Share a Little Love: the Animal Sponsorship Challenge

At our July Farm Tour, we held an animal sponsorship challenge: to try to get every single animal on the farm with a sponsorship from someone special. Thank you so much to those who chose your special guy or gal!  We are posting the unclaimed sponsorships on our Facebook page daily, but you can catch up here to see who still needs a sponsor!

What is a sponsor?

It can be as simple as an honorary stipend given to that animal for his/her feed and care.  You receive a lovely packet with biographical information and photos.  It can also mean establishing a relationship with your animal where you come to visit, bring treats, groom, and have deep and long conversations.

How do I do it?

Very easy!  Visit our sponsorship page and select your special animal – the form will walk you through it.  You can also give a sponsorship as a very special gift.  Questions?  Please email us!

Who will be next!?

Check our Facebook page daily to read stories and anecdotes about the animals available nowhere else!

Who has made their appearance on Facebook?

Laila the goose - sponsored!

Today’s special animal in search of a sponsor is …… Laila the goose.

Laila has been here for so many years now. She was rescued, half starved, from the lake at the Rio in Gaithersburg, MD. She has had three boyfriends over the years who have passed away – 2 of old age and one of a predator attack that was terribly sad. She tried for nearly 10 years to hatch out an egg (one solitary egg), and every year, after about a month, the egg would disappear. This past spring she finally succeeded and produced a beautiful baby named Louise. We are not entirely sure it was her egg – but we aren’t telling her that, and hope you won’t, either. She has been a ferociously protective mom. She’s a sweet goose and never tries to attack car tires or visitors. Her sponsorship is only $25. Would you like to help Laila?

Bob the bunny - sponsored!

Today’s Lonely Guy is Bob the Bunny. Bob was found in a carrier in a park with dogs running around. Someone had attached a note to the carrier “I need a new home.” Well, that was their loss because Bob is a big time cutie.

He’s partnered with Cinnamon the guinea pig and best friend to form the dynamic duo, and they have travelled with me to do outreach and educational programs.

Confession: I used to call him “Bob the Slob” but in recent months he has cleaned up his act, so we won’t mention that to him, OK?

Bob has not had a sponsor take a fancy to him in a long time. His sponsorship is $50.

Maria the cat - sponsored!

Today, Miss Maria Christina the cat is asking for sponsorship. She often gets overlooked, because she is shy and tends to hide when visitors are here. However, she’s very affectionate with those she knows, especially Tigba the dog.

Maria and her sister Evelyn went through kind of a rough patch earlier in the year, and they were fighting every day. It seems like Maria was usually the loser. Whatever it was, they have worked through their problems, however.

Maria is an indoor/outdoor cat. She comes in through the dog door, and sometimes up from the crawl space underneath the bathtub (yes, we need a new bathroom ….). She knows that every night around 6 pm the wet food gets opened up so that is the best time to catch her if you wanted to have a word with her! Her sponsorship is only $50 (and yes, more than one person can sponsor this cutie).

Madison the sheep - sponsored!

Hello, hello, hello, it’s day 4 of “OMG no one sponsored me at the farm tour!” And today’s special fella is Madison the sheep. Yes, he knows he has a girls’ name. But he’s named after the city of Madison which is named after the very venerable James Madison and that is good enough for him!

Madison is a wonderful sheep. He loves getting and giving hugs, and he loves sniffing people’s faces to say hello. He is FOURTEEN YEARS OLD which is very old for a sheep, but he does not act it in the least. He is an active member of the “Greedy Gums Gang” – a group whose business it is to follow humans who are carrying food and pester the heck out of them.

Sadly, over the years, Madison has not had many sponsors at all. He said he is tired of being a wallflower. He is such a goofy guy (at 200+ pounds, he still does the pogo-stick jumping around on all fours like a lamb). He’d love to have some special people come to visit him so he can snort in their faces and steal their cookies. He came here when he was just a baby and here are some rarely seen childhood photos of him! It costs just $75 to sponsor him and this will help with not only all the cookies he loves so dearly, but his much needed hay.

Gruff the sheep - sponsored!

Day 5 of the special animal who was forgotten to be sponsored at our farm tour: Gruff the sheep. I will never forget the first time I saw Gruff. He was just a little lamb (hard to imagine now, as he more resembles a linebacker). He was so darling and had beautiful markings on him, and he was climbing and jumping all over everything. My kind of sheep: gets himself into trouble all the time! The owner said, “Oh, I think he is so ugly. I’m going to send him to the market.” I gasped, thinking, how could you be so blind? This is a smart and beautiful sheep! So …. Gruff came to live here. On the way home in the truck, he cried half the time (missing his mama from whom he’d recently been weaned), and leaned his head on my shoulder the rest. He’s a bit like a woolly bear, and wow, he is hard to shear (e.g. very uncooperative). He also loves to follow anyone around who might have cookies or feed in hand. Like Madison, for some reason he has not been sponsored for a long, long time. But he is SO friendly and would love to have special visitors.

