A 9 year old boy who was severely abused and neglected by his parents was living in a Safe Home upon his removal. He endured mistreatment all his life and was very a damaged young child. He was in a formalized treatment program for years with minimal progress towards his healing process. He was introduced to a kid goat that was recently born on the farm. This kids mother was young and abandoned the baby goat because she didn’t have the skills to be a caring, nurturing parent at the time. The young man was asked if he wanted to hold the baby kid goat and with much hesitation, he gave in. He was told that the baby’s mom loved it, but just couldn’t take care of it; and that we could feed it, care for it and love it and it would be OK. Within five minutes of the boy holding and feeding the kid goat, he turned into an innocent nine year old and said: "I know how this goat feels and maybe I will be OK too."
Joe is an 87 year old man who has been in a convalescent home for the past 6 years. He rarely get visitors as his children live out of state. He is very depressed and will not join in on the recreational activities at the facility. He goes days staying in his room and not interacting with anyone. This past summer I brought the farm for a visit to the residents. When I arrived about an hour before the scheduled time to set up, there was an elderly gentleman sitting in his wheel chair all alone looking as though he was waiting for someone. I began setting up and he was totally interested in what I was doing. When I was ready for the residents to start coming outside, I went over and introduced myself. This very engaging man and I had a wonderful conversation. He told me that he was raised on a farm and has wonderful memories of his childhood and his family. During the event he was explaining to all the other residents about each farm animal and even taught me things that I did not know. He became the star during this visit and started to make friends, as his peers were very impressed with his knowledge of farm life. He was the last one to leave as he talked to me during the process of packing up the animals. He asked me if he could give me a hug as this was the best day that he has had in 6 years. When I was getting in my truck to leave a nurse came over to me with tears in her eyes and told me that this man has been secluded his whole time since arriving 6 years ago. This man was Joe. I have followed up with the facility about Joe and they tell me that he is a changed man -- they now call him the social butterfly. They have scheduled me to come again. They can't believe the impact that happened to one wonderful GENTLEMAN.