Years ago, when my children were little, we had a bottle lamb to take care of that the mother ewe for some reason had rejected. This was more fun than I had ever dreamed! My daughter was 2 years old and this little lamb followed her around the yard in her little tykes car and cuddled up with her for a nap! I did not realize previous to this that it was comparable to having a dog. When the time came to put it out to pasture with the other sheep, it kept coming back home as if to say "Hey, I don't belong out there, I'm not a sheep, I am part of the family!". With time he fit right in with the rest of the flock and forgot about the first two months.
Fast forward to the present, I have always dreamed of having a bottle lamb here at our studio in Franklin TN, so that children coming for a photoshoot could have that experience. I had called around looking for a farm that could help me with this dream for close to two years with no success. At the beginning of April, I got up early and sat down for my morning prayer and prayed that it could be possible to find a lamb this spring. By the end of the day, I had found a farm with a new lamb that had lost his mother soon after his birth. I travelled about 40 minutes away and brought home our little lamb in a cardboard box, sitting in the backseat of the car.
On our drive home we stopped at Tractor Supply to get the supplies needed to take care of my new responsibility for the upcoming month, bottles, milk, shavings to make a bed. Before Bruce got home I already had a stall put together in the barn for our new houseguest! He was so sweet! With one of the grand daughters help, we decided to name him Spirit. It has certainly been a good fit. Each day I have been responsible for his bottle feedings which as you can guess, he thinks I am his mother! Spirit traveled with us to the two daycares we do spring photos for and got very acclimated to kids during the first week. They loved seeing our little lamb! In the upcoming days we started promoting our lamb sessions in the studio with a local charity. Each session fee is being donated to Tucker's House. I learned about them a few months ago and was excited to find a way to help them. If you don't know about them you should look them up and learn about the amazing work they do for remodeling homes of special needs children. We have had a fun turnout!
What I had forgotten about taking care of a lamb is how attached you become!!!! Oh my goodness he is so sweet. As I take him out for shoots he follows along with my assistant and the clients. It has been magical watching Spirit run and jump throughout the studio acreage and hang out with the dog like he is his newest best friend. This has been an adventure that brings out the childlike heart within me, that just wants to run through the grass barefoot with my dog and my lamb. Now that our month is drawing to an end we are pondering and weighing out the idea of Spirit becoming a permanent resident of Misty Westebbe Photography. We certainly will be bringing in a new lamb each year so maybe we will end up with a flock of sheep of our very own! Stay tuned to our blog to follow Spirit along this journey!
We had a workshop here at our studio for our local Professional Photographers of Middle Tennessee this month with a fellow photographer teaching her techniques and using our studio acreage of woods, trails, barns, cabin and so much more. When she saw Spirit and I walking through the dreamy studio acreage she asked if she could photograph Bruce and I with our little lamb. Most of the time I am on the other side of the camera! It was fun and Marisa Balletti-Lavoie of www.sassymouth.net from Connecticut did an amazing job of capturing us in photographs. Can't wait to choose one for my wall portrait!