Carrie became a volunteer animal caretaker in October of 2017. She began volunteering because of her “love and desire to get to know and interact with all varieties of farm animals.” Carrie is a vegan and as a vegan she was already determined to protect animals from cruelty and exploitation. She was disheartened by the way our culture and basically the world disrespects and disregards farm animals, who are living beings who feel pain and many of the same feelings as humans. By becoming a volunteer at the ranch Carrie felt that she could do good and turn that anger and frustration in a positive direction. In volunteering Carrie has found that her convictions as a vegan and fighting for the rights of animals have become stronger. She is committed to being a lifelong advocate for animals of all kinds.
Carrie came to the ranch with little to no firsthand experience. You would never know that today. She is now one of our most trusted and awesome volunteers. She is also a new volunteer trainer. She is an old hand at this farm stuff now.
Carrie told us, “I love all the animals equally, but find a particular bond with the goats as well as the pigs, the sheep, the alpacas and the llama. In addition to being a Dog Mama, I am also a total Goat Lady.” One of her closest friends at the ranch is a sweet, handsome goat named Yager. He comes when she calls him, he loves her hugs and when she brushes him. She likes to call him “Puppy Goat”.
When we asked Carrie what the best parts of volunteering at the ranch is she said, “Interacting with the wonderful animals, all of which have their own unique personalities and preferences. Also, it is heartwarming to be a part of a community that genuinely cares about their well being, enough to come out in all weather conditions, year round, morning and night and do the hard work of making sure they are fed, have fresh water and clean living spaces. It really is an amazing opportunity to share our lives with our animal friends. The reward is far greater than the heavy lifting. Aside from a sanctuary environment, how many people can say one of their best friends is a goat?”
Being a long time volunteer at the ranch, Carrie has had many opportunities for embarrassing moments. Just to name a few; face plants, spilling freezing cold water into her boots, Laverne (a 900 + lb. pig) nudging her knee deep into a mud hole and more. One day in particular stands out for her. She was training two new volunteers. While trying to feed some pigs, she had a bucket of pig pellets, you have to understand our smart goats, know what a bucket means…food! So when they saw the bucket they came rushing from all directions and they have no manners when it comes stealing pig pellets. Petite Carrie ended up on the ground, the pellets and the bucket spilled all over the place and the naughty goats happily eating pig pellets. Carrie feeling defeated sat on the ground with tears in her eyes and the two volunteer trainees looked on mystified and wide eyed, not knowing what to do. Angel, the most intuitive sheep on the ranch came to Carrie’s rescue, giving her compassionate cuddles and support. We’ve all had some embarrassing moments involving the goats… they’re so naughty.
We love hearing about our volunteers’ favorite foods. Carrie told us that her list of favorites is rather long, but for the purpose of this article she shortened it up to; any kind of vegan Mexican food, her husband’s zucchini lasagna (it’s epic!) and comfort breakfast food. She also shared how wonderful it is to have so many more vegan restaurants and grocery options now.
Besides being an amazing volunteer and volunteer trainer, Carrie has a lot going on in her life. She has a very talented and artistic side. She makes and sells some very unique and beautiful jewelry (you can check out her stuff on Instagram, metalheadtreasures_cw). She also enjoys painting and making sculptures. For years she was in a band as the bassist and singer. She is a trained Massage Therapist with an interest in natural healing techniques. She loves spending time with her husband and their amazing dogs. She has many other interests including, camping, gardening, hosting parties with friends and the list goes on, but these are the ones that come to mind to share.
Carrie is truly a unique individual, who gives so much of herself to the animals at the ranch. Her compassion and sensitivity for them is felt and seen each time she is out there caring for them and even when she talks about them to others. She has a true passion and love for the ranch and each individual that calls it home. Being an animal caretaker is a meaningful part of her life and we are so very grateful to have a person like her caring for them making sure they are safe, happy and loved.
Story by Shirley Gallegos, Clementine Ranch Volunteer Coordinator