In May, Brother Wolf rescued a lamb named Duck and he busted our hearts wide open.
A birth defect had left him without his front legs, and even though the deformity certainly challenged him in many ways, it actually saved his life. Click here to read more about where he came from and how he ended up in our care.
Recently, Duck had been accepted into Goats of Anarchy, a sanctuary that specializes in special needs animals, where he would have been able to live out the rest of his life with a herd of friends while receiving the around-the-clock care he needed. Unfortunately, we lost Duck this week while he was being rushed to the emergency veterinarian after he began struggling to breathe. As you can imagine, we are crushed.
Below you’ll find stories by two women who formed deep bonds with Duck during his time with us that show how much of a bright shining light he was in all of our lives.
By Brooke Fornea
This week we lost someone really special.
The first time I met Duck was at a staff meeting about our Compassionate Circle program. Before that, I had seen a few pictures and heard about the rescue of a two-legged lamb who would not have made it even a few hours without around-the-clock bottle feeding. He was calmly sitting in the lap of his foster mom, Sarah, and snacking on sweet grass.
After the meeting, I offered to sit outside with him so we could enjoy the rest of the days sunlight while Sarah returned to work in the Adoption Center. It only took a second of holding him in my arms to fall madly in love.
This beautiful, sweet boy looked up at me with his huge eyes and heart shaped nose and I was hooked. He seemed to have a deep understanding, at only a few weeks old, that I was going through some personal unrest in my life. Just like that, we had formed a bond. Lambs and sheep are amazing sentient beings. They recognize your face, your voice and your smell. Once you are bonded, they don’t forget you. It happens so quickly it takes you by surprise.
Over the next few weeks I carved out time to work on his physical therapy with him. Each time I approached him, he would baa with excitement. I learned to know when he wanted water, when he wanted a rest, and when he was ready to try walking again. We formed a friendship and would enjoy sitting outside together, just being.
He went to a handful of veterinarians, and started physical therapy a few times a week. He got his first wheelchair and volunteers helped him with stretches and walking. At night he often slept in bed with his foster mother. He had become a very spoiled boy and loved every second of it.
Over the course of a few weeks, he started making wonderful progress, he was eating (a lot!), using the bathroom and really pushing hard to walk in his cart. He was growing at an astonishing pace and getting more handsome by the day. As a team, we realized that he needed to be around other farm animals, and have around the clock care for many years to come. We started reaching out to other rescues who were more equipped to provide him everything he needed, and deserved. We were ecstatic when our first pick – Goats of Anarchy- agreed to take him into their care. We had such high hopes, and plans for his future.
On Monday morning I received a call from our President and Founder Denise. I could tell she had been crying from her voice. She let me know that Duck had passed away from a fluke incident in the night. I couldn’t comprehend it. The news was shocking and dropped me to my knees. We got off the phone and I sobbed for my sweet friend — for the life he wasn’t able to live and for all of his siblings who had also lost their lives. The sad truth is, Duck outlived most of his family because of his deformity.
The next phase in our evolution is the Brother Wolf Animal Sanctuary. We will not only be able to help more Dogs and Cats than we do now, but also farm animals like Duck. I wish the Sanctuary was already built so Duck and I could have walked it together, taken breaks under the trees, and played in the stream. All things I had imagined we would do in the future. No matter how many animals we rescue over the next few years, I know Duck will always have a piece of my heart.
Duck was gentle, innocent and pure and I will never forget him.
By Sarah Windle
I have been working in animal rescue for years now and have seen many animals pass away. I believe people think this is something we get accustomed to in our line of work, but it is not. We are constantly losing our best friends and we are heartbroken every time.
Duck was a herd animal — and all of the staff, fosters, volunteers, and supporters of Brother Wolf were his herd. He was content as long as he was around us, and we were all eager to dote on him for every little bit of progress he made.
I am still shocked and confused over Duck’s sudden death, but I feel so fortunate that I got to love on him for his short life. We were completely obsessed with each other, as anyone who came into the adoption center probably witnessed. And I am so glad I got to hold him in my arms as he left this world, as devastating as it was.
HERE ARE 3 EASY WAYS TO HELP ANIMALS LIKE DUCK:
DONATE – Monthly donors help keep us best prepared year-round for animal rescue. With your help, we can continue to save and care for the animals who need us most. Recurring donations provide a consistent, reliable revenue stream, allowing us to focus more resources on our lifesaving programs, and less on fundraising. For our 10 year anniversary, help us grow our circle of compassion by welcoming 1,000 new members! Click here to join the Compassionate Circle today!
VOLUNTEER or FOSTER – Volunteers and fosters are Brother Wolf’s backbone. Do you have an hour to walk dogs or fold laundry? Do you want to learn to trap feral cats with our Community Cat Program? Are you a social butterfly who can help at one of our weekly adoption events? Do you have space in your home and heart for a temporary foster animal? Click here to learn more about volunteering and fostering!
SHARE – Share this story with your friends and family on social media to help spread Brother Wolf’s message of uncompromised compassion.