Blog written by Sarah Klapstein
There is light at the end of the rescued baby season tunnel. The bottles are getting packed away for the season, the baby play structures are moving into storage, kids are growing up and finding their forever homes and we can't help but get a little nostalgic about all of the little lives that have come through the rescue this year. 101 babies saved. It started early in the year and with bitter cold temperatures, both farms had house babies for weeks and weeks. (who can forget little Gavin watching the Winter Olympics and talking to the skiers or Poppy the lamb jumping on the bed and pawing at the covers at 6am for her bottle) and rescued baby season came to a close with Baylor & Boone, 2 little Nubian twins who took our numbers to over 100 babies saved this season. A number we have become quite familiar with the past few years.
19 of our rescued babies have been born at the rescue to pregnant moms we rescued this past winter. So many pregnant moms and births certainly added a different element to rescued baby season. On top of what feels like never ending bottle prepping, feeding and washing each baby season there was around the clock baby watch, constantly checking expectant moms for signs of labor and waiting and watching and waiting and watching. So many babies, so many families, so many amazingly sweet, entertaining, full of unique personality babies, it's been yet another memorable baby season.
Each year, it's hard to select just a handful to feature in our yearbook. Every baby is unique and special and each makes their mark in their own way. This year, as there is every year, some kids laid claim to their titles and held on tight!
Homecoming Queen: Delaney
Sweet, charismatic and loved by all. With her adorable little face and her eyelashes that go on for days, she charms everyone who meets her, including the hundreds of fans she made at our annual Baby Goats & Brews fundraiser. Delaney can always be found in her chair, aka her throne, chewing her cud from around 10:30am on each and every day. She is never far from her twin sister Kate, they love to conquer the big kid playground, show sass to Nicky and Nitro and spend time doing their absolute favorite thing, curling up in a lap for cuddles. Delaney is beautiful and sweet and kind, the belle of the ball, the perfect little queen.
Homecoming King: Keegan
Everyone loves Keegan! This handsome, full of personality Mini Lamancha was born to slaughterhouse rescue Harper. He is quite the charmer with his good looks and busy, playful, curious personality. He may be little but he is fearless and confident yet a soft hearted snuggle bug too. Just don't try and take his "throne," that galvanized bucket is all his!
Most likely to become an International Ambassador: Grayson
Grayson was one of the first bottle babies of the season. He loves his twin brother Gavin and the other bottle babies in his crew but you will often also find him as an honorary member of one of the families at BGC. Some days, he is in the middle of the cuddle puddle of Nora & her triplets and other days he's paling around with Georgia & her boys. He easily works his way into any group or family dynamic with his calm and gentle demeanor, he is accepted and adored by everyone.
Most Athletic: Dash
Play structures: Conquered. Tables: Conquered. Car: Conquered. Chairs, benches....well you get the idea. Dash arrived at just a few days old and hit the ground running, jumping, climbing and moving, moving, moving. The kid certainly lived up to his name!
Best Ears: Tannin
His picture says it all. Best. Ears. Ever!
Best Kisser: Augustus
Kissy, kissy, kissy, Augustus loves nothing more than to give kisses and they are well received! He has the Saanen sweetness down to a t!
Best shoulder to cry on: Kimba
The Saanen breed is known for their gentle, loving and very laid back nature. Kimba is the true definition of a Saanen and he was easily a volunteer favorite this year. When someone was having a bad day or just needed some extra love, they went to hug Kimba. He brought sunshine to every day and is doing exactly that in his amazing forever home.
Miss Congeniality: Nya
The last of the babies born to our Holiday Buns in the Oven rescues, Nya was born to Panda, the youngest and smallest of the group. From the minute she was born Nya was a standout. Not only is she adorable, she is just as friendly and as sweet as can be. She is a one little girl welcoming committee who can make anyone smile. She can often be found in the feeder at the main rescue, she crawls in and oversees breakfast, lunch and dinner time activities. Such a little doll she is!
