Our Therapy Animals

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Our Therapy Animals

Carmen



carmenCarmen is a teenage miniature donkey, who once lived on a breeding ranch in Bend, Oregon, but was culled from the herd because she could not carry a foal to term. Fortunately for her a previous volunteer from Forget Me Not Farm was visiting the ranch and heard her story. Carmen’s owners were planning on taking her to the auction yard, but our volunteer convinced them she deserved to live a comfortable life in California. Carmen is our Farm Ambassador – always observing the other animal’s antics, always staying on the sidelines, and never causing any problems. In fact, you might not notice her if it weren’t for the way she quietly sidles up to you and gently puts her head under your hand for an easy pet. The children learn a lot by watching how she gets what she wants without being demanding.

Frida and Evita

llama1llama2Frida and Evita are two llamas that were left behind when their guardians sold their home and the new owners were unable to keep them. While llamas are very social with one another, it takes a great deal of time and patience for them to develop a relationship with humans. Commonly, the llamas will walk away if a person approaches them. They seem to prefer initiating the contact and spend time “checking out” a visitor before they get too close. The lesson for children who want to develop a relationship with the Llamas is learning to respect their boundaries.

Buddy, Niko & Tickles

goat1Buddy and Niko are both mixed breed LaMancha goats. LaMancha goats are noted for their apparent lack of, or much reduced, external ears. They are also known for a generally calm, quiet, and gentle temperament.

Niko was rescued from the local auction yard where she was tied up and abandoned. Niko is a sweet and caring goat that always seems to be right next to whoever is out in the pasture soliciting attention and pets.

Buddy was found six months later wandering the streets of Santa Rosa with a broken leash tied around his neck that had been chewed through.In his earlier goat2years Buddy was the farm’s most mischievous animal, but in his later years he has settled down nicely into the regal old goat role. Although he still tries to head butt the 1800lb. steer from time to time.

At the Farm they soon became best friends. Remembering which one is the boy and which one is the girl can be confusing at times since Niko (the female) has a long beard and Buddy has a clean, smooth chin. She and Buddy have been living together for over ten years. Even though their ears may seem imperfect, the children love them just the same.

Tickles is our newest goat addition to the farm, she is a Saanen Dairy breed. Tickles came to the farm in the winter of 2015, brought to us by a kind family that rescued her. She was bottle fed by the children that visit the farm, and is a feisty and social counterpart to our senior goats.

Raymond

raymondRaymond was born on Christmas Eve in 2006, and as a male Jersey calf, his days would be numbered at his owner’s dairy. Fortunately, the dairy owner knew he was something special, made a few phone calls, and ended up connecting with Farm personnel. Raymond was transported to the Farm in a small dog crate on a cold wintery day. Quite dirty and just a few days old, we took him in and the children bottle fed him until he was able to eat on his own. Everybody loves Raymond! Now, he is the largest animal on the Farm and loving Raymond makes vegetarianism pretty appealing.

Reno

85Reno is the only full size horse at the Forget Me Not Farm, and he certainly stands out from the crowd. With his striking paint markings, and his one blue and one brown eye, he’s a favorite of all our visitors. Reno came to the farm from a local cattle ranch where he suffered a fracture deep in his hoof and has severe arthritis in both front feet leaving him in constant pain and reluctant to walk. He has a new lease on life at the farm, receiving specially crafted orthopedic shoes as well as cutting edge pain management for his chronic and lifelong condition. He now spends his days nuzzling the children, looking in pockets for treats and enjoying the company of his pasture mates.

Geronimo

geronimoGeronimo is a geriatric Shetland pony that came to live at the Farm so his guardian could move into an assisted care facility. This move did not take place until the family knew that Geronimo would be well taken care of. In return for this great place to live, Geronimo delights the children with his “smiles” for carrots and “counting” for apples, skills he learned before coming to the Farm. Geronimo gives hope to everyone who has been moved from home to home that it is never too late to find that very special place to live with a new and caring family.

Windsong

windsongWindsong was a broodmare from a local ranch. We met Windsong when she was ready for retirement after many years of breeding and giving birth. Even though she is a pretty small horse and doesn’t eat a lot, there was no place for her once her breeding days were over. Forget Me Not Farm seemed like the perfect placement. Windsong is small enough for even the youngest children to groom and pet, she is in good health, and she eats very little, and requires minimal veterinary attention. Although she is the oldest animal on the Farm and the smallest horse, she is “the leader” of all of the animals. The children are often surprised to see her interactions with the other animals and to see how even the largest animal respects her boundaries.

