Invisible Voices

a voice for the voiceless

Sanctuary update, August 08, 2009

Hannah was so cute on Saturday. As the three of us walked up to the quarantine barn, her little head popped up in the screened window of her stall. “Meh-eh-eh-eh,” she called out to us, though I think it was Terry she was really happy to see. Terry’s been spending a couple hours a day just hanging out with Hannah so she doesn’t get too lonely, and it’s created a clear bond between them.

She was perky, and at least to my eyes it looked like she had put on some much needed weight since last weekend. She is eating grain now, which she hadn’t been interested in at all last week, and she’s clearly wanting to get out into the bigger world. That’s maybe the biggest change from last week; if I was to interpret her attitude, I’d say that she’s learned that she has good things to look forward to at the sanctuary. She has hope, but more than that, she has expectations of enjoyment, of pleasure, of just being herself. Her goat personality is starting to shine through.

As we left, she stood on her hind legs to watch us through the screened window again. They’re having her checked again on Monday for parasites, to see if she can get at least some limited social time with the other goats. They’re still worried that she should put on more weight first – some of the goats (the bad boys, Lenny and Jeremy, but also a few others) love to head butt, and she might not be strong enough yet for that kind of rough-housing.

Wilbur is now standing and walking on his own! He was tuckered out from all the walking Dave had had him do in the morning, so he wasn’t interested in standing or walking by the time we got over there (not even for a banana-bribe!) but he’s been doing so well that they’re going to soon let him into the big pig yard for about an hour a day to see how he does. He needs to build up strength, and being with the other pigs will likely help him do that, push him a bit. They let his brother, Patrick, out to spend time with him last week, and they apparently went to a mud hole and lounged together, with Wilbur happily nibbling on Patrick’s ear. Wish I could have seen that! It was so nice to hear that their brother-bond is still strong, despite this month and a half of separation.

Jolene is also doing quite well. She’s still in the “infirmary” portion of the pig barn, but she’s been going out and walking and grazing, and appears to be feeling pretty good.

Harley hung out with us for a few minutes. It is amazing to think of how much he’s grown. He’s big enough now that we do a double-take, and say “is that Harley?” And then we look for his black nose to assure ourselves that it is, indeed, Harley. He’s as sweet as ever.

Down in the chicken yard, we watched Robin for a while. She is from the group of 5 While Leghorns who came as days old chicks, found in a grocery store parking lot in Silver Springs, MD, and we call her a girl out of habit. In her early days she would make nests, but her visual and behavioral characteristics split the difference between a rooster and a hen now. She’s a mystery to us.

To the other chickens, there is either no mystery to them, or it simply doesn’t matter. Or both. She’s part of the flock. What else really matters?


4 responses to “Sanctuary update, August 08, 2009

  1. Kristen August 10, 2009 at 10:33 am

    I’m so glad Hannah is doing well I can’t wait to see her again. I was going to come out on Sunday, but unfortunately my house needed more cleaning than I could ignore. Hopefully I’ll be able to start coming every weekend and not just every other weekend. Being there really lifts my spirts, and reminds me of why I am fighting so hard for what I do. Even when everyone else is against me for it.

    Thanks for the update!

  2. Deb August 10, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    Yeah, sucks when life gets in the way of spending time at the sanctuary! I know what you mean about it lifting the spirits. It is a special place…

  3. nothoney August 12, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    What a great update, Deb! You’ll have to point out Harley to me next time I’m there because I looked for him last time and didn’t see him – or didn’t recognize him. Really good news about Hannah and Wilbur and Jolene.


  4. Deb August 12, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    Sure, just remind me! Harley is one of the few that I think most of us can reliably pick out, but of course he has to be around for that to happen! I think he must spend a lot of time in the fields. He’s about half grown now (maybe 2/3), and has the ears that cover his eyes when his head is down, his hair is light, but he’s got dark splotches underneath, and he’s got that cute black nose. I think once you see him, you’ll know it’s him!

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