Care for a walk?

By David Dickson

It’s not often you get to see a sheep strolling down the road at the end of a leash. Lambert the sheep, however, has been making such appearances right and left ever since recovering from a surgical procedure not long ago.

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Lambert

Lambert came to Best Friends recently to recover from a skin infection resulting from urine scalding, a problem common in sheep. As it turns out, Lambert needed surgery as part of the treatment plan. The surgery went well, and his skin condition has improved. What he’s needed ever since, though, is exercise. That hasn’t been entirely easy, considering he doesn’t yet want to hang out with other animals in a play area. Lambert thinks he’s a person. "He absolutely loves people," says horse staffer Ronnie Gentry.

Until caregivers can help Lambert to successfully bond with the only other sheep at Best Friends — Sebaastian, who lives with Sara the goat — he’s been staying on his own in the medical recovery area while he gets better. Bottom line, in order to stretch those legs sufficiently, Lambert has to go on outings. Lots and lots of outings.

These days, a visitor to Best Friends might stand a good chance of witnessing Lambert trotting happily up and down side roads and walking trails with caregivers. "It’s not something you see every day," points out horse manager Jen Reid.

One of his regular outings is to visit Sebaastian and Sara, in order to get to know them better from the other side of the fence. Rest assured, this is not his favorite choice of destination. He can’t figure out why caregivers insist on his meeting such animals.

Lambert usually needs to wear a leash on the way out to see Sebaastian and Sara. After the visit, though, he doesn’t need a lead to get back. In fact, he’s earned himself a bit of a nickname regarding those particular trips. On the way out to visit Sara and Sebaastian, he plays the role of mild-mannered Lambert the sheep. On the way back, he’s so excited to be going anywhere else that he transforms into "Lamborghini"! You should see this guy run.

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Lambert on a daily "stroll"

Lambert enjoys his outings immensely. He’s reached a point where he can go off-lead most of the time with the caregivers he trusts. Sometimes all that play drive can make him a handful with his favorite people, however. "You’ve gotta watch out because he might try and head-butt you," adds Ronnie. The friendly head-butt is all part of playtime for him. Because, really, what better way to show somebody you care?

In time, volunteers may be able to take Lambert for walks. Everybody is crossing their fingers that Lambert will be able to get along with Sebaastian and Sara. Even should he settle right in, though, he loves his daily strolls so much that they will certainly continue.

If you’re planning a trip to Best Friends down the road, you might just get a chance to take a sheep for a stroll. If you do, be prepared to pose for picture after picture with passersby. You don’t learn how to perfect a swagger as stylish as Lambert’s without figuring out how to draw attention along the way.

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