Animal Message of the Day – Piper

From Piper: “I was born without eyesight. In fact, I do not even have any eyes. Yet, I see the world clearly. Maybe differently than you do, but clearly. My world is very alive to me. I can find a string in the dark that you can’t even see with your eyes. I can tell who all my cat friends are even though I haven’t seen them. Sometimes when you can’t see something you need to learn to trust that it is really there. If I spent my life doubting what was around me, I’d never have found joy in even one thing. Instead, I find joy in everything. I may not see it, but I experience it. I feel it. I am grateful for every single thing in my life. All of it. By losing my eyes, I gained a whole world of beauty in a different way. Life is very good. I hope you can feel that.”

Animal Message of the Day – Lizzie

From Lizzie: “I have gone through many changes in my life. When I came here to this farm, I thought it was just one more place to move to. What was left of my life? What was my purpose? It seemed like I didn’t have one anymore. But, suddenly, things are changing. I admit I have probably been a bit grumpy and impatient. Things are changing for me now. I am finding my purpose. This time, I hope I never have to leave. I like what I’m seeing. I’m grateful for all the support that has been given to me. I’d also like to give that back to all who are helping me. I think the most important thing in life is sharing what matters most to me with others. I’ve been around a lot of horses in many places and I have to say that not many of them could say that they feel understood. I know what that feels like now. It has changed my life forever.”

Animal Message of the Day – Tessie

From Tessie: “With all of the goodness in the world, I have been fortunate to find it. Once, when I was younger, I was lost. I was alone. I was scared. But then someone found me and brought me to safety. I have always been grateful for that. But what came to me was that I now had a chance to help someone else. I found another person who was lost like I had been. I helped them find light inside their heart. It made me feel good to know I could do that. I feel it is an obligation to return kindness once it has been gifted to you. Because once you find kindness, you will always know that there is an endless supply to share. Even on cloudy, dreary days, the light and warmth of kindness is still there to share. It feels good to be the light someone needs in their day. I am grateful to have the light to share all because someone first shared theirs with me. I hope you will pass yours along as well. I would be grateful if you would.”

Animal Message of the Day – Nell

From Nell: “Geez, I hope I didn’t say the same thing last year! I’m still kind of new at this. But I have a lot to be grateful for. I have seen some difficult things in my life and there were times I didn’t think I wanted to go on. In fact, there were times I thought my life was over and it almost was. So, to step into each day with gratitude to be alive is a big thing. I think a lot of people overlook that aspect. People carry such heavy loads. Many times they then put those loads to us to carry for them. We try. But the only help for a heavy heart is love. I think if we could just all do that, there would be a lot more hope around everyone. Love is such an easy thing and there is no shortage ever. I hope you can all remember that simple thing. Just love one another. From there anything and everything is possible.”

Animal Message of the Day – Mack

From Mack: “Little is often said about the gift of growing old. Usually we bemoan the changes as age has a way of slowing us down in our bodies and minds. But there is a certain magnificence to aging that I am finding. I find comfort in learning to walk a little slower. Before, I had one gear, which was border collie fast. But now, I have to walk slower and, in that change, I am finding that I am shifting my entire viewpoint as well. I am seeing things differently. Some days I am frustrated at how dull my senses seem to be getting. But then, I realize that I feel more acutely than before. There is a depth I see around me that I hadn’t paid attention to before. I feel a depth in people that gives me a certain degree of confidence now that I didn’t allow myself to understand before. I am grateful for this life. I am grateful to know connection. And I am grateful to have the fortune of growing old. Because the other option is that I would no longer be here, and that I most certainly would miss.”

Animal Message of the Day – Scarlett

From Scarlett: “Sometimes, life can get a little rough. I have seen a lot throughout my years. Not all of it has been easy. For a while, I found myself not caring to go on anymore. I was feeling really sick. I was weak and couldn’t find my home. No one seemed to care until somehow someone found me who did care. All it takes is one heart to care for another. For me, it was a life changer. I came here to this place and they have helped me feel well again. Suddenly, I have a renewed purpose in life. They have even given me special privileges here and I greatly appreciate being seen for the wisdom that I have earned in my life. I may be older and I may not look so great at times. But that is because things were not always easy for me. I am healing now. I am feeling so much better. This year, I have even more to be grateful for than ever. Never give up hope. And always try to be the one caring heart that can make all the difference for someone else. All it takes is one.”

