This was alway my favorite picture of Annie with Donald and Little Gray. She definitely seemed to prefer fellow animals over humans. But even with the other sheep she never liked chaos, if there were handouts, she would just stand back and I would have to trick the others to get a treat to Annie. When Amelia, Mira, and Charlotte died, there was not so much chaos anymore and Annie would find room to come in for handouts but she seemed to miss the other sheep.
I have always tried to determine what those around me need that I can help with but with Annie it was difficult. What it seemed to be was "to be left alone" so I tried to do that, alway looking for opportunities to engage. There were a few times that I felt we "connected", but for the most part it was living side by side and not pushing her to interact. That made her death the hardest. I alway thought that if there were not so many others we would have a different relationship. Sometimes, I thought she might be happier living somewhere else.When the more dominant sheep died earlier in the year, I thought we would have an opportunity to form a different relationship. It did seem like that was happening a little, but she died too soon after they did. The others I felt I could comfort in some way in their final hours with singing, or hanging out but with Annie I would not go too close trying not to stress her. Though it made it harder for me, did it make it easier for her, or did she wish and expect that I would know how to comfort her.
Sweet Annie died 4 weeks ago and I still think about her most days and see her there in the barnyard looking at me. What did she try to tell me that I didn't understand? Maybe there was nothing. Maybe I will never know. Annie's gift to me was to make me more aware of those in the outskirts or margins and make me want to ponder their wants and needs. If I can do something for someone living there, maybe I will have done something for Annie.