Posted on Oct 16, 2014
By Ellie Laks, Founder of The Gentle Barn
As humans, we like to put things into boxes or categories: this person is good, this situation is bad, dogs are loyal, cats are independent, etc. Animals on the other hand don’t discriminate at all. In fact they seem to see the similarities in all of us, instead of the differences. At The Gentle Barn we have many unlikely friendships because the animals see each other for their character and not for what species they are or what they look like.
Our turkey, Claire, was rescued from Thanksgiving two years ago. When she came in she knew no one but slowly made friends. She is a bit shy, but sweet and gentle and the other animals seem to like her very much, especially Gus! Our goat, Gus was also rescued a few years ago. When he arrived at The Gentle Barn he was very sick and terrified of humans. We worked for several months to heal his body and show him love and kindness. Like Claire, Gus took some time learning to trust us, but finally realized that he was safe.
We noticed that Gus and Claire often stood next to each other but at first we didn’t think anything of it. As the months past we noticed that they did it every day and not only stood side-by-side, but started nuzzling and grooming each other. We watched, amazed as we realized that Gus and Claire were developing a deep and undeniable friendship.
Gus does spend time with the other goats, and Claire sleeps in the bird room at night with her feathered friends, but each day in the mid afternoon they can be found together. Gus gently grooms her neck and head with his mouth and Claire will walk right up to him enjoying their closeness. And let there be no mistake about it: Claire is not friendly with the goats; she just loves to be with Gus. And Gus is not affectionate with the other birds, he just loves Claire.
Gus and Claire were both saved from slaughter, were ill and scared when we saved them, and they are both shy and quiet; so they seem to have a lot on common. But exactly why they are attracted to each other we will never know. What we do know is this: in the end it does not matter how tall we are, how thin we might be, what we look like, what color we are; our character is the only thing that matters! Who we are, not what we are, is the secret that Gus and Claire surely know. Gus and Claire inspire all of us to love more!
Written by Ellie Laks
Founder, The Gentle Barn