The Amazing Story Of How A Goat Saved An Abused Donkey's Life

When Christopher McDougall and his family first moved to Lancaster County they weren't quite animal people.

They didn't even have a pet cat until one showed up at their back door three years later.

But, when a pair of Amish friends suggested that McDougall's lactose-intolerant wife try sheep milk, they ended up starting a flock of their own consisting of goats, dairy sheep and barn cats.

That was up until the day they rescued a sick, neglected donkey named Sherman.

Christopher McDougall / NY Times

After the McDougall family adorned Sherman with the tough-love of hoof trimming and matted-fur shearing, they decided that rest would be the best remedy for the poor donkey--or so they thought.

McDougall kept Sherman on his own for the day, worried about how the other farm animals would interact with a strange new animal. But, as night approached, Sherman's condition didn't improve--so they had nothing to lose.

Hoping that the other animals would be in a hurry and rush right past the traumatized donkey, McDougall brought them all back into the barn.

While the sheep went along with the plan and couldn't be bothered by the stranger, Lawrence the goat did something surprising.

Christopher McDougall / NY Times

Lawrence stopped in his tracks, pivoted toward Sherman, and started sniffing him from head to tail. And then, to McDougall's amazement, instead of joining the other animals inside, he lay down by Sherman's feet.

The next morning, loyal Lawrence was still by Sherman's side, and he even swayed him to eat some hay--which was a huge improvement and vital for the donkey's road to recovery!

And, Lawrence's magic didn't stop there.

A few days later, McDougall strapped a leash to the goat and brought him out to a gravel road. And to his surprise, Sherman quickly followed--shocking, since the donkey had refused to set foot on any hard surface.

Christopher McDougall / NY Times

Now, the goat and donkey duo are best friends and thanks to Lawrence's help--Sherman is a burro-racing star!


It's always great to have a true friend by your side.

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