Sullivan the dog - sponsored!

ANNNNDDDD….. It’s day 6, another chance to sponsor one of our amazing animals. Today’s cutie pie is Sullivan the dog. He looks like a black lab, but we think he might also have some Irish Wolfhound in him. One of these days we’d love to get a DNA test done on him!

Sullivan was running loose in Fairfax, not a care in the world, but infested with fleas and other bugaboos so animal control picked him up and got him presentable. And indeed, his handsome face and gentlemanly demeanor caught us hook, line and sinker. Because he is partly bald on his behind, some potential adopters said he was “too ugly” for them to adopt him. Can you imagine!? He was at the Fairfax County Animal Shelter two months before we were lucky enough to find him. And we think he’s gorgeous.

He’s an old guy – probably around 14. He has a little trouble getting up and down sometimes, but otherwise loves to run around on the farm, rub his face all over visitors, and sleep in the comfiest of beds. Sullivan is what I’d call a “sticky dog”. If anyone is looking for me, all they need to do is locate Sully!

He has some very funny habits. When I (or someone he knows) is coming up the driveway, he barks loudly and incessantly until we go right up to him. He does not do the same for burglars. When he runs, his soft ears flap up and down and look sort of like the Flying Nun.

His past is a mystery, but he gets along very well with all the farm animals and persuades all return visitors to the farm to bring him cookies.

Nicknames: Sully, Sully-Van-Man, Silly Sully

You can sponsor this handsome guy for $100. He would love to get visitors all his own, too. www.stargazingfarm.org/animals/sponsor-an-animal/

Senna the alpaca - sponsored!

Our special animal today is Senna the alpaca. Senna is 20 years old – that is quite old for a camelid. She is an especially small alpaca, and she had a heck of a bad time before she came here. She was locked in the basement of a barn and never got to graze outside. The first day she arrived here with her friends, they went running up and down the hills in a happy dance.

She’s so sweet and gentle, and both Marguerite the alpaca and Louisa the llama are always looking out for her. She has been having trouble keeping weight on the past few months, so we’ve been hand-feeding her a special mash full of calories, which she LOVES.

Other things that Senna loves are: rolling in the dust and taking sunbaths, getting sprayed with the water hose when it’s hot out, soft molasses cookies, and being talked to gently. She’s not too much into hugging and kissing – but that’s an alpaca thing, don’t you know.

You can sponsor this sweet, gentle being for $100 here: http://www.stargazingfarm.org/animals/sponsor-an-animal/

Cinnamon the guinea pig - sponsored!

It’s day 8 of our sponsorship challenge – we are hoping to get every animal that special friend who helps pay for their food, bedding and, most importantly, cookies.

Today our special one is …. the incredible, the amazingly cute, the tiniest of tinies … Cinnamon the guinea pig!

Cinnamon came to us from a dear, dear old friend who was going through a painful and difficult life change. We were so glad to be able to help both of them out.

And who knew that a few ounces of a being could have so much personality. Little Cinnamon loves to be held right under your chin and to snuggle. She also loves to have her chin scratched – it will put her into a trance. She also loves to hide in the hay. She and Bob are best friends – it’s an odd combination, but Bob is a small and gentle rabbit and they share their hay together in quiet companionship.

You can sponsor Cinnamon for just $50. This will help pay for her special food, her vitamin C, her litter, and her trips to the vet. http://www.stargazingfarm.org/animals/sponsor-an-animal/

George the goose - STILL LOOKING FOR A SPONSOR!

It’s Day 9 of our animal sponsorship ‘share the love’ campaign and today’s lucky duck, I mean goose, is George.

George came to us with a group of his friends when his owner, who had rescued all of them from very bad circumstances, lost her farm.

George has been a popular guy. Maybe that is because he greets all the incoming vehicles. Sometimes he gets overly friendly with the vehicles. Sometimes he gets overly friendly with their drivers. And, sometimes he just bites them.

George is a guard goose. He has been battling with Louie for over a year now as to who is the top dog in the goose game. Can anyone say testosterone overload? At any rate, George does a good job of protecting the farm from marauding 11 year olds.

