Family ties

"Hi baby" I said softly as I picked up Birdie, Bess's first born triplet, just seconds after she was born. It was one of those unexplainable, instant connections. The next words out of my mouth were "I love her!" Within minutes Gumby and Jackson had arrived and the love was tripled. Bess, one of the most gentle and sweet natured goats, had just given birth to 3 amazing babies 4 months after we rescued her from a local slaughterhouse and I was in love.

Every year we get the privilege of witnessing little ones make their entrance into the world. To watch one life we saved from slaughter become two, three or even four lives saved. A number of does that we rescue from the slaughterhouse each year are pregnant when we do, unbeknownst to us. A month after arriving at the rescue, we run pregnancy tests on all the rescued does and make our guesses of what the results might be. For the record, we're rarely ever right.

We were excited to learn that Bess was one of two expectant moms from the September rescue. Bess was one of those goats who we couldn't really get a feel for at first. She was nice, she allowed us to walk up to her at the slaughterhouse and pet her. She was easy to handle. But she kept to herself and didn't really seek out attention or comfort as so many of the others did. Once we moved her into the expectant does area, her personality really started to blossom. It became apparent once she was away from a big herd, just how truly charming her personality is. She loves attention but even more, she loves to rub on people. We affectionately refer to her as the "butt massager." She will literally move from person to person rubbing her head on each person, quite vigorously in fact. She is incredibly calm and gentle. Even while kidding and trying to figure out what was going on with three little ones crying out and wobbling around the birthing stall in three different directions, she remained unfazed.

There is something truly special about Bess and it is apparent that her babies have inherited that magic from her. Their individual personalities were apparent from the start. Birdie may be half the size of her brothers but she is full of gumption. Gumby is a snuggly little love bug who adores people as much as his mom and siblings and Jackson is full of goofy personality. Each posses their own truly unique personality but they all share that same special magic as their mom.

Bess and her babies represent the back bone of the work we do, rescuing goats from slaughter. I can't imagine a world where these babies didn't get a chance to make their mark on it. They have certainly made a big imprint on our hearts and we know they will on the family that will be lucky to provide this little family with their forever home. One life saved became four lives saved that day and Bess, who had never really bonded to any one goat at the rescue, now has 3 precious little ones to spend her days with. A perfect little family.