Life has not been kind to Bridget, the old gray/red mare.
She spent most of her 23 or so years on a research facility as a "PMU" mare, where she was kept pregnant and her urine harvested for Premarin, the popular hormone replacement therapy for women.
Then Bridget was"rescued" from the New Holland livestock auction in Lancaster County where many like her end up in Canadian slaughter plants.
But after several years she was left in the care of an elderly woman unable to handle the responsibility and last fall slipped out of her pasture and was found wandering the streets. Blind.
The good folks at the Adams County SPCA in Gettysburg took her in. But she clearly wasn't happy and it wasn't apparent why until humane officers went back to the farm and removed two goats who had shared a pasture with her. That's when they realized with her excited neighs that the three were bonded.
I visited Bridget and her seeing eye goats in October and wrote about the happy trio. The next hurdle for the SPCA was:finding someone who could take all three animals.
Enter farm animal rescuer Helga Tacreiter.
I learned that Tacreiter, who runs The Cow Sanctuary near Bridgeton, New Jersey, saw my blog post about Bridget's rescue and the need for a new home for she and her friends and called the shelter. She told me yesterday she was looking for a companion for her elderly blind mare, Remedy. She also hoped to find friends for her goat. Both had recently lost their pasture mates.
"I needed someone who won't push her around and would understandsher situation," said Tacreiter of her 31-year-old mare.
Soon the three friends were packed up in a trailer and hauled to greener pastures in New Jersey.
Now Remedy. who Tacreiter thinks is a standardbred, and Bridget, a draft cross, are fast friends.
"Bridget and Remedy are inseparable," she said. "They eat out of same dish and are always together."
The goats, not so much. Bridget's friends were more interested in hanging around the horses than Tacreiter's goat. But the goat still goes out to visit the group every day.
Tacreiter supports her herd, now totaling 37 (26 cows, five pigs - including an elderly micro pig from the Philadelphia Zoo - two horses and three goats), by selling "cowches" - delightful oversized stuffed animals made for cuddling, and her exquisite "Possum Huts," finely detailed country cottages in miniature.
For Bridget her home among the cows and other farm animals will be forever, says Tacreter.
"She's never going anywhere again," she said.
(Photo/Helga Tacreiter/The Cow Sanctuary)