Animal Message of the Day: Pizazz

From Pizazz: “I’ll tell you what I appreciate is when someone takes the time to get to know me before they label me and judge me as something I’m not. I’m frequently misunderstood. I’m different. Not difficult. Just different. The only thing about me that is difficult is that people don’t try to understand me. Feeling understood is a great gift. If you have someone around you that seems grumpy or edgy, maybe they just are not being understood or seen for who they are. That is enough to make me grumpy. We all are different. Yet we are all connected if we take the time to be grateful for one another and embrace our differences. There are no two of us alike. Trying to make others like yourself is a waste of your energy. You need to just be yourself and let others be themselves too. That would help a lot in this world.”



Each day from November 26 – December 31, as has been our annual tradition now for many years, we will share with you a message from one of the animals of Spring Farm CARES. We hope this will provide you with a bit of inspiration for your day.

Animal Message of the Day: Nell

From Nell: “I love to feel the wind on my face on a nice day. I love to feel the sun on my back. But none of that would be as meaningful without my friends beside me. I have come from great pain and upheaval and even lost an eye. But I am grateful for the one eye I still have and to have the gift of friends who keep me secure. To never be alone again is a blessing I will cherish forever. One day I thought my life was over but I discovered instead that it was just beginning. Don’t give in to despair over endings. Endings are just doorways and where one thing ends another begins. There isn’t even a gap. It is just a step in awareness. Look past your endings to your new beginnings and embrace the gifts that await you there. And hug and cherish your friends. May your heart know the comfort of love and may you be warmed by sunshine and a soft breeze on your way.”


Each day from November 26 – December 31, as has been our annual tradition now for many years, we will share with you a message from one of the animals of Spring Farm CARES. We hope this will provide you with a bit of inspiration for your day.



Animal Message of the Day: Clark

From Clark:  “Oh my goodness! Let me tell you how fun it is to be a goat. I mean, seriously, it is an absolute blast. I love my goat body. I’m little and cute and people like to hear me make my cute little goat sounds. It always makes them laugh. So when I see my human friends coming, I call out loudly and they are almost certain to greet me with a big smile. I like that. Goats can smile too. Did you know that? I’m inspired by sharing a moment of joy with my goat friends and my human friends. It makes the warmth of the sun fill up every cell in my body. And I store that love there and cherish it.”




Each day from November 26 – December 31, as has been our annual tradition now for many years, we will share with you a message from one of the animals of Spring Farm CARES. We hope this will provide you with a bit of inspiration for your day.

Daily Animal Messages Start November 26th!

Each day from November 26 – December 31, as has been our annual tradition now for many years, we will share with you a message from one of the animals of Spring Farm CARES. We hope this will provide you with a bit of inspiration for your day.

But first, Dawn’s dog Jessie just had to say a few words to start.

From Jessie: “We animals know that you humans are going through a rough stretch here. As a dog, I wish I could help to lighten you up a bit. It’s easy to smell worry in the air everywhere. Please don’t lose hope. I am fortunate to be Dawn’s dog. I told her she had to say that. She has been working really extra hard to get some messages from the animals at Spring Farm CARES again this year. I am very thankful to get to introduce both my mom and the animals of the farm. Together, they will join in this project to try to give you some inspiration. We animals give her the messages and she puts words to them for you. We hope you can come visit sometime. We know you can’t right now, so we will come to you as best we can. Please check in each day to get a dose of inspiration.”

Memorial for Mack

Mack – October 31, 2020

This memorial is difficult to write because there is so much to say. Today, we said good-bye to the last of our SFC dogs, Mack. Mack was a giant of a spirit. He was estimated to be at least 15 years old and he was with us for the past 12 years. Border Collies are dogs with special missions in life and Mack was no exception. So, if this memorial gets long, it is because his story is worthy of telling, and his life and the hearts he touched are immeasurable.

Mack was a complex dog. There was nothing easy or simple about him or his care. Yet, it is nearly a miracle that he lived and thrived with us for the past 12 years, given the complexity of his medical/health issues. And to be able to say that Mack literally died as a result of aging is an awesome accomplishment, on his part and on ours.

Mack did not live the normal life of a border collie. He was brought to our good friends at Glen Highland Farm Border Collie Rescue after he had been found running lost in the Adirondacks. Locals there said he had been seen for at least 6 months, but no one could catch him. Yet, the day he saw a car pull over near to where he was running, Mack understood intuitively that his ride was here to get him. A volunteer for the rescue was driving by and saw him and thought he looked lost. And after 6 months of running away from everyone, he decided to run to them. But Mack had great injuries from his life in the wilderness. Most likely hit by a car at one point, he had been rendered unable to use his back legs by the looks of the scars on his feet where he had been dragging them behind him for some time. But the fact was that he had a spinal fracture just at the base of his tail, and although he had use of his legs when found, he was totally bowel and bladder incontinent.

