Goats on the Move to Summer Pasture

Finally! The weather is nice enough to move some of our goats to their summer pasture. It is a sure sign of summer!

Equine Snow Day

After getting over a foot of snow in yesterday’s spring snowstorm, today the horses and donkeys enjoyed going out on a bright sunny day to play.

Clark is Home!

Clark is back at the farm after surgery at Cornell for a urinary blockage. He had quite the ordeal but he is so thrilled to be home.

Thank you to all who sent support, whether in the form of donations, thoughts and prayers or all of the above. It truly is what saved his life.

Thank you!

Winter Break – Lucy and the Ducks enjoy a swim

We are having a few sunny spring like days here in the start of February. Our Large Animal caretakers took 26 year old Lucy Goose and our ducks down to our creek today to enjoy a swim. What a delightful winter oasis for them!

Memorial to Bunny

Memorial – Bunny (Smokin Bunny) – February 2, 2024

Today we said good-bye to Bunny, a Standardbred mare who was just turning 29 years old. Bunny and her companion Mister had only been with us for three months but during that time we got to know and appreciate this beautiful and sometimes complex mare. We took Bunny and Mister into our sanctuary after their owner sadly passed away and their farm was being sold. Both were in their late 20’s with serious leg and foot issues, which was why they were retired from racing and breeding many years ago, and were living in retirement together for almost 20 years.

When Bunny and Mister arrived here, we immediately did a thorough veterinary exam and discovered that Bunny was nearing the end of her life. Her chronic founder had caused serious bone damage over the years and Bunny was very painful. We called in a very special farrier who began working with her and between what he could do and pain medications, Bunny’s life became more comfortable and peaceful. But we knew that we could not turn back the clock for her. Our goal was simply to make life as good for her as we could, until we could no longer do so. And then our promise to her was, when it got to the point where we could no longer keep her comfortable, we’d help set her free. We had hoped to have more time with her, but we kept our promise on the day she let us know she’d had enough.

Animals come into our sanctuary for various reasons. But all of them receive a lifetime commitment of love and care from us. Some stay for many years. Some for months. Some for just days. And even some for just a few hours. Each of them is given the same love and care and treatment regardless of the length of their stay. And each of them is missed dearly when they leave.

Bunny was here for palliative care from day one.  And our wonderful team of caretakers, veterinarians, and farrier all worked in unison to help her be comfortable and peaceful and loved. That was what we could give to her in her final home stretch.

Bunny left this world gently and with dignity, completely surrounded in love. And we know she felt relief to know that her dear companion for so many years, Mister, would not be left alone. Mister diligently watched over his friend both in their old home and here. He’d stand beside her as she rested and would not leave her side for anything – not even food. He was devoted to her. We now switch our focus to helping him through his grief.

Bunny left knowing he’d be ok. And she was heading on out of a body that was no longer able to bring her peace and joy. Go run now girl. We know that spunk inside of you is rearing to go have a good run and a peaceful rest. We were honored to be part of the final leg of your journey.

Forest thanks you!

Animal Message of the Day: Tommy

From Tommy: “Life is a giant playground of so many things to explore and to find. I know as soon as I see the daylight start to peek through the barn windows each morning that there will be things to find in my day that will bring me great joy. I expect that every day and I always find something that brings me joy. And each night, as the barn grows dark, I listen to the sounds of my friends breathing. The horses, the other goats, and even the birds – all of us share in the quiet of the dark. We find comfort in being together. And we enjoy the moment of peace and wonder about what the next day will bring. I am grateful to be alive.”
 
This concludes our animal message a day series for 2023. Thank you all for listening to and sharing with the animals and all of us. We all have so much to be grateful for in life. We sure are grateful for all of you. All the best for the new year ahead! – Dawn

Animal Message of the Day: Shawnee

From Shawnee: “I am so deeply appreciative of the gift of having friends. It is beautiful to share a moment in time with another. It can be just an everyday thing like being out and grazing on my favorite hillside. It can be just a moment when a large bird comes down and lands near us and my friend and I both get startled for a second and then realize we both spooked for no reason. That sounds like it’s nothing, but to share that moment together is sacred. It makes that moment something unique to the two of us – a shared moment that only the two of us can understand. Watch for your everyday shared moments. Because these are the opportunities we have to be grateful in a moment of companionship. It is truly a big deal to be grateful for.”

 

Animal Message of the Day: Hero

From Hero: “What has gotten me through all of my hard times is knowing how much I love to be alive. I’ve had major challenges and could have died, but my will to live is based on my love of living. I believe you can get through anything as long as you can find gratitude in your heart even when it seems like you’ve been handed a bad deal. Sometimes things get hard. Sometimes we feel alone. But these are the times we need to stop and look deep for just one thing that we are grateful for in our lives. It can be a simple as feeling like you are grateful for your next breath. And then take that breath and make it a good one. I am grateful to have this life to live. And I am grateful to be loved. All the other things were just bumps along the way.”

