A Story of Healing / A Message of Hope

This is an old photo with two animals who are now in spirit. Cassie, border collie mix, and cat Buster taught us so much. At the time of the photo, Cassie had just arrived here with us. She was heavily traumatized and timid of everything in life. She had huddled on a dog bed near our desks when Buster walked in and approached her. He sensed her fear and anxiety about literally everything in life. What he did next will be engraved in my heart forever and I captured it in this photo. It is timely for what we are all going through now in this world. I want to share this with all of you.

Life sometimes gets overwhelming. It is easy to feel so insecure or unsure that we just want to hunker down and make the world go away. But it doesn’t. Times like those, and like many of us are experiencing now, are made easier by the kindness and compassion of another. This moment between Cassie and Buster became a pivotal turn-around moment for both of them and for us humans who got to witness this. As Buster lay down beside her, it brought Cassie great comfort. He told her, “Just rest. I’m here with you. You’ve got this. You’re safe. It’s all ok.” And as he snuggled up next to her, she gently rested her head across his back, took a huge breath, and relaxed. He reached out to her in the exact way that she needed. A kindred spirit who understood the fear she was going through because he had come through that himself earlier in his life. His act of kindness helped to change the course of her life. And Cassie then became the caretaker and compassionate heart to many more animals who came after her. She left that legacy behind when she left her body years later.

I am writing this now, as we in New York State are in quarantine. Many of you out there face the same thing or may be facing it soon. It leaves many questions and uncertainties. How will we get through this? How long will this go on? Will we be ok? Will we recover?

We have followers on our Facebook page and website from all over the world. ALL of us are facing the same thing. We are all in this together.

We have an opportunity now to face this together, with strength and compassion and concern and respect for one another. If a once cast out, abused and abandoned cat can reach out with love and compassion for a dog who had given up on life – we humans can put our differences aside and be there for one another too.

We will get through this. We will come out the other side. We will heal. We will be better than we ever were before. Because we will discover that indeed the only way we can do this – is together. Together, we can change the world.

Let’s follow the example of how the animals live. Let’s be the people they think we are. Let’s be there for one another and let’s get through this together. Kindness. Compassion. Love.

It is how we make it through.

Dawn

Animal Message for the Day: Bayberry

From Bayberry: “Life can be amazing and it can also sometimes be pretty scary. I have had many scary times in my life. I’ve ended up in some pretty bad places. The worst one was when my friends and I had no food. What was even worse was when we were suddenly left alone and abandoned. It was when all looked hopeless that something amazing happened. Help arrived. So many times it can seem like there are troubles that are insurmountable. But what got me through was knowing my friends were there too. I am understanding that humans are really scared right now. Here is what I can tell you. You are not alone. We are here with you. And, you have each other. When all hearts focus on a common goal, miracles are born in an instant. Trust me, I know this for fact. Some people have thought I’m a crazy horse. But in truth, I’m a horse who has known miracles and I am a joyful horse. I came through a great darkness. You can too. I just know it!”

 

In an effort to help us all through the stress, fear, and challenges lately, we are posting an animal message a day through the end of March. (All messages through animal communicator/co-founder Dawn Hayman) The animals were each asked: What do you feel appreciation for in your life?

Animal Message of the Day: Rex

From Rex: “I live every moment trying to make people understand how wonderful they are in this world and how happy I am to spend a moment or two with them. I love people. I love learning everything about them. And if they are having a down moment or feeling less than wonderful about themselves, then I’m on that too. No one escapes my plan to make them see me. It’s a full-time job. I appreciate every second and every opportunity I am given to make someone feel just a little better. I call it the “Rex principle”. You are welcome to try it. It feels really good.”

 

In an effort to help us all through the stress, fear, and challenges lately, we are posting an animal message a day through the end of March. (All messages through animal communicator/co-founder Dawn Hayman) The animals were each asked: What do you feel appreciation for in your life?

Animal Message of the Day: Noah

From Noah: “Wisdom. I appreciate the process of building wisdom. Kindness. I appreciate the path of growing deeper into kindness. Love. I appreciate the learning about giving love and the power of understanding that the more you give, the more you have. Life. I appreciate the gift of being alive. Sharing. I appreciate the opportunity to share everything I am learning and everything I have to give with others who value what I give them and love me for who I am. With that, I am the most blessed donkey on the planet.”

