Posted on Apr 27, 2017
By Ellie Laks, Founder of The Gentle Barn
It never ceases to amaze me how when one animal leaves The Gentle Barn, another one is close behind for his or her turn to be here with us. When our dog, Maddie, passed away at eighteen years old, three days later we found Little One. When our wonderful lap chicken, Norma Jeanne, passed away of old age, just a few days later I got a call from our veterinarian asking if we would take Peggy, who had a congenital deformity and nowhere else to go. When sweet Bodhi passed away and I was inconsolable; I got a phone call the very next day about a farm pig at the shelter who needed a home.
The new arrivals never replace the ones who’ve left, but they do pull me forward from despair to hope, from sorrow to joy, and from the past into the future. They give me something to focus on and someone else to breath the life back into. My dearly departed will stay with me as part of my heart forever, and I can feel their love when I close my eyes and think of them. When I open my eyes, there is someone new standing in front of me, needing love, attention, and validation and it gives me so much joy to pour my soul into them.
Acclimating a new animal is not without its share of challenges. Our pig, Zeus, has been unwilling to welcome our new piggy with any form of grace, so they need to take turns in the yard under the very careful watch of our volunteers. The goats and sheep seem a little shy of him, so it’ll take them some time to get to know him. The new guy is still learning the routine and exploring the yard. He seems so smart and kind and we’ve all fallen head over heals in love with the guy. My biggest challenge is getting the discipline to go into my office and get work done because I would rather stay in the barnyard with him all day.
Thank you so very much to all of you who donated to name him! Because of your generosity we were able to order a truckload of hay and pick a wonderful name for him. His name will carry all your loving welcoming energy every time we call him, and will acknowledge each time that he is no longer an object or “food”, but rather a much cherished member of our family forever more!