The following post is an archive of our GoFundMe campaign which began in 2020.
Today I have sad news to share about something that already happened in December. But since we anticipated the Holiday season to be an already emotional time that we didn’t want to make any harder with somber news and so we decided to hold off till the new year.
But now it’s time to remember MANGO, a very special, overall popular and almost famous member of our goat herd. She’s always been an absolute staff favourite and many of our visitors had the pleasure to enjoy her company when visiting the petting area in the past. Unfortunately, Mango’s life was cut short by illness in December 2020. Mango had so many loyal friends and followers and she had certainly found her place in many hearts. I would like to use this opportunity to say goodbye together and to share her story.
Mango was born here at the farm in February 2012 and she had three siblings to grow up with. The entire litter was known as “Mango, Tango, Zango and Jose”. Mango was the only girl in the bunch and we decided to keep her at the farm to become a future momma goat and pass on her great character.
When Mango was one year old, her life took a drastic change. She was living as a rowdy teenager on our winter farm when one day she ended up with a very serious eye infection. Our vet diagnosed a possible injury to her eye and the first plan of treatment was the administration of eye drops. For Mango this was the start of a very hard time of her life. She had already lost weight and now with the pain in her eye and the stress of getting it treated several times a day, it was hard for her to keep her trust in humans. We tried to make everything as comfortable as possible for her. She was kept separate from the other goats in an area where the light was dim and the surroundings were quiet. After each eye drop treatment she got a slice of carrot as a reward. At least she loved the treats – she always had quite the sweet tooth – and that helped her to preserve a positive and trusting relationship with people.
Unfortunately, time showed that the eye drops didn’t really help and the vet had to perform a surgery to remove the infected eye. The surgery went very well, but Mango had to recover, gain some weight and learn to live with being blind on her left side. We started this process in small steps. After she showed signs of healing well, she got to share her quiet pen with one goat friend who was gentle and they both got special food to regain energy. Mango kept on healing well and her strength and ability to navigate around improved. That’s when they both moved to a stall in the petting area where Mango was slowly ready to meet more goats and people. Mango made great progress, she needed less help and protection from us each day. We always made sure she received lots of positive attention and wasn’t pushed around by the other goats. Mango learned to keep her blind side against the wall so that she could see when someone was coming towards her. Finally she could stand up for herself, didn’t spook anymore and even ran in the goat stampede. Mango had made it back into her herd.
And now Mango showed all of us that she was just getting started: in 2014 she was a mum for the first time, and she raised three boys Kiwi, Guava and Dragon. Right from the beginning we were very impressed with her skills as a mother. Despite being half blind she recognized her kids instantly and always knew where they were. She had her good eye facing out, watching everything and everyone and when she called out her babies would come running. Mango appeared very happy and proud: being a mum really seemed to be her role in life.
In 2016 she had four babies: Peach, Papaya, Bananas and Berry. The three girls stayed at the farm and now Mango is a proud grandmother, too. In 2017 and 2018 Mango had triplets again, the three sisters Bubbles, Blossom and Buttercup in 2017 and the three brother Pumpkin, Kale and Squash in 2018. And each year she mastered her motherhood with great pride and joy.
But even (or rather especially) outstanding mums like Mango need some time off too and they really deserve it. In between her pregnancies she always enjoyed to hang out with her friends and extended family. She spent each seasons here with us at the farm and sucked up all the attention she received from visitors, volunteers and staff.
Then in 2019 Mango’s life took a turn again when to our dismay out vet diagnosed skin cancer. This kind of cancer ruled out drug-based therapy and its location made surgery too risky. But at least the growth was rather minor and the cancer progressed only slowly at first and it didn’t restrict Mango in her normal daily goat life nor did she show any signs of discomfort. Together with our vet we decided to monitor Mango very closely to make sure that we would always do all we could for her to ensure her happy and comfortable life. Mango seemed to do rather well and didn’t show any of the warning signs that our vet had told us to watch out for, until last fall. Then her cancer had become bigger and seemed to grow more aggressively which resulted in several infections. Mango was still eating fine, loved treats and cuddles with goats and humans. We had several more consultations with our vets and for a time we were able to manage her infection with antibiotics and pain medication, but we knew from the beginning that we could not cure the cancer. We could only try to keep her comfortable and we had promised her and us that when our care and medical intervention wouldn’t suffice any more we wouldn’t let her suffer. When that time came it still was a very difficult decision to make and to go though with, but in our opinion we owed it to her. She always was a loving, unobtrusive, gentle, strong and really great goat who deserved to be cared for with all our love and passion and then to go on to goat heaven with dignity and without pain.
There are many things that make Mango very special: It is amazing how well Mango dealt with her first injury and what kind of coping skills she developed during her recovery. Many of our visitors were surprised when they learned that Mango only had one eye because she didn’t seem to be impaired in any way. She had completely mastered her new circumstances. She excelled in her role as mother, she was a great friend to the other goats and even with her progressively worsening cancer she consistently remained strong and true to herself. It makes us proud to see how positive and kind Mango felt towards people, how deep the trust was she reserved for us, especially because we know what she went through. In a way Mango showed us all a great approach to life. She was always strong enough to overcome her obstacles and to make the best out of any situation, but she remained so humble to welcome our help.
Mango has certainly been a very special goat as well as a good friend to many of us – animals and humans – and she will be greatly missed. We were all devastated by her loss and it is with a heavy heart that I’m thinking of her and our time together. But then my memories of her make me smile too, as she has created many unique moments that are with me forever. I would like to invite you to remember her as she was – this at a first glance remarkably unremarkable but truly absolutely awesome goat.
Together we’ll keep her alive in our memories. RIP Mango.
Thank you for taking the time to read this tribute to our Mango and for remembering her together.
Stay well and stay safe,