Sanctuary Groupie: Yoga Animalia Project Blog

Jake: Old Man of the Moon

Yoga Animalia: Caprine - Jake, New Moon Farm Goat Rescue & Sanctuary, Arlington, Washington

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Yoga Animalia: Caprine - Jake

New Moon Farm Goat Rescue & Sanctuary

Arlington, Washington

Jake with sanctuary founder & farm director Ellen Felsenthal

After having met thousands of sanctuary residents from coast to coast, I've come to realize that certain individuals will instigate relationships that stick with me, despite perhaps only meeting them for a brief visit. Rather than think of this as favoritism on my part or theirs, I have come to think of it as no different than the humans with whom I have varying levels of relationship. Certain individuals feel like they have been part of my world for ages.

Jake goat was one such who demanded a level of intimacy from our very first meeting. He struck me as the kind of grandfather some experience: the one whose adventures continue unabated into elder life, unmitigated by concerns about leaving gates unopened or potential treats undiscovered. He was bold in character and in body, with his massive horns and toothy smile. My two visits to New Moon included following and being followed around by Jake, enjoying his company and his elder goat wisdom and moxie.

Jake assisting in the demolition of sanctuary property, aka the best goat scratching area, or rather, anywhere convenient when an itch occurs.

The actual goat scratching device. Apparently good too.

When I first arrived at New Moon, it was Jake who greeted me, despite being in an area where goats were not supposed to be. A gate was no obstacle for him however, as he figured out how to open them. He assumed the critical responsibility of being the greeter goat, and this extended to ensuring my time at the sanctuary was full of goat scratches. Jake was also frequently instrumental in the goat care classes that Ellen leads, and he helped educate so many humans as to the appropriate number of treats to be offered (all of them, obviously), in addition to the details about proper caprine care such as hoof trimming and anatomy and toxic plants.

Dandelion treats since the humans seem to have run out of decent offerings.

When I saw New Moon post about Jake's death, it struck me intensely. Though there was deep sorrow in learning this, he had a long, amazing life, and knowing him fills me with joy, as I know it does the many people with whom he was connected. I am honored to share these images and stories about his life. What also struck me were the beautiful tributes that poured in to the New Moon Facebook post about his death, testament that Jake touched many lives, so much so that a wake was held at one of my favorite restaurants in Seattle, No Bones Beach Club. A powerful figure was Jake in the sanctuary world, and one who will be dearly missed.

Jake's life and his celebration after death reaffirm for me the importance of sanctuary: holding space for connection. And treats, don't forget lots of treats.

The very first image from New Moon I edited, and still my favorite, showcasing his grin and reminding me of traipsing about learning his caprine ways.

Selick: Brother Light

Yoga Animalia: Porcine - Selick, Indraloka Animal Sanctuary, Mehoopany, Pennsylvania

Yoga Animalia: Porcine - Selick, Indraloka Animal Sanctuary, Mehoopany, Pennsylvania

There are some beings that we bond with effortlessly, two souls recognizing one another and lighting up at the contact. Selick was one of those souls at Indraloka Animal Sanctuary that lit me up. Trying to outsmart (and always failing) his explorations and quest for food not his own, sneaking hoof trims and giggling when successful and he yelled at me for the intrusion, helping him shed winter hairs and blackheads like I was searching for gold, enjoying his slow descent to the earth for a belly rub and then the sounds of joy he proffered when the belly rub was especially good - these are moments of light that are now dear memories. 

Muddy adventures

Post Thanksliving Pumpkin Feast...for more than a month!

Post Thanksliving Pumpkin Feast...for more than a month!

The heart attack that took Selick's physical form cannot take these memories, but it did take that brother light. The grief will continue to hurt my heart and wet my eyes, but Selick's zest for life inspires me and all those who knew him. When the heaviness of his absence hits me, I am striving to remember that I am now one of the people whose light needs to shine in memory of this special boy. As I do with so many other lights whose radiance strengthens my own, I will continue to share Selick's story, his love, and his light.

Christmas Day Snuggles

Christmas Day Snuggles

Read on the Indraloka blog the story of how Selick came to sanctuary: the challenges he faced and his personal growth.

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Christmas Greetings from Selick