Animal Message of the Day – Lindy

From Lindy: “One of the things I have learned most in my life is to never take life for granted. My life was deemed over before I came here. Not by me, but by others. I am here because humans allow me to be alive. But in my home here, I am not only alive but I am loved for who I am. My fondest wish came true and here I am. This year, I nearly died again. But this time, it was because something went wrong in my body. However, I wasn’t ready to go yet and my human friends saw that and they stepped in and helped. And once again, here I am. I am grateful to have the space to be me because being me was what I came here to do.”

Animal Message of the Day – Toby

From Toby: “I am grateful for shelter and warmth and dry bedding and food. Others may take this for granted but I never will. I have gone without all of these things and sometimes it didn’t feel so good. But the one thing I always had was friends. We went through tough times together. When things get difficult, we need to all help one another. Sometimes bad things happen that are out of our control. That is the time when we most need someone to stop and notice that we are in trouble. A kind deed, a soft word, and something that warms the soul with a glimmer of hope can be a miracle. I am grateful someone was there for me and my friends. Now I hope to do the same for others. I hope you will too.”

 

Animal Message of the Day: Flannigan

From Flannigan: “There is so much to love about life! What isn’t there to love? I’m busy taking it all in. Sometimes I move too fast I guess. But I just can’t get enough of everything. I’ve been kind of thinking that the older cats in here need to lighten up a bit. But I’m starting to see that maybe they also have some wisdom to offer me. Maybe I need to slow down just a little bit and listen a little more. But there is so much to do! Ok, so I am grateful for windows. I love to look out the windows. My favorite things to watch are birds and snowflakes. But I like to watch from the inside where I am warm. Life is just too good to waste time not paying attention to things.”

Animal Message of the Day – Bayberry

From Bayberry: “For the first time in my life I am finding great joy. For many years, I was passed around from place to place to place, never finding anyplace that even made sense to me. My body broke down at times. People tried to make me do things that made me feel crazy inside. I felt like I was always running down a steep hill at a full gallop and unable to stop. That was not a good feeling. Now, I’ve had to learn to slow down. No one is asking me to be someone that I am not. And that started a weird process for me, because I didn’t actually know who I was. I am grateful for this new beginning. This is a new me. And for the first time, things are starting to feel like they are making sense. And I found the place now that I never want to leave. They tell me I can stay here forever. I am most incredibly grateful for that!”

Animal Message of the Day – Fozzy

From Fozzie: “I am grateful to feel so safe that I can sleep and dream.  I love to dream. I love many things. I love to be with my friends all snuggled in the straw while we all share our warmth and snore and dream. It is a gift to feel cozy. It matters to me to be dry and clean. In my dreams I run around in the sun and dig for tasty morsels in the ground. And the perfect day also includes a nice wallow in the creek for good measure. On days when it is cold and snowy, I can still dream of all my favorite things. I think memories are there for us so that in times that we don’t have our favorite things that we can always feel what it is like to have them. I am grateful to humans who have given me good memories to savor now. The sun can disappear behind the clouds but my memories of what that sun feels like are always there no matter what.”

Animal Message of the Day – Leo

From Leo: “I have always been fascinated with butterflies. I love to watch them fly around our pasture when I’m outside. I love how they drift up and down with the flow of air. But mostly, I think about how much butterflies undergo change. I have had a lot of change. I came from a lot of darkness and despair and now live my life with all I need and beauty all around me and hope. My hope is that all of you can find the butterfly inside of yourselves and understand that change does not have to be so hard. Change can be as light as a butterfly surfing through the breezes of a summer day. Other than that, I am grateful for food and grass and sun and a good roll in nice dirt.”

Animal Message of the Day – Tom

From Tom: “I am very grateful to know love even when I’ve known great loss. I lost my human companion and that was very sad. He loved me very much. I am old now too. And then I found myself alone. I didn’t know what would happen but then I was brought here. It is much different for me than where I lived before. But I cherish this place and their willingness to help an old man find comfort when I needed it most. I am grateful to have known such great love and to know that one day I will see my human friend again and he will have known that I was safe here. I know this makes him happy and it makes me happy too.”

Animal Message of the Day – Daisy

From Daisy: “I am grateful for times that are quiet and peaceful. Humans create a lot of chaos around them. I’m sorry but it’s true. We will have the most amazingly beautiful, quiet, peaceful day here where my friend Minnie and I are grazing out in the sunshine and enjoying a quiet time when, all of a sudden, humans come in without even noticing that things were just fine before they got there. Then they come in talking and talking and running equipment and before you know it we get scared and run back inside.  There went our peaceful moment. You all need to learn to slow down and breathe. You think sheep are shy or, worse yet, some say we are stupid. The truth is, we are just quiet. And to you that feels very alien. My hope is that you will find the gift of quiet and peace. You’d be much better off and wouldn’t struggle so much.”

