Below are some of the Safe Haven animals who have touched our hearts before passing on. We remember their lives and how they found love and compassion at Safe Haven Farm Sanctuary.
Daisy, the Miniature Goat
Hello, this is Bill Crain from Safe Haven Farm Sanctuary, in nearby Poughquag. Each month I tell you a story about one or more of the animals we have rescued. Today the story will be about an old mini-Goat, Daisy, who recently passed away. We adopted Daisy, along with two of her companions, from a family who was moving to Maine and didn’t feel they could take care of their goats any longer. If we hadn’t taken them in, they would have been sent to slaughter.
When we adopted Daisy, she was already well along in years, but she was still active. Daisy was a fascinating goat, but I’m not going to tell you about her. Instead, I would like to turn the microphone over to Joy Gomez, our head caretaker, who quickly fell in love with Daisy. Joy feels that she learned a great deal about life from this goat, and I concur!
Life Lessons from Daisy the Mini Goat
By Joy Gomez
I had been volunteering on Sundays at Safe Haven Farm Sanctuary for a few months and the exciting and wonderful opportunity arose for me to take a full time position! Naturally there were plenty of job change decisions to consider. However, the same day the opportunity came to me, I was raking in the back yard area behind the cottage. It was a gorgeous sunny day, and who came by to hang out with me but Daisy, the beautiful dwarf Nigerian goat. She seemed content to graze the grassy area and keep me company while I worked. My love for her was growing as she followed me around all day. It was Daisy that actually cinched the deal. If I would get to experience this peace and love regularly, this was the job for me!
That brings me to my first life lesson from Daisy the Mini Goat.
Lesson 1. Companionship is a great gift.
What Daisy did that day was really simple. She was there for me. Did she know that I was in the midst of one of the most life-impacting decisions I would ever make? I’m sure she didn’t, but her simple act of being there meant so much to me. She gave me something greater than material possessions – she assisted in a complete and comfortable knowing that this was the right decision for me. Simply being with me was all I needed to finalize the choice. Moreover, in the first few days of working at the Sanctuary (as winter’s grip began to take hold), I experienced some beautiful sunny days, rainy downpours and also lots of snow – a real jump right into what full time sanctuary work is like. In tiny random moments asking myself if I had made the right decision, who would appear? Daisy of course! As if to say “You did” and “I’m so glad you’re here!” – How lucky I was to have this friend who gave me such reassurances. Daisy gave me a new appreciation of the value of companionship.
Lesson 2. Not everyone will understand you and that’s okay
Daisy was adorable to me. She could do no wrong in my eyes. If she was in the chicken coop once again, eating their grain, it was endearing to me. Others sometimes found her clowning around to be “annoying” and for it to be cumbersome when she was “in the way”. To me though, she was simply enjoying her life and in doing so she brought wonderful joy to my life.
Daisy reinforced the notion that that people have different views on individual personalities. We must surround ourselves with those that have an understanding of what we love and what we enjoy. Believe in yourself for what you are, and when people judge you (which they will) just know that to love yourself is all that is required. Seek to fill your world with those that lift you up and ignore those that put you down! Above all, be yourself and embrace it. That’s what Daisy did!
Lesson 3. When you fall, or get knocked down, get back up again
Daisy had one short front leg. She also suffered from arthritis. This gave Daisy a little sway when she walked. But these handicaps didn’t stop Daisy from living the happiest, fullest life she could have! Whenever she fell, Daisy always got back up. Sometimes she would need a little assistance from her human friends, but once she was up, she would carry on with her day and never look back.
Throughout life we will inevitably be kicked down or even trip on our own shoelaces but just get right back up (by all the good means you do have) and move forward. Be open to the help that the universe will provide you. Daisy never viewed her short leg as a limitation; in fact, I believe she used that little short leg to her advantage to squeeze into tight spaces. Don’t let your shortcomings be your focus. Focus on all that is good in your world and be grateful for the little things that can secretly work to your advantage! Take time to appreciate yourself and your good qualities. You have many, as did Daisy.
