Posted on Jan 22, 2013
By Ellie Laks, Founder of The Gentle Barn
Madonna and Holy Cow just turned two years old! It seems like just yesterday when they were 8 weeks old and we saved them from slaughter and brought them home. With an underdeveloped stomach, Madonna kept bloating and almost died several times and we had to stay up with her all night for almost a month. Holy Cow was stomped when she was born so she would not walk, so she had no muscle and could not stand. Our chiropractor straightened her spine after many sessions and we encouraged her to stand every hour, all day long until she developed muscles and could walk.
They were terrified of humans and had no hope or will to live. It took months of intense therapy, thousands of dollars of vet care, the help of hundreds of volunteers, and tons of unconditional love to heal their bodies and give them something to live for. Today Madonna and Holy Cow are healthy, strong, full of life and happiness, and think of themselves as lap cows. We are so happy they were born and we love having them as part of our family! Madonna and Holy were named by Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi.
This week our dentist came out to clean our dogs’ teeth. This non anesthesia method does not take the place of a thorough cleaning by the vet, but does help maintain the teeth between vet visits and helps prevent infections and plaque build up. We explained what was going to be done to the dogs and explained to the dogs that we needed them to lay still and quiet and trust us, and they did! Each one took his or her turn on the carpet while they had their cleaning and it was quick, painless and successful! If you live in the Los Angeles or surrounding area and you would like the dentist’s information, please contact us.
This week we had a fantastic group of kids who come in from South Central Los Angeles, brought in by the Los Angeles Police Department. We hiked up the mountain behind our house and picked the highest spot to sit and talk. We told them that 4 years ago we had a fire here and as far as the eye could see was burned, dead and destroyed, and we noticed that now just a few years later everything is lush, green and overgrown with flowers of every color.
We talked about how resilient nature is and that no matter how demolished it seems, it can always grow back and start anew. We talked about how our animals are resilient too and asked the kids for examples of how they have been resilient in their lives. They shared some incredible stories of how they survived life, stayed true to who they were, and rose above their situations.
As we walked back to the barn the teens saw some trash on the mountain, and without being asked, picked it up and carried it all the way down to the barn where they threw it away. These kids are heroes, protectors and defenders of the planet and animals, and we are so proud of them and grateful to know them!
Our violence prevention program with at-risk and special needs kids runs from September through June. As this year slowly winds down, we are already trying to raise funds for groups to come next year. We have so many groups that need our program and are on our waiting list hoping to be funded. Please sponsor a group of kids who are in foster care, on drugs, in gangs, on probation, from the inner city, or having special needs to come to The Gentle Barn. Our program makes miracles in every group and you would be helping us save lives!
To make a donation towards animal care, our violence prevention program, and to support work of The Gentle Barn please click here.