Invisible Voices

a voice for the voiceless

Tag Archives: jake

An August Sanctuary Update

Sheldon

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!

fatigue

I have been thinking about fatigue a lot lately. Perhaps because despite my best intentions, when I get home from work I don’t seem to have “it” in me to do a post. To process pictures.

The winter is perhaps taking a toll. But it is more than that. It is reading people talk about “sustainability” who have no real interest in anything other than justifying the next cow they kill. Who claim that cows don’t have much more intelligence than the food (i.e., grass) they eat.

I find that offensive, and unbelievably ignorant.

I especially find offensive the thread that runs through so much of the world around me – that change is needed, but that people hope someone else does it.

And so, fatigue. I’m in need of a little vegan island where I can recharge and gird myself for the next round of “I don’t want to hear/believe it.”

Yet, my fatigue is something I’ll get over.

Jake, on the other hand, is making faces at me as he eats his medicine-laden bananas.

He’s a dairy cow, which is likely obvious given his clear Holstein heritage. And as a result of the genetic mutilation in the never-ending quest to turn Bessie into the perfect milk-producing machine, Jake has severe arthritis. He is, I believe, 7 years old, what should be a youngster when it comes to cows. He is a victim of his genetics.

And so I fed him his bananas with their medicine. Without it, he would have stayed in that one spot all day. With it, he was up and moving about not long after.

Though rescued from a fate that would have had him killed within his first month of life, he will never be free of the dairy industry. His life will be shortened by their actions, though he has been lucky enough to live at Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary most of his life.

I could easily mourn for Jake’s shortened life, but to do that I would have to ignore that he is living his life fully right now. He has the freedom of 400 acres, and the security of living at a sanctuary. He has people who care about him and make sure he is as comfortable as he can be, and who will make however many years he has the best they can be for him. People who believe that he has an inalienable right to all of his years.

He has a lot, really.

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