Posted on Feb 05, 2014
By Ellie Laks, Founder of The Gentle Barn
We had a wonderful group of kids here this week from South Central Los Angeles. We took four of The Gentle Barn’s dogs and hiked up a mountain and looked at the view of land that had been burned in a fire. Seven years ago, the land was burned, dead and totally destroyed. But somehow plants figured out how to survive and grow back. Then we told some of the dogs’ stories; Blossom was taken to the animal shelter with her mom and siblings and they put the mom down while they waited for someone to save them. Blossom was terrified and alone. Dylan’s person died suddenly leaving Dylan locked in the house, alone and afraid for weeks. Lakota's family did not want him and he had to leave his mom to come with us to safety. He was depressed for weeks. The children all came from broken homes and they too knew what it was like to lose and miss someone special to them. We sat in a circle on the top of the hill and talked about resilience. Every animal at The Gentle Barn has gone through hard, painful times and found a way to get through it. These kids have gone through so much and it is hard to imagine how their little bodies carry around so much pain and sorrow and yet they were finding ways through it as well. Together we realized that if plants can grow after a blaze, then we can find ways to grow up through the ashes and blossom too.