As many of you know by now, I volunteer once a week at Sasha Farm, an animal rescue haven not far from Ann Arbor. The animals at Sasha have come to the farm via neglect, abuse or abandonment. A couple of weeks ago, however, we had an unusual series of events surrounding a sheep.
About 6 months back, a sheep escaped a farm. She had a tag on her ear so was believed to have come from a farm near Dexter. For many months there were sightings of her in and around Ann Arbor, so much so that a Face Book Fan Page was started for her and her sightings would be posted. This got the General Manager and one of the owners of Sasha Farm thinking, “Hmmm, I could catch her and give her a good home before she’s either hit by a car or starves.” So as Monte and Amanda (trouble shooting daily volunteer) kept their nose to the grindstone on her (or his whereabouts) people started to hear more about the farm. Dorothy, Monte’s wife was in India at the time and due to arrive home in a few days, how great it would be to show Dorothy we got the sheep!
Low and behold the sheep found refuge, food and friendliness at the Art Van store in Ann Arbor, apparently spending her nights curled up in a ball under a heat exhaust vent. The custodian contacted Monte when she had shown up several times and Monte went to the store and built a pen with a gate, telling the custodian to “Shut the gate and call me if the sheep returns.” The sheep returned the very next morning and Monte got the call. He then called me; ace volunteer, and I came out to the Art Van with a camera, ready to document her transfer to Sasha Farm.
She was big, beautiful and beat up; having a gaping wound on her neck, maybe a coyote bite, and loss of a lot of fur in clumps (stress reaction). Monte and John (another volunteer) roped her, got her into the trailer and we headed straight to the vet for diagnosis and then to Sasha Farm, her new “Forever Home.” Her new residence was a nice warm section of the orphan/baby barn with straw on the floor and hay to eat. Ah, heaven!
Three weeks went by and her utters looked big, nipples were descending! Pregnant? Yes! Four days later two baby boys were born to Mata Hari (named for having been elusive for so many months like the spy in WW1). Born late in the night on February 28th, I arrived at the farm Monday, March 1st. How lucky I was to see and hold babies only 10 hours old! How lucky Mata Hari and her little boys are to have a home, all together, as a family, in this day and age and after all she’d been through!
I looked at Monte and said “You saved three lives not one!” and he just smiled. Amanda and Dorothy wanted to name the boys Art and Van and who could disagree with that? Baby boy lambs with names. How often does that happen? Not very it turns out. These lambs, had Mata Hari not escaped, would have the fate of the other many 100’s at the breeding farm she most likely came from; lambs for food. All the other sheep that were impregnated when Mata Hari was are all having their babies too right around this time. They will be fattened up for two to three months and sent to slaughter…for “lamb chops.” I think if anyone saw how cute a baby lamb is they wouldn’t eat lamb chops. They are precious beyond words, especially when they are 10 hours old!
Sasha Farm loves volunteers, visitors and sponsors for their animals! www.sashafarm.org