Four new animal messengers have arrived on the sanctuary—baby messengers! Sunshine the little black lamb was the first. Her mother in a distant flock gave birth to twins and didn’t have enough milk for two. Tiny and sick, Sunshine lived in my house for three weeks while I nursed her back to health. I knew it was time to move her to the barn when she took to sailing off the back of the couch—very proud of her accomplishment!
Sunshine was joined by Joyful the goat. His mother in a distant herd had died four days after giving birth to him. Sadly, she was scheduled to come to the sanctuary but didn’t make it. Before she died, the person caring for her promised her that her son would have a forever home on the sanctuary.
Next came Berwyn (Welsh for “bear friend”), who was born the smallest of quadruplets in the same herd as Joyful. The competition for nursing was too strong for him. Berwyn also got stepped on by a big goat. He had to wear a splint on one leg and also recover from an ensuing infection in his hock. For a long time he limped, but now it is barely noticeable.
With the arrival of Berwyn, I was bottle-feeding three little ones! They had to take turns.
Sunshine’s twin sister, Moonglow, was the last baby to arrive. The first three were already close friends and she joined the group easily. Now the four roam as one.
It’s like a preschool here these days, with the four babies following me around outside, “helping” with the sanctuary chores, and playing with cardboard boxes in the garage just before naptime.
The horses, Pegasus and Perseus, are stand-in parents. They’re often grazing side by side with the babies.
The guardian dogs, Daisy and Merlion, loved the little flock immediately, wagging their tails madly and licking the babies through the fence. I can’t put them together yet, though, because the dogs are still puppyish and too big to engage in play with the tiny four. The adult sheep and the donkeys are also still separate to prevent inadvertent injury. So it’s a preschool and a juggling act, as I move the different groups from place to place on the sanctuary. Soon they’ll be together, though.
How wonderful it is to greet each day in the company of all these special beings. It warms my heart to know that the new arrivals will live a sanctuary life from such an early age.