One year ago, I became an official adoptive parent – to lovely little Annie, who resides at the Farm Sanctuary shelter in Orland, CA. Last December, I had the pleasure of meeting Annie when my friend Michele and I made a trek to the shelter during a weekend trip to the Napa Valley. It was wonderful to see – live and in person – how well cared for these animals truly are, and that the shelter itself is indeed a large, meticulously maintained sanctuary for so many animals who have been rescued from the abuse and neglect of the factory farming industry.
While Annie was a bit skittish around humans, there were a couple goats who were more than happy to make our acquaintance. Melvin – an affectionate Angora – followed us around incessantly and continually head-butted my hand in request for another scratch of the ears or rub of the chin. Then there was tiny Justin, who had just arrived at the shelter after saving his own life by chewing through the rope around his neck and throwing himself at the front door of a Sacramento woman.
At the time of our visit, Justin was still in the shelter’s “hospital,” recuperating in a clean, spacious enclosed area inside the shelter office, where Farm Sanctuary employees could keep a close watch on him at all times. Michele and I spotted Justin at the end of our visit, and Sophia – the education coordinator for the Orland shelter – encouraged us to spend some time with him. Something about this little goat really touched me; despite his obvious cruel start in life, he had pushed through adversity to save himself. And now here he was, one minute jumping around as only goats can, practically clicking his hooves in glee, and the next minute, carefully nibbling hay from our hands. He was a gentle soul with a strong spirit. I was officially in love.
A few weeks ago, I received a letter from Farm Sanctuary, asking if I’d like to renew my sponsorship of Annie. I knew I wanted to re-up for another year, but wondered if they’d let me “spread the love” and instead cover the cost of Justin’s care for the next 12 months. I dashed off a quick email to Cyndy, the giving coordinator, and shared my experience with Justin during my visit. She responded with a resounding, “Yes, of course! We love to have people bond with their animals!”
And so it is. Cyndy sealed the deal with the photo above, noting, “This shows Justin with what we like to think is a big attitude!”
Little goat, big attitude. Proof that, as the old adage goes, attitude is indeed everything.