When you first see Baine, a Nigerian dwarf goat, you’ll notice his adorable fuzzy face, long beard, and floppy ears. His cuteness overshadows the fact that Baine was born unable to use his hind legs, and can’t walk or stand.
It’s not a sad story, though, because Baine is one lucky goat. He found a forever home at the Heartland Farm Sanctuary in Wisconsin, along with his pal, Tyrion, another dwarf goat.
Baine doesn’t live his days in idleness, because he’s busy meeting, greeting, and snuggling. This sanctuary not only takes in homeless farm animals, it provides animal – assisted therapy throuh a program designed to benefit both the animals and youth. Kis with cognitive developmental delays, delinquent behavior, or a difficult home-life spend time with the farm animals, playing, learning about the animals, and having fun.
That’s where the pampering comes in. Part of the experience is to care for the animals, and Baine loves bath time, where he gets to be gently blow-dried while relaxing in the lap of a kind-hearted volunteer. His list of favorite things at the sanctuary include fresh grass and hay, being social with people and fellow animals, and, of course, that lovely blow-dryer.
Being with people comes naturally to a Nigerian dwarf goat, as their personalities are playful, lovable, and sweet-tempered. Despite the fact he can’t run around like the other goats, he still manages to scoot over to visitors to get a hug or a pat.
Nevertheless, Baine can’t thrive on attitude alone. He needs to be carried to the pasture to get fresh air, and there is a continual danger of Baine bloating, a fatal condition that is common when a goat is unable to move around.
Concerned for his health, the sanctuary reached out to the engineering department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A group of freshmen took the challenge, eager to help this friendly little guy. They designed a wheelchair specifically for Baine that would give him a chance to have a more normal life. They got a grade for the project, but the big pay-off was seeing how well it worked.
Dwarf goats have become popular as therapy animals, because their small size and funny antics charm and amuse people. In turn, the goats seem to be equally entertained by people and enjoy their company.
Baine is now living a good life, with plenty of company and attention. His face seems to wear a permanent smile, and he inspires others who are dealing with handicaps with his sunny disposition and positivity. Follow Baine on Instagram here.
WI just sponsored Baine by donating to this amazing Sanctuary and you can too!