Mack was not a prospect for adoption. So, he came to live here at Spring Farm CARES. Thus embarked a 12 year career in teaching and touching hearts. Mack was strong willed. He was a true border collie in every way. He ran the show. In fact, to this day, our entire farm operation was based on Mack’s schedule. When the tractors could be driven, or the goats turned out, or when and where people were free to walk around where it wouldn’t interfere with Mack’s schedule. The whole farm ran on Mack time. Today, it is hitting all of us, just how much that was true.

Mack alerted us to every visitor. Some saw him as an annoying barking dog. Those people never saw Mack for who he was. And then, there were those, who truly understood this magnificent being with all of his interesting games in life. Mack’s mind never stopped. Because of his incontinence, he lived in a kennel that was set up in the main hall where he could have privacy yet be a part of everything. Because he insisted on being a part of it all. And he was. He had a beautiful dog yard where he could run free and play ball and frisbee and do all of the normal active things a young athletic border collie liked to do. From his yard, he could herd the tractor as it went by. He liked to herd the ducks out on walks. He was the man in charge.

And then, there were the people. HIS people. While many humans found Mack to be extremely difficult – and make no mistake he could be – there was a method to Mack’s entire being that took us a while to understand. But we finally did and we learned to move with Mack’s direction. In other words, he herded all of us too. You see, Mack picked his caretakers himself. There have been many animal caretakers here in the past 12 years. But only a select few became “Mack Walkers.” These were the people who Mack himself chose. It didn’t matter how much dog experience or lack of dog experience you had. We quickly learned that unless he was the one who chose them, he would not let anyone handle him or walk him. The Mack Walkers are like an exclusive club. And while they were all helping care for Mack, he was the one who actually was looking over them. Because Mack chose people not based on their work experience but based upon what he thought he could give to each of them. And while they took care of him, he was taking care of them.

There is no way we could list all of the Mack Walkers over the past 12 years and not be afraid we’d miss someone’s name. But many of you still follow us on the website and social media and are reading this now – you know who you are. On behalf of Mack, we thank each of you for all you gave to him. And we hope you treasure the gifts he left with each of you.

The silence in our big hall is deafening this morning. No border collie barking to let us know he’s there. He wasn’t there for his morning walk around with Bonnie as she did the early morning chores as they did together for 12 years. He wasn’t there to greet the staff as they arrived. But there is not a single one of us who couldn’t still feel him today in our hearts. His reach was massive. His mission was huge. His life was so well lived. Many looked at Mack and felt sorry for him that he lived in a kennel. But, none of us ever referred to that pen as a kennel. It was always called “Mack’s House.” And that is what it was. It was his safe place. His home. And his base of operations for all the work that he did. His happiness and contentment were palpable.

We knew he was failing these past few weeks. At 15, it was getting harder for him to get up and harder for him to walk. We all knew the time was coming to set him free. And all of us agonized over that pending day. This dog was so well loved. Deeply. Completely. Whole heartedly. And it was that love that helped guide us to listen to him one last time. Because it was clear that morning that Mack was tired. He was spent. He had eeked every ounce out of that body that he could have. But now, he needed to stand down and take a well-deserved rest. Mission accomplished. Job amazingly well done. What an amazing run. What an amazing spirit.

None of us wanted to say good-bye, but we all knew it was time. The light suddenly dimmed in his eyes. And it was our turn now to help him.

That’ll do Mack. That’ll do.

And with that, Mack ran free. Our hearts are breaking yet they are also filled with love and great memories. One border collie on a mission helped us to find our mission again too. And for that, we owe him a huge debt of gratitude.

We would like to give thanks to the three current Mack Walkers who we know have very heavy hearts right now. Thank you, Stephanie, Jordan, and Kellie. And to all of the current animal caretakers who were also touched by Mack and who loved him equally as much.

And from the Directors, Bonnie, Dawn, Margot, and Peggy….. thank you Mack. Thank you for all of it. And you know what we mean.

Memorial – James Bond – “JB”

James Bond – “JB”

Today we feel the shock of an enormous and unexpected loss, leaving us with the reminder of how fragile life can be, how precious each moment is, and why we are here. James Bond, lovingly known as JB, came to us in June of this year. We didn’t have him with us for long, but he instantly became a piece of all of our hearts and the soul of this farm. JB was a gentle giant. A 24-year-old Saddlebred gelding who was dearly loved his whole life and who simply came to retire with us and spend the rest of his days here. He did just that but we expected him to be with us for at least 10 years. JB lived with one person for 22 years and he was very grateful for his time with her. We only got to share the last 3 months of his life but we are all the richer for knowing him.

