Bugeyes (March 20, 2008 – July 4, 2016)

Bugeyes with her mother, Edie

Barely a week after we lost Big Otis, another sad milestone: We lost Bugeyes on July 4, at 8 1/2 years old. Bugeyes was the first lamb born on our ranch, in March of 2008, to Edie, the ewe who wound up being the model for our label and logo. Bugeyes got her name because she was quite a homely lamb with protruding eyes, but she grew into a beautiful and very sweet ewe. She became one of my favorite lambs.

The day in 2008 before we put the rams in for breeding, Bugeyes went missing. We searched the pasture and she was nowhere to be found. We thought a mountain lion may have gotten her. I remembered the last place I had seen her; she and her mother had been at the fence making eyes at the rams across the driveway the previous evening. I went to the spot, and I heard a faint baaing.

Bugeyes moments after she was born

There was a storm culvert there under the driveway and I looked in the culvert, and there was Bugeyes, in the culvert halfway under the driveway, looking back over her shoulder and baaing. She must have been looking for a way to get over to the rams! She was panicked and every movement was taking her further under the driveway. It was a very small culvert and I didn’t know how we would ever get her out. While I was trying to find a long pole or something we could push through the culvert from the other end, Luke, a very thin guy who was working on the construction of our house, shimmied into the culvert feet first from the other side, shimmied all the way under the driveway, and pushed her out. Buggies emerged, rear end first, followed by a very shaky Luke (I can’t imagine the claustrophobia of doing what he did) and Bugeyes started baaing and running toward the flock. Her mother, Edie, who was very attached to her, actually did a sheep double-take when she saw Bugeyes coming toward her.

Bugeyes turned out to be a very poor milk producer, so we retired her from the milking string after a few years and she lived in the small pet flock at our house, and raised quite a few sets of triplet lambs. She grew to an immense size and it was hard to imagine she had ever fit into that drainage culvert. In her later years we didn’t breed her any more, but she was always ready for some loving attention. She had slowed down a lot this past year, and Lolo found her dead in the pasture yesterday afternoon. Sad at her passing, I found these two baby photos, but couldn’t find any photos of her as an adult. Then I realized we have this beautiful painting of Bugeyes with Shep by Christin Coy that we bought at the MALT art show last year.

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