 

In an effort to help us all through the stress, fear, and challenges lately, we are posting an animal message a day through the end of March. (All messages through animal communicator/co-founder Dawn Hayman) The animals were each asked: What do you feel appreciation for in your life?

Animal Message of the Day: Snowball

From Snowball: “There is so much to appreciate in my life! I am here! I am cute! And I have a body that I just love running around with. I have my pal Clark and he is very smart and helpful to me. We live in a really interesting place. There is so much to explore here. And so much to give. Life is rich with beauty and wonder. I appreciate all of it. Most of all, I appreciate the opportunity to be alive.”

 

 

In an effort to help us all through the stress, fear, and challenges lately, we are posting an animal message a day through the end of March. (All messages through animal communicator/co-founder Dawn Hayman) The animals were each asked: What do you feel appreciation for in your life?

Animal Message of the Day: Sunny

From Sunny: “I appreciate making people laugh. I appreciate making others feel good. I sometimes even appreciate being a little impish with some of the older cats – most especially when they take themselves far too seriously. I like when I can brighten someone’s day. It makes me feel good inside. When I’m nice to others, they are nice to me too. It is what makes each day special. I appreciate sunshine. I appreciate friends. I appreciate my life.”

In an effort to help us all through the stress, fear, and challenges lately, we are posting an animal message a day through the end of March. (All messages through animal communicator/co-founder Dawn Hayman) The animals were each asked: What do you feel appreciation for in your life?

 

Animal Message of the Day: Jose

From Jose: “I have been around for a while. I can’t say that I’ve always managed to appreciate everything around me, because that wouldn’t be true. I’ve had some low times where I let hopelessness take over. But, I found my way out of that. Sometimes it just takes knowing that someone believes in you enough for you to believe in yourself again. I appreciate everyone who has believed in me even when I didn’t. My heart is renewed with hope again. And from that place of hope, there isn’t a thing in my life that I do not appreciate. That is the truth.”

In an effort to help us all through the stress, fear, and challenges lately, we are posting an animal message a day through the end of March. (All messages through animal communicator/co-founder Dawn Hayman) The animals were each asked:

What do you feel appreciation for in your life?

Animal Message of the Day: Beeker

From Beeker: “Let’s see, what do I appreciate? The list is long but I’ll try. Bananas, apples, carrots, lettuce….. Oh, wait, do you mean like the bigger things…. Other than food? Well, I like food a lot so that has to go first. But I like smelling the air first thing in the morning. You can tell a lot about what the day is going to be by how the air smells first thing in the morning. I appreciate the sun. I appreciate my friends. I appreciate the earth. Life is all about enjoying it. Don’t you think?”

 

In an effort to help us all through the stress, fear, and challenges lately, we are posting an animal message a day through the end of March. (All messages through animal communicator/co-founder Dawn Hayman) The animals were each asked: What do you feel appreciation for in your life?

Animal Message of the Day: Hillary

From Hillary:“I am an old woman now. My ears no longer hear the sounds that used to fill my world. My legs no longer are as agile as they once were when they carried me to great heights and leaps. My eyes may not see as clearly as they once did. But, I appreciate every breath that I am still able to take. I appreciate a nice warm blanket. I appreciate the ability to find a beam of sunlight and gloriously bask in the rays. I deeply appreciate when people stop and notice me for who I am and aren’t looking around for who I once was. I appreciate being me and being given the chance to be me. I appreciate every single second of life.”

 

In an effort to help us all through the stress, fear, and challenges lately, we are posting an animal message a day through the end of March. (All messages through animal communicator/co-founder Dawn Hayman) The animals were each asked:What do you feel appreciation for in your life?

Animal Message of the Day: Ginny

From Ginny: “I am grateful to know love and tenderness. I have had moments of pain in my life that were fairly challenging. Yet, what got me through them was the love shown to me by others who were helping me. The gift of love is a most amazing gift. And out of the love others showed to me, I found gratitude not just for them, but for every experience I ever had that brought me to them. Love is powerful. And gratitude is just as powerful too. The world needs love and gratitude. It takes so little each day to stop in wonder at the gifts around us. The sun. The moon. The stars. The grass. The flowers. My friends. This amazing planet we all share. Don’t forget to stop and give thanks. The world needs to know it is loved just as I needed to know that too – and so do all of you.”

