Goodbye, Arthur

If you knew him, you loved him. No ifs, ands, or buts. That was Arthur.

ArthurOfficially, our 210-pound goat with the long, velvety ears was a beloved member of the Underfoots, the family of cross-species animals who freely roam the grounds. Unofficially, Arthur was Catskill Animal Sanctuary’s best ambassador and tour guide. Many of our guests have never met farmed animals, so when they arrived it was a little unnerving to see Arthur, far larger than a Great Dane, waiting expectantly for them to exit their car. But always, always, shock turned to joy under the influence of the loving, hilarious goat, who wanted nothing more than attention … and anything edible in one’s purse or pocket.

Stencil and ArthurArthur arrived in 2010 with 21 other goats removed from an animal hoarder. His best friend Stencil, who died this summer, was part of the same herd. One goat died the night the herd arrived when his kidneys ruptured from a horrifying parasite load. Another goat, our beloved Atlas, was permanently disabled due to prolonged neglect. So yes, Arthur knew pain and suffering. But how forgiving he was — how ready to erase the tape and begin anew with the love and opportunity offered him at Catskill Animal Sanctuary.

Arthur and little boy
Arthur loved making new friends.

Arthur thrived as a member of the Underfoot Family. He broke into the kitchen regularly, often accompanied by a small posse, and buried his head in a feed bin. Caught in the act, he moved on to guests’ pockets and purses. Arthur once scored an entire apple pie the size of a cookie sheet. His free-range privileges were temporarily revoked as he suffered, just as a child does, in time-out. Like a mischievous child reluctant to listen to Mom, Arthur was very well acquainted with time-outs.

Arthur was a mischievous, gentle brute whom we loved for his joie de vivre. He was at his happiest on weekends when he was surrounded by people. Some of our friends are content to let tours come to them. But not Arthur, who would join up at the beginning and escort guests throughout their visit. It was as if he was saying, “Welcome to my home. Let me introduce you to my friends. You’ll love them like I do. But first, is that a muffin I smell in your purse?”

So long, friend.

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All Beings Considered, Saying Goodbye

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31 Comments

  1. As I said before, it’s sad when an animal dies, but in a wonderful sanctuary like CAS, it’s also the last chapter of a good story. Animals receive so much more than food & shelter @ CAS. They get plenty of love, & a chance 2 be themselves, even if that means the opportunity for mischief! & when the end arrives, it does so, again w/ love, & w/ dignity. I will miss Arthur…

    1. Hi, Charis–

      Yes…thank you for the acknowledgment. We will miss Arthur, too, but just as it was our privilege to give him the opportunity for a good life — including, as you mention, PLENTY OF MISCHIEF — it is also a privilege, and a responsibility to ensure that an animal’s final moments are in peace and dignity.

  2. I am so sorry to read about Arthur and Franklin. There is nothing harder than saying goodbye to someone you love. At the same time I’ve enjoyed reading about their lives. You’ve written lovely heartfelt tributes. Thanks to you they were rescued, well cared for and lived full lives with a home, family, friends, fun and mischief. If only more people realized the incredibly potential that exists in each and every one of these animals.

    1. Hi, Renay–

      I love your words — especially the “fun and mischief” part. Those two boys SURE DID have their share of both. Thank you.

  3. I am so sorry for your loss. What a rough week this must be for you all. Although our furry and feathered family can never be replaced, we honor them by moving forward and sharing our love with another.

  4. I’m so so sorry to hear about Arthur. I remember him happily escorting the tour groups around the sanctuary. I think Arthur was the favorite of the little boy who was visiting the farmstead at the same time as we were. He will be heartbroken. As we all are. Take care,Kathy . He had so Buchanan love and a wonderful life.

  5. I’m at a loss for words. What a tremendous burden to bear- dear, sweet Stencil, Bobby, Franklin, and Arthur are so etched into my heart. I am grieving for the underfoot family. This must be so painful for you all there.
    Take heart in knowing they transformed lives. My entire family has fond memories of Arthur. He was such an amazing ambassador for love and connection. His soul was so bright and effervescent. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful soul.