Cutest Couple: Zuri and Tez
Sister and brother to BGC's permanent residents, Nicky & Nitro, we knew we were in for lots of entertainment with these two little Lamanchas. Zuir & Tez shared an incredibly strong and heartwarming bond just like their big brothers. They were always together and did everything together, in sync and with such gusto. They were, of course, adopted together and now have a forever family with 2 young boys who are twins as well. Winning at twinning!
Most likely to be a surf bum living in a beach town: Kramer
Known as the "golden boy," Kramer was one of the most laid back, go with the flow kids of the season. His unique coloring and good looks made him a head turner for sure but he was never one to be phased by all the attention.
Most likely to still live with their parents at the 20 year reunion: Poppy
Being a single lamb in the bitter cold temperatures of last winter meant Poppy was a house baby. Poppy LOVED being a house baby. Her transition to the barn was a slow one and given the choice, she would still be living in the house. After months of helping Poppy learn she was a farm animal, she is doing fabulous in her forever home that she shares with a number of other rescue grads including Esther the sheep.
The Comeback Kid: Norman
Without question, Norman the calf's recovery was the comeback story of the year. Rescued from the hands of a meat broker, just minutes after being purchased at a livestock auction when he was just a few days old, Norman became the first calf we have rescued in years. As calves sent through auction at such a young age often do, Norman became sick after that experience, very sick. His recovery took a level of investment from Barbara and our vets that was nothing short of all consuming. Norman not only survived, which was a true miracle, he thrived! This beautiful boy is now living his very best life at a lavender farm east of the mountains. A comeback for the ages!
Most likely to be world renowned in their profession: GiGi, a future Cirque du Solei performer & Tatonka, a future interior designer:
I'm not quite sure there are twins more FULL of unique personality than GiGi & Tatonka. Born at the rescue this spring to Ladybug, a quiet and kept to herself little mama, these two set the bar for big personalities. Gigi, the performer, is always in motion, big motion. Jumping, twirling, spinning and giving me a heart attack (and laugh) with the acrobatics she attempts on a daily basis. While brother Tatonka is the first one up every morning, the early riser, who rearranges every plastic pool and every chair, each and every morning before everyone else gets up. He likes his things where he likes them, the way he likes them. There isn't a doubt in my mind that these two could conquer the world if they wanted to.
Another unique aspect to this year's baby season was the number of baby girls we had the opportunity to save alongside the boys. Typically we only get to save little girls who are "flawed" but this year, because the dairy had so many babies, we were given the opportunity to save a number of baby girls. These little ladies added sugar & spice and everything nice to the baby group dynamics this year.
101 babies saved, such an amazing number! We couldn't do it without our amazing foster homes who help us during the biggest rushes early in baby season. Once again adopters Jerrinne, Heidi, Jane & Kelsey Creek Farm stepped up to foster and help us raise some of these little ones. And our rockstar team of volunteers who help make it all happen with last minute Baby Goat Rescue Road Trips (once again Rohana set a new record for how many times she made the long drive) to helping with the day to day chores of the farms, pregnant mama checks and everything that goes into bottle raising so many babies each year. And although we had to make emergency phone calls to him far less this season, Dr P, as always, is our go-to guy. Honestly, I don't know what we would do without Dr P. I don't want to think about it, so as far as we're concerned, he will never retire. Not ever.
All in all, it's been a relatively "easy" baby season compared to the challenges and heartbreak of baby season last year. Every year is different. Even though this season may not have been as challenging as some seasons past, to say were exhausted is an understatement. We often receive compliments about how strong we are to do this work. Strength doesn't have anything to do with it. It's about love. Only love can make you let something consume your life the way this does, every day, of every season. Only love can let you say yes to saving so many knowing that every morning we wake up, every morning we go into the barn, we may find a sick or dying baby. We simply can't save them all but love makes us try. It is love that keeps you going when there just isn't time to eat, sleep or even take a shower most days. It's love that makes it all worth it. Find your love, it's a powerful thing. We've found ours. It's in all these sweet little lives we have the privilege of saving every year.
So here's to an amazing 2018 rescued baby season! We can't wait to see what 2019 rescued baby season has in store.....which don't remind us, will start again in just a few short months.