Do you have a friend that always has your back? If you’re Levi and Avery goats, not only do you have a friend that always has your back but occasionally they’ll even stand on it.

Meeting as motherless babies, Avery and Levi became fast friends and now are family. Over the last year they have closely bonded, snuggling together every night. Even on the nights that Avery decides to sleep in the hay tub (quick access to late night snacks!), Levi is still right beside him on the floor. Avery keeps an eye out for Levi during playtime and Avery comes running to Levi’s side when he calls to him.

Avery and Levi playing with other goats

Goats form lifelong bonds of friendship and family. Avery and Levi’s life in sanctuary began in Watkins Glen where they got strong enough to make the move to NJ together. Whenever possible animal family and friends are kept together. Even a trip to the vet usually includes a companion to make things less stressful. Avery and Levi #friendshipgoals!

Levi is a fainting goat so it’s extra sweet that Avery looks out for him. Fainting goats have a recessive genetic condition called myotonia congenital which causes them to stiffen and/or fall over when startled or overly excited. This makes them especially vulnerable to predators and must be frightening for the “fainting” goat who actually remains fully conscious and is just uncontrollably limited in mobility. Thankfully the recovery is fairly quick once no longer startled.

Over the past 6 months, Levi has started to develop arthritis in his frontal carpal joints. He does better on pain management but occasionally hangs back near the barn instead of playing with and grazing with everyone else. If Avery does not follow him into the barn, Levi will call to him from the pasture gate. Without fail, Avery hears his buddy and runs to his side.

Avery, Levi, and friends eating grass

Despite his challenges, Levi’s life is often spent pretending he is invincible, challenging and playing the other goats and sheep. Amazingly, the other animals appear to understand and respect Levi’s helplessness when he faints, giving him time to recover before resuming play. Maybe they just don’t want to answer to Avery. 😉


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