He’s a handsome guy, but wow does he eat a lot, so he is in need of a sponsor to help his corn habit.

You can sponsor this son of a gun for only $25 here: http://www.stargazingfarm.org/animals/sponsor-an-animal/

Tigger - sponsored!

Day Ten of our sponsorship drive brings us Tigger the cat! Tigger has not been sponsored in a while and he surely would like someone to consider him as special as we do. He is an extremely beautiful cat, and while his original name “Tigger the Mouser” was a nice thought, he is more of a “Tigger the Napper”.

He came from a large cattle farm where mom WAS a big time mouser and so left him to his own devices. His own devices meant putting a spell on Farmer Anne with his kitten eyes. In a trance, she somehow ended up with him on her lap as she drove home. He’s a big cat and finds the darndest places to nap, too!

You can sponsor this handsome feline for only $50 which means getting a very fine sponsorship package where you can read all about him receive a frameable photo, and you can also come to visit this dandy guy. http://www.stargazingfarm.org/animals/sponsor-an-animal/

Leo and Ernie - sponsored!

Day 11 of ‘share the love and sponsor an animal’ bring us to: Leo and Ernie, the most amiable and wonderful Boer goats you’ll ever come across. These two boyos had a very bad encounter with some German Shepherds and got all torn up (and Ernie lost part of his ear). After a stint in the hospital where they got stitched up, they came here to be safe. At first, they wondered about our big white fluffy dogs and showed some worry, but now they realized that Henry, Nicole and Sam are on their side!

I have to say that although they’ve only been here about 6 weeks, they fit RIGHT IN with all the other goatiness that goes on here. Leo has taken a tour of the house several times, and the inside of the truck holds a magical fascination for them, making unloading groceries a near impossibility (without losing some of those groceries to goats, that is). Leo is a gentle giant, weighing in at probably about 180, and Ernie is a smaller fellow with a special sweetness – but don’t be fooled, he is still a GOAT and will rob your pockets of anything tasty the minute your attention is elsewhere.

You can sponsor both of these guys together for just $75. http://www.stargazingfarm.org/animals/sponsor-an-animal/

Mae West the Rabbit - STILL LOOKING FOR A SPONSOR!

Day 12 of our share the love campaign brings us the lovely, lonely Mae West. Mae was so bonded to her old man friend Juancito that when he passed of old age, she really didn’t know what to do. She does enjoy being petted and groomed, but more than anything in the world, she wants to find another soul mate. “A boy”, she said, “I like boys.”

Mae had been abandoned by her former owner at the Montgomery County animal shelter, where we scooped her up out of harm’s way (they were 100% full and that is not a good thing ….) and brought her to live with and love Juancito. She is still a relatively young rabbit, and while running about and exploring is “OK”, she says, she’d rather have a cuddle buddy. We are currently looking for a male rabbit in need (who is neutered) to introduce her to.

You can sponsor this dear girl for $50 here: http://www.stargazingfarm.org/animals/sponsor-an-animal/

Nicole the Great Pyrenees - sponsored!

Today is Nicole’s day! She is looking for a special sponsor who will love her, her and only her! Nicole is a Great Pyrenees who had escaped from some kind of terrible place along with her friend Henry. They ended up at the shelter and through some amazing good luck, they both came to live at Star Gazing Farm. Nicole LOVES to dance; she does a round about, butt-wiggling, side-to-side four step that is simply inspiring. She’s a fussy eater, hates thunderstorms, doesn’t “do” rain, and loves Huckleberry the sheep. Nicole is extremely sweet, but don’t ever ask her to walk on a leash. 120 pounds of dog and fluff will sink to the ground and refuse to move.
 
Once she escaped from the farm on New Year’s day. I found her at the main road surrounded by cars and dog loving people, and about 5 plates of different kinds of treats that they had offered her – a whole smorgasbord. She was seriously bummed that I told her to go back home. I think the people were bummed that the party was over, too.
 
Nicole has an appointment with the groomer in 2 weeks to take care of her unruly hair, so she is definitely in need of a sponsor, as she doesn’t quite have enough saved up in her piggybank yet for the “hair do”.
 

Marguerite the alpaca - sponsored!

Continuing with our sponsorship ‘share a little love’ campaign, today we are meeting Marguerite. Her original name was something very silly but we gave her the name of a beautiful flower in the hopes that she could be nourished and brought back to life here at this farm. She, Senna, and her mother Delphine (now deceased) were living – if you can call it that – imprisoned in the basement of a dank, old barn. No bedding, but lots of rebar sticking up, concrete floors, and no sunlight. She was only 2 years old at the time, and we are grateful that the lack of vitamin D did not affect her growth at all.

