by Pam Owen
Greetings to all of the caring, wonderful people of North Grenville. Maddie, the Sheep here, reaching out to thank the many generous people who heard our call for financial help and stepped up to answer that call. Donations are trickling in and, hopefully, they will turn to a flood of donations! The weather is not quite ready to warm up anytime soon, and many of my animal friends here are not blessed with a warm winter coat like I have. Heating, veterinary, food and other costs continue and are a concern all year round. Fundraisers and donations help to keep us warm and comfy.
On a more personal note, I am not just any sheep, I am a Suffolk Sheep! I am a big, strong girl and weigh in around 220 lbs. I have the typical black face and legs that we are known for. Also, I have the most beautiful big brown eyes that are quite adorable (so I’ve been told), and folks can see their reflections in my eyes, if they care to take a long look.
My Suffolk sheepy ancestors can be traced back to the 1700’s in England. Yet my ancient relatives were domesticated around 9,000 years ago in Mesopotamia! Pretty incredible, when one thinks about how long sheep and humans have been together, along with other domestic animals.
It is our instincts that cause us to flock together when we feel threatened. Our ‘fight or flight’ instincts tell us to run when there is even a whiff of mistrust or unusual activity lurking nearby. Another of our traits is that we tend to relax quickly, and generally we have a nice quiet nature. Although we share many common traits within our species, we do have unique personalities. I am well known at the Sanctuary for my curious nature, and am the bravest of my friends here. I am the first to do anything and am usually willing to try new things. I am a quick learner, once I’ve been shown the way. My BFF (best friend forever) is Jenny and, together, we lead everyone else.
When visitors visit the Sanctuary and ask to feed us, they are encouraged to use a special food that all of the animals here can eat. It is fun for the people and a certain treat for us. We also learn to build trust with the people. In the summer, when we have lots of visitors, they love to watch us munching out on the clover, and it is our jobs to help keep the lawns and fields mowed. In the winter, we are sheltered in the nice warm barns that wonderful people like you help to keep heated. If anyone would like to help Big Sky Ranch Animal Sanctuary with any of our costs, PLEASE donate. For more information please go to our website www.bigskyranch.ca.