 

Animal Message of the Day: Cashew

From Cashew: “I am grateful to live my life freely. My life wasn’t always like that. I was once confined and unable to get out of a situation that I couldn’t survive in. I am grateful now to have a life that I love. I have everything I need. And I can watch the sun rise each day feeling a sense of wellness and that all is right in my life. I never thought I would find this. I hope you can find joy at just seeing the sun rise. And that you can find comfort at sunset that you have been given the gift of another day. It feels really good!”

 

 

 

 

Animal Message of the Day: Friday

From Friday:  “I just love being a rabbit! I love being agile and to have all of the senses that I do. Everything in life is so full of wondrous smells. I love all the smells in hay. I love my veggies. Green smells so ….well, green. Can you as a human smell colors? I don’t think you can. You don’t know what you are missing. I can smell sunshine and rain. I can smell all the different smells that humans bring in each day. It’s like getting to know so much about the world around me just by smelling. I can get so much information about the world. I can even smell when someone is afraid or if they are bursting with joy. Yes, if I had to pick one thing today that I am most grateful for it is the ability to smell all the things life has to offer.”

 

 

 

Animal Message of the Day: Jacob

From Jacob: “So I’m not sure how to answer this question. I’m not as smart as many of the other cats here. I just know how to live my life. I’m happy. I have a friend who I like to share things with. I like feeling sunshine. I like hearing birds. I like to go out in my catery and find things in the grass. I love purring and making people smile. If I can make someone else feel joy or at least a little happiness then that makes me happy too. It all seems pretty simple to me. I think sometimes people make life more complicated. Just be you. And believe in yourself. Trust your heart. And it would be great if you could all learn to purr. That would be helpful. But for the time being you should be content with a cat to do that for you.”

 

 

Animal Message of the Day: José

From José: “I am grateful to be old. And truly blessed to grow older each day. I’ve seen a lot in life. I’ve known a lot of horses over the years and lost a lot of friends. I never forget them. Being a horse does not offer certainty in relationships. I have made strong bonds with humans and with other horses, only to be moved one day and never see them again. I don’t think people think about that. We horses connect strongly and love deeply. We are not just “your ride” for whatever time you are interested in us for. We honor you. We trust you. And we mourn the losses that we incur. I live my life knowing I have connected with many great souls. I don’t know where they are now. They don’t know where I am either. But we still stay bonded. I have friends here now that I know I will have forever. That brings me great comfort. When we lose someone here, it is because they have moved into spirit. We miss them. But we know they left here loved. And for that, I am forever grateful for the opportunity to grow old.”

The Night Before Christmas Donkey Song

‘Tis the night before Christmas and all through the farm,

All the creatures were tucked in and all safe from harm.

The cats were all nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of catnip danced through their heads.

The horses were wistful and the pigs were all quiet,

They had all just been fed their own special diet.

But the quiet was broken by the creak of the door,

When in walked a human to check them once more.

The nightly last check and refresh of hay,

Is a happy occasion at the end of their day.

So quietly the human made her way all around,

The munching of hay was a wonderful sound.

The peace was so peaceful and the quiet so nice,

When all of a sudden the donkeys thought twice.

With a chorus of bellows they let loose their brays,

And they told their dear human to hurry their way.

Now the truth should be told that they had plenty to eat,

But the donkeys all twirled around while stamping their feet.

The human obeyed them and gave them a snack,

Because the animals were promised there’d be nothing they lack.

Merry Christmas from all of the animals of Spring Farm CARES. Volume up when you watch the video.

 

Animal Message of the Day: Betsy chicken

From Betsy: “I love being a chicken! Let’s see, here are some of my favorite things. I love taking a good dust bath in a big ray of sunshine. Granted, I have to beat my other chicken friends to the really good ones, but if they are big enough patches of sun, then more than one of us can enjoy them at the same time. I am not combative. But I do like to claim my own space. I also love a good meal worm or two. I know, you humans tend to get grossed out by that. But it’s what we chickens eat!My best advice is to savor, savor, savor all the things you love. Life is short no matter how long you live. Enjoy every single second of it. And when life gets tough and knocks you down, just get up, dust yourself off, find a ray of sunshine, and take a good dust bath. You will be filled with gratitude when you do!”

 

 

 

Animal Message of the Day: Clark

From Clark: “Being a goat is a privilege and honor and I do not take that lightly. Life can be a lot of fun. It can also get really heavy too. But being a goat seems to bring other’s joy and I like that. I like it when kids see me and laugh. I love doing goat things and playing and climbing and making goat sounds. I think my question for you all is what do you like about being human? What’s the thing you like most about who you are? I’d love to hear your answers. I don’t think you think about these things much. You seem to be amused by our answers to these questions. But what are your answers? Please share.”

 

 

 

Animal Message of the Day: Piper

From Piper:  “I’ll tell you what I find funny in my life. I’ve never been able to see. Yet I am in no way disabled. I am enabled. If you spend a few minutes with me, you will notice that there is nothing I cannot do. I do everything that the cats with vision do. It’s my super power. I zoom up cat trees. I can balance on small edges. I climb doors. I can even climb up and pull the light string and turn off the light. And in some cases, I can do it faster than most cats who can see. ‘How can he do that!’ the humans proclaim with wonder. I do it because I trust that I can. I can do it because I believe that I can. If your mind knows it can be done, your body will follow, no matter what others perceive your limitations to be. I am grateful for a mind that knows no limitations.”

