Memorial to Lizzie – April 14, 2023

Today we sadly said good-bye to Lizzie, a dear soul, who came to us rather lost and lonely but who left surrounded by friends and with lots of love around her.

Lizzie was rather stoic and somewhat withdrawn. She came here in 2019 and in the four years we shared with her, we saw that shell start to crack a bit. When she came here she was depressed, had severe stomach ulcers, and (as we found out in short order) she had untreated Cushing’s Disease as well. We had to start addressing these issues one at a time. At first, Lizzie seemed like a fairly grumpy mare. But most of that was because she just didn’t feel good. As the medications began to make her feel better, and she realized she was being helped, Lizzie began to soften.

Although she was not a fan of being turned out with other horses, she did appreciate her equine family and settled in as part of the herd. She had very serious ligament and joint problems in her lower hind legs that sadly necessitated that she could only go out on flat land. For those of you familiar with Spring Farm CARES, everything here is on a hill. She also could not go out on grass due to her Cushing’s Disease and the threat of foundering. So we built Lizzie her own little paddock behind the barn where she could see all of her friends and still stand or roll out in the sun and fresh air.

Like all of the animals here, Lizzie found her way into people’s hearts and we watched her work magic every so often when she found a heart that needed mending. One day we watched as a young girl came to visit on a tour. Lizzie usually was not interested in participating in tours and letting people pet her. She generally preferred to stand back in her stall and observe. So it was striking on this day when the young girl approached Lizzie’s stall and Lizzie immediately walked over, stuck her head out, and began nuzzling the young girl’s shoulder. This gentle communion between these two hearts and souls lasted about 15 minutes. Those of us who knew Lizzie stood in wonder as we watched how gentle she was with this girl. And we could see that the girl was totally wrapped up in Lizzie’s energy as well. Two hearts melding in a very special moment. Later, we learned that the girl had just suffered a tragic loss in her family and her heart was hurting. Lizzie understood that pain and reached out to let her know she was not alone.

Lizzie was 28 years old. Recently, we discovered that she had a mass in her sinus area which was inoperable. None of us were prepared for how quickly it spread to her lungs. Today, she very rapidly progressed to having respiratory distress and we knew it was time to let her go. We know that Lizzie left us feeling loved and appreciated for who she was. We know she touched many hearts in her time here with us. And we know that Lizzie has now found the peace and rest she so deserves.

Thank you Lizzie for letting us in through the crack in the wall. We felt your heart expand and breathe and you will always be a part of this farm forever. Fly free.

Ginny Homecoming

Last Saturday, our horse Ginny was found with a bad colic. It was determined that she would need surgery or euthanasia. We sent her for surgery where it was determined she had a strangulating lipoma that had entrapped 6 feet of her intestines. Luckily, her intestines were still ok and they were able to remove the lipoma and free her intestines.

One week later, she is home. She has a long recovery ahead but she is doing well. This is a video of her homecoming with her best friend Nell and all of the others in our smaller barn that Ginny calls home.

Donkeys Spring Fling

After spending months in our larger barn and arena area for the winter, the seven mini-donkeys got to go back to their spring/summer/fall location with their small barn and paddocks where they enjoy the good weather together. As you can see, they were very excited. Enjoy!

Animal Message of the Day: Piper

From Piper:  “If you ever meet me in person you will notice one very big thing about me. I never let anything get me down. I was born without eyes, yet I see more profoundly than most others. My world is rich with sounds and smells and sensitivities to everything. I can play with toys. I can run to the top of the cat trees with great agility and accuracy. Nothing can stop me. You might think I’m limited because I can’t see. But it has never once limited me at all. But that kind of thinking limits whoever is thinking it. Please don’t put your limitations on me. I’m free without them. And you’d be free without them too!”