Lesson 4. Go on adventures and eat awesome food!
Daisy, being a miniature goat, could squeeze that cute little body into some pretty small spaces. I found her one afternoon inside Big Red the Rooster’s area, which could only be accessed by a door about one foot high by one foot wide. Daisy didn’t look that small to me! I walked into the area and there she was, very quietly and secretly chomping away on the chicken’s grain! She looked up at me with that cute little tilted head as if to imply “Isn’t life great AND I love to eat”! That’s not the only chicken coop area I found her in. More often than not, if food was involved, Daisy was there. On more than one occasion I found Daisy, stealthily having snuck through yet another gate, hanging out in the compost heap, foraging for any tasty leftover breakfast treats from her friends at the farm. What a wonderful way to live. Go anywhere you can to find nourishment, whether that nourishment is food, love, serenity, laughter or even a good book. Seek what gives you pleasure while not causing cruelty and harm to others fellow beings. Do as Daisy did and be sure to explore the world and relish in all its beauty and eat healthy and heartily!
An extra tip from Daisy… as an herbivore, you can eat wonderful, healthy, tasty food and help diminish cruelty in the world! Why not try it?
With the loss of Daisy – I was genuinely hurt, but every day I am grateful that I got to spend the time I did with her. The memory of her sweet smile and adorable little head tilt has been etched on my heart and I will carry it with me always.
Have a Mini Goat kind of day!
Sprinkles the Sheep
Sprinkles the sheep was found in a live market in the Bronx in a pen crowded with animals awaiting slaughter. Her ears were missing their tips, evidence of frostbite from having been kept outside in a bitter winter cold. She also had many parasites and a bad cough, and made no natural sheep sounds.
Since coming to Safe Haven, Sprinkles lost her parasites and her cough and starting “Baaas” like a natural sheep. She also enjoyed a good scratch behind her ears and going out in the sun with her pal, Angel. When you entered the barn, Sprinkles was often the first one to come up and say hi, showing us all that she has learned to trust again.
Sprinkles died on December 26, 2015 in the Safe Haven barn with her best friend, Angel, at her side.
Roly Poly the Chicken
Roly was a special soul who was loved by all. It is hard to believe that she was nearly thrown out before she could hatch at the end of the school year. She was one of several eggs sent by mistake for a chick hatching project on nearly the last day of school. Roly was saved by a thoughtful 12 year old and his parents who took the abandoned eggs home to their apartment in Brooklyn.
Roly hatched on June 10, 2010. At a month of age, Roly came to live at Safe Haven where she could play and forage in the grass, dust bathe and get to know other chickens. She was the queen of the Safe Haven barn. Roly always greeted you as you enter the barn and selectively decided if your shoes deserved her attention. If they did, she would skillfully try to untie shoelaces or remove any type of design.
Roly served as an ambassador for all those baby chicks who weren’t lucky enough to survive the chick hatching projects. She reminded us all that animals are not disposable objects but sentient beings that deserve lifelong care. She may have left this world but she will forever be in our hearts.
Roly Poly passed away on December 25, 2014 from medical complications.
Katie the Hen
Katie was brought to Safe Haven three years ago by a young couple who had purchased her at a live meat market. They wanted Katie to be their pet but their landlord objected, so they asked us if we would take her.
Katie was a very special chicken. Right away we noticed how the other chickens liked being near Katie, and she often tried to protect the others.
The most surprising behavior Bill Crain saw occurred one afternoon when he was upset about a personal event. He felt a little like crying when he entered the aviary. Katie walked directly toward him, looked directly into his eyes, and sat quietly beside his leg. Bill felt sure she was trying to comfort him.
We often hear the term “mother hen,” but we never knew how caring and protective a hen can be. All of us at Safe Haven will miss Katie very much.
Katie died on May 30, 2011.