Posted on Feb 04, 2016
By Ellie Laks, Founder of The Gentle Barn
Before we rescued her, Grace was crippled by a large bull and could not walk. She had a broken pelvis and could only drag herself by her elbows. After months of trying to get her to stand, the agricultural school was going to send her to auction when we intervened and brought her home instead. After twelve years of having her babies taken away and being disrespected by humans, Grace was furious and hated people.
For a year we gave her massage therapy and acupuncture to heal her broken body. At long last, she was able to walk freely and live without pain. Now, we just needed to heal her heart.
At first, aside from her physical therapy, we left her alone so she could know we didn't want anything from her. Once she wasn't as defensive, I started petting her every day. At first, she would try to walk away or yell at me by snorting through her nose and swinging her head. I would scratch her on her back and she would realize it felt good. I would end up scratching her for 45 minutes. In her third year at The Gentle Barn, it was time she accepted other people besides me, so each Sunday she would pick one or two visitors to gently pet her. She was trying so hard to trust but the wound inside her was so deep.
Grace has come a long way in the last few years. She will eat out of our guests hands and allows certain people of her choosing to spend time with her. We wanted to keep working until she truly surrendered, forgave, and became vulnerable, until her past no longer lived inside of her at all. We believe that animals sometimes come to us to learn life lessons and to evolve along their spiritual journey. We believed that Grace was at The Gentle Barn to learn forgiveness and surrender to love.
SHE FINALLY DID IT! Lately, we have been giving her lots of therapy including massage therapy, chiropractic, energetic healing, and acupuncture. I think these treatments finally allowed Grace to know we had her best interests and to let us in. Last Sunday when we were open to the public, Grace was out with all the other cows, allowing all the guests to brush and pet her. Her face was soft and open and she was gentle and happy the whole time. We are so very proud of her!!! You did it Grace, you found grace!!!!!
The sad news is that once an animal has finally learned their life lessons, often times they will cross over because there is no more reason for them to be here; they have done what they have come here to do. I don't know how much longer Grace will be here with us, but each and every day I hug her and tell her how very proud of her I am and how very much I love her. Whenever it is that she leaves this world, she'll do it as her choice, in her time, with her head held high, her heart wide open, and her eyes full of grace!