Beautiful, Ferocious Prince
Animal Stories from

FROM Kit Jagoda / River's Wish Sanctuary
October, 2020

The time and thoughtfulness that the veterinarian staff put forth in caring for Prince also extended toward the humans who loved him.

Goat Prince

Prince was a beautiful and fierce little goat whose life was not nearly long enough. In August he spent a week at WSU veterinary hospital where he received rumen transfaunations, IV fluids, ultrasounds, blood work, x-rays, necessary medications and everything they could possibly do for him. He improved and we brought him home, but he never really bounced back to his old self.

I took Prince back to WSU in September, where he received further treatment, including a CT scan, blood work, IV fluids, ultrasounds and necessary medications. In spite of all the veterinary care and all the love and attention, his little body was failing. The vets could not identify the cause and there was nothing that could be done.

The day after Precious grew her angel wings I drove back to WSU after school. The two veterinarians and student intern sat with me for a long time. We had already discussed everything on the phone, but I hoped to hear some new revelation that would cure Prince and make him well and whole.

In the processing of grief, I denied that it was really that serious, I bartered internally and called our volunteer who had been very close to him since he had arrived a few years ago. I was an emotional mess and I needed others to know how serious his condition was in spite of doing everything we could. We listened to Dr. Sexton explain everything. We all agreed that the only kind and humane thing to do was to help set our boy free from his fragile and painful body.

I wept as I kissed this sweet, sweet boy goodbye. My heart was broken. Each of our volunteer's hearts were broken. Our hearts were still sad from saying goodbye to Precious, who lived a very long and sweet life. But losing Prince was the kind of break that feels like a knife has been jabbed into your heart. And there's nothing you can do about it.

As I was leaving the vet hospital, the doctor wanted to hug me, but Covid. She and her team were remarkable.

We had them do a necropsy and are awaiting results on that. The vets believe it was some kind of cancer.

Today I received this in the mail. The time and thoughtfulness that the veterinarian staff put forth in caring for Prince also extended toward the humans who loved him.

Irving Townsend

veterinarian letter

We are often asked how can we do this work with so much sadness and eventual loss. I think we can all agree that working in rescue and sanctuary changes us. We experience animals in a much deeper and empathetic way than before we walked this life. It brings us closer to the natural world of life and death to where it becomes us and we become it. It is painful and heartbreaking. It is also magical and very real. Animals ground us like nothing else in this world. Our lives are better because of them and the relationships we experience with them.

Every word on the note sent to us by WSU vet hospital with the quote by Irving Townsend is the absolute truth.

We miss you everyday and will hold you in our hearts forever Little Prince.

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