Animal Message of the Day: Charlie

From Charlie: “I am grateful for laughter. And I will do anything I have to in life to be sure I can hear someone laugh. The problem is that sometimes people don’t have the sense of humor I feel they should have. When I notice that, I move into action. First, I get their attention. It can be stealing their glove or unzipping their jacket, whatever it takes. And then, I show them how they are being far to serious. Be grateful to laugh. Life is about living. It is important to take a moment each day and find something that makes you smile inside. And when you find that moment, let that smile come from the inside to the outside and you will brighten someone else’s day. That is my philosophy. So next time you think I’m being naughty, take a moment to find the humor. Ok…. Well, sometimes I admit I can be just a little naughty too.”

Animal Message of the Day – Luna

From Luna: “When the sun comes up each day, I feel gratitude to be included in another day. I don’t like winter or being cold, but, on a cold day when I see my breath float away from my body, I am grateful to see the breath I take for granted each moment. Life is a sacred gift and opportunity. In every second and with every breath we can make a difference to someone else and even to ourselves. Moment by moment I remember this to get me through the times that are not as easy. Sometimes gratitude comes from looking at things once they are behind us. But we need to hold in our hearts the truth that in the tough times, things will move if we let them, and the sun will come up again – and we will have another chance to feel grateful.”

Animal Messenger of the Day: Misty Mew

Animal Message of the Day:

From Misty Mew:  “I am grateful to have purpose. Someone threw me out of their car and left me on the side of the road. You can’t get much more lost than that. I didn’t know what to do. But, I saw a light and headed for it. I was lucky. It brought me here. I waited at the door. It was the only thing to do. It turns out that I was very lucky. We have a lot of cats here. All of us have different stories. But I wanted something different. I realized that this place needed a cat to greet people at the door, just like someone greeted me when I was most lost. Lots of people come in our doors who truly feel lost inside. They may not say it, but I know it, because I’ve been there. Now, I’ve made myself the greeter cat. And I let everyone know they are welcome to be here. Their hearts can rest a minute or two here with us. I am grateful to have found my purpose.”

Animal Messenger of the day: Noah

Today starts the beginning of our annual tradition of a message a day from the animals of Spring Farm CARES, from Thanksgiving thru New Year’s Eve. All messages are through co-founder, animal communicator Dawn Hayman. We hope you enjoy them!
 
The animals were all asked, “What are you most grateful for or wish for the most?”
 
From Noah: “It is my fondest wish that Dawn will post my message first. I have so much to be grateful for that I couldn’t possibly list it all. But I’d like to take this chance to say something more. We have a lot of animals living here that were cast away because there was no space for them where they were, or they couldn’t be cared for any longer, or they were abandoned and forgotten. Some of us have seen great pain and suffering. Many of us are old. Some of us are still young and learning the basics. But all of us, every single one of us, is loved now that we are here. There is a feeling in the heart that only comes from being safe and learning to trust. I can tell you that when I walked in the door here, I hadn’t much understanding or faith in finding my place in life. But someone with a lot of patience taught me that life is learned one tiny step at a time. Step by step we can find our true selves and the meaning and wonder of all of life. I learned to walk beside another by being valued for who I am. No one pushed me. No one tried to “break me” into pieces to mold me the way they wanted me to be. Instead, they looked to me and asked me who I am. And they listened. All of us here on this farm want to share this gift with you. We are grateful for each of you. And we hope you can find peace and love and gratitude for being who you are. Thank you for letting me say this. You are perfect the way you are and you need to know that. Now go start your day with gratitude and love and forgiveness. Whatever it takes, just take one tiny step to start and your journey will begin.”

Animal Messages for the Holidays

It’s that time of the year again! Back by popular demand, we will once again be bringing you our traditional holiday offering to all of you. From Thanksgiving, 11/ 28 – 12/31/19 we will daily post a message from an animal along with their photo. Dawn Hayman, Animal Communicator and co-founder of Spring Farm CARES, will be asking the animals of SFC what they are most grateful for in life. You won’t want to miss their messages. To start things off as a preview, Dawn’s dog Jessie weighs in:

From Jessie: ““Hi Everyone! This is Jessie and I am the dog that looks after Dawn. I wanted you all to know that I am helping her prepare for the messages from the animals here coming up soon. It’s a full-time job for me to help her. It’s not always easy, especially when she worries all the time. So, we are going to be sending you all a lot of messages about gratitude and kindness and love – you know, the real important stuff that we don’t want to forget. I’ll do my best to keep her on track. I’m very sure that you won’t want to miss this, so stay tuned. And when it’s all done, you can thank me for keeping her on track.”

