Posted on Feb 15, 2018
You might have seen our Facebook live feed this week of our new rescue in Tennessee. Captain is not only sweet, humble, undemanding, unassuming, and one of the gentlest creatures we’ve met, but he has an amazing story. Captain was the very last calf sold by a dairy that shut down. He was bottle fed, loved, and raised by a family for their son‘s 4H project, but when it was time to bring him to auction, they couldn’t do it and returned home with him. He was then raised as a family pet until at a year old they sold him to another farm. The other farmer took him to auction, and from there he was bought to be slaughtered. If angels were not watching over Captain, his story would have ended there.
In the meantime, there was a family who started following The Gentle Barn and fell in love with Dudley while he was still with us. The wife, Becky became vegetarian just by seeing our posts and talked her husband into going with her to visit The Gentle Barn TN for her birthday. When the husband, Chris met Dudley his heart opened, his mind shifted, he felt the intelligence and affection of all animals, and he begged Dudley for forgiveness. He then promised Dudley that he would never harm another animal again. He stopped hunting and fishing, their whole family adopted a vegan diet, and they all focused on animal issues like never before.
It was Chris and Becky’s friend who had Captain, and they got to watch him grow up and be loved. They also knew that this family raised cows for slaughter. Becky had always told their friends that if Captain ever had to go, they would help him. So when Captain was almost a year old, Chris and Becky called to see how he was doing, and they were told that he was sold just the day before. Frantic, Becky and Chris pleaded with their friend to find and save him. Their friend, filled with remorse, agreed to search for him, hoping it wasn’t too late. She called the man who purchased Captain from her, and he told her that he had taken him to auction. She then called the auction house and was told that Captain had already been sold to the killer buyer. She begged for his telephone number but was told that all they could do was take her number and pass it on. For hours they all stared at their phones praying it would ring while fearing that they were at a dead end. And then miraculously the killer buyer called and said if he was reimbursed, she could have Captain back.
Chris and Becky will have nightmares for a long time from what they saw at the kill pen when they picked Captain up, and deep sorrow for the lives there that they couldn’t save. Filthy dirty, terrified, runny-nosed and hopeless, Captain jumped onto the trailer, happy to go anywhere rather than be at that place.
Five hours later Captain arrived at The Gentle Barn Tennessee where he was led to a clean, dry stall, fed fresh hay, and cookies, given clean water, and lots of love. It will take a while for him to get over the trauma of being sold, prodded, slapped at auction, sold again, and then waiting all alone in one of the darkest places on earth. With each passing day, the memories will fade, his heart will mend, his body will heal, and he will move forward into our family and the life we have waiting for him.
It was Dudley who saved Captain by softening Chris and Becky’s heart. It was Dudley who helped Chris and Becky even notice Captain. It was Dudley who brought Captain home to us to find joy and peace. When Captain’s ready, he will help heal our hearts, fill us with happiness, and ultimately help us find a forever home for Dudley’s family. It’s amazing how love comes full circle and miracles happen when angels are watching. And at The Gentle Barn, angels are always watching!
Come visit Captain who was pulled out of the jaws of death three times. Come see his gentle eyes, pet his soft fur, and watch his eyes light up while you give him cookies. Follow his recovery and life on The Gentle Barn Tennessee Facebook Page and Instagram. Watch for news on our forever home in TN, our Captain will surely lead us home!