Posted on May 06, 2021
By Ellie Laks, Founder of The Gentle Barn
Some rescued animals spend years trying to forgive, learn to trust, and find joy again. But not all rescued animals are eternally traumatized from their pasts. Many become full of life and gratitude once they realize who we are and what kind of life we are offering. Some knew all along that they deserved something better and once they have it, they accept it easily and move forward with grace. It is a privilege to watch them shine and enjoy their lives, and they serve as such a great example of resilience and recovery for us all to learn from!
Maybelle comes from a life of sadness, grief, and despair, wanting to be a mom but year after year, never being allowed to raise her babies. She had so much love to give and no one to give it to. Once she came to The Gentle Barn and her cries were heard, she saw what kind of humans we were and decided from then on to receive our love and affections and shower everyone she met with the same. Momma Maybelle ended up having a son who she was reunited with, and a daughter she gave birth to at The Gentle Barn. With her own babies, and a huge family of other animals, volunteers, staff, and guests, Maybelle now has so many to extend her love to. She never takes a day for granted and we always make sure to give her extra bedtime cookies.
Menorah was going to be slaughtered and instead gave birth to a whole bunch of babies. She didn’t know what was to become of her, but she just kept loving them as if she could keep them forever. Her love touched something inside these farmers and Menorah was able to come to The Gentle Barn with her family instead of becoming a meal. Menorah had no time for fear, sadness, or trauma, she had kids to raise! She stayed in the present time, gave her family everything she had, trusted us, and lived in the joy of every moment instead of the past. Menorah’s babies are a year and a half old now and she has nursed them, raised them, nurtured and disciplined them, and still plays with them each day.
Remington was so scared of us at first. But with time and lots of patience, he soon realized that he had won the lottery and started playing, and now that is all he does every day, all day! He bites on his big brother, Chance, he gallops around the property kicking up his heels, he explores with intense curiosity, he comes running for treats, and he heehaws in happy greeting! Remi’s past no longer lives inside him, and he is free to love and be loved for the rest of his life.
Those of us who have suffered, gone through hard times, or have been hurt, tend to close ourselves off and protect ourselves from being hurt again. But all that tends to do is prevent us from having loving relationships or wonderful experiences. Remington, Maybelle, and Menorah teach us that when we move on from the past, open ourselves up to the present, and love, we end up with greater gifts than we could have ever imagined. Sadly terrible things do happen but when they do, moving on from it, forgiving, and falling in love again can make our dreams come true!