She is a very funny alpaca – if she sees something she is unsure about, she curves her neck down and charges forward like a donkey. She routinely chases Maria the cat for reasons I cannot explain. She will take cookies out of my hand, but, ordinarily, will not stoop to be petted. Marguerite is extremely protective of Senna, so when we are doing shots and hoof trims, she hums and circles and warns us that we’d better not do anything bad to her old Auntie.

I hope that she no longer remembers the horror she lived through in her early life – she has a free and happy life here, where she can run up and down the fields, roll around in the dust, take sun baths, and eat fresh grass whenever she wants.  Would you like to sponsor Marguerite? It’s $100 for a one year sponsorship: http://www.stargazingfarm.org/animals/sponsor-an-animal/

Angel the Jacob Sheep - STILL LOOKING FOR A SPONSOR!

Angel is our girl today! Angel is a beautiful Jacob sheep – sometimes they have four horns, but Angel sports just two. People often mistake her for a goat which she finds hilarious. Angel is petite but full of personality. She was raised in someone’s kitchen and believes she should still live inside the house (and every morning and evening bangs on the back door just to emphasize the point). She came to us because her owner had fallen on hard times and didn’t have enough money to feed her – so Angel was quite skinny when she arrived ….. she does not have that problem anymore!

She truly enjoys going out on the town, and frequently goes to outreach and fundraising events with us where she talks to people about the farm.

She loves Susan, one of our volunteers, and every single time runs after her car down to the gate when Susan is leaving, begging for just one more cookie and head scratch.

You may well meet Angel out and about one of these days! But if you’d like to sponsor her, she would love that and will be glad to hang out with you when you come to visit. Her sponsorship is $75 and can be done right here: http://www.stargazingfarm.org/animals/sponsor-an-animal/

Tigba the Haitian dog - STILL LOOKING FOR A SPONSOR!

Today you are going to get to know Tigba (or Ti-Legba “Ti” means little in Kreyol and Legba is one of the major gods in the Voudoun pantheon). She is Haitian. I found her in the street in Port-au-Prince nearly 14 years ago, a tiny starved creature who could only drag herself by her front legs because she had been run over. I had a meltdown in seeing her condition and the cruel way the people in the streets were trying to get her away from them – but then several amazing things took place that enabled me to bring her back to the states.

She’s now the queen of the castle. At home, she is territorial. She loves kids, she has a special bark and howl for Susan whom she adores, but in general she does not like or trust people she does not know (with the exception of those who bring very specific treats – you’ll have to ask her which ones those are). Out and about, she is Miss Charming so she goes to some of our outreach events. She’s also the bionic dog, having had orthopedic surgery on one back leg (that was completely broken in two) when she was just 2 months old, and then ACL surgery on the other leg a few years ago.

We’ve no idea what breed she is – I call her an “Island Dog” as so many of the dogs in Haiti and other Caribbean islands look like her. She is certainly a street dog at heart – a scrapper, but loyal to the core. She weighs only 40 pounds but dominates the 120 pound farm dogs with one sideways look.

Tigba is a character, a loving companion, and she says that she would never want to go back to city life – she loves the fields and the piles of manure, the muddy streams and the chickens. She is now a bit on the older side so she requires some regular health monitoring but aside from hypothyroidism, she is a pretty tough broad. Would you like to sponsor this little girl? The cost is $100 and can be done easily online here: http://www.stargazingfarm.org/animals/sponsor-an-animal/

You can also read more about dogs in Haiti here: http://language-works.com/Haitidogs/

Brandy the Angus Cow- STILL LOOKING FOR A SPONSOR!

It’s our last day of the sponsorship drive “Share a little love” and our grand finale girl is Brandy. Brandy is a gorgeous Angus cow who was passed from home to home. It’s hard to believe now, but she was starving as a baby and was rescued by a kind lady who also had a sheep named Boo. Brand loved Boo so much. But when she went to her next home, she was separated from Boo; not too long after that Boo died. When Brandy came to Star Gazing Farm she looked as though she’d landed in heaven when she met all the sheep. She likes to eat right beside all the sheep at the trough, so we just call her the “big black sheep”.

Brandy also loves Bullwinkle and is extremely friendly to visitors. It’s amazing how gentle she is, given her extremely large girth. When she wants to play, she just rolls the 800 pound round bales around the farm.

Would you like to sponsor Miss Brandy? http://www.stargazingfarm.org/animals/sponsor-an-animal/

Here are the lucky animals who were sponsored at the tour!

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