JB had a heart of gold. He was incredibly sweet and gentle and loving. He was kind to humans as well as fellow horses. He had just bonded with his new herd with Kernel and Cammie and was in the process of welcoming a new addition who just arrived in the past two days. He was dignified and graceful. He was careful and thoughtful of where his body was at all times. He fit in here instantly. There isn’t a person here who wasn’t smitten by his loving nature and gentle soul. He leaves behind what feels like a big hole right now, but in reality, he gave us all an incredible gift. For as much as it hurts to say good-bye, we are all the richer for having the opportunity to love him.

Today, JB spent a beautiful day out in his pasture with his two buddies. You couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day. Sunny and cool and few flies to contend with. He grazed contentedly and thoroughly enjoyed his day. When we went to bring him in, he suddenly just laid down. But he got up again and was led back to his stall. But when he got in, he collapsed. Our veterinarian was only 10 minutes away. But it appears a valve in his heart may have ruptured or some other coronary event happened. He left us just a few short minutes later, leaving us all stunned.

Tonight, the horses in the barn are very somber. They hold his memory in their hearts. A huge part of their herd has departed. All of them held sacred space for him.

Life can seem so chaotic and challenging. Please take a moment, in honor of a heart who loved beyond the greatest capacity, to be thankful for the loved ones in your life. Let’s not forget what matters most to each of us. Let’s not forget to be kind when we can show kindness, to show love when we can, and to hold a space in this world for change and hope. That is what JB did. And now we must continue on as he would have hoped we would.

A Reminder That Life is Beautiful from Mary Beth

A reminder that Life is Beautiful:

From Mary Beth: “I find the most beautiful things in life can be very small things, but they make me feel so good inside. It can be just the rays of the sun shining through my window, filling me with warmth, and the knowing that life is full of warmth. I find beauty in what touches my heart. My human friends, my donkey friends, and all of the other various friends I have made here at the farm. All of them enrich me in a way that makes me feel beautiful inside. I can then take that beauty and share it with others who meet me. Maybe you can do that too. Find something that makes you feel beautiful inside and let that be the light that warms someone else’s heart.”

New Digs for Goats Clark and Snowball

For today’s installment of Life is Beautiful:

Our two little pygmy goats, Clark and Snowball, moved to their new summer digs in our newly built goat yard. This yard is complete with their own little shed. Now we are seeking to make them a play yard inside as well. Goats love to have their own play yard. Can you feel their joy?


Look Inside for Change

Today I’m sharing a message from an amazing horse who taught me so much and continues to do so from spirit. This is my reminder of beauty for the day. I look forward to more of yours.

From Deeteza: “The world can change in the blink of an eye when you realize the power you have to change it. If you want to change the world around you, you need to look no further than inside yourself. Find the beauty within you and that beauty will change the world. Find the peace within yourself, and that peace will change the world. Heart by heart. Breath by breath. Start within and you will see something amazing unfold.”

We will try to post each day something to remind us about the beauty of life. Let’s remind one another about the beauty all around us. Plants, animals, rocks, humans ….. all of life. Share what you find in your day that matters. And if you are feeling lost and in the dark, then go outside and find just one thing in life to look at and appreciate in that moment. Even if it is a blade of grass. Let your heart feel the beauty that is there for you. Hold it there in your heart for a moment and let it spread throughout your day. Step by step you will build back hope. Heart by heart we will bring back kindness. The human heart is strong and full of love and compassion. It’s time to free it from the chains that bind it. Let your compassion flow.

The End of an Era – Memorial to Ember


Ember – May 27, 2020

Today marks the end of an era at Spring Farm CARES. Today, we said good-bye to Ember who is the last remaining horse of our original herd. Ember was born here on the farm before we were actually an animal sanctuary. As a Thoroughbred, she was bred to be a race horse. But as fate had it, Ember and four other foals, pointed us in a different direction. Ember was not destined to be a race horse. But she ended up instead, living a life that most horses never get to have. Ember was not really a people horse. While she was friendly and kind and such, she was just not into working with people.

Ember was all about her horse herd. She was a horse’s horse. She was devoted to each and every one of her horse friends. It has been particularly sad to watch over the past 29 years as one by one she slowly lost every single one of them. While we have always had a barn full of horses, Ember really never truly bonded with anyone else outside of her herd.

While today is marked with sadness for the Founders who have watched the entire generation of founding horses leave, it is also filled with joy for Ember who got to be reunited with her herd once again. She lived a good life. She never left this farm until a few months ago when she got on a trailer for the first time in her life to go to a veterinary clinic where she had to have an eye removed due to a melanoma. It turned out the melanomas had spread all inside her head. Life became unbearable with headaches and blindness and Ember could no longer find comfort in her world. So, today, we set her free.

