The Chess Club #AnimalRescue

They remind me of a group of elderly gentlemen playing chess in a park in the city, whiling away the days sitting in the sun and just enjoying each other’s company.


The Dude

Hippo and Pinto





They are our tallest goat residents and our most recent goat arrivals.


This past summer, we took on four 15-year-old goats who, though rescued once when they were very young, now needed to be rescued again.


Their names are Hippo, Pinto, The Dude, and Frosty, and they are an inseparable foursome.


They are also the tallest goats we have ever had on the farm — especially the one named after a horse coat pattern.


Pinto shares a name with another Farm Sanctuary resident, Pinto steer, who lives at our Southern California Shelter.

Some of their names are quite fitting:


Sweet Frosty.

Frosty clearly lost his ears to frostbite (this is likely why he was rescued originally).


The Dude’s name really suits him.

The Dude is the head guy, and seriously — the name is fitting.


Pinto is the tallest goat we’ve ever had at our New York Shelter.

Pinto — his name may be a bit of a stretch, but he is tall — like a pinto pony or horse. He is the tallest member of the group.


Hypo (aka Hippo) and his impressive beard!

Then there is Hypo — he of the confusing names. Hypo was changed to Hippo by caregivers (although, with that beard, I still think his name should be Hipster).


Unfortunately, all four goats arrived with health issues, including internal parasites and heavy lice. And, as is the case with many of the elderly animals we take in, one of them also has something more serious.

Frosty arrived with an inoperable mass on his chest, which is surrounding his trachea, esophagus, and both the jugular veins and carotid arteries in his neck. This is also a very fast-growing tumor, and although it has not started to cause him issues with discomfort, we have to carefully monitor his quality of life.


When it grows too big, he will likely lose the ability to swallow, or start to have more trouble breathing. In either case, that will sadly be the day we will have to say goodbye to our new friend.

And because these boys share such a strong, loving bond and have been together for so long, the lives of Frosty’s friends will also be deeply affected on that sad day. The passings of loved ones are among the many times we witness the sentience of these amazing beings, who experience loss and mourning just as surely as we do.


Hippo, The Dude, and Pinto.

In herds and flocks where animals are stressed or treated cruelly, they are often stoic in the face of death. To act otherwise — to stay with the body of a loved one, or fight to protect a fallen friend — would lead to reprimands, either real or imagined, based on the relationships they have with humans.


For now, Frosty and his friends can frolic in the sunshine, graze on the remaining grasses of autumn, snuggle up in a warm barn together, and know that they are safe and sound, and that when the time comes they will be surrounded by love — unconditional love.

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