Animal Message of the Day: Nell

From Nell:  “I only have one eye. I am grateful to still have vision in that one eye. However, it is likely that I will eventually go blind. I don’t live my life in fear of what I will no longer be able to see. Instead, I try to take stock in watching everything I can with this one eye and pairing it up with sounds and smells so that I can always remember what this is like. Yesterday, I watched leaves rolling through my pasture in the wind. I could smell them. I could hear them. And I realized it was a joy to watch them and not take them for granted. Each moment in our lives is a gift to be grateful for. No matter if it is big or small, nothing is inconsequential to the whole of life. Nothing. Remember that so that you never forget that.”





Animal Message of the Day: Clark

From Clark: “The thing I really like to do is to make people laugh. Being a goat is a blast. Our bodies are made just right. It gives me great joy to be a goat because it is the way I can be the best me that I can be. I feel I live a life of purpose. I love playing. I love being funny. And I can also be quite serious too. But right now, there is way too much seriousness going on. Maybe the world needs more goats. Or maybe people need to listen to goats more. I’m grateful for every single day I get to be me.”




Animal Message of the Day: Noah

From Noah: “I am most grateful to share friendships with such a variety of wonderful beings. I have donkey friends and horse friends and human friends. Each of them are so unique. No two of them are alike. I love meeting visitors as well. What I have learned is that when I approach them with kindness, then they open up and share their kindness with me. I love that! Every day is an opportunity to learn something new and to be kind. Let’s see what you can do with your opportunities today!”







Animal Message of the Day: Varunie

From Varunie:  “I love life. Life is by itself enough reason to be grateful. But I also love my friends. I prefer doing my own thing most of the time. But I am a part of the bigger world around me by watching and participating in my very own way. From my porch, I see so much of what goes on at the farm. I see more than my human friends really understand. I see and feel the energy of this place. And I ground myself in that. There is peace. There is kindness. There is love. Yet, many of the humans I see just walk right past it and never notice. The funny thing is that they are looking for those very things in their lives. They are looking for peace. Looking for kindness. Looking for love. You humans are not very observant if I may say so. You can be standing right within the very thing you are yearning for and you do not see it. Instead you keep telling yourselves that it is not there. You are missing it. You don’t deserve it. It will never happen. You just need to let it happen! I try screaming that over and over again. Just let yourself be ok! You are ok! I’m grateful to know this truth.”


Animal Message of the Day: Molly

From Molly:  “Don’t be fooled by the fact I no longer have eyes. Do not for a second think I live in darkness. My life is full of light. In fact, I see more than when I had my eyesight. Before I had sight. But now I have vision. I feel more deeply. I smell things more clearly. And I can sense a heavy heart a mile away. If you come stand with me filled with pity, you will not find me to be too forthcoming to share with you. But if you come to me with curiosity of who I am, I will share with you all you want to know. Because I may not have eyes, but I can see you for who you are. Can you?”




Animal Message of the Day: Romeo

From Romeo:  “Being a rabbit is in itself enough to be grateful for. To be able to smell things so exquisitely and to have a body that can leap for joy at the smell of a good carrot is simply amazing. To have ears that can hear the tiniest of movements around me and the ability to run fast if I have to brings me great comfort. Being handsome of course also has its benefits. I am grateful for the opportunity life has given me to live my life to the fullest as a rabbit. Life is good. Life is precious.”






Animal Message of the Day: Libby

From Libby: “This may sound funny coming from a donkey but I am grateful for quiet times. People sometimes move too fast. They are always in a hurry. Even when they come up to feed us in the morning, they are focused on what they have to do next and not what they are doing now. Everyone runs from here to there. Or zooms around in motorized things. I appreciate when someone comes to see me who doesn’t mind just standing still without any idea of what we will do. Let’s just be in the moment. That would be something wouldn’t it? Yep, I’m grateful for the silent shared moments. And I’m always open for more.”





Animal Message of the Day: Misty Mew

From Misty Mew:  “One of my favorite things to do is to get to know people. I like to try to help people understand that they are important. Some people don’t even recognize that I am here. And then there are others who have become my friends. I don’t think humans are very trusting. There was a time that I didn’t trust too well either. Not everyone was kind to me. But then I ended up here where I find kindness every day. I am grateful to know that trust and friendship exist and that I can be the friend that somebody needs. It is a really great feeling. I am grateful to people who like to stop and share with me.”