 

Note: We will be running these messages until the end of March to help remind us all that there is much to be grateful and appreciative for in this world. There is so much fear right now and we hope these messages can help us all take a collective deep breath and remember that there is so much in this world to be thankful for…. and it’s going to be okay.

Special Message

Special Message:

This is a time of great turmoil for so many. But it is also a time for coming together and to remember the beauty of what life has to offer. Everywhere we turn, there are continual messages about COVID-19. And the level of fear and anxiety keeps ratcheting up higher and higher. Spring Farm CARES has a special statement about COVID-19.

We are taking some very practical steps to see to the continuing care of our animals. Key to that care is the well-being of their caretakers. For the next two weeks we are suspending tours of our facility. We will reassess the situation at that time and act accordingly. However, there is much more to say.

If we have learned anything during this time, it is that our planet is indeed very small in the grand scheme of things and we are all inter-connected in so very many ways. When we are faced with things that are unknown or conflicting, it is human nature (and animals too) to go into survival mode and, for some, great fear and panic. But this fear only makes things worse. Fear cripples us and separates us when we need to feel connected even more than ever. Fear lowers our immunity and creates disharmony with our connection to all of the positive things in our lives. When we are afraid, we forget about all of the joy and love and wonder in the world around us.

Please, join us in taking a few moments each day to breathe deeply from your heart center and think of a person, animal or place that brings you great joy and love. As you breathe, hold that feeling of love and appreciation and gratitude in your heart. Remind your heart and body what that feels like and breathe from that space. Your energy will change. It will help your physical and emotional well-being. It is so simple and so powerful.

In an effort to help us find that beauty and gratitude and appreciation, I am going to post an animal message a day as we usually do during the holiday season each year. I will do this for at least the next two weeks.

We are all connected and in this together. Let’s not forget the strength in love and gratitude and appreciation.

Dawn

Message of the Day – From Dawn Hayman

From Dawn Hayman: Today we stand on the threshold of one year ending and another beginning. We turn the page to a new chapter as we gently break in the binding of our book, remembering the last chapter, and eagerly starting the next to see where our story goes. Today is the start of a new decade, a new year, a new month, and a new day.  The past 34 days we have shared with you some of the messages received from the animals who call this sanctuary home. It never ceases to amaze me how they see life and how they approach things with gratitude and unconditional love. We learn so much from all of them.

My hope is that these messages brought something to your heart as we moved through the holiday season. I am grateful to every one of these animals. And I am grateful to all of you. Many of you have shared with us that you spent time reading these messages daily with your children and families.  Some wrote comments that the messages touched you at a time when you needed to hear that very message. We’ve heard of groups of senior citizens sharing the messages each morning at the start of their day. We heard of more than one family that used the messages at their Thanksgiving and Christmas family dinners. And I know that some of you in the depths of feeling alone, read the messages and felt understood and heard.

All of this has been very humbling. I hope as we now step into this new decade that we remember what the animals have shared and taught us. I hope we remember to look for the light even when we feel at our darkest times. That we remember that no matter how hopeless things seem, they will change, if only we give it the chance. That gratitude can be for the simplest of things and that love is always a guiding light. I hope we remember that kindness has a greater power to make change and bring peace than any other force.

We wish you all the best and hope that you will join us in creating a world filled with kindness. Because this is, after all, our story to write. As we turn the page today, you as the author of your own book, have the ability to change the world.

In the words of my old horse friend and teacher, Deeteza, “Believe in it and it shall be so. It is the natural force of the universe to do so. Just be the you that you are meant to be. No one else can do that but you.”

Happy New Year! Many Blessings!

