Posted on Jan 22, 2016
By Ellie Laks, Founder of The Gentle Barn
Athena was rescued from a horrendous cruelty case a few years ago. She has been at our Sun Chlorella Healing Center with the other cows we rescued at the same time, gaining weight and recovering physically. She is now in great physical health, but emotionally she has been frozen in the same place of fear since the day animal control brought her home to us. So, a few weeks ago we brought Athena to our main location so she could get more attention and affection and finally heal her scarred, broken heart.
Athena liked our other cows right away and we knew that those matriarchs would impart wisdom to Athena which would be invaluable in her healing. Athena joined their daily ritual of grooming each other after breakfast and meditating in a big circle in the afternoons. At The Healing Center, there are many younger cows who seemed to bully Athena and push her out of the way, but at our main location Athena was respected and included and that seemed to open her heart.
A few days later, we had Athena’s first open house on Sunday and when the crowds first approached the cow area Athena’s eyes were huge with fear. We assigned Athena a wonderful volunteer to guard her and make sure no one would approach her or disrespect her. We had our guests offer Athena carrots throughout the day. It only took about an hour until Athena fell into a lovely groove of meeting visitors, eating carrots, and even approaching the guests for more. Her face relaxed and seemed soft and we felt hopeful that this was the start of a whole new life for Athena, one of trust, respect, forgiveness, and joy.
Over the last few weeks, Athena has been making wonderful progress. She seems happy and relaxed on Sundays, even when we have 350 guests, and during the week she even approaches us during our private tours and licks our fingers. She does not run away when people come near and seems cheerful. Over the ensuing months we are hoping that Athena will keep recovering so that one day soon we will be able to brush her silky black hair, scratch her back, and hug her. With enough time, we believe everyone can heal, forgive and learn to trust again.
Come visit Athena when you get a chance and tell her how beautiful she is and how glad we are to have her. Who knows, you might be her first embrace? For tickets and more info, go to www.gentlebarn.org