had already passed, Gypsy was struggling, and Maranatha was completely gone. 

Dylan called me and let me know, then immediately called our local DNR officer and county sheriff’s office. They both came out and assessed the scene. We all had wondered if it was a bobcat due to the fact that we had a missing goat and the bite marks, but Dylan saw the neighbor’s pitbulls on our property behind him after he got home. They were watching him with our goats. 

I called our dear neighbors; they’ve had goats for years. They came and helped. JR and Dylan searched and searched for Maranatha. They never found all her remains. Lea and I helped treat Gypsy at the scene till the police arrived. The officer reported everything and took pictures. 

When you’re in a traumatic situation like this you have to decide if you’re going to choose to euthanize the animal or fight with them. What really helped us on our decision was that Gypsy’s lungs and heart sounded clear and really good. Gypsy had a lot of fight in her too. She really tried… 

After we were given permission, we took Gypsy up to the house and placed her in the master bathtub. Surrounded by patio cushions towels and an electric blanket she was really comfortable. We gave her vitamins and antibiotics. We would give her water or Gatorade in a syringe constantly. We prayed over her and annointed her with oil. 

She was responding well and seemed comfortable overall. I stayed beside her all night on an air mattress watching over her. She slept a lot that first night. 

The following day she acted so much like herself. Her little personality made an appearance.  She was eating, drinking and going to the bathroom. Her little face would light up when the kids entered the room. 

Thursday morning rolled around, which meant Gypsy had made it through the night twice. We were so hopeful! Around 6:30a something changed, and I could tell things weren’t good. I was alone, I called Lea and grabbed the stethoscope. I placed it on her lungs and heart listening. I kept talking to her telling her how much we loved her and apologized that it all happened. Then, she went… I heard the last beat in her chest and then silence came. With that last beat she took my heart with her. I was devastated. Lea started talking me through the processes of CPR, I started it but decided to let her go.  We buried Gypsy with her sisters in the most beautiful and honoring way.  

I cried out to God that morning and I watched the sunrise over the tree line. The beautiful colors of pink and orange. I heard God clearly say, “my compassion has not ended. It is new every morning.” Which apart of Lamentations 3:21‬-‭26

“But in my mind I keep returning to something, something that gives me hope — that the grace of Adonai is not exhausted, that his compassion has not ended. [On the contrary,] they are new every morning! How great your faithfulness! “Adonai is all I have,” I say; “therefore I will put my hope in him. Adonai is good to those waiting for him, to those who are seeking him out. It is good to wait patiently for the saving help of Adonai.” He shared so much more, but those things will remain with him and I. After deep discussion and more prayer. Dylan and I decided to offer God’s love and grace to the owner. Something not many people truly experience. 

Now, that doesn’t mean that we will let our guard down around these dogs, our animals and our family. There will be fast automatic and final consequences for those animals if we find them on our property ever again. 

It’s often hard to experience traumatic events and loss, but when you have God standing beside you it’s not so difficult. Take a step back and allow him to lead your healing. He calls you his beloved child. He has a purpose for you and your life. He can turn hard life experiences into beautiful outcomes. 

New and blessed things are coming to our homestead soon. We will continue to stand faithfully with humble hearts waiting for God’s lead. 

Here’s a YouTube video of what happened.

We’ve simply had others ask… So, if you feel lead to send financial support for our next endeavors here is a PayPal link. 

Saying goodbye is always hard, but it isn’t forever

Dorothy, Maranatha & Gypsy

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will no longer be any death; and there will no longer be any mourning, crying or pain; because the old order has passed away.” – Revelation 21:4


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