Animal Message of the Day – Henry

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

Animal Message of the Day – Olivia

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

Memorial Tribute – Lindy

Lindy – December 18, 2019

Today we had to say good-bye to our wonderful goat Lindy. Lindy had been with us since 2008 when she came with several other goats who were being sent to slaughter as they were being “liquidated” from a petting zoo. All of them lived out their lives here with us. Lindy was the last survivor of that group. Over the past few months, Lindy had been diagnosed with a mass in her bladder. She immediately received hospice care as we knew the placement of the mass unfortunately made it inoperable. Drugs helped reduce the obstruction temporarily and pain meds kept her comfortable. But the mass eventually grew to the point where Lindy could no longer urinate and we knew we had to let her go. Her last day here was spent enjoying all of her favorite treats from peppermints to Twinkies.  She was pampered and doted on by her caretakers. Our hearts go out to Lindy’s goat companion Flora who misses her very much.

We think it appropriate to let Lindy speak for herself in her memorial. Just days ago, Lindy was featured in our Animal Message of the Day, a tradition we do from Thanksgiving thru New Years Day. We ask the animals what they are grateful for in their lives. Lindy’s quote says it all.

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.”

Mission accomplished Lindy. You were the most spectacular you that you could be. We miss you and hold you in our hearts always.

Animal Message of the Day – Mary Beth

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

Memorial Tribute – Meloudee

Meloudee – December 10, 2019

On December 10th, we said an unexpected good-bye to a horse who was born on this farm 28 years ago. Meloudee only knew one farm as his home for his entire life. Our loss is huge. His story needs to be told because Meloudee stood for all this farm is about. In fact, he is one of the founding horses who helped shape the mission and birth of Spring Farm CARES. There is only one more of those original horses left.

Meloudee was a magnificent Arab gelding. He was stubborn. He was strong. And he thought he was invincible. But Meloudee’s story is not about his royal Arab blood lines. Nor is it about show ribbons or trophies or titles. Meloudee’s story is about character and humility and growth – both of his own and for what he taught all of us around him.

Meloudee was misunderstood and mislabeled for most of his life. He was mostly seen as difficult and obstinate, or even called “crazy”. Granted, he could be all of those things, but he landed there because he wasn’t really being heard or understood. For most of his life he was content to be in the background and just hang out with his brother TLC. The two of them were extremely bonded. They spent their entire lives together until TLC died very unexpectedly earlier this year.

But in the past two years, something amazing changed for Meloudee and his life took a different turn. Cushing’s Disease led to chronic foot problems which required special trimming and shoeing and nursing care. His human caretaking team stepped in and began working with him differently. They began working with him and not against him. They began teaching him new ways instead of forcing things on him. He developed a new kind of trust. He started to understand things in a different way and Meloudee blossomed before our eyes. It took a lot of work and consistency and people working together as a team. He taught us so much and he learned a lot himself. For the past year, Meloudee could be handled and led and medicated and treated by his entire human care team. They developed a relationship that was quite deep. Meloudee was doing very well.

So the shock came at the end of the day, while he was standing in his stall calmly eating one second and then on the ground in pain the next. Meloudee was very stoic. So to see him in this extreme pain, we knew something terrible had happened. We knew he had reached the end and we had to say good-bye. Nothing prepares us for that moment. No matter how many times we go through this, it is always hard.

Meloudee and brother TLC

We are comforted by the fact that Meloudee’s life was so well lived. He grew in ways that was profound for his soul. The little Arab gelding who often stayed in the background taught us all more than we can even express. His story is also about the humans who made this all possible. The people who cared for him day and night and who enriched his life beyond measure. We thank Robin for heading up the team and for her patience and compassion in working with him in the way that opened doors and changed his life dramatically. And we thank his caretakers, Taylor, Cate, and Rachel. And his professional care team, his veterinarian Dr. Rachel and his farrier Loren.

Animal Message of the Day – Lucy

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

Animal Message of the Day – Ginny

From Ginny: “We have seen a lot of change around this farm this year. There has been a big renewal in hope and faith and dreams. I’m not really sure the humans actually stop to take enough time to realize this. They see fencing projects and new pastures and building renovations and lots of work. But we animals see security and trust and hope being planted and nurtured and growing. My hope is for everyone hearing this message to find one thing today to be grateful for and hopeful about. Don’t let hopelessness cloud your day. There is always something to reach for and each of you have a seed of hope to give to someone else. I hope you can plant a seed today for me.”

Animal Message of the Day – O’Malley

From O’Malley: “I am and always will be grateful for my friends. I have human friends and cat friends that are just the greatest critters you can imagine. I love being loved. To me, it is what life is all about. I couldn’t imagine life without love. There was a time though that I thought I’d never find that. If you find yourself thinking the same thing, I can tell you that you need to think again. The greatest way to find love is to love someone yourself. If you love, love will find you. And when you love yourself and where you are, you will see absolute magic happen. That doesn’t mean I don’t have bad days. Sometimes I get sad and frustrated too. But then my friends step in and make it all better again.”

Animal Message of the Day – Felix

From Felix: “I am most grateful for my friends. At night, when it’s quiet, I am comforted by the breathing of all the animals around me. One of the sheep snores. Luna the goat dreams silly things and makes funny sounds. The horses all take turns resting and their breathing changes throughout the night. And my buddy Leo stands close and sometimes I can even hear his heart beating. It is comforting to know the breathing of friends. Life is precious. I am grateful for every breath around me.”

Animal Message of the Day – Merlin

From Merlin: “Ahhh, everything in life brings about gratitude for me. Sometimes, it can be that first taste of a really good grape. Or the first light of the day greeting me. Or the sound of my humans singing in the morning. I’m grateful for that whistle that gets humans to follow me in song. I whistle then they whistle. Funny thing is that people think it’s the other way around. They think I mimic them, but in reality, they are the ones being trained by me! I get great joy watching how the human brain works. But, my hope for the world is that we all learn to mimic kindness in one another. Just like humming a catchy tune. Maybe we could all be kind and let it spread like a great tune or a catchy rhyme. That is my hope.”

 

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.”