Cinderella...Snow White...we all know fairytales end with happily ever after. Despite the mean step mom, despite the poison apple, we rest assured that there's a happy ending ahead. When Talia was rescued from a local slaughterhouse, she was one of the thinnest goats Barbara said she has ever seen alive. The mere sight of her broke our hearts. We had hoped that with an endless amount of good food, Talia had a happily ever after waiting for her. However, her road had a few more twists and turns than we expected.
Temporary blindness, due to a form of pink eye goats are exposed to at the slaughterhouse, was her first hurdle. She had suffered through the stress of an auction and a slaughterhouse and this only added to her stress. She would barely eat unless someone was standing there with her. The minute we walked away she would stop eating. Barbara spent countless hours cutting and holding blackberries for her. Volunteer Shawna spent evenings guiding her around to fresh grass and browse. A lot of hours were spent just standing with Talia while she ate. But temporary loss of sight became the least of her problems.
Her digestive system wasn't working the way it should. Despite trying everything we could think of, we could not get her on track for any length of time. No matter what she ate or how much, she couldn't keep the weight she desperately needed on. Vets ran a variety of tests checking for a number of different diseases, parasites, etc. Looking for any answers that would explain what was going on. All the tests came back inconclusive. We were frustrated and disappointed that we couldn't find the answers to help her. But in rescue work you don't give up. No matter how discouraged we become, we keep trying. It's just what we do.
She developed a love of canned pumpkin sandwiches. We continued with various supplements and hay and fresh browse. She stayed in her familiar quarantine area while she slowly regained her sight. Callie, a little Nigerian Dwarf who had been rescued around the same time, would make her way down to the barn where Talia was every night to be let in to spend the night with her friend.
Talia finally regained her sight and started to eat, unaccompanied. She seemed to be headed in the right direction. We let her join the main herd, she thrived being with them only to relapse again a few weeks later. In that moment, as in so many the weeks before, we were unsure of what her future held.
But as I've learned from many before her, Talia reminded me that these animals that have endured so much, can be amazingly resilient. She bounced right back from that relapse and has been improving ever since. She's always at the gate watching people move about the farm, waiting for someone to slip her a treat. She's never more than a few feet away from me when I'm out with the main herd. More often she's standing directly on the pile that I've just swept up. The best thing is, she is gaining weight and keeping it on. She's ready to find her forever home.
Talia has the brightest spirit. It is like there is a little innocent kid always smiling at you from behind her big bright eyes. She hasn't always known kindness from people, however, she put her trust in us from the minute she arrived. Now she will have a life she gets to enjoy instead of endure. A happily ever after....