Spring Farm CARES has been guided, loved, and moved deeper into our mission by each and every one of the animals who have resided on this farm over the years. There have been about 120 horses who have lived and died here in the past almost 30 years. They have left their mark on all of our hearts.

Bonnie and Dawn watched Ember be born into this world, and today we stood with her as she left – the circle complete. Life is a precious thing and it goes by in such a blink of an eye. We hold these animals in our lives and say they belong to us. But, in reality, we are only borrowing them for a short time. They grace us with their gifts. They teach us and walk together with us on our journey. And then the time comes at the end of the day when we can no longer keep them in our possession. They must go back to their bigger journey, onward into Spirit from whence they came to be with us.  They remain in our hearts for always. And we are all the richer for having shared this brief time with them.

Ember got to go home today to her herd. We know how excited she was to leave a body that no longer was comfortable to live in. She was met by the herd who came running to get her as they always did when she left the barn. There was bucking and kicking and running and racing. And we’re sure now that we are being watched over by a most amazing ghost brigade of animals.

As the best tribute I could think of to Ember, I wanted to include what was indeed the most important part of her life. Below are the photos of the herd she called her own. May they all rejoice together now and enjoy the freedom they always have shared. Fly free dear Ember. Welcome back home.

Special Message from Dawn

Special Message from Dawn Regarding Animal Messages

On March 16th, I began posting an animal message a day to help us all through the COVID shut down. Many of us are starting to open back up, and still others are still on pause. Regardless of where you are in the process, you are still experiencing a lot of change …. and change causes a lot of stress. There are a lot of unanswered questions. As things open we will see things changing even more. But one thing should be very clear to us as humans. We need each other more than ever and we are all in this together. We are a part of a beautiful world that needs us to remember our connection to everything. The Spring Farm CARES mission is alive and well and we are here with you as we navigate through all of this together.

However, when I started these messages, I figured it would be 2 weeks, maybe a month, and here we are 10 weeks later. I will be needing a little break from the daily messages. I will still post them sporadically, but probably not every day. Life here on the farm is still in full swing, caring for 250 animals each and every day. And we want to keep our window to those animals open for you to be a part of things.

We are also looking to add some new features as well in coming weeks. I am starting to work on those as well. Stay tuned!

Thank you for your understanding. And know that we are still right here with you. And you will still be hearing from the animals.

Animal Message of the Day: Henry

This message today is a repeat from April. On Saturday, we lost our horse Henry. I thought it appropriate to honor him by reposting his last message.
From Henry: “I think it is important for everyone to understand that sometimes you need to be patient with one another. Not everyone shows their pain the same way. In fact, there are those out there who look super confident and you think that nothing bothers them, yet they are facing great pain and challenges but they don’t let you see it. There are more of you out there than you realize. I speak from personal experience. Some people have looked at me and thought I was sort of a boring or empty kind of horse. It is true that I don’t have the flare and pizazz of some other horses. I am not outgoing and a socialite like some of the other horses. I am not loud or cute or snuggly or wise even. I am just quietly waiting in my space. I’ve been through a lot. I’ve seen a lot. I’ve lost a lot. I was seen as almost a robot or toy for many years of my life. People thought I couldn’t perform well. But no one asked why. I feel a lot of heaviness in people’s hearts. I get that. But every one of you can help heal another heart by simply caring. Compassion and love are the greatest healing agents on the planet. And each of you has that to give. No one is ever without pain or challenges. But our strength comes from sharing our kindness.”
You can also read our memorial to Henry by clicking here.
In an effort to help us all through the stress, fear, and challenges faced by the COVID-19 virus, we are posting an animal message a day. (All messages through animal communicator/co-founder Dawn Hayman) The animals were each asked: What do you feel appreciation for in your life? Or “What would you like to share?”

Memorial to Horse Henry

Henry – May 23, 2020

Today our hearts are heavy as we said good-bye to our beloved horse friend Henry. Henry was estimated to be about 28-30 years old and he came to the farm in 2017 from a horse rescue who realized that Henry needed a sanctuary to retire and spend the rest of his days. We are honored to have been the place for Henry to take a much needed rest from a life we suspect was fairly difficult for him.

Henry was a horse who was very understated by his own doing. He preferred to blend into the background. But Henry was the epitome of a horse.  He was deep and grounded and had a heart the size of a mountain. Spending time with Henry, even for a short time, you could get the sense that there was something much deeper in there than he let on to. He was a horse who survived on common sense. He was solid. But he was like a gentle whisper in the background. You wanted to hear all he had to say, but you had to listen through all the other sounds around him to hear him and learn about who he was. You could best learn about Henry by how he made you feel inside when you were around him. Somehow, he brought comfort and peace and a sense that things are ok even when you are not so sure why they would be ok.

