Posted by: annie | December 7, 2010

goodbye sheep

Last week I had been going for walks to the nearby park intending to stop by and say hello to my new sheep friend, but wasn’t able to find him in the paddock.  I thought maybe he was hanging out by the trees and I couldn’t see him, but after a couple of days of never seeing him out there I started to become concerned.  The other day Sarah came by to let me know that she and Marc were heading out-of-town for the weekend and offered me use of their house and the BBQ.  They have the big tv, movies, cable, and the Wii.  Before she left, I asked her if she knew where the sheep had gone off too.  Sarah told me that she and Marc had decided to have the sheep killed.  I was shocked because I hadn’t heard anything about this and I couldn’t imagine why they would do that.  Sarah explained that Steve (the owner mentioned in the previous post) had told them when they rented the place that the sheep was theirs.  He pretty much came with the house.  Recently, Steve had been telling them horror stories of what might happen to their sheep if they weren’t taking the necessary steps in keeping the sheep healthy.  Sarah started talking about the possibility of worms eating him from the inside out.  Steve wasn’t willing to help them with the sheep even though technically it was his and he does have sheep on his property that he cares for.  Sarah and Marc were left to worry about the time and cost etc of caring for the one sheep that Steve had randomly made a part of their rental agreement.  I don’t know why they decided to kill him, there are many places out here that may have taken him, and I don’t think they looked into how we might have been able to care for him or make trades or find someone in the neighborhood to help.  I wish they had talked to me about it, I would have tried to find a way to make it work.  I wish I had gotten the chance to save him.  He was such a friendly little guy and I was really happy to have an animal friend around.

I was pretty angry about it, most of my blame was directed at Steve.  It was a strange and unfair situation he put Marc and Sarah in and I have a feeling he was happy to have them get rid of the sheep for him.  I was also unexpectedly really sad about it.  I guess I was more attached to the sheep than I thought.  I had a good cry about it that night.  I miss my little sheep friend.

In an effort to cheer myself up, I bought myself a ticket to a rock’ n’ roll show and took myself out on the town last night.  Has anyone seen the doco (documentary) Young at Heart? or seen their show?  The Young at Heart Chorus is a group of seniors in their 70s and 80s from the east coast (in the U.S.) who totally rock!  soul, rock, funk, punk.  yes, punk rock people. these seniors have attitude!

When I saw the documentary on TV the other day, I was so taken with them and moved.  What an amazing group of people and they were having so much fun.  I bought my tickets that night for the next day’s performance.  The TV station ran the doco the night before their show here in auckland.

The show itself was one of the best I’ve ever attended.  It was so much fun.  I was dancing, clapping, laughing, crying.  They did some really lovely songs about memories, loss, and love.  Hearing those songs from people so close to the end of their journeys made them so poignant and layered with lifetimes of emotion and experience. When they sang “there is no time but now”  it took on an urgency that was impossible not to feel.  I was so enamored of their humor, courage, whimsy, and passion.  Those things don’t disappear with age, we let them go.  My entire perception of aging shifted by the end of that performance.  So often in our culture the only messages we receive about aging are fearful and negative.  On the stage last night, there was grace and dignity but also the spirit of rebellion and defiance.  I loved it.

Some of the women had some pretty awesome dance moves, shaking their hips and gettin down.  It reminded me of my own grandmother who is turning 90 next year.  She would have been amazing up there.  One of my favorite memories of her is her singing in Italian, “O Sole Mio”  and the other is her teaching me the Charleston.  My grandma has the moves and so did some of those women on stage.

If you didn’t see the movie when it was out in the theaters, here’s the trailer.

This scene from the movie had me in tears.  It was a dedication to two members that had recently passed.



  1. You know how I feel about killing the unsheep sheep-arrr. Glad you posted about it. I hope the loss of your sweet animal friend is quickly filled with the love of some sweet horses and colts in the same paddock (is that how you spell it?.) I loved hearing about the Young at Heart Movie and now I totally want to see it!

  2. Sooo sad for the sheep…..he was so cute and loving, didn’t deserve that! 😦
    Watched the clips, very cool…..made me teary.

  3. That is so sad. I’m sorry they killed the sheep. It sounds like Steve did put them in an impossible situation.

    I love that group! I did see the documentary about a year ago. It was one of those things where nothing else was on and I was flipping through the channels. I thought for sure I wouldn’t “stay” on the docu, but it was RIVETING! And I cried, too. Such spirit, such poise, such fun they all had. And when you’re in a group where they average age of a member is something like 75, death is a real part of the group. They showed how to get through something like that with grace, but also showing real emotions. No matter how old you get, loss is still sad.

    I feel for you, my friend. May you find a new animal friend and may you always remember your sweet sheep.

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