Summer is upon us, the days are long and warm (more like hot lately) and most of the kids that came through the rescue this kidding season have left us for their forever homes. I'm thrilled that such great homes have been found for them all but I'm always sad to see them go. It'simpossible not to bond with these little ones that arrive only a few weeks, if not just days old and helping to bottle raise them. There was Oliver, my first "lap baby" of the season, always wanting to just curl up in my lap and snuggle. Winnie, who always insisted on being on me in some capacity, often standing on my shoulders or head when my lap was full. She still tried that maneuver long after being a size that made it easy to do. Rocky, who would literally launch himself at me, jumping off a table onto my back when I got a few feet away. Rocket, who loves just to be close to his people, always following someone around looking for a leg to lean on. He often walks me to the gate when I leave for the day. Loki, my most recent "lap baby" who is content to just sit with me for as long as I will hold him. He loves bananas, I always bring him some, he hears my voice and comes running, searching me for bananas.
I could go on endlessly about what a fabulous group of kids came through the rescue this year, each unique and special in their own way. But there's a few who make the yearbook highlights:
Most Athletic: Bode He arrived during the Winter Olympics and quickly lived up to his athletically inspired name. First to figure out all the climbing structures he would jump off flying and twisting through the air. He then went on to master balancing on his back legs to pull down tree branches for him and his buddies.
Mr. Congeniality: Rocky and Rocket Two of the sweetest boys. Mellow, affectionate and always by your side. 4th of July they were perfectly content wearing their festive attire
Cutest Couple: Jet and Loki No pictures can do their cuteness justice. The last of the bottle babies to arrive, they are absolutely darling. Every time I see them I can't help but get the biggest smile on my face. They are just too cute, it's as simple as that.
Most Likely to win an Oscar: Wiley Goat folks know that Nubian kids are often the noisiest. This little Saanen kid gave them a run for their money. He talked, all the time. And loudly, he could be heard anywhere on the farm. 2 minutes after his bottle he would start again, trying to convince you he was starving. Dramatic little guy.
Class Clown: Finn Ahh, Finn. He wasn't a bottle baby (you'll learn more about him in my next post) but he is one of a kind. So full of personality and spunk. Always up to something, stirring up trouble and putting on a show. He provided us so much entertainment. We could have had a reality show featuring Finn and his antics.
This amazing group of kids aren't the last the rescue will see this year but there is just something special about the bottle babies. A bond formed that is indescribable. This was my first full kid season volunteering at the rescue and I feel lucky to have been a part of the lives of so many. I can't wait to see what next year brings us. They have some big shoes to fill.
And not to be forgotten.....there were a few we lost along the way, most being babies born at a local slaughterhouse. Despite doing everything possible to save them, it just wasn't meant to be. It's heartbreaking but I take solace knowing that they didn't die there. They had tummies full of milk, they were warm and they had a life, albeit short, full of love.