Henry was loving and gentle, yet there was a part of himself he guarded deeply and kept in reserve. If you stood with him quietly, you could feel that otherwise hidden part of him and he would fill you with the gratitude he carried for having helped him. Henry had endured great pain in his life. His physical body bore the scars as evidence, yet his heart still remained open to kindness. He had a little flame inside of him that gently flickered from deep within and periodically you could see that light shine out of his eyes with joy and appreciation when he let that protective guard down.

Henry was a soul who came here to find freedom from something he carried inside that burdened him. We watched him slowly and very carefully unfold like a delicate flower opening after a hard winter and growing stronger and stronger with the warmth of spring. He got to unwind, relax, take a breath, and set his heavy load down. It was as if he grew deeper roots from his feet as he healed and gained trust in who he really was.

Henry had many medical issues since he came to us. None of them were ever truly definitive and yet we knew that as a package they were symptoms of something much deeper going on in his body. In the past couple of weeks, diagnostic imaging showed us signs of major trauma earlier in his life. We have no clue about Henry’s history, but we do know that he carried a lot and never let on to the depth of what he went through. Henry just picked up and moved on.

Today, Henry’s body gave out in a way that we could no longer help him to stay. It was time to say good-bye. He understood. We understood. In his final minutes, we could see him take stock of where he was and how far he had come. He could let go now. A job well done. A life well lived. And loved. Armed with all of that, Henry did what Henry knew best how to do. He went deep into his heart, took a breath, and moved on.

Henry was the seeing-eye companion for our pony Molly. He is now the fourth friend that she has lost and our hearts go out to her. Henry was a perfect friend. He was solid and steadfast but he also could hold his ground with a pony mare who sometimes likes things just so in her own way.

We would like to thank Dr. Rachel Fraser for the outstanding medical care over the past three years and for keeping up with all that Henry presented to us in very strange ways. He made sure Dr. Rachel never got bored. And we also thank Dr. Christine Schneider who helped Henry with acupuncture and laser therapy treatments and enjoyed Henry’s unique character. Thank you, Dr. Christine, for making his final days more comfortable.

Fly free dear Henry. It’s your time now to be free.

Animal Message of the Day: O’Malley

From O’Malley: “When one is as handsome and wise as I am, it is important to stay humble.  Just because we are good at something, doesn’t make us right all of the time. We can know a lot of things but it is important to know that what we don’t know most of all is what it is like to live in someone else’s shoes or paws. Just because I see the world one way, doesn’t mean that you will see it as I do. And most likely, we will not see it the same. Each of us carries within us a piece of the universe that is waiting to be expressed. No one else has the same piece that you do. No one else knows exactly what it is you know. So why do you waste so much time trying to compare yourself to others to validate who you are? Don’t waste your time. No one can know exactly what you know in any given moment. But when you can share what you know from a place of compassion and kindness, you can help others find their way. The Universe is waiting for you to step in to who you are. What are you waiting for?”

In an effort to help us all through the stress, fear, and challenges faced by the COVID-19 virus, we are posting an animal message a day. (All messages through animal communicator/co-founder Dawn Hayman) The animals were each asked: What do you feel appreciation for in your life? Or “What would you like to share?”

Ask Dawn – May 23, 2020

How Do Animal’s Past Experiences Influence Them?

Q: My animals are all rescues. I feel like some memories they have are strong and not positive ones. I have a 14-year-old dog that was a street dog. With all the training, reassuring etc. he still, after many years, has separation anxiety. We deal with it. I just wonder how much is so ingrained in these babies that it will never be forgotten. I guess, generally, what do you think of animals’ past experiences and how they influence them?

From Dawn:

This is a multiple part answer. First, we need to note that there are no absolutes. Just like with humans, no two animals are alike, even if they went through an identical set of circumstances. Just like with humans, how they see the world, their personality, their past experiences, and their physical and mental health all play a role in how they react to and process events in their lives. No two will be the same. So, with that understanding, I will answer this in a broad generalization.

Animals experience trauma just like humans do. They can experience PTSD just like humans and they also can heal and move on.  What I have found in my experience is that animals often heal faster and a bit more readily than humans because they tend to keep more focused in the present moment. In other words, when they are moved into a safe and loving environment, they move into that new phase and move on. Again, these are broad generalities.