Animal Message of the Day: Charlie

From Charlie:  “I have so many things that I love and am grateful for. Sometimes my life is limited when I cannot go out and eat all the grass that I smell and see outside my paddock. I have problems with my feet that get very painful if I eat grass. While that is frustrating at times, I still am grateful to go outside in the sun and fresh air. I love smelling the air. The wind will tell you about things to come if you listen. I love the smell after it rains and everything is nourished by the water. And I love the sound of my human friends coming to feed us. I can always tell when they are about to walk in and I love to celebrate their arrival. There is so much in a day that seems little but is actually huge at providing joy. I hope you are grateful for the little things in your day as well.”



Animal Message of the Day: Eloise

From Eloise:  “As a pig, I am lucky to have the life that I do, and I am acutely aware of that fact. I am grateful for the freedom to be me. I am grateful for the opportunity to live out my life the way I am wanting to. I am grateful to lie in the mud and feel the warm sun on my back. I am grateful for all the food that is brought to me every day. I am grateful for people who love me for being me and who take the time to get to know me. I am also grateful to have been able to have my children here and know they are safe. But most importantly, I am grateful to be loved.”




Animal Message of the Day: Mabel

From Mabel: “Seriously, when you get to be my age, you are just grateful for every breath you take. But aside from that, I think it’s funny that you ask us this question every year. What it indicates to me is that humans forget to take stock of what they are grateful for in their lives. And that explains a lot to me. So many humans come to visit here with so much heaviness in their hearts. Their minds are dulled. Their hearts are aching. They carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. Donkeys are used to carrying heavy loads all the time. But nothing compares to the load of stress that you humans put on yourselves. So…. I suggest you start where I did when you asked me this question. If you are not sure of what you have to be grateful for in your life, then be grateful for each and every breath you take. Because I am grateful that you are breathing!”



Animal Message of the Day: Sylvester

From Sylvester:  “Life is just amazing! All of it! I’ve seen a lot of things. I’ve been lost. I’ve been found. I’ve been sick. I’ve been healthy. I’ve been stupid. I’ve been smart. And…. I also know that I’ve been lucky. When I was most down and out, someone brought me here to safety. And what I never saw coming was how much I would fall in love with my new world. I am the happiest ever in my life. I never would have dreamed this could happen. My favorite thing in the world to do is just to hang out and be loved. And I get a lot of that around here! Never give up hope. Never. I am grateful for love. And I will never let go of that.”



Animal Message of the Day: Lucy Goose

From Lucy Goose:  “I am grateful for being old. If you think that sounds strange, then I’d like to tell you that the alternative to that is pretty grim. I’ve learned a lot in my life. I’ve done a lot of things. And I’d like to think I’m a lot wiser than the little cute gosling that hatched over two decades ago. The world looks sweeter to me. I appreciate things more deeply. And I am grateful for it all. I watch these younger beings around me that think they know a lot. But they have forgotten that learning never stops. And if it does, you are not going to be in such a brilliant place. But this old goose isn’t fooled by youthful exuberance. I once was over confident too. I once thought I was owed a lot. But the truth is that this old goose understands that you are only self-made. And if you don’t pay attention to learning and bettering yourself, there isn’t anyone else who can do it for you. I am a grateful goose.”




Animal Message of the Day: Ginny

From Ginny:  “I greatly appreciate the different seasons. Winter can sometimes get boring when we have to stay in the barn for long periods of time. But I know that our humans are looking out for us when they leave us in. It can get very icy here. But winter offers a different kind of quiet that doesn’t come in any of the other seasons. I love the quiet when you can hear the snowflakes hitting the ground. I love the crisp air and the pure white of the land all around us. I also love spring and the smells of new grass and buds and flowers. And the return of the birds. I love that too. And summer has all the grass we can eat. I love standing in a summer rain. I love standing outside under the stars. I deliberately do not have a favorite season so that I can enjoy each one for the specialness each offers. Seasons remind us that all things change and that change doesn’t have to be bad.”





