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1 Comment to “ SHARE YOUR STORIES”

  1. Maurice Bolo says :Reply

    And then Dotty died…

    We are still mourning. Our hearts filled with grief, our eyes dreary. Our hearts sunken, our bones dry. We are sad, we are distressed. On January 14, 2018, Dotty left us. At about 2:30 pm, she breathed her last. They tried to save her life but it was too little, too late. She succumbed, having tried unsuccessfully on her own.
    We had been expectant and for the preceding few days the workers kept vigil. She had shown signs of weakness. Three days before she left us, she had exhibited signs of calcium deficiency. She would lie down and fail to stand up. The doctor came and gave a shot of calcium injectibles and then she woke up, stood up, ate, drank, walked around until it was time to lie down and sleep. Then the cycle was repeated…she couldn’t stand. At over 300 kgs, even the workers could not help her stand on her feet. She was too heavy but also too weak. The doctor gave firm instructions, should the workers see any unusual sign, they have to call him immediately. So they tried, they checked on her constantly. The kept vigil at night and they observed every so often and looked out for the signs.
    As fate would have it, on this Sunday afternoon, the workers and family members had left. Some for church, others to attend to other duties. The last they were with Dotty is reportedly 11 a.m. Then they went, each their way. They left her alone, hoping all will be well. At about 1 p.m. a neighbor passing by noticed something unusual. Dotty was lying down, stretching, struggling, kicking. There was no one in sight. She was all alone. The hour had come and yet there was no one to help her, to be with her, to push with her, to comfort her or even just to raise an alarm and call for help.
    When that help finally arrived, it was too late. She had tried. It was too much. She couldn’t hold anymore. Before the doctor could arrive from about two kilometers away, the sad news had reached me in Nairobi, six hundred kilometers away. Dotty was no more. Before I could comprehend and accept this sad reality, the doctor finally arrived. In shock, his first reaction was to salvage the baby. Even that was too late. She too had died in her mother’s womb. Never had the opportunity to see this world. Died with the mother. As we would say in the local dialect, “she killed her mother.” That is a rather cruel way to put it, but language has its ways, especially when you hear it in its raw, original form. Dotty died trying to give life. No mother should ever face such a fate.
    This is the reality facing many farmers, especially the small scale farmers who lack the financial, technological and expert muscles to mitigate the cruel challenges they face. We lost Dotty just six months after she arrived. We had just begun on our dairy enterprise and Dotty was one of our best buys. She was about 4 months pregnant when we bought her. She was expecting her third child. Her condition was good, in fact she had improved a lot since her arrival to the farm. We had made preparations for the arrival of the baby, we had plans of where she would sleep, how she would be fed and nurtured. On the business side, we had made plans with the local dairy cooperative on how much milk we would supply, at what frequency and at what price. We were all set. Sadly, all this was not to be. Fate had other plans and instead of a year’s supply of milk, joy and income, we were slapped with a loss of over $3,000 for both mother and her unborn child. Compound that with the post mortem fees, the doctor’s fee and other associated costs and you begin to understand why dairy farming is still such a tall order in our rural communities.

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