I, personally, have worked with many animals who have experienced great traumas both physically and psychologically. I have always been amazed at how willingly they move on to heal. Having said that, however, we humans often unintentionally keep them in trauma longer by some of our actions. Let me explain what I mean with some examples.

Often, when we adopt animals into our families who have been “rescued” and knowingly were in bad circumstances, we tend to always talk about where they came from and how bad it was. Our actions of labeling them as “abused” or “rescued” sometimes keep the energy of their traumas very much alive for them. I learned this lesson from one of our horses early on in our Spring Farm CARES history. We had a large open house as a fundraiser for our sanctuary. I had very carefully and meticulously placed signs in front of each horse stall telling each horse’s story. Every one of them had come from either an abuse or neglect situation. We laid it all out there on the sign so that people could see where their donations were going and what we all had rescued these animals from. I was quite proud of all of those signs. One of our horses was stationed right by the front door. She fancied herself the head greeter horse and she was quite eager to have visitors. She lit up, eyes gleaming with every visitor that came in the door. I felt so happy for her and went on my way making sure the volunteers at their various stations were all set. About an hour had gone by when I came back through to the barn. The once bright eyed and excited mare stood there looking totally depressed. She refused to come over to the gate for people to see her and she was literally moping in the corner.

“Tara, what is happening? What’s wrong, I asked her.

“Why did you have to put that sign there like that, she answered.”

I was puzzled.  I didn’t understand. “Stand here a while and watch,” she said.

So, I did. There was a steady stream of people coming in the door. Person after person came up and read the sign before they even looked at Tara. They cringed at her story, which was dramatic, and they walked away saying…. “oh I just can’t stand stories like this.” And not one of them looked at or acknowledged her.

It only took me three people to see what I had done so very wrong. We quickly went around and removed the signs. Instantly, people were coming in and seeing each horse as an individual, eager to meet them and learn about them, without being turned off by their past.

At the end of the day, with all of the people gone, Tara said to me, “This was important today. I am not what I went through. That is not who I am, it is just something that happened to me. It didn’t break me. It didn’t define me. Because I am here now and I want people to see who I am.”

Trust me, I have never made that mistake again.

We must be careful when we have animals who we know have been abused or suffered neglect, to understand that they are not in that situation anymore. They are with you now. They are loved. They are safe. And we need to allow them to heal and move on. If we keep on telling their sad stories to others, it affects how others react to them. Often, that keeps the animal in their pain.

Part 2 of this answer is just as important. Many times, animals act shy or they may cower at loud sounds or be afraid of men or tall people or people with hats, etc. It is our human nature to automatically assume something bad had to have happened to them for them to act that way. While that is possible, it also is possible that there is something else at play. I have personally had dogs and cats in my life that I’ve had since they were 5-8 weeks old and I knew for sure they came from good places. Yet, one would cower any time she heard a loud noise. Another would flinch if you moved your hand quickly around them. Yet, I knew for sure he wasn’t hit or slapped. Sometimes, something as simple as a broom handle falling on a floor next to an animal can startle them so badly that they react to quick movements or loud sounds for years after that. Sometimes it is just their personalities or who they are and how they are expressing themselves in this lifetime.

Yes, animals can hold on to trauma, but they also can heal. It is just as important to remember to give them the space and opportunity to heal and watching how we talk about them and label them is a good first step. All of us, no matter how good or bad we have been treated in our pasts, hold on to memories and those experiences can and do shape the way we see and respond to the world.

We help animals and people who have been through trauma the most through compassion and empathy and reassuring them how brave they are for having gotten to where they are now. And then we love them for who they are and allow them to heal without labels.

When you walk in the doors of our small animal facility or our barn, I guarantee you that you would not be able to tell which animals have come from the greatest traumas. Yes, it’s a part of their past, but it is not where they are now and it does not define who they are. Instead, we try to give them a safe place to be and to relax and unwind and show us who they really are. Then we let them find their way in their own time.

What is the Most Memorable Message from an Animal?

Q: What is the most unusual response to a question you have received from any animal? Or the most memorable one?

From Dawn:

This is a question that I have been asked a lot over the years and it is one I have such difficulty answering. I have talked to over 50,000 animals professionally since 1987. It is really hard for me to single one or even a few out as all of them are deeply meaningful to me. I have had my share of mind-blowing consultations that taught me so very much. I treasure all of them and am always humbled by the experience of doing any consultation.

However, I will answer this with what has touched me so deeply over the years and when I share this with people they are equally as touched.  The one message that I am given the most is when I have been working with an animal or human who has crossed into spirit. Early on in my career, I was amazed that every animal or person I worked with in spirit basically sent the same message to their loved ones in the physical. And I still experience that to this day. 