Animal Message of the Day – Carley

From Carley: “I have learned so much in such a short time. I’m still learning and I suspect I will be learning my whole life. You see, I didn’t start out in such a great place. But the truth is that I knew no other place before that, so I thought that where I was living was how it would be forever for me. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking things will never change. But the biggest thing I have learned is that actually things are always changing. Opportunities are waiting for us in unexpected places and sometimes at unexpected times. Because now, I know a whole different life. My other donkey friends who had started to give up on life are so much happier now that we are here. And I am now aware that the world can be a very beautiful place. I am here to say, never give up on hope. But, you must always remember, that change is not easy but if you want to see something different in your life, then change is what gets you there. This is what I have learned so far. I am grateful for every change I have experienced. It has brought me to where I am now and I am forever changed.”

Animal Message of the Day – Belle

From Belle: “I have done this message ritual for many years now. I actually requested to be a part of it again this year. I do not interact much with humans. Actually, that is not totally true. Humans just think that I don’t interact with them because I don’t like them handling me. But I actually am grateful for my human friends. They may not know this but I watch where they are all of the time. I know the running of this farm probably better than anyone. I know when to expect the caretakers to arrive and when they leave. I know when they are late and when they are here but not really totally here, if you know what I mean. I care about them. I have lived a life of my own choosing. I’ve made my own decisions. I’ve interacted in the ways I wanted to. Yet they have never given up on me or shut me out. I would like to let all of them know how much they mean to me. Because, even though I lost the last of my horse herd this year when Viva died, I still have my human family. They’ve never given up on me and for that I will always be grateful.”

Animal Message of the Day – Woodward

From Woodward: “Sometimes gratitude is measured in tiny little steps rather than giant leaps. Life was rather difficult for me as I was outside trying to survive. And then an animal grabbed me and I thought I was going to die. I didn’t. But I couldn’t walk and I was helpless. A human found me and picked me up. I wasn’t used to humans and they were scarier than the animal that attacked me. But they brought me here and that’s when things started to change. Like water droplets, drip by drip, I started to understand a different kind of safety. In order for me to walk again, I needed their help. Sometimes the things we fear the most can offer the greatest healing and gifts. That is what I am learning. I can walk again. And play. And my purrs now represent a whole new level of happiness and understanding. I am grateful to be home.”

Animal Message of the Day – Edith

From Edith: “This is so exciting! I’m squealing with delight! This life is so full of opportunities. I am grateful for participating in all that I can. I had no idea that my life could be this fun and interesting. My mother and my siblings and I are very lucky pigs and we know it. I love to find out about everything around me. Cats, ducks, birds, people, dogs ….. I’ve met all sorts of interesting friends. I always stop and try to see how life is for them. What’s it like to be a cat? What do whiskers feel like? What’s it like to climb up high? I’m not really impressed with how they catch mice but oh well. They don’t understand why I like to roll in my tub either. I delight in learning about everyone. I am grateful for all of my life! I hope you find fun things too. Maybe you can come and visit and see what it’s like to be me!”

Animal Message of the Day – Molly

From Molly: “I am grateful for all of the smells that tell me what kind of day it is and what is happening. When I lost my eyesight, I thought my life was over. But I never could have dreamed how much it helped me to grow. I am grateful for this farm and everyone who creates and maintains this space for me to be safe and free to be who I really am. I can tell what my caretakers are feeding before they even reach my stall. I know what various grasses are in the hay and what variation we may have from the last feeding. I can tell what the weather is by the smell in the air. I can smell sunshine and I can smell rain. And I can feel everything around me. I know when people are happy or when they are sad. I understand so much more in my life now than when I could see. My world is not one of darkness. It is filled with more than I ever knew was there. I think people need to close their eyes more and open their hearts. You would be amazed at what little things you’d find to hold with gratitude.”

Animal Message of the Day – Izzy

From Izzy: “I have done this every year for many years now. I am grateful to have the opportunity to do it again. One can never be too grateful in life. Gratitude can never be over expressed. I am old now. I am retired from the barn that I once was in charge of with my sister Bella. Now I live inside and I help with various projects going on here that are really important. I keep my eye on things always. I would like to make my message this year in honor of all the loved ones who are no longer with us in body but who are always alive in our hearts. Spirit never dies. Love never dies. It is important that we honor and remember that always. I am the keeper of memories. Loved ones are never forgotten. On this farm, the ones who have left are still a part of everything here. I know this for sure because I’ve been here for a long time and I have seen a lot of loved ones leave. But I can still feel all of them here just as I remember them. Let’s be grateful for our memories.”

