Today the wonderful Jenny Brown, Co-Founder and Director of Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, tells us what real love is all about – across the species lines;
Pig love, goat love, rabbit love…I knew when I started the animal rescuing business that I myself was doing it out of a deep respect and love for animal kind, but I had no idea I would see the kind of love between animals that I do on a daily basis here at the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. Erica and Aurin, both goats, are rarely seen apart. Erica is female and Aurin is male and although they weren’t raised together from kid-hood, they’ve been together for years and have a strong bond that is evident throughout the day–from grazing side-by-side in their pasture during the day to lying their heads on each others backs when they curl up to go to sleep at night. Romantic love? I don’t know, but it’s definitely love, and I don’t mind sounding anthropomorphic by saying so.
There’s also Judy and Patsy – 2 pig sisters that go from fighting and biting one another to literally nuzzling and spooning when they sleep in their deep straw beds. They are always together- even if one wakes up to go outside for a pee, you’ll usually find the other close behind then their off to their next mission of mischief. You’ll even catch them “hugging” while fast asleep facing each other with stubby legs around each others necks. It’s so dang sweet its enough to make you barf a rainbow!
And it doesn’t have to between animals in the same species either. Take the story of Dylan and Olivia. Dylan came here as a tiny, 2 week old rescued veal calf who, upon arrival, immediately bonded with Olivia, an old grumpy goat who was abandoned by a family whose house had burnt down. She hated other goats and was known to head-butt anybody who tried to pet her whom she didn’t know. But it was Dylan, who desperately wanted company and found himself living temporarily in the pen next to Olivia, that melted her heart. They became instant friends, about the same size but years apart in age. Olivia became sort of a surrogate mother to Dylan until he grew to be 6 times her size, and she, old and fragile, could no longer handle his playful nuzzling and chasing. Olivia and Dylan, even after their separation, could be seen grazing next to one another with a fence dividing them-and Dylan, with his Gene Simmons like tongue, would groom Olivia as long as she would tolerate it, which, for Olivia, was a long time.
Then there’s the beautiful love story of Mickey and Jo -named after the founders of the famously vegetarian Chicago Diner, these two domestic Muscovy ducks were rescued from freezing waters by a caring NYC resident. Initially spotted together but rescued at different times, Mickey & Jo were found distressed and in poor shape, with telltale signs of having escaped from some sort of livestock operation because the tips of their upper bills were cut off (to prevent pecking when crammed together in cages). They were malnourished and the female, Jo, had a severely broken wing which sadly had to be amputated.
After surgery, Jo was brought to WFAS for long term care. Mickey, who proved more elusive to the rescuer, was brought in later. The reaction of the pair when reunited was truly heart-warming. They ran to each other, quacking gently & ’embraced’ by wrapping their necks around each other, much to the awe of everyone at WFAS. We melted into piles of goo. Cartoon bluebirds sang and hearts and shooting stars were painted on the sky. Mickey & Jo are now recovering and are inseparable.
Happy Valentines Day everyone! Show some REAL LOVE for animals by not eating them or their products and seeing them for the emotional beings that they are–here WITH US and NOT for us.
Please support WOODSTOCK FARM ANIMAL SANCTUARY however you can! New Yorkers can join them for an Art Opening from 7-9pm on Tues, Feb 16th at JivamukTea Cafe in NYC (841 Bway, 2nd Floor). Admission is free. Photographer Bob Esposito and painter Jean Rhode will exhibit beautiful new works, 100% of the art sales will go to benefit WFAS! Meet and mingle with the artists, WFAS Co-Founders Jenny Brown and Doug Abel, and members of the Sanctuary’s Board of Directors for one evening only. The show will remain hanging until March 15.
Can’t get to that event? Buy your valentine this fantastically cozy and cute l/s tee for $28 to support the animals;