What they want their loved ones to know is that no matter where they are in spirit, they still feel the love of their loved ones in the physical. Love is not an energy solely based in the physical realm. Love is an energy that is just as real and alive in spirit as it is here. When we love someone, a permanent energy path is created one heart to the next. And that energy survives even after the physical body dies.

Every animal or person I talk to in spirit tells me to tell their loved ones they feel them and they also send their love back to the physical plane. We who are in the physical have the harder time hanging on to that truth. Because we are in physical bodies, we rely on the physical experience of seeing our loved ones there and being able to touch them, and hear them, and feel them. So, when we cannot reach them physically, we perceive them as gone. We forget though that we can actually still feel them. When we are deep in our grief, we are actually feeling the most disconnected from them and it is harder for them to get through to us. But when we remember them and how we feel about them and our hearts fill with that love, that is when our loved ones in spirit feel us and reach back.

I have always found this to be such a profound comfort. And I have heard this message from literally thousands of beings who have crossed into spirit.

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Animal Message of the Day: Flora

From Flora: “I have seen a lot of things in life. Sometimes, more than I wish I had to see. Some things were more than I could bear. Some I thought would break me. Many times, I didn’t think I could survive. But what I’ve learned more than anything is that love has a way of bringing you through the darkest of times. Your heart reaching out to another could be the light they need to bring them out of darkness. When we cannot find our own light and think we have lost our way, the caring heart of another can make the difference of life. At my darkest hour, while in a total panic and in a traumatic situation where I saw some of my friends die, a hand reached out and grabbed me. At first, I didn’t know what to do. But slowly I learned what love meant. And slowly I learned to trust. Never doubt the light you can be to someone who is struggling in ways you may not even recognize. I love my life now. And that is a gift I never thought I’d find. We must help one another through the hard times and live with gratitude for those who have helped us along the way. This is what I have learned in this lifetime.”


In an effort to help us all through the stress, fear, and challenges faced by the COVID-19 virus, we are posting an animal message a day. (All messages through animal communicator/co-founder Dawn Hayman) The animals were each asked: What do you feel appreciation for in your life? Or “What would you like to share?”

Animal Message of the Day: Coco

From Coco: I have felt great defeat in my life. I lost a lot at one point and I gave up on hope. But time and love has helped me heal. I’m not a tough guy but I had to become that way to survive. It wasn’t who I am but it was who I needed to be when nothing else made sense. Sometimes, when you meet someone who is gruff on the outside, it is because they are protecting something so delicate on the inside. Try to remember that. You don’t know what sorrow or trauma they are holding in their hearts. Being gruff is just a barrier they put up to keep others from hurting them again. It takes safety and trust and time to learn to let it go and be free. I am lucky because I found that. Life is good again. I can stand out in the sun and feel the warmth fill me in every cell and know that it is mine and I can breathe and tomorrow will be another day. For a while, I wasn’t sure there would be a tomorrow. If you are feeling that way, just know that the sun will come out again. You can do this. You’ve got me here believing in you and cheering you on. Don’t give up. Don’t lose yourself. Keep the faith.”


In an effort to help us all through the stress, fear, and challenges faced by the COVID-19 virus, we are posting an animal message a day. (All messages through animal communicator/co-founder Dawn Hayman) The animals were each asked: What do you feel appreciation for in your life? Or “What would you like to share?”

Animal Message of the Day: Piper

From Piper: “While you heard from my friend Teddy yesterday about how he was born unable to close his eyes, I was born without eyes at all. But please don’t for a minute feel sorry for me or think I’m blind. I see more than most of you do. I understand my world at a depth that is incredibly beautiful. I climb. I jump. I leap. I play. I chase things around the room. And I even get to annoy some of the older cats in my room who need to loosen up a bit. Life is grand. Life is full of opportunity. Life is full of meaning. My life is rich beyond measure. If you think that I am blind, then you would be the one who is blind instead.”

In an effort to help us all through the stress, fear, and challenges faced by the COVID-19 virus, we are posting an animal message a day. (All messages through animal communicator/co-founder Dawn Hayman) The animals were each asked: What do you feel appreciation for in your life? Or “What would you like to share?”

Animal Message of the Day: Teddy

From Teddy: “I am a cat with a definitive purpose in life. Some people have said I’m uncooperative and difficult, but they really don’t understand who I am. Because if people truly got to know me, they’d understand that I am just being me. If you don’t feel people understand you, you are not alone. It’s kind of a people thing. I am not saying that cats are superior but in some ways they kind of are…. it is just how it is. You need to lighten up with one another. If you don’t understand why someone does what they do, maybe you don’t really know who they are. Maybe they are doing the best they can with the circumstances they have. Maybe they are just lost. Maybe they just need a cat to help them find their way. You see, the irony is that I was born without eyelids, meaning I can’t close my eyes. So, I have seen way more than the average cat or person even. Whereas some people need to open their eyes and look more closely at things, my struggle has been to close my eyes. I’ve had a lot of help. But we all have struggles. And we can’t always relate to or understand someone else’s plight. But we are always better off trying to be compassionate. Sometimes, it’s the only thing that makes the difference. Don’t make life so difficult. Feel for one another. All of us animals need you to do that for the sake of the whole world.”

