GOATS GIVE: Baby goats ‘Sonny’ and ‘Ettie’ visiting local nursing homes in the Cedar Valley

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CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (KWWL) – Who said goats only belong on a farm?

One family from Cedar Falls is challenging that standard.

You might remember the story we brought you earlier this summer about Three Pines Farm in Cedar Falls. The Grupp family started combining baby goats and yoga last year. It was an instant hit.

Now, they’re bringing those same goats to nursing homes in the Cedar Valley.

They call the program ‘Goats Give.’

FIELD TRIPS TO NURSING HOMES

The Grupps wanted to visit older Iowans in the Cedar Valley. They’ve found many seniors in the area grew up on farms. When they interact with goats, they’re reminded of happy childhood memories. Their joy is contagious.

“It’s just really so heartwarming to see the connections that can form so instantaneously and the memories it brings back for people, the smiles it brings,” Kara Grupp said. “It’s an incredibly touching thing, and we’re so grateful to be a part of it.”

About two years ago, the Grupp family bought three female goats and one male goat. In June, they welcomed seven baby goats into their family. They’re all Nigerian Dwarf goats, which is a milking breed.

BRINGING SMILES TO EVERY GENERATION

Grupp and her son, Anders, coordinate trips to different retirement communities in the area. They bring two babies, Sonny and Ettie. The goats are a little more than two months old. Grupp said they’re playful, friendly creatures and called them therapeutic for the soul.

After putting harnesses and leashes on the pair, the Grupps load their tiny farm animals into the car and take them to nursing homes. They’ve gone on half a dozen visits this summer, and they don’t plan on stopping any time soon.

“I feel really honored to be a part of people’s lives in this way. The smiles that [the seniors] have when they see the goats and the memories they share with me, it warms my heart like nothing else,” Grupp said.

KWWL visited Bickford Senior Care in Cedar Falls. The goats were cuddling with the seniors and taking naps in their laps. The nursing home director said the residents’ smiles were contagious. Their laughter was heartwarming.

If you’d like the baby goats to visit your retirement community, you can contact the Grupp family: http://www.threepinesfarm.org/

Olivia Schmitt

Olivia Schmitt

Morning Reporter at KWWL
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