 

 

Animal Message of the Day: Carley

From Carley: “I am very grateful to be a little donkey. I love being a donkey! My most favorite time of the day is when the sun rises. We watch it come up over the hill and I also know that our human friends will be here soon to feed us. I love watching them arrive for work. Many times, I can tell their moods just by watching them walk. Some of them come here stressed and worried but then they come up with us donkeys and they start to calm down. I also love my voice. I can call out when it is all quiet on the farm and get the donkeys in the other areas of the farm to call back. It is a sound of unity. A sound that all is well. And it brings comfort. I like all of that. It makes being a donkey a really great opportunity to give from my heart. Oh, and don’t let my kindness fool you. I can be feisty too! When you are the smallest little donkey, you sometimes need to be fierce in the eyes of the boy donkeys in particular. Small but mighty….that is me! But also always grateful for the kindness shown to me.”

 

 

 

 

Animal Message of the Day: Alice

From Alice:  “I used to be bullied and picked on because I am different. Life was hard. I couldn’t catch a break at all. I didn’t even care about living anymore. But then, I was found and someone stepped in to help me. I came here to the farm and I found a life that I never knew I could have. I have everything I need in this world. All the food I need. Soft places to sleep. I am warm and dry and comfortable. My legs may be deformed and I may move differently than the other cats. But the thing I am most grateful for in my life is that I am accepted for who I am. I have friends. Human friends. Cat friends. Friends. Here is what I want you to know. If you are feeling pushed out and unwanted. If you feel that you cannot find your way. Please don’t give up. You may not be in the best place now, but that can change. It all can become brighter. Life will not always be a struggle. Just believe that things can get better. I know that is hard. But it is what will change your life. I believe in you.”

Animal Message of the Day: Eloise

From Eloise: “I am most grateful and joyful for the sun. It doesn’t matter to me what season it is. Sunny days hold a joyfulness that permeates my entire body. Even on days when it is too hot, I get to wallow in the mud to keep cooler and still enjoy the sun. The sun is a constant companion that we can trust. If things seem dark and dreary, you can always know that the sun is still there and will shine on you once again. I like knowing that. It is nice.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Animal Message of the Day: Nell

From Nell: “I am so grateful for friendship. This year we had a scare when we almost lost my dear horse friend Ginny. She got really sick very suddenly. It was really scary. The last I saw was her going on to a trailer and then she was gone for more than a week. Our humans here kept telling us updates and that she had a big surgery. We all sent Ginny our love so that she could get better and would know that we were still here for her. I was so excited the day she came back home! And now, several months later, we are back to enjoying life as usual. I will never take that friendship for granted again. I am so grateful for the love and care of a good friend. I think we should all take time to be grateful every single day. It is healing for our own hearts.”

 

 

 

Animal Message of the Day: Woodward

From Woodward: “What I have found to be the most amazing thing in my life is learning to trust. I am blessed with people who were really patient with me. I was born wild. And then when I was still very young, I got attacked by an animal that almost killed me. I fought back hard but was badly injured. I was in so much pain. When people found me, they tried to help but I fought them because I was scared. Eventually I ended up here at the farm and they helped me to heal. With all of this, I started to watch other cats around me who were friendly with humans. They seemed really happy. I was so scared. But I decided to give it a try. Learning to trust was a big effort and it has changed my entire life. I still need people to move slowly at first. But I am so proud of myself when I purr and purr while they pet me. Sometimes we just need to take risks on things that at first seem scary. It was a blessing in my life and I am grateful.”

Animal Message of the Day: Luna

From Luna: “Being a goat is an exquisite honor. There is an art to being a goat. One needs to always be mindful of two things – joy and joyfulness. A goat needs to embody the state of joy. And in doing the duties of a goat, one needs to spread joyfulness to others. It is great to make humans laugh or smile. Being a goat lends itself nicely to that. I love being agile. I love being able to intimidate people when I want to (for sport of course), and I love to get humans to play. I also like the gift of being able to bat my eyes and have humans swarm to bring me treats. But most of all, I am grateful for the humans who care for me. They have worked hard to make my life a good one and I am deeply appreciative of that. I do want them to know that. Even the ones who I tease and chase – I am grateful for all they do. And, I’m grateful to all of you who are listening to the thoughts from a cute little goat like me. I hope you have a good day!”

 

 

Animal Message of the Day: Noah

From Noah: “I am a donkey who likes to take things slowly. That doesn’t mean I’m stubborn, but I just don’t like to rush through life. I choose to savor moments. Life is precious. I’ve lost many friends along the way. I see humans rushing through their day and not even really appreciating things. Sometimes you need to allow yourself a moment to smile. Watch the sun reflecting on the trees and the pretty pattern it makes on the wall. Feel comfort in the warmth of a snuggle with your favorite animal. Allow yourselves to smile – it is one of my favorite traits in humans. Smile. Be human. Appreciate the simple things. That is what I do and I’m grateful to be a donkey. “