1st February 2024
Heidi’s life ended sadly on 31st January 2024. She was almost sixteen years old. We don’t always know the full history of the animals who come to Eden but we are told that for the first twelve years of Heidi’s life, she was tied with a rope, confined to a small area with inadequate shelter and an extremely poor diet. She began to blossom when a couple took her to live with them, where she made friends with chickens and dogs. She came to Eden when their circumstances changed and they could no longer care for her.
When she arrived she had every appearance of a goat who had been used for dairy production. We suspect that at some stage, she was used for breeding.
Despite her tragic and exploitative history, her spirit was irrepressible. She expressed playfulness, curiosity and delight every day of her short life with us. When we brought her grain and treats in the morning, she used to do a dance of excitement. She would almost burst with curiosity when a new resident arrived. It seems such a short time ago that she spent the day with her feet on the gate, crying to get into the new lambs we rescued from Galway.
Heidi first lived with our beautiful goat Walter until he passed away. She had a slightly bumpy ride with Hannah when she arrived last year, Hannah being the more gentle and timid of the two. But within a short time they settled very well. It was heart rending to hear Hannah cry to be with Heidi in the last few days. We had taken Heidi to a barn on her own when she very suddenly stopped eating. We initially suspected cystitis but when she didn’t respond to antibiotics, it became clear that something else was going on. She was interested in food but could only eat very small amounts, no matter what we tried to entice her with. Within a matter of days, she was thin enough for our vet to feel a tumor pressing on her organs, including her bladder.
Despite Heidi’s age, we always thought of her as a very young goat. Heidi was one of the special ones, so our grief will be all the heavier for that. We are thankful for the memories of her child-like antics and affection and for gracing us with her presence for the last two and a half years.