In an effort to help us all through the stress, fear, and challenges faced by the COVID-19 virus, we are posting an animal message a day. (All messages through animal communicator/co-founder Dawn Hayman) The animals were each asked: What do you feel appreciation for in your life? Or “What would you like to share?”

Animal Message of the Day: Kermit

From Kermit: “I think you all need to learn to play more and worry less. The problem as I see it is that you even worry about what you play. Humans need to be more spontaneous. You see, if I feel a wave of happiness suddenly come upon me, I go with it. I might jump up and leap and twist and turn, just for the joy of doing so. I might even chase a ball around my yard. I never see humans play. You are very serious creatures. What do you do for fun?”


In an effort to help us all through the stress, fear, and challenges faced by the COVID-19 virus, we are posting an animal message a day. (All messages through animal communicator/co-founder Dawn Hayman) The animals were each asked: What do you feel appreciation for in your life? Or “What would you like to share?”

Animal Message of the Day: Cora

From Cora: “People think I’m shy but that is not totally accurate. I am actually just quiet. Well, quiet for a donkey that is. I like to watch and observe things. Life hasn’t always been that easy for me. I’ve seen some things that were very difficult and that I didn’t really understand. So, I like to be careful and cautious and introspective. I think carefully before I do things. That doesn’t make me shy, but it does make me reliable. You can always know who I am because I will not change on you quickly. Everyone is different. We are all unique. Labels put on anyone may not be accurate and may make things more confusing. I think we should all celebrate our own uniqueness.”


In an effort to help us all through the stress, fear, and challenges faced by the COVID-19 virus, we are posting an animal message a day. (All messages through animal communicator/co-founder Dawn Hayman) The animals were each asked: What do you feel appreciation for in your life? Or “What would you like to share?”

Animal Message of the Day: Tessie

From Tessie: “People have a lot of stress. The animals who care about you, worry about how hard you seem to make things for yourselves. I think the worst human invention is the clock. You set all of the things in your life based on the clock. It is your master. It doesn’t matter if you are hungry or not, you eat when the clock says to eat. Cats have figured this out about you. And we have learned to become masters of the clock. It takes a while for a cat to get the right rhythm but once we have it we can help alert you to things … like when to wake up to feed us, when to snuggle with us, etc. Sometimes, when we know the clock is commanding you to do things that you shouldn’t, a cat will step in to mix it up a bit. Like maybe you should actually get up an hour earlier to feed us. Or, maybe you should sit down for a time to cuddle with us instead of trying to complete the task you think you need to do. You can thank your cats for keeping you sane. Otherwise that darn clock will win again.”

In an effort to help us all through the stress, fear, and challenges faced by the COVID-19 virus, we are posting an animal message a day. (All messages through animal communicator/co-founder Dawn Hayman) The animals were each asked: What do you feel appreciation for in your life? Or “What would you like to share?”

Animal Message of the Day: Molly

From Molly: “I have a message to all of you who feel like you are not understood and seen for who you are. I once was in your shoes. I had a grand career as a show pony. I was spectacular. Sparkly and beautiful and built with all the right moves. And I’m pretty smart too. I had the whole package. I was desired for what I could bring to people, which actually meant that I was able to make them look good. But, who I was inside was often forgotten or never recognized at all. I could have been just a shell, but I wasn’t. There was a ‘me’ inside who no one really ever saw or got to know. Then, I went blind. Suddenly, I couldn’t perform anymore. Now, when I could no longer see, that is when I truly understood that no one saw me either. Today, I have no eyes, yet I understand now what it is like to be seen and what it is like to see others for who they are on the inside. I cannot see what is on the outside. But I can feel what is on the inside. If you are not being seen for who you are, you need to look inside for yourself first – not by how others see you, but for who you really are. And once you find that, you need to hold on to that and understand that others just don’t know you, because if they did, they’d see the beautiful being who you are. Shine bright on the inside and don’t let someone else’s blindness become yours.”


In an effort to help us all through the stress, fear, and challenges faced by the COVID-19 virus, we are posting an animal message a day. (All messages through animal communicator/co-founder Dawn Hayman) The animals were each asked: What do you feel appreciation for in your life? Or “What would you like to share?”