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The Incredible Bond of Rem and Sid!

When the sun sets in Byron, New York, Sid the goat begins his search for Rem the cow. The pair have been best friends for over a decade and sleep together every single night at Mockingbird Farm Sanctuary.

According to Jonell Chudyk, founder and executive director of the sanctuary, the unlikely pair began this ritual out of necessity when they were living in a shelter without adequate protection from the elements. Sid, a senior goat, used Rem as a giant heating pad to keep warm throughout the winter.

But now that they’ve been rescued, the pair still cuddle together to provide each other with a sense of comfort, safety and love.

In 2019, Chudyk was asked by her veterinarian if she would take in a Holstein cow named Sophie and was told that Sophie and a few other animals had been left in a field for about a year.

“The neighbors were trying to take care of them, but it had been over a year and they had decided to reach out to a sanctuary,” Chudyk told The Dodo. “The original owner of the property had fallen on hard times and was forced to move off of the property due to foreclosure … She originally rescued all three (Sophie, Rem and Sid) as babies [from dairy operations] and loved them very much. It was hard for her to leave them, but her circumstance put her in a tough place.”

Chudyk first brought Sophie back to Mockingbird in 2019 and then, after conversations with the neighbors, rescued Rem and Sid the following year.

“It was a BEAUTIFUL reunion,” Chudyk said of Sophie seeing Rem and Sid when they were brought to Mockingbird. “Sid jumped 4 feet in the air when he got here and saw Sophie again.”

Because of the conditions the cows and Sid were living in before their rescue, they needed to be treated for parasites, undergo major hoof trims and have other medical issues like sores addressed by veterinarians. “We immediately started feeding Sid a proper diet for an elderly goat to get weight on him,” Chudyk said. “He was suffering from a copper deficiency as well.”

And now that all of the animals are healthy and happy, they are fully enjoying their golden years.
Rem, who is now 11, is “just like a giant dog,” Chudyk said. “He loves to play and snuggle with his best friend, Sid,” as well as groom him and his fellow cows at the sanctuary.

And Sid, now 15, is “the sweetest, most soulful, gentle and kind goat in the whole entire world,” Chudyk added. “He will walk right up to you and ‘hug’ your leg, hoping to be loved on.” Sid is especially close with Chudyk’s 6-year-old daughter Audrey, who he loves to cuddle with during the day.

Even though Mockingbird is home to an entire herd of goats, Sid lives with Rem and the other cows full-time. He even has his own bedroom within the cow barn, where he can access his feed, hay and water throughout the day without any cow interference.
And when night comes, Sid begins his evening routine. “He patiently waits for the cows to all settle at night and watches Rem intently,” Chudyk said. “The moment Rem lays down, he walks right over to him for their nighttime slumber together. He gets as close as he possibly can, and together they fall asleep. This is especially true in the winter, as Sid stays incredibly warm laying close to Rem. They are never more than 5 feet apart.”
Other activities Rem and Sid like to enjoy together during their “retirement” include strolling the pasture in the summertime, grazing all day, eating fresh veggies and getting brushed. “Sid really enjoys going for walks all over the farm,” Chudyk said. “We walk him where Rem can see him at all times, of course!”
“It’s extremely emotional to think of them and their beautiful bond,” Chudyk added, noting their resilience and ability to trust despite their history with humans is incredibly inspiring. “[And] their bond shows that as long as you’ve got a really good friend in this world, it’s much easier to get through hard times.”
Chudyk is grateful to be able to give them a safe and comfortable home where they never have to wonder if they’re going to be cared for ever again.

“As humans, we can look at Rem and Sid and recognize that species, circumstance or differences have no impact on the capacity to love,” she said. “Kindness, tenderness and connection are really what we all need. Animals form deep relationships. They grieve, care for one another, feel deeply distressed when not together, and deserve the opportunity to form bonds and live peacefully. Don’t we all?”

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