Animal Message of the Day – Mabel

From Mabel: “I am now and old woman and I have ever so much to be thankful for. One can never overstate the power of love. I have felt it and experienced this myself. Love can pull you through the hardest of times and help you reach for stars that you never thought to be possible. Love needs to be shared and felt and experienced. You cannot measure love but love will help you measure up to everything in your life. The greatest gift I know is the ability and freedom to love. Why do humans make this so complicated? I have an entire herd of donkeys that look up to me for guidance. And each of them also supports me in return. We all come from different backgrounds. We are all different ages. But when we stand together, we are present with one another in a sacred moment. I am grateful for those moments. Allow yourselves to find that in your lives too. You won’t regret it. I promise.”

 

Animal Message of the Day – Flora

From Flora: “I’m not particularly a chatty kind of goat. But I am grateful for friends. I have watched most of my friends die of old age or illness. I never thought I’d be the last one. Sometimes I get lonely and miss them. But then I realize that they are always with me in my thoughts. I am grateful to have known the gift of friendship, even when I miss it, at least I know that it is there inside of me still. And I know one day I will see all my friends again.”

Animal Message of the Day – Henry

From Henry: “At first, I wasn’t sure I wanted to answer this question as I don’t always know what to say or how to say it. I didn’t feel that I’m good enough to answer. But, then I reconsidered after a little encouragement. I am a simple kind of guy. But my life has never been very simple. I tried and tried to make my body conform to the demands people put on me over time. It is not that I was stubborn. I tried my darndest but always seemed to come up short. I am not an athlete. I’m not even all that smart. But the one thing that always got missed on me is that I deeply feel things. No one seemed to notice that. This sanctuary truly has been a blessing to me. It is not just my body that found rest but my soul has found a deeper healing. I may not always be noticed because I’m not the flashiest horse around. But I am learning that it is ok to simply be me. I am grateful to have gotten that opportunity.”

Animal Message of the Day – Olivia

From Olivia: “I am grateful for all I’ve learned. Age has offered me an opportunity to be wiser. I may move a bit slower now but I do so with more purpose. Whereas in my younger years I took any step just to move and didn’t care where that took me, now in my older years I take each step with purpose. I have more of a plan now. Years of learning has given me a more specific map inside myself. I realize now that every moment is one to savor and not to wasted thinking of somewhere I should have been or should not have gone. I took a misstep when I was young and it cost me one of my legs. But, had I not stepped into the trap that I couldn’t see, I wouldn’t have gotten here. And the real trap would have been for me to give up and throw away my life with the leg that I lost. Instead, I got up on the other three and took each step more gracefully and thoughtfully. I am grateful for everything in life. I don’t concentrate on the leg I have missing. I am grateful for the three I have left. They still got me where I was supposed to go and I ended up right where I needed to be.”

Animal Message of the Day – Mary Beth

From Mary Beth: “I am grateful for every single breath I take. I may have been born with challenges but those challenges became incredible opportunities for me. I am surrounded by friends and so much love. I never could have imagined this. My heart is so full each time I greet another day and see the people who I hold close to my heart and all my donkey and horse friends too. And I even have pigs for friends now as well. Life is good. There is never a breath that leaves my body that I take for granted. I have received the greatest gift of all, the gift of being treasured for who I am. I will never forget this.”

Animal Message of the Day – Lucy

From Lucy: “Well, I am grateful to be asked this question! I thought Dawn was going to pass right on by me as she was heading toward those crazy donkeys. Nah, that’s not true. I actually really like the donkeys. When we raise our voices together in song, it is a true masterpiece. I am grateful for so many things. I am after all pretty much in charge of everything here on the farm. I know every coming and going. Every year, we all look back together on the friends we’ve lost and the new friends who have come to join us. It feels like I’ve been a part of the fabric of this farm for 100 years. I can feel the energy beneath my feet. I feel the earth and the water and the air all around me. I almost left my body this year as I got a bit weak, but it was not my time to go. The humans took care of me to get me stronger but honestly it was the energy of this farm that lifted me back up and set me sturdy on these two legs. It is time we are all grateful for the Earth. Her heart beats right along with ours. That is what I wish to be grateful for and I hope you find that too.”