From Chance

From Chance: “Hey everyone! I am new here! I don’t even know how to do this message thing but I wanted to give it a shot. I have a lot to be grateful for. I love my new home and all of my friends. Companionship is my favorite thing. I like every person. I like every horse. And the goats too. I have a new little friend named Frankie. He is blind. He has no clue what I look like even though I know what he looks like. I was thinking a lot about this. He has to trust that I’ll be kind to him because he can’t see what I’m doing. Yet, he tells me he likes me. That made me feel so good. Because he doesn’t like me because I look handsome. He sees me for how I am on the inside. I am grateful for that. And lots of other things too. It’s easy to be grateful around here. I’m glad to be here.”


From Hillary

From Hillary: “I may be old. I may be deaf. And my vision is not as acute as it once was. But I have a different view of life from where I am. I have traveled a winding road. It has had its ups and downs. It has seen sun and rain. It has known darkness and light. But it is my path and to get where I am now and look back upon the journey, I am grateful to have worn my pawprints into the path and called it my own. I am more tired now. I move a lot slower. But the memories of where I have been all come together as I look back. I am grateful for the journey. I am honored for the friends I’ve met along the way. And I am grateful to see the sunrise every single day. Because I understand every sunrise gives me another pawprint to put on the path of my life. And at the end of the journey, when I look back, I will be blessed with knowing that I made each one of those marks myself. And I will feel joy and comfort and peace.”

From Viva

From Viva: “Every year for more than half my life I have done this message thing. And you know what, it never gets old. I don’t mind each year stopping to tell you what I am most grateful for. I’ve lived on this farm my whole life. I’m the first horse! The kid who started it all. I can look around at what we’ve created here and who we have become with great pride. We worked hard to get here. Sometimes days were really tough. Sometimes things looked really grim. We’ve faced some tough things. And we’ve seen so many miracles. When I started into my adulthood here, I had three friends. The four of us made up our own herd. And now, it’s just me and Belle. Neither of us are particularly the picture of health. Both of us are old. Neither of us have enough teeth left to eat hay. Yet, both of us are grateful for every single day. What more could I have asked for in my life. Nothing. And that is a wonderful thing to say. Each year, if they are honest, my human friends think that this will be my last annual message. And each year, I surprise them and stay a little longer. I don’t live my life thinking this is my last message. I look to the next one. Because it is the only way to live well. I have found that you need to be most grateful when you feel the least grateful. You do that, and you will find your miracles. That is how it works.”



From Merlin

From Merlin: “I see so many people come and go through our facility here. I love to watch the various types of folks who come to say hello. Humans are sort of intriguing to me. There is a sign on my cage that reads, “Please don’t stick your fingers in my cage. I might get scared and bite.” I hate to say this but I then get to see several things about people. Some read the sign out loud and then put their fingers in the cage to see if I’ll bite. Some don’t read the sign and try to get me to talk to them. Some insist that they can prevent me from biting in the first place and set out to “tame” me. And then there are my favorite visitors who come to the cage to learn who I am. They are the ones who I interact with because if you are truly interested in what’s underneath all my feathers, you would never try to put your fingers in to see if I would bite you, and you’d never think to try to fix me. You would just understand who I am.”


From Rhoda

From Rhoda: “Today could be the start of something new. I say that every day when I wake up to a new day. Each day is an opportunity to learn something new, to try something different, and to achieve new goals. Each day I have an opportunity to help someone else and to be kind. I have a chance to forgive someone else’s missteps or ignorance. And I have another opportunity to learn tolerance. That is most true for me when other cats annoy me. Each day, I have a new opportunity to grow more patient and to be more loving. I am grateful for each and every day.”




From Mary Beth

From Mary Beth: “Many people could look at me and just see a crippled little donkey. But they would be missing the most important things about me. They’d be missing the light in my eye that now is there thanks to the love that surrounds me. They’d be missing how I like to nuzzle up with the people who turned my world around and to whom I thank every day for their kindness. They’d be missing the most important thing about me. My body may be twisted and malformed. But my heart is as full and healthy and large as a heart can be. I am the most happy donkey in the world. Because I know what it is like to have had nothing to believe in and suddenly have everything in the world to hold dear. I am grateful for every breath I take and every single beat of my heart.”




From Chipper

From Chipper: “A lot of people probably don’t stop and consider what I have to be grateful for in life. But actually, I think I understand life better than a lot of people! People rush by my pen here as if they are always in a hurry. Well, let me say, that if you all wouldn’t be in such a rush, you might appreciate a lot more things in life. Simple things are usually the most important factors in our lives. Yet, humans, from what I see, always look for something dramatic. You need to stop looking for the screams and start listening to the whispers. Because life is really what is happening in the whispers. And your heart longingly tries to listen to those whispers if only you’d let it.”