It was a snow covered frozen Saturday morning the day Elsa came into the world and as she laid in the snow struggling for her first breath her mother was watching her with sadness.
Elsa’s mom bayed gentle and licked Elsa encouraging her to stand and take her first drink, but Elsa was too weak to stand.
Elsa was the third and smallest kid born to the goat mama and with two healthy kids to manage, her mom didn’t have the time or energy to devote to a small, sickly baby goat.
After a long time of laying in the snow and ice Elsa got very cold, so incredibly cold. Elsa’s breathing was slowing when she felt gentle hands touch her body. They were so warm. Those hands felt like hope, if hope had hands.
Gently those hands lifted Elsa’s body out of the snow and she was wrapped in a blanket. The motion of walking felt strange to Elsa, but she was too weak to fight. She let out a soft bleat that made no sound and the person carrying Elsa smiled in relief.
Elsa was still alive.
Elsa was getting warm when a bottle of milk was brought forward and at first she didn’t know what to do… but when the first drop of warm white milk touched her tongue she began to drink.
It would be several days of feeding and staying warm before Elsa would continue her journey to arrive at BCFS.
She was exactly seven days old when she was carried through the door of the warm farm kitchen to be greeted by Taz and Jackson.
She was small and weak, but managed to drink a few ounces of warmed kid grow formula, as she stood on the kitchen floor.
Elsa was fed a few ounces of formula every two hours for the first forty-eight hours. After being accepted by our pack, Elsa was carried to the couch to have a nap on her new daddy.
The both fell into an exhausted sleep for hours…
By the time Elsa was eight days old we knew she was something fragile and special. She made herself comfortable in the farm kitchen and we noticed that when fed, warm and happy Elsa looked like she was smiling.
Each day that passes we watch as Elsa grows stronger, more adventurous and demanding! Elsa does everything to extremes whether it’s sleeping or playing.
She’s a typical baby in many ways. She plays, eats, poops and sleeps for hours. For the first few days she would only seek us out for food. She would cry when she was hungry and once fed would fall into a sweet milk coma for several hours.
After a week Elsa began to call for us for play and comfort. If she couldn’t find us she would bay loudly and scream until we called out,
“Elsa! We’re over here”
She would then bound over with much vigor. We took her for a short walk and at first she traveled with tentative steps until she saw Jackson zoom by and she couldn’t help but chase him!
Elsa fit right in as another shih tzu! We ran into our neighbour on one of walks and she had to look three times and ask “what breed of dogs is that?” She laughed at herself and was delighted to find herself holding baby Elsa.
The stairs continue to be a deep well of entertainment for Elsa. Whether it’s the stairs to the second floor or the little dog stairs that lead to the window seat, she is delighted.
Elsa doesn’t love the snow or the cold and if we didn’t make her go outside for a potty break I don’t think she’d ever leave the house. Her inevitable transition to the barn will be a slow one to keep this saucy girl happy.
She’s sassy and fun, but sweet. She’s just starting to head butt when she wants something. I’ll be washing bottles (I’m always washing bottles) and she’ll head butt my leg for attention. If that doesn’t work she’ll start nibbling my pants and talking.
We’ve had many wonderful conversations in the kitchen.
It took Elsa a few tries to master the stairs, but she’s brave and strong and really worked those stairs until she could bounce up and down.
See Elsa figuring out the stairs thanks to this video by Silvana our adoption coordinator: Elsa learning stairs
Two days later: Elsa the stair master!
She never gives up even when the going gets tough!
We will continue to bottle feed Elsa with Kid Gro formula until she is three months old. She’s just turned two weeks old and we’ve offered her hay and a bit of grain.
She’s gone so far as to sniff the hay, but still won’t take the first bite! Soon our little Elsa will be strong enough to spend more time outside. Until then she’s happy to spend her nights sleeping in her heated crate and her days exploring the farm kitchen.
Many thanks to those who have come out to feed and play with Elsa… even when she sleeps through the visits.
We look forward to watching this kid grow into a beautiful mama goat. We’ve already seen a noticeable change in her size and confidence.
We look foward to many long nights this winter being entertained by this darling diva. Thank you for joining us on Elsa’s adventure!
Please share Elsa’s story, so we can educate people that farm animals have personality, feelings and emotions.