Posted on May 24, 2018
By Ellie Laks, Founder of The Gentle Barn
I am so extremely grateful for all the generosity and support of our GoFundMe Campaign, so we can move our Tennessee location to a permanent property in Nashville. The property is gorgeous! The cow area is huge with a big red barn and lush green pasture. I can picture Destiny, Maybelle, Miles, Eclipse, and Captain running, kicking up their heals, grazing on the sweet grass, and meditating in the shade of the barn. I can also imagine the new cows we’ll be able to save because there is so much room. I can practically hear the sound of our horses’ hooves thundering past while they gallop around their enormous area; eating, playing, exploring, exercising, and feeling free. I can envision our piggies wagging their tails while they root up their yard, splash in their pool, and play in the woods. While the birds dust bath, lie in the sun, and chase bugs. It is an absolute paradise that is so real in my mind, and so full of bliss, that I walk around with a huge smile on my face most of the time.
We have three weeks left to raise the funds. The GoFundMe Campaign is trending higher every day, as we steadily approach our goal. And our fans are giving so much to make this happen. I am so thankful! They say it takes a village, and it is clear right now that that saying is true as we can never do this without our gentle village who loves animals just as much as we do. But it is more than an animal sanctuary, it is a place of refuge for humans as well. From our volunteers who come looking for community, to the children who come to find themselves in the barnyard. Each tree who offers shade, each blade of grass who offers a soft spot to sit, each animal who offers unconditional love, and the very ground itself is a sanctuary for all those who feel broken, alone, and hopeless. Thousands of people will come to The Gentle Barn Nashville and walk away with their heads a little taller and their smiles much brighter for having been. It is a place of peace, joy, connections, and love that will raise a future generation to have reverence for the environment, compassion for animals, and kindness for other people. In the climate that we are in now, we need this now more than ever!
Dudley brought us to Tennessee and in turn, he touched all who knew of him. He opened all our hearts, he inspired us to be strong, he taught us to be humble, he connected us, and he opened us up to a deeper love. He trained our staff, he showed our other animals how to be ambassadors, and he put a smile on our faces every day. He showed us that even when bad things happen, we can get through them with grace and joy. He shared his intelligence and affection with the world and the world now sees cows in a different way. It is time to plant a tree in memory of Dudley and lay his ashes to rest. It is time that we have a forever home for Dudley’s family. And it is time that we help more animals, heal more people, and open more hearts in his honor, forever more. If you donated already, thank you! If you haven’t yet, please help us, be part of this journey, and enable us to continue this great work! I can visualize our opening day where our guests enjoy cow hugs, cuddle turkeys, piggy tummy rubs, gentle foods, and the positive energy of the land… can you?!