Lewis & Clark
Rescue Date: September 15, 2018
On a warm summer day, we were contacted by the daughter of an elderly farmer who found himself no longer fit to care for the remaining animals on his farm. He had accepted his need to downsize, and hoped to find a loving home for the last two animals who had shared his property with him for over a decade—a nameless goat and his sheep friend. As we inquired further, we began to worry their condition would continue to deteriorate without receiving the care they needed in their old age. Not only that, but rehoming senior animals very rarely ends with a positive outcome, and we knew their fate could be a tragic one if we didn’t intervene.
We assembled a crew of volunteers, and made arrangements to welcome the duo to the farm. Since neither animal had been given a name, we spent time getting to know them before choosing a pair of names which spoke to their resilience: Lewis and Clark.
Lewis is a (15+) French-Alpine goat who had been used for packing in the mountains during his younger years. Although we don't agree with these activities, this is common among wether goats, and for his breed in particular; the larger a goat in size, the more they can carry. Fully conditioned packing goats are able to support around 25% of their body weight, and can walk for miles, making them a sought-after companion during camping, hiking, or hunting trips. We feel this lifestyle, as well as the possibility that he was carrying more than he should've been (depending on terrain), contributed to the late stage arthritis Lewis suffers from today.
He was also severely matted upon arrival due to a lack of proper grooming. With how late it was in the season, we chose to leave his coat so he could retain as much warmth as possible throughout the harsh winter to come. Once the ground begins to thaw, we’ll carefully shed Lewis of this burden and watch his eyes light up as he begins to feel the weight fall away. We're excited for him to experience that freedom again.
Despite his old age, Lewis is a farm favorite. He’s remarkably kind, gentle, and never too tired for a treat—cherry tomatoes, grapes, and sweet grain are his favorites. You’ll find him relaxing in his insulated bedroom in our barn (hint: it's really just where we store our bales of alfalfa hay; he loves it in there).
Clark (10+) is a Barbados Cross sheep who has been very wary of his new human caretakers since arriving to the farm. His shy-guy personality may have contributed to the neglect around his grooming in the past; it’s become apparent that far too many summers have come and gone without him being shorn. As uncomfortable as the experience may be for him, shearing needs to take place at least once a year to help maintain his health and hygiene. The greatest risk he faces in his current condition is overheating as it impedes his ability to regulate body temperature. With Utah summers sometimes hovering between 90-100 degrees, this will be of the highest priority. Until then, we’re working to help him feel comfortable around us, learn to trust, and show him that he’ll always be safe. In more recent news, we’ve paired Clark with a newly rescued sheep named Dell, who needed the comfort of his own kind after joining us in December of 2018 (you can read more about this rescue story here).
We’re happy to be able to give Lewis and Clark everything they deserve in their golden years. Our hearts told us this would be their happy place, and we’re so very glad we listened. If we hadn’t stepped in, they could’ve been separated, or worse—killed. For the rest of their days, they’ll have their own safe space to be exactly who they are.