Keyla was also a mentor to the younger girls in our herd. She gave us four cria and had several before that. She coached the younger girls on caring for their own cria and was often a baby sitter. Keyla loved being a momma and gave her everything to her babies. Her cria were always the biggest and strongest.
|Keyla with newborn Willow in 2012|
I woke up a few times overnight to check on her. This morning, she refused to eat or drink. So I sat with her for a couple of hours, holding her head and rubbing her neck.
Her herd mates all checked on her while I was there and stayed with her when I wasn't. Gunnar and Wonton stayed close. Gunnar also managed the crowd, putting himself between Keyla and her herd mates when he felt that too many were hanging around. When she finally passed, Gunnar did one last check on both Keyla and me.
Yes, I know death is a part of life. It's not my favorite part of raising animals, but it is part of it. The trick, I suppose, is knowing when to accept the inevitable and focus on making the transition comfortable and peaceful.
Keyla was a teacher to the end.
I will miss you, Qaint Keyla.