A Day in the Life of Elsie

Come join us for a look at a day in the life of our sanctuary cat Elsie.

 

Memorial – Frankie

Frankie – October 9, 2019

 

Tonight, we were shocked by the loss of one of our younger residents. Frankie was born in 2009 and came to the farm in 2016. He was already blind when he arrived here and came to our sanctuary to live out his days. Although his time with us was much shorter than expected, we know that Frankie felt safe with us and was loved and adored by all of us.

Frankie was a pony with lots of personality and spunk. It is indeed what gave him great strength. This afternoon he suddenly had a colic episode. At first, we thought it was something mild, but as the hours went on, he did not respond to treatment. With our veterinarians we tried for several hours to pull him through, but it was not to be. The only help left to give him was to release him from the body that could no longer heal.

For those of you who may not know, Spring Farm CARES is co-founded by professional animal communicator Dawn Hayman.  We think it is fitting to let Frankie’s message to Dawn speak for itself. Because in the end, Frankie let us know that although we feel his life was cut short, he feels differently about that.

“I don’t want you all feeling sad for me now. It was time for me to go. When I lost my eyesight, my world drastically changed and became very challenging. Although you made my world safe for me, it became a world with too many limitations and my desire for running free became stronger than my will to stay. I was grateful for all that you did. But when my darkness began to dim my inner light, I knew I had done enough in this lifetime. Do not be sad for me. I lived to the fullest in this little pony body. But life became more questions than answers and I needed to find the answers somewhere else. Thank you for understanding and letting me go on. To be able to find the joy of running free again was delightful. I’m not afraid of moving forward anymore. Your love gave me strength and hope and I now carry that with me always. I’ve now graduated on to something so much bigger. You gave me the best of all you could and I’ve taken every ounce of that with me. I am grateful to call your hearts my home. And with that, I shall gallop off, no longer a prisoner to darkness, and running fully into the light.”

Happy journey Frankie. Thank you for all you taught us and for touching all of our hearts.

Memorial – Chance

Chance – 1995 – August 13, 2019

Today we unexpectedly said good-bye to Chance. Animals come to our sanctuary from various situations and for various reasons, some come to stay for many years and some for just a short time. Chance had only been here since November 2018.  He came here to live out his days as he was not doing well in the herd where he had been living. He arrived here thin and very difficult to put weight on. But over the past several months, Chance thrived here. He became the picture of health. So, today, we didn’t expect that we’d be having to make the decision to help him out of a body that suddenly failed.  While it was a shock to us, it actually was in keeping with how Chance wanted things to go. He didn’t want a big fuss made over him and he wouldn’t have been a fan of lots of nursing care.

Chance was his own man. He did things his way and had things the way he wanted them. We kept trying to buddy him up with several of our other horses but he wanted no part in that. He just really didn’t care for other horses. He liked being in a barn full of horses and clearly got comfort from that. But any kind of one on one activities with another horse was clearly not his thing. When we’d turn him out in our arena to walk around, he would cause trouble with each and every horse he could over their stall doors. He took a certain delight in doing that. There was this quiet side to Chance but he liked to stir up a little trouble when he could. Otherwise, he was a very nice horse and was good with people.

Chance suddenly had a colic this morning that at first seemed rather benign. We called our veterinarian anyway because Chance also had a cardiac issue and we wanted to be sure he was ok. But Chance actually was hiding from us the severity of what was happening inside of his body. He had a twisted gut and we couldn’t do anything to help him other than to help him out of his body. Moments before we said good-bye, Chance took one more walk around the arena to cause a little trouble with all of the horses just one last time.

We are blessed to have had the opportunity to know and love this one of a kind horse, even though it was for a short time. Chance needed a safe place to live out his final days and he found just that in our sanctuary. He made sure life was just the way he liked it and we are honored to have given him that final opportunity in his last months.

I’m sure as he passed into Spirit that things lined up for him just the way he wanted them to be. He left his body as quietly and unassumingly as he did when he walked in our door. While sad to see him go, we were honored to have given him a place to call his own.

Happy trails Chance.