O''Malley, Prince, Peanut & Ace

alpaca2alpaca1O’Malley, Prince, Peanut, and Ace make up our unique crew of alpacas. These lucky guys were rescued from the Bitterroot Valley in Western Montana. A ranch owner who specialized in llama and alpaca rescue was overwhelmed with llamas after participating in a very large (over 500) llama rescue. Initially we wanted to help by taking one alpaca but after seeing how much work was involved in caring for the rescued llamas we agreed to bring four to California.

Three of our four Alpacas are Suris. A breed characterized by their unique dreadlocked fiber. O’Malley, our one Huacaya Alpaca participated in some parades in Montana and is our social ambassador for this shy herd.

Daisy, Jerry & Sandy

sheepDaisy, Jerry and Sandy are the resident sheep on the farm. This trio, like so many farm animals, came to Forget Me Not Farm because they needed a permanent home. Bred and raised for butchering these three had the good fortune to find us. Daisy is a Katahdin born in 2013 as a triplet and rejected by her mother. She was bottle fed by her foster family before coming to Forget Me Not Farm as a young lamb.

Sandy is an American Black Belly mix born in 2010 with a crippled rear leg. He was also rejected by his mother – probably because of his abnormality. He was welcomed to our farm family and quickly received veterinary care for his leg. For weeks he wore a cast on his rear leg but that did not stop him from running and playing. The children at the farm bottle fed him for months and when the cast was removed he was able to walk and run on all fours.

sheep2Jerry a Hampshire mix is the newest member of this trio. Born in early 2016 as a market lamb his prospect for a long life was improbable. He was destined to be sold and butchered at the county fair. As luck would have it, Jerry injured one of his legs, and after a course of antibiotics he was not eligible to be sold for meat. His owners had grown attached to Jerry and wanted him to find a lifelong home. Because these three sheep were bottle fed and hand raised they are very comfortable around humans. Raised to be butchered their reprieve shows the children that anything is possible.

Luna and Little Rock

donkeyLuna and Little Rock are the farm’s full sized donkeys, and our second mother and daughter team. Luna was abandoned at a local big box store parking lot in an urban area. At the time of her rescue she was pregnant and had a foal by her side. With the help of a “village” of volunteers Luna’s young foal was adopted and a local rescue group provided veterinary care for the underfed mother-to-be. When her baby Little Rock was born she was unable to stand on her own and had to have all four legs splinted until she had the strength to hold herself up. With the love and determination of many volunteers both mother and daughter survived and thrived. They were welcomed into our program in the spring of 2016. Their compelling story and gentle dispositions help to engage the children who visit them at the farm and give them hope for the future.

Wilbur and Van Gogh

pig4Wilbur and Van Gogh, two Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs, couldn’t have more different life stories prior to coming to our farm. Wilbur was a very well cared for pig on a small farm nearby; he was the apple of his owner’s eye. However with a growing family and housing constraints forcing the family to move into the city, they needed to secure a safe and special home for their companion pig. We fit the bill; we like Wilbur and Wilbur likes us and the children LOVE Wilbur.

pig2Van Gogh on the other hand was a rescue pig taken from the property of a dog hoarder. His ears had been chewed off by the dogs. We don’t know all of the details but Van Gogh can still hear and he is very social considering his past trauma. Van Gogh reminds us about resilience and hope for a better future.

A favorite with the children is when they grunt and groan and roll in the mud, these two over-sized and poorly bred pigs provide a good lesson in responsible breeding.

Barney

barneyBarney is the farm cat, and a favorite of many children that visit. Barney sauntered onto the property in 2004 and never left. We tried to locate his owners but no one came forward. He soon began to sleep in the barn and has since become a fixture of the program. He is a typically independent cat, and will solicit attention only when he deems you worthy. Many have spent a rainy day at the farm with Barney snuggled warmly in their laps.

Our Hens

chicken3Our flock of 30 hens is a mixture of breeds. Some of the chickens were rescued from factory farms where their conditions were deplorable. Others were rescued from the streets and still others from people who could no longer care for them. The children at the Farm love to care for the hens, gather their eggs, and feed them greens from the garden. The hens lay eggs in a variety of colors and the children learn that no matter what color the eggs are on the outside, they are all the same on the inside. A favorite morning snack for the pre-schoolers visiting the Farm is hard-boiled or scrambled eggs. The teens favor deviled eggs.