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Excerpt: "The Lucky Ones" by Jenny Brown

Excerpt: "The Lucky Ones" by Jenny Brown

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Published by wamu885
Excerpted from THE LUCKY ONES by Jenny Brown with Gretchen Primack. Copyright (c) 2012 by Jenny Brown. Reprinted by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc.
Excerpted from THE LUCKY ONES by Jenny Brown with Gretchen Primack. Copyright (c) 2012 by Jenny Brown. Reprinted by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc.

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Published by: wamu885 on Aug 02, 2012
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07/10/2013

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The Cat and the Cripple
R
unning a sanctuary involves many frsts—the frst time a hencaged her whole lie is allowed to stretch her wings, the frsttime a pig tries an apple, the frst time two goats destined to bebest riends meet, and so on. Little Dylan was a frst, too: our frstnewborn. By the time he came to us, I had cared or plenty o  young to ancient arm animals. Trimming pig hooves, vaccinatinggoats, treating bumbleoot on turkeys, administering injectable parasite treatmentsthese were all in a day’s flthy, happy, andsometimes harrowing work. But now there was someone brandnew, literally, at our sanctuary: an anxious cal all o fve daysold, a sweet lil’ Holstein boy with spindly legs, huge brown eyes,and a tongue that could wrap itsel around your whole hand withone lick.Dylan, who we’d named ater the musical god himsel—we werein Woodstock, ater all—had spent the frst our o those fve daystied to a tree on a small dairy arm in Troy, New York. Newborncalves like Dylan are taken rom their mothers quickly, usually
 
The Lucky Ones
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within one to three days. The armer makes his money per gallono milk, so allowing the calves to drink it (never mind that it wasintended or them) is a waste o profts. Instead, armers give thecalves a cheap powdered milk replacer that’s laden with antibiot-ics to keep them rom getting sick rom stress. The girls are movedto another acility away rom the mothers who they will eventuallyreplace in the herd, and the males are sold o very young or meat,usually to veal armers. Dylan was unwillingly waiting or justsuch a armer as he stood tied to that tree. He was lucky, though. A caring couple saw him there, managed to strike a deal with thearmer, and took him home to save his lie. But the next day, eelingoverwhelmed, they called our edgling sanctuary and asked i wecould take him in.Now here he was, stressed and conused but curious—andridiculously cute. Seriously: In the realm o cuteness, ew could behigher on the throne than this little guy. I took a deep breath andlooked at my husband, Doug, who was taking a deep breath, too.Then we knelt down to meet him, his giant pink nose meeting myace. He snied my head and licked my hair, leaving a tendril o slobbery goo.To keep him warm and comy, we decided to set Dylan up in a spacious pen in the pigs’ barn. We laid out heaps o uy strawor him to lie on and hay or him to snack on. Sophie and Pig-Pig,two older motherly sows, came over to check out the new arrivalthrough the boards surrounding his pen, snifng and making their riendly grunts at the baby. It’s no wonder he brought out their mater-nal instinct—hell, he’d have brought out the maternal instinct ina heavyweight boxer.I stared at Dylan and thought about how lucky he was to
 
The Cat and the Cripple
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escape his ate. I he’d been trucked over to the veal arm he wasintended or, he would have been shoved into a narrow stall andchained by the neck. There he would have stayed, day ater day,and would not have stepped out o it again until he was slaugh-tered. In the six months leading up to that day, he would be ed aniron- poor, drug-laced liquid diet in order to create the pale, anemicesh that typifes veal. Such confnement and isolation is misery or any animal, but on top o that he would be suering rom painuldiarrhea caused by stress, bacteria, and anemia. This is the grimate o the veal cal, a by-product o the dairy industry. Tears o relie came to my eyes as I thanked the powers that be or leading him tous. One thing I knew or sure: Dylan would never end up on some-one’s ork.Olivia, a white goat about ten years old, glanced over at thenew baby with her trademark look o total indierence. Every sooten, her long, velvety ears would twitch with interest and her dark eyes would fx on Dylan, but then she’d walk a couple o eetaway and graze a bit, as i to say, “He isn’t
that
interesting. . . .”Olivia was a ellow resident o the pig barn who’d been with usor just a ew weeks. Her owners had abandoned her in a ricketybarn when their house burned down. Her hooves had grown solong they contorted her legs and made walking difcult and painul.She had spent weeks standing around alone, drinking rom a mud puddle and snifng in vain or something to eat. A compassionateneighbor was good enough to provide ood or her and reach out toa wildlie rehabber, who took one look at her and called us.Olivia was our very frst rescued goat, and when she arrived, shewas scared and very on guard. She didn’t want to be touched. Shedbutt me with her horns or snap at my hand i I reached out to her.

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