Goodbye, Stencil

Stencil got the leaves!If ever there was an animal who embodied love and joie de vivre, it was Stencil.

Stencil was a brown goat with the long, silken ears characteristic of Nubians. He was rescued with 18 others in 2010. All of them were emaciated and riddled with worms and lice. Stencil’s name came from the huge white spot on his right side that so resembled the shape of the United States that it appeared to be “stencilled” on.

If you knew this goat, you loved him in an instant such was his character. Gentle, soulful, and deeply affectionate, he would run you over in a heartbeat — ears and legs flopping in more directions than seemed possible — to get to dinner or to steal a snack. Just ask the unsuspecting visitor who opened her car door and suddenly had a 200-pound goat climbing over her to snatch her sandwich out of her hand. Comical, yes. Food obsessed, most definitely. But Stencil was also love on four legs, freely offering affection to friends and strangers alike, inserting himself into the middle of tours simply to be among us. That is what we will miss most: his love.

When Stencil fell ill from a noncontagious form of meningitis, we tried mightily to save him. His two-week stay at Cornell included spinal taps, an EKG, and an MRI. How utterly delighted we were when he returned to us. He wasn’t out of the woods we knew, but we were hopeful.

Stencil the goat Yesterday, the abscess that likely caused the meningitis burst, and all hope evaporated. Our comical friend, our loving, soulful teacher was euthanized, his head resting in the lap of a caregiver.

Journey well, dear one. It was a privilege to know you.

We’re tremendously saddened by the loss of Stencil but are determined to honor his memory by rescuing more animals the way he was once rescued. Won’t you please help by making a donation in his memory?




Herd Around The Barn, Saying Goodbye


19 replies on “Goodbye, Stencil”

  1. Kathy S, Kathy K, and the rest of the staff, I’m so sorry to hear of Sencil’s passing. He was such a joy to be with. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful soul with all of us. I trust Stencil has permanently changed so many of our lives in compassionate ways. And opened our hearts to the truth that all of us beings share this journey together.

    1. Kristen–

      Many thanks for your kind words. He did, indeed, touch many lives, mine included. May we all live in a way that honors his infectious joy…

  2. Rest Peacefully Stencil. On my first trip to CAS, you greeted me happily. I am so glad I had the chance to see you this past Sunday to give you some love. My heart goes out to the CAS family. <3 Run free sweet boy

  3. I am so very sorry to hear of Stencil’s death – I loved him dearly! He always came to lean against me when I visited. God bless you, Stencil. I hope that you are happily leaping and eating as many apples and sandwiches as you can get a hold of. We will miss you here but your spirit lives on!

  4. I am so sorry. He was such a love. I’ll miss him terribly when I’m back working in the barns this fall and winter. I’ll fondly remember him warming himself in the sun on the first pleasant days this spring after a long, cold winter. Hope his eternity is spent in sunny places with loving companions.

    1. Thank you, Susan. With as many characters freely giving and receiving love as there are, the barn still does feel a little empty. Love on four legs, that Stencil was…

  5. Such a heavy blow. I only met Stencil this last spring but he left an indelible impression. He will be much missed.

    1. A precious one indeed, Chris. We should all be as pure as he…

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  6. Rest in Peace Stencil. Both Kristen and I are glad we got to meet you back in May, you will be missed, and we greatly enjoyed your company.

    1. So glad you got to meet him, John and Kristen! Little Hermione has mighty big shoes (hooves) to fill…

  7. We at Samaritan Village are so sorry to hear of Stencil’s passing. He was always the first to greet our group and so often would join us in our van for lunch. (he thought all those sandwiches and apples were just for him). For our gang Stencil was usually the first ever encounter with a four footed farm friend and he was the perfect ambassador. His pictures adorn our facility with all the other farm friends that have helped our people gain a deeper understanding of empathy and compassion. He will be truly missed.

    1. Oh, Donna!! How lovely to hear from you. What you’re sharing has been shared by so many, and in this time where WE MISS HIM SO, it is deeply gratifying to see that the special boy who touched us all touched others so deeply as well.

      Will we see you at Shindig?

      Much love from Stencil’s extended family…

  8. I know I speak on behalf of my entire extended family when I express my deep sadness on Stencil’s passing. My wife, her parents, our daughter and I recently visited CAS, and we consider ourselves extremely fortunate to have met him. He was our daughter’s “favorite” companion, and he will be sorely missed. Please give a hug to Arthur from all of us. I’m sure he will feel it as much as us all.

    1. Thanks, Todd. Arthur was truly bereft when Stencil first left for the hospital. While he is slowly adjusting to life without his constant companion, yes…he is struggling. A new goat has recently joined the Underfoot Family–Hermione is her name, and you can see a wonderful video on our Facebook page. We’re hoping she and Arthur become friends, and we suspect they will. We await that joyful day!

  9. He was a very special love. Such a sad loss, as with any, but some have a very special place in our hearts. Much love to you and all CAS staff. X

    1. Hey, Good Lady–

      Thanks. Please come visit anytime. I’m sure there are at least a few dozen here who would LOVE to see you!!

  10. My 12 year old grandson fell in love with Stencil. Stencil followed him throughout our whole visit. He made a very insecure child feel so special. RIP Stencil.

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