There is a sad follow-up to my stories about baby Tonka, the tiny goat that New Moon Farm Goat Rescue was caring for.
Ellen Felsenthall of New Moon had to make the heartbreaking decision to end the little goat's pain.
We followed baby Tonka from the time he came to New Moon through his surgery.
Ellen put her heart and soul into taking care of Tonka, hoping the veterinary care and physical therapy would help him overcome his leg deformities, but she says the little guy just stopped trying.
Here is what she posted to Facebook on Thursday.
Posting with a broken heart. Tonight will be the last night that sweet Tatonka sleeps beside my bed. As hard as it is, I have decided (with the help and full support of my veterinarian and volunteer crew) that it is time to let go. To let Tonka's perfect spirit leave his damaged body, so that he can try again in a body that is whole.
When this little goat came into my life on May 17th, he was just two days old. Born with severe leg deformities, he needed special care that his breeder was not willing to provide. For the past 11 weeks, he has been the center of my world. He has received the best possible care - traditional and alternative therapies, corrective surgeries, pharmaceutical and natural remedies. We have consulted with many vets, from our own Dr. Roger and Dr. Hannah, to doctors at Cornell University and WSU. We have talked with many experienced goat breeders and people who have worked with dogs and horses with similar problems. Tonka has surely been given every chance. He has also been completely surrounded by love and healing energy, from those who saw him daily, and from those who only know him through this page. This little goat never knew anything but love.
The problem is, he has stopped trying. He is very content to be held in a lap, to lie on his belly and scoot around to eat, to nap in the sunshine. He no longer makes an effort to stand, no longer tries to walk forward towards his favorite people or treats, no longer kicks to swim in the pool. Though content, he is not making any progress towards being able to walk without help. His quality of life is just not improving. He has developed pressure sores on his chest and belly, and the scoliosis in his spine has gotten more pronounced. As he gains weight, he will begin to feel pain in his damaged bones and joints. I can't let that happen.
And so tomorrow, Tonka will cross the bridge of light to join Bin Bin and all of the other goats who have touched our lives and passed on. I will miss him more than I can say. I know that we did the right thing in trying to help him live a good life. I know that he has known only happiness and love in his short time here. And I know that he will return to us, in a perfect little goat body that will be able to run and play and leap through the air like a little goat should.
To all who sent love, healing energy, donations for medical expenses and kind words as we worked to help this goat, thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
RIP little Tonka - you will be missed.