Sweet Lucky Lady, one of the many animals we have rescued from New York City through the years (including Maxine, Goodwin and Autumn), arrived at Farm Sanctuary in 2007 with a deeply-rooted fear of humans. Like many farm animals saved from the city’s live animal markets – places where animals are sold to customers for a few dollars apiece and slaughtered on site – she backed into corners or took refuge among flock mates to get away from people, even those who were bringing her feed. But after being torn from her mother’s side; hauled off to the city where she was yelled at, poked, prodded, and stuck in a pen with other terrorized animals; and pursued through the Bronx after she narrowly escaped slaughter, who could blame her for being scared?
Even so, it seems that time can sometimes heal all wounds, and after more than a year spent getting acquainted with people from a distance, Lucky Lady is not quite so shy anymore. In fact, following caregivers around while they are distributing medications and stealing a quick nose-to-nose nuzzle with her pals is now a daily routine for Lucky. And, where once you needed a telephoto lens to take her photo, you can see from the extreme close-up below that she is always right there to strike a pose when you pull out a camera now. The change has been remarkable, and it is clear when you look at Lucky that she is finally at ease and feels very secure in her new life.
Like most animals who come to Farm Sanctuary, Lucky Lady seems to realize that she is loved and has nothing more to fear. When animals like her can let go and trust again it makes you stop and think about how often we humans choose not to forgive or open ourselves up again to those who commit even minor infractions against us, which are nothing in comparison to what animals like Lucky experience every day. Seeing this incredible sheep’s intense fear replaced with acceptance and love gives me hope that we all have the capacity to heal and forgive if only we can open our hearts to the good in the world.