Animal Message of the Day: Buster

From Buster:  “I am grateful for my friends. I’m honestly grateful for lots of things. But to know and feel love is a true blessing. My life did not start out like that. I faced a lot of darkness and hard times. Sometimes I didn’t think I’d even survive. But I did. I am proof that love can heal a lot of things. If you are in a place of hopelessness, please know that it can totally change and life can become beautiful for you. I know this for sure. And I am grateful for it all.”






Animal Message of the Day: Mary

From Mary:  “Oh my goodness, in some ways this is a silly question I think. It is a good question for sure. But it is silly that you have to be reminded to be grateful. Being a sheep can be challenging. The world is not made for sheep. You all move to fast and recklessly. We sheep prefer to take it easy and be orderly. We know how to be a community. We understand that when one is strong, all is strong. So we help raise each other up to be strong. It doesn’t mean we all like each other. We don’t. We have squabbles too. But we don’t spend our lives tearing each other down. We try to boost each other up. If we don’t, then we stand to all lose to a predator. I watch humans all the time. I confess that I don’t always understand your ways. You think that you have no natural predators. Yet you continue to prey upon each other. No sheep would ever betray the trust of the flock. It is most unkind and unfortunate that you humans do not stand united and look out for one another. In watching you, I am even more grateful to be a sheep and to learn and know how to stand strong together. That is what I am grateful for – the strength and love of community.”




Animal Message of the Day: Woodward

From Woodward:  “If you’ve ever known pain and hardship then you understand how hard that can be. I am grateful for healing. It was a long road. I was very injured and almost lost a leg. But I healed thanks to the help of several humans. I was afraid of humans my whole life. Didn’t want anything to do with them. They were just too scary. But then when I was otherwise going to die on the side of a road, humans stepped in to save me. I am eternally grateful to all of them. But I am also grateful for the patience of the humans here in my home who didn’t pressure me to be who they wanted me to be. They let me find my way. And I did. I love my human friends. I now know the kindness of a good back scratch. I know how fun it is to share a purr. And while I still have lots to learn, I am grateful for the chance to learn all I can. Love is a wonderful thing. Thank you.”


Animal Message of the Day: Marty

From Marty: “Don’t think because I live in a cage that I am trapped. You see, my physical mobility may be limited by the restraints of a cage, but I have allowed the world to come to me. I am grateful for the gift of my song that I love to share with those around me. Singing brings great joy and peace to others. And it also brings great purpose to me. I have a life with purpose. Don’t let your ideas confine you to what you think life is like for me. I see many humans who live in cages and don’t even realize how much they have locked themselves in and miss the beauty around them. Sing your song that you came here to sing! And remember me, Marty, who shared with you that piece of wisdom.”



Animal Message of the Day: Ollie

From Ollie: “I appreciate others who do not have agendas. I admit, I sometimes carry a bit of a grudge for things that happened in the past. No one will believe this but I was bullied a lot. I lost my home because a human entered our lives that didn’t understand me at all. Next thing you know I was out on the street. Then I got picked on by other cats. No one seemed to accept me. I was down and out and I didn’t like that at all. But then I was brought here. I’ve not always been an easy cat. I am learning about being grateful actually. But I think I have a ways to go on that. Maybe I need to soften a bit more as well. Ok, I’ve got some work to do. But I am grateful to not feel pushed to change. I am grateful for all the kindness shown to me even when I sometimes have not been as kind as I should have been. I strive to do better.”



Animal Message of the Day: Leo

From Leo: “I never tire of the beauty in the world. The sky can sure be beautiful as the sun sets. I love watching those colors as they change each night. I love the colors of flowers. I love to watch butterflies float across the pasture. I love watching the leaves turn colors in the fall. And I even like the sun glistening off the pure white snow in winter. I think there is much to be grateful for in every single moment. Even during sad times, if we could remember to stop and be grateful for one simple thing … a kind touch, a soothing voice, a hug. It helps us to remember that all sadness shifts into something else just as the snow melts into spring flowers. Just as the sky morphs into colors at sunrise and sunset. Just as the butterfly flies when it never could imagine that it would. All these things I am grateful for.