Posted on Mar 30, 2017
By Ellie Laks, Founder of The Gentle Barn
Our beloved Sassy passed away last night. She went easily and peacefully, but left us in sorrow. The entire Gentle Barn staff and volunteers are in mourning, and I know you loved her as well. How could you not? To know her was to love her!
We rescued Sassy five years ago from an extreme cruelty case. We rescued her as an older goat, so she was at least 12 when she passed away. Our vets say that goats typically live till seven or eight, although at The Gentle Barn they live much longer. Sassy's spirit was larger than life. She met groups of children at the gate and showed them around. She ran to be with disabled people in wheel chairs and staid by their side. She greeted each of us with smiles and affection. And I kissed her on the head each and very single night before bed. She was our sunshine and our golden ray of light.
But Sassy came in with a virus that she contracted at the cruelty case she came form. When she was younger, her body could fight it. But over the last several months she developed more and more abscesses, was losing weight and declining. Each day we gave her Sun Chlorella Algae Super Food to boost her immune system, grain and top quality hay to help her maintain weight, a special coat to keep her warm at night, and all day attention. Despite our best efforts she kept losing weight. The vet came out and pulled blood and the results were so upsetting: Sassy was in liver failure and clearly had something internal going on that her immune system was not able to fight. After trying everything we could to strengthen her, our veterinarian finally said that at this point she didn't believe she would recover, and that the kindest thing we could do was to help her out of her body.
Letting Sassy go was one of the hardest things I had ever done! I cannot imagine the barnyard without her! We all have an ache inside us that is inconsolable! So I talked with Sassy to get her perspective and see how she is feeling and what she told me was amazing! Sassy said that she was happy to go. When I asked why, she said that even though we had saved her life and took her away from the backyard butcher, and even though she has always been happy with us, her body still held the virus, the pain, the betrayal, the fear and the pain that she had gone through before we rescued her. She said that stepping out of her body was stepping out of that trauma, illness, and reminder. She was finally free. Free of her past, free of the brutal details of her life before us, free of disease, and free of her old tired body. She said five years ago we saved her, but today we are setting her free, and she is grateful.
Animals are always more wise and full of grace than we could ever be. When I cry and mourn our loss, I try to think of what she said and am happy for her. I am extremely grateful that we got to know her, care for her, love her, and learn from her. Thank you for loving her with us and for helping us give her the care she deserved.