    1. Hello, Good Lady–

      Painful indeed. Not the first time we’ve lost a slew of “beloveds” in succession. We’ve gotten good at ushering them on to the next leg of their journey with full and open hearts, reveling in joyful memories, and anticipating who will fill the empty spaces…

  6. Hi I am so sorry to hear about Arthur and Franklin. I loved reading the stories of their lives. I am so thankful they had such good lives because of the Catskill Sanctuary.

  7. Arthur was the most amazing critter I’ve ever met. I was around when Arthur stole that pie, he told me, he was keeping an eye out for the staff’s calorie intake… Throughout the years I have mentioned him to people, he made an impact in my life. I will miss you dearly my toothless furry friend…

    Much Love Always Arthur….

    Gianna

  8. Aww… My heartfelt sympathy upon the loss of your precious, gregarious Arthur. Our dear non-human friends love us in ways that no human can. He has walked across your heart and changed you forever…his lasting gift to you.

  9. Oh no….Stencil and Franklin and now Arthur. I am so sad. I loved meeting all of them last year and Stencil and Arthur were the sweetest hosts and gave me the best hugs. Rest in peace darlings.

    1. Laurie–

      Yes…Stencil and Arthur alone were worth the price of admission!! SUCH love in those two goat packages.

  10. I’m so sorry to hear about Arthur. I remember once being down by the geese and seeing Arthur and Stencil trotting down with their ridiculous gaits. It made me laugh out loud. Thank you for caring for them.

  11. So long, Arthur. Visiting the sanctuary won’t be the same without you. Thank you for opening so many eyes and hearts to the joy and individuality of a farm animal! You will be missed and never forgotten.

  12. I am so sorry to hear of Arthur’s passing. I adored him! He was very much a part of the summer camp when I taught there a few years ago. He and Stencil would follow the children around on all our endeavors. One day, when the children were spending some time making keepsake crafts indoors Arthur and Stencil put their heads in the open window as if to say, “Hey, when are you coming out to play? We are waiting for you!”.

    Arthur was a beautiful soul and will be missed.

    1. LISBET!!

      Hello, good lady. Thanks for sharing your wonderful memory. Sending love to you from Arthur and Stencil’s MANY two and four-legged friends.

  13. Sorry for your lost. Our family is sad to learn of the recent passing of our sanctuary friends. In July, Katelyn proudly decorated the outside of her bedroom door with pictures of summer camp. Arthur’s picture shines bright and holds a special place in our hearts. We’re so happy we had a chance to meet him and Franklin before they moved on. Rest in Peace friends! ?

  14. How sad we are to hear of Arthur’s passing. We only met him once but he left a lasting impression of goaty warmth and mischief. Our thought go to all of you that truly knew him and loved him. He was loved so well.

  15. Well this very interesting being, and I say being because that’s how I perceived him went we met , he wasn’t just any ordinary goat to me and I know there are others that felt the same about Arthur.
    We met the first time I visited the Catskill Animal Sanctuary ,I came there to facilitate and run some energy processes on some horses a few years ago, wasn’t sure which horse or horses I’d be working with
    at that time?
    Well it was Arthur that came to greet me and play the role of a sort of buffer by having my back in a rather uncertain meeting with some of the workers there.
    They didn’t know me or know what I was doing there and it was Arthur who was responsible for creating the space that generated the awareness that allowed me to facilitate with greater ease.
    What he did was pretty cool as he leaned up against me and cut the energy like a knife that got the attention of the workers that said okay he seems to like you let’s see what you can do and they led me to work on Harry the horse.
    I am so grateful to Arthur for having known him and I so enjoyed all my visits to the farm and interactions with him.It was such a joy for me to be in his presence
    and what a presence he had with everyone , people and animals .
    Animals have been my greatest teachers and Arthur was one I’ll never forget.
    Thank You Arthur for Your Conscious Awareness !

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