Memorial – Viva

Today is a milestone in the history of Spring Farm CARES. Today we said good-bye to Viva, the horse responsible for starting this all. Viva was born March 20, 1985 after co-founder Bonnie bought her very first horse, Kazinka, only to find out later that she was pregnant. Viva arrived 3 weeks late as Bonnie slept beside Kazinka in the barn in sub-zero weather awaiting his arrival. His birth changed the course of Bonnie’s life and planted the seed that became Spring Farm CARES. Viva and Dawn arrived at the farm exactly at the same time. Destiny brought all of the ingredients together, and 34 years later it is amazing to see where we are and who we’ve become. And one stubborn, obstinate magnificent horse set the course and loved this farm as much as anyone ever could.

Viva lived his whole life here on this farm. He was loved since the day he was born. And he lived a life that very few horses get to live. By all accounts, Viva should have died two years ago when we discovered that he had a huge mass in his abdomen. He later had other medical complications on top of that. But, he made it clear it was not his time to go. He pulled through enormous odds and kept on trucking. Each winter, we thought it would be his last. But he lived for spring and the hope of green grass. In the end, it was his legs that gave out. He squeezed every ounce of usefulness out of the body he was born into.

It was clear that Viva never actually really wanted to go. He loved his life and this farm with all his heart and soul. From the hilltop on which he resided for the past 34 years, he could look over the entire farm. He watched enormous changes and growth over the years. He was proud of what we have become. He felt he was a part of it all and indeed he was.

Viva lived with three mares for over 20 years. Two of them, Story and Harriett, both passed in the last few years. That left Viva and Belle as the last of the hilltop herd. Sadly, Belle now finds herself the sole survivor. Our hearts ache for Belle today as she said good-bye to her last companion, the pesky gelding who the mares constantly had to keep in line, but who was her friend and companion nonetheless.

Just after Viva was euthanized, Belle came close to pay her last respects. As she fully understood that he was gone, she suddenly spun around and looked up the hill to the pasture on the hilltop. Ears perked, nostrils flaring, and watching with wonder at something we couldn’t see. It was then that we realized, the ghost herd had come to pick him up. She knew they were there. She could feel them. Belle herself is not in good health. We will find a new buddy to join her on the hillside. We know it won’t be the same. And we also know that Viva and friends will be watching over her, and the entire farm that he helped create.

He told Dawn before he left, “Look, it’s gonna have to be up to you now to carry this forward. Don’t drop the ball now. My energy will still be here forever with you. But don’t mess this up.”  No pressure there. The dream will continue. The mission will move on. And the stubborn gelding that always from day one did things in his own way on his own time, will always be a part of the very heart of this mission.

Memorial – TLC

TLCToday, most unexpectedly, we lost one of our beloved horse friends. TLC was born here on the farm in 1991, before Spring Farm CARES was officially founded. We consider him one of our founding horses. It is always hard to say good-bye, but to have him with us for all of his 28 years was an honor. He watched SFC be birthed and he knew he was a part of that process.

TLC or “T” as he was most often called was not an easy horse. But he was a horse who taught us much and who was a favorite among many of his caretakers over the years. TLC spent his whole life with another gelding named Meloudee. They were born just a couple of weeks apart and spent their time playing as foals together and were stall neighbors and pasture mates their entire life. Meloudee has had many health problems and TLC always stuck by his side. Any time that TLC had any issues or concerns, Meloudee stood watch over him. They were half-brothers by breeding and best friends without question. The two of them lived in their own little world together. In the pasture they would go off together from the rest of the herd and do their own thing. They stayed out of trouble that way. But they also didn’t really connect with people all that much. They weren’t mean or nasty. But they had no particular interest in buddying up with people either.

In the past couple of years, both of them started allowing themselves to work more with their caretakers. And both of them became more connected and participated more with grooming and handling. As a result, they developed stronger and more meaningful relationships with their human friends. It was great to watch them grow and expand their worlds.

Our hearts go out to Meloudee today who lost his best friend and herd mate. We understand that no one can replace the love he had for TLC. As TLC took suddenly ill this morning, Meloudee stood in his stall with his head hanging over to his friend trying to let him know he was there. TLC had a twisted intestine and nothing more could be done for him. He was not a surgical candidate for many reasons.

TLC was not one for mushiness. He was generally more reserved and matter of fact. But he was also very grateful for his life here at SFC and for the love he received from his caretakers. And mostly, he would like to thank his friend Meloudee for all the years of friendship and companionship. He will run ahead now, but he will wait for his friend to one day join him and once again they will run off through the fields and do their own thing – together.

Rest easy T and thank you for all you taught us and shared with us over the years. You will forever be a part of the miracle of Spring Farm CARES.