By Shelby Deering | July 2017

Here at Heartland, we’re still reeling from the passing of our sweet goat, Baine. It’s been a few weeks, and all of Heartland—staff, volunteers, and supporters—continues to work through the grief. Baine was a ray of sunshine in every life he touched, and he will be dearly missed.

We have been overwhelmed with the heartfelt response we’ve experienced from our supporters and fans on social media. Each and every one of you is helping us to get through this challenging time. Many of you have paid tribute to Baine’s legacy through sharing your memories, and we’re honored to include many of them here in this post.

We invite you to reflect on the ways Baine impacted your life, and to also consider making a donation to Baine’s Memorial Fund. We would be incredibly grateful.

Baine, we knew you were beloved, but we didn’t know the extent of your influence on people’s lives until after your passing. Thank you, supporters of Heartland. And thank you, Baine, for your smiles and positively. We will never forget you.

“I remember the first time I met Baine. I went to meet him and scratched his forehead and he butted my hand! I jumped a little because it gave me a start and I also thought I was bothering him and he butted me to push me away. Well, anyone that knows Baine knows that is not the case! I was told he butts you when he wants more scratching and petting. I don’t think I ever got my fill of Baine. I met him soon after my father died. There were not many things that made me feel better, but that little guy brightened my day. His smile made me smile, and just to sit in the grass and stroke him and talk to him was something I looked so forward to every week. I still remember that feeling of the clouds parting and the sun shining through and sitting in the grass with a smiling goat. It’s a gift from Baine that I will never forget! Thank you everyone that filled Baine’s short time here with tender, loving care.” –Lorelei

“I’m a regular volunteer on Thursday mornings. I have many great memories of Baine, but my favorite is giving him a bath with Lucie, another Thursday a.m. volunteer, and using the Hello Kitty cotton candy soap. We giggled a lot about it masking his scent and how Heartland should create a Baine-scented perfume. He was a smelly little guy! I will miss his smell and his smile a lot.” –Cheryl

“I have many memories of Baine. This one is just a few weeks old. It had been determined that Baine was not to have salads for a time as a dietary restriction, so as I watched a fellow volunteer round the gate leading to his stall carrying a salad. It was confirmed by staff he was not supposed to have this salad, but in the spirit of civility and compromise, the salad was delivered to him as he rested in his new elevated bed. This bed was strung with a plastic netting material, so it acted as a hammock of sorts. When I approached his stall, he was literally swinging back and forth as a result of his tossing his head from side to side as high as he could, thus creating momentum, which to my eyes looked like pure joy. And of course, the reason for his joy—the beautiful forbidden salad. It was miraculously being eaten as he dipped his mouth into the mixture at the split second his head passed in front of the bowl in the middle of each head toss. I was amazed at the ability he displayed, and so happy the unapproved salad had found its way to this now very happy little goat. It really was an honor to witness his lust for life. Another memory I have is a simple yet profound one. On several occasions, I was entrusted with bathing Baine. I’ll admit, I wasn’t comfortable doing it, only because I was nervous about not getting it right. It was an important job, as both his comfort and his health could be impacted if I got it wrong. So, I did my best. Many times as I focused on the process of bathing, I would happen to glance up to see him looking directly into my eyes unflinchingly. And for a moment, there seemed to be a connection. He seemed to have full confidence in me, even if I did not have it in myself. I got the sense that he developed such trust in me because all of those who came before me instilled that trust through the compassionate care they provide him. These, in addition to many more memories, I count myself lucky to have. He was a friend of mine, and I will never ever forget him.” –David

“His face, his smile…seeing him live his life to the fullest.” –Theresa

“I have so many memories of the little guy, but my favorite memories I have of him would be when I would introduce people to him, and the sheer excitement and bonding people would have with him. It really showed just how special he was, and how he could touch anyone’s life in so many different ways.” –Lyndsey

“I feel very lucky to have known this little guy. And what stands out to me is the quality of life he enjoyed, in spite of his severe disability, because of the wonderful care you all provided. Overall, the story of Baine is a very happy one, and I hope he is resting in peace in the great farm sanctuary in the great beyond.” –Jack

“My daughter, Emma, is absolutely devastated Baine is gone. She fell in love with him last summer at camp.” –Mya

“Thank you, Baine, for keeping me warm while I held you during your bath last winter. You are special!” –Emily

“He was a sweet kind soul. I will miss snuggling him during his bath and sneaking him extra hay. He was positive and happy. I will remember him that way.” –Mary

“The first time I was blessed to have met Baine was December, 14, 2012—the day Baine was born. We knew from the beginning he was a special boy, but never could have guessed that he would touch the lives of thousands. He will always be loved and greatly missed.” –Phoenix

“I never met him, but I followed every single post about him. What touched me the most is how HAPPY he seemed. Despite his infirmities, there was a look of contentment and joy on his face.” –Denise

“I’m sure there are many more memories just over the line in my subconscious, but what first came to mind is how his back left leg would go straight up in the air when his neck was scratched in just the right spot. I noticed it right away when he came and it continued, though not as frequently as time went on. A few months ago, I was scratching his neck (something he NEVER refused) and it happened. I was really lucky to have my phone to capture it on video. I also remember how hopeful and excited Baine got about treats. He wasn’t supposed to get many because we didn’t want him to put on too much weight to further limit his mobility, but he asked for them all the time. He would vocally beg and he’d also beg with his eyes and by sticking his neck out, searching. The only treats I felt okay to give him without permission were little tiny, immature green beans. And he LOVED them. When campers picked beans, they always picked ones that weren’t quite ready, so I always brought him the baby beans.” –Stephanie W.

“He was such an inspiring being. A real lesson in life on what is important. I know it hurts so much that he isn’t here anymore.” –Rosalinda

“I got to meet him at a barn tour last summer. He had just been let outside for breakfast, and well—he was a little possessive of his grass! Little head butts left and right. Later on, I got the chance to go back and take a pic with him, and I was so beyond excited. Totally a celebrity in my mind.” –Nicole

“When we were regulars at the farm volunteering a few years ago, my son Aaron, who was three at the time, would love to feed Baine and make sure he could reach his water. He would also like to sit near him outside. He was such a sweet little guy, and will be missed.” –Amy

“I got to meet Baine only once, but I fell in love with him and the amazing care and love he (and all the animals) got from Heartland. It inspired me to be a regular donor, to try to do a little bit to help out. To me, Baine embodies the importance of compassion. Loving without judgement and doing what we can to help others, and the amazing reward of doing so. I hope the folks at Heartland are able to hold onto knowing the amazing life he had, despite all the odds, and the essential part they played in that, through the sadness of his absence. They gave him a chance, and got his love (and attitude!) in return. What a beautiful deal.” –Briana

Reflecting on her Baine artwork: “We see him every day. So many people ask about this piece of art, and we are always happy to share how we met him and how special he is. Thank you for caring for him.” –Kelly

“My family and I had the privilege of meeting Baine a few months ago, and he was the highlight of our tour. We were told Baine had been a favorite with the staff AND the lady goats, and that made us smile. Rest in peace, sweet boy.” –Stephanie B.

“I only met him once, but will never forget him. He kept going through tremendous odds against him. He was loved by many.” –Abby

“I never have been to Heartland, but I wish I had! What a happy-go-lucky little guy! Going to miss seeing him on social media.” –Erin

“Baine was one in a million. The way he smiled was contagious, and the way he overcame his obstacles through his life just filled my heart. There will be a big empty spot the next time we visit this amazing facility who gave him the best life ever. Thank you, Heartland.” –Julie

  

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