Invisible Voices

a voice for the voiceless

An August Sanctuary Update


For those wondering about the sanctuary after last week’s Hurricane Irene, everyone is doing fine. The sanctuary got a bunch of rain and some not-very-bad winds, but nothing severe.

The rain made some puddles that the pigs and ducks and geese are enjoying! Terry said that the puddle in the pig yard was deep enough that the babies, Patty and Paige, were swimming in it! I wish I had seen that. Maybe someone got pictures, it sounds too cute to miss!

Two weeks ago there was a baby-sized mud puddle that they were enjoying.

Imagine them swimming in this mud puddle, which I imagine was even deeper after Irene than it was two weeks ago:

Truman enjoying a siesta in a mud puddle

The newest goat, Sadie, is in with all the other goats now. She’d spent a while in quarantine getting healthy, as is often the case for newcomers, especially the adults. She is at least 6 years old, but she’s tiny, so it’s hard not to think of her as a baby. She’s great friends with Malcolm, and I saw them head-butting each other last weekend in play, but it was more like head-pressing. They had their heads down, and it looked like they were just resting their heads together!

Sadie is not comfortable with people, though after a month of Terry and Dave working with her, she is much better than when she first arrived. I saw her for the first time two weeks ago, when Terry brought her down from quarantine to spend time with the big group of goats. She pranced down the hill like a little princess! Now she’s with the goats full time, and she seemed both curious and wary of people. The curious part means she will likely be comfortable getting some attention from people eventually. It takes time to gain their trust, which is no surprise. The surprise for me is that they can ever trust humans at all, after what they go through before they arrive at the sanctuary!

Little Josie, the blind lamb, is doing really well. She is figuring her little world out, and can be seen jumping around and playing at times. They think she might be have limited hearing as well as limited vision, but she’ll do great once she’s big enough to be in the full herd of sheep.

I think it is really lucky that the three blind animals at the sanctuary are herd animals. In addition to Josie, there is Darcy and Emily. Darcy is an older horse who went blind slowly as he aged. He generally does really well sticking with the other two horses and two mules, and one of the horses, Tally, wears a halter with a bell to make it easier for him. Once in a while he gets separated from them, but usually he’s right there with them.

And Emily, the young cow, was adopted by Heidi, and though Emily has always done a great job making her way through her world, Heidi will help her stay with the herd by going back for her, mooing at her, and generally pestering Emily (who is quite independent!) just like a mother with a stubborn teenager!

Josie will be comforted to be in a herd of sheep. In many ways they can use those around them to compensate for the senses they might not have. I see this with my deaf cat, Jake. He watches the reactions of the other cats to help him figure out what might be going on in his world. Their ability to compensate is pretty remarkable. Jake has lived with me for 1.5 years now, and I still find myself talking to him, forgetting he can’t hear me!

5 responses to “An August Sanctuary Update

  1. Sheryl August 31, 2011 at 5:39 pm


    You may not post often but when you do it’s well worth reading.

  2. ☼Illuminary☼ August 31, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    OH~ So good to read that they weathered the storm!
    I bet everyone is getting ready for upcoming events!
    I love the pic of Jake.. That cat is all attitude..
    even when he is sleeping!

  3. Deb August 31, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    @Sheryl – thanks! I think you are being very generous by saying so – I often don’t feel that way about my posts…but I figured a post-Irene post would be a good thing…

    @Illuminary – Jake is a character for sure! He’s finally, sort of, getting that I don’t want him on the counter “helping” when I make food…so he stands in the sink, ready to lend a “helping” paw….so funny!

    Yes, the preparations are beginning for the big event! I hope someday you’ll be able to make the trip up for it! I know you’d love it. But it’s a long way to travel just for the Open House!

  4. Sandra L. September 2, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    I heard pigs are really quite good swimmers, actually! Something I would not mind seeing myself.
    Thank you for sharing your adventures at the farm with us.

    • Deb September 2, 2011 at 8:47 pm

      I have never seen them swim either! There is a shallow creek and of course their mud puddle, but neither have ever been deep enough for swimming that I’ve ever seen! Of course Patty and Paige are still tiny, so that’s why the mud puddle was deep enough for them to swim in. I really hope someone got pictures! I’ll ask tomorrow. 🙂

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