Meet the Messengers

The Animal Messengers

Isabel and Leopold

Isabel the sheepIsabel
Born about 2001

Died November 13, 2011

Leopold the sheepLeopold
Arrived March 3, 2006
Died April 15, 2006
Though a short stay,
you quickly found your way
into our hearts.

Isabel and Leopold arrived at the Animal Messenger Sanctuary on March 3, 2006. They had been together for about three months and were close friends. Animal Place, the farm animal sanctuary in Vacaville, California, rescued these two from the small pen where they were found when their caretaker died, and brought them to the Animal Messenger Sanctuary. Isabel was five years old and had never been sheared. She was carrying an appalling weight of wool (see the pictures to follow). Until the caretaker got Leopold to keep her company, Isabel had been alone in a small pasture for the years since her sister and mother had died. She would stand in one place all the time, the part of her pasture from where she could see the goats who were in a nearby pen. It is a terrible thing for a sheep to be alone. A sheep can never feel safe or quite right without a flock.

Nothing is known about Leopold's history, not even how old he was. He seemed to be in good health for the 43 days he enjoyed the sanctuary. Like Queenmere, he suddenly died. I was heartbroken both because he didn't get to live in freedom for very long and because he was so special. He would often stand looking at me with the look you see in the picture above, so alert and inquiring. And he and Isabel were so close. They were never apart and ventured out together from their shelter to explore their new world. At first, used to being prisoners, they didn't go far from the safety they felt in that shelter. They met the rest of the flock and had times of interaction, but weren't yet ready to join them before Leopold died.

After Leopold's death, it took Isabel about a week to join the flock fully. At first, she didn't follow them on their journey to the far pasture, but after I showed her a few times where they were, she got that there was a whole world out there that she could safely venture into and a new family that she could be part of. I like to think that in Charlotte and Chloe, Isabel got a new mother and sister, and a friend like Leopold again in her new brother, Wonder. Now Isabel is always with them and no longer retreats to her shelter. Like them, she is out in the fields enjoying radish flowers, lush grass, tasty bush leaves, and other wild treats she never got to eat before. Leopold made Isabel's transition to her new home easier for her. We're so sorry that he didn't get to fully join the flock too. But like Queenmere, he is an Animal Messenger forever, so he is here in spirit.

Isabel's Before Picture Isabel's sheared wool
Isabel and Leopold in their pre-sanctuary home, Isabel wearing 5 years' worth of wool
Isabel's sheared wool with Sparrow the cat providing perspective. The wool weighed at least 60 pounds.

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© 2006, Stephanie Marohn, all rights reserved.