Inspiring Kindness and Compassion towards Animals, Our Planet, and Each Other
Inspiring Kindness and Compassion towards Animals, Our Planet, and Each Other

Saving a Soul

This week we had a little dog left on our property in the middle of the night. When we found her in the morning, she was trembling so hard I thought she would fall over. We brought her into our house and it took two hours to get her out of the crate and into my arms.

I imagined how scary that must have been for her to have been placed into a crate, covered so she could not see, and left. She must have heard the footsteps walk away and wondered where they were going. She must have heard the car drive away and felt horrified. She must have waited all night in the dark and cold for them to return. She probably heard the coyotes and the traffic, and she must have been so terrified.

I lay in front of her crate and talked to her quietly, not looking directly at her. I told her that she had come to the right place, that we were going to be kind to her and she would be safe. I told her that even though what happened to her was awful, from now on her life would be magical. She would always be happy and loved for the rest of her life because I would personally see to it. I very slowly opened the door to her crate and continued talking to her. After a little while I put my hand closer and closer to her until I was touching her toes. I was encouraged that she did not pull away. I kept telling her she was beautiful and precious and that she deserved love and all good things. I reached my hand further and further inside her crate until I was stroking her neck, head, and chest. I moved so slowly because I did not want to scare her even more, and I did not want to give her a reason to bite me. I did not look directly at her so she would know I was not challenging her or trying to dominate her in any way. That gave her the courage to slowly start looking at me and stop trembling.

After a couple of hours, I very slowly pulled her blankets out of the crate and her along with them, until she was in my lap. I sat and stroked her like that for a long time until she softened, and then I pulled her up and into my arms. It was a risk, and she could have bitten me, but I figured how could I ask her to trust me until I put my trust in her? Once she was in my arms I took her to my bed and under the covers we snuggled for another two hours. I had to make her feel warm and safe and bonded with me before I could set her down. If I set her down too early she would disappear under the bed and I would not be able to find her. If I held her until she understood my intentions and knew my heart, then she would follow me everywhere. Sure enough after this process was complete, she was mine.

She is scared of everyone and everything and each new sound and sight sends her shaking again. Over the last few days, however, she followed me everywhere. I held her when my dogs barked, she ran to me when my bird squawked, and I reassured her when someone else came into the house. Slowly she is gaining confidence. She is fearful of my other dogs and clearly has never lived with other dogs before. She is alarmed by my husband and might have been previously mistreated by a man. She is depressed and not eating. When we are alone in the back yard, she runs around exploring and is even starting to play with me. She snuggles in bed in my arms like a little baby doll. She is very slowly gaining confidence and appetite every day.

I’m not sure if she is destined to be ours or if she is meant for someone else, but I am open to any possibilities. As long as she is scared and unsure she will remain with us. Once she is fully past her fear issues, eating, and spayed, we will see what would be best for her. If we did place her she would need a quiet home, where someone is home most of the time. She loves kids and might do well with a little girl to love. She would do alright as an only dog, but would love to have another small dog to befriend.

When I think of her face when we found her and uncovered the crate, and how scared she was, I feel so heartbroken that anyone would have treated her like that. But the truth is that we don’t know the situation and we can’t judge unless we have walked in their shoes. When I think about her future, I am filled with joy thinking of how far she will go, how happy she will be, and what a great life she will have. Thank you so much for supporting us so we can be here for little ones like this and give them the life that all animals deserve!

Ellie Laks
Founder
The Gentle Barn

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  • Chakra Meditation and Sound Healing (Winter 2024)

    March 2nd 2024 - The Gentle Barn California

    Clear, Balance and Align your 7 main Chakras through guided meditation, chanting, and Integrative sound bath. When your chakras are aligned, the energy moves through you more freely, and you can feel in harmony with all aspects of your physical, emotional and spiritual self.

  • Thermal Horizon - Windsong Retreat (Spring 2024)

    May 4th 2024 - The Gentle Barn California

    Let’s come together as a community as we support The Gentle Barn in their endeavor to enrich the lives of abused animals worldwide. Let’s bring our loving hearts, the spirit of opportunity and fill our cups emotionally, spiritually, and physically as we celebrate unity in community by helping these wonderful support animals.

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Spotlight Sponsor of the Month

At Katjes we believe that every life is precious and these values extend beyond our plant-based gummies. As part of our campaign featuring rescued animals, we’re honored to join hands with The Gentle Barn, to support their non-stop efforts in protecting animals. By drawing attention to their heart-warming stories, we hope to provide food for thought when we say: Kindness just tastes better.

Eliza Jahn

Head of Marketing Katjes USA