Friday, May 29, 2009

Respect ~ Understanding ~ Truth ~ Honor (by Deanna)

Our newest love affair is with a divine older gal named Ruth who came home to us on May 19.
For nearly a year now, we have known an extraordinary woman, Dr. Margaret Hunt, DVM, who works for the Sacramento County animal shelter. We met Dr. Hunt when she responded to our Craigslist ad regarding Hope's 6-8-08 disappearance. Incredibly, Dr. Hunt volunteered several hours in extreme heat helping us pound the pavement in search of our (still missing) one and only. You may have realized by now that our dear friend shares our passion for America's first breed, the Boston Terrier.

When she contacted us about a hospice case, we could not turn away. She told us of an old, stray BT with multiple challenges - an enlarged liver, corneal ulcer, probable Cushing's - and we were sold. The photos that came later just solidified our commitment and I went to the shelter at the first possible opportunity.Within an hour of Ruth's arrival, Jan Harper arrived at the ranch to perform cold laser therapy and chiropractic on some of the residents. Score, Ruthie!
A few days later, Ruth received another treatment from Aunt Jan, as well as energy work from Tom Wilson and visitor Kathy Veder. Add to that some loving cleansing and home cooked meals, and Miss Ruth has begun to make herself at home. She has figured out the dog door, follows us around as part of the "mobile" pack and has a special affinity for Bug. I look forward to sharing more Ruth stories as we would love this dear girl to stick around for a long time. Heartfelt appreciation to the healers who share their talents and energies with Ruth and the others. Our circle of love keeps ever expanding and the love light shines bright.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tuesdays with Maggie ~ Sue & Megan

I got the absolute privilege of being invited to go along on a trail ride with the super wonderful mother-daughter team of Megan and Sue Cooper. Megan and Sue have been with ACFB since the (almost) very beginning. They are active volunteers who regularly come out and love on our critters. We absolutely look forward to their visits. I was honored to be invited to ride along with Sue and Doc, Megan and Zulu, and Dee and Buck. To start, the weather was perfect! We rode out at Traylor Ranch and while I have ridden there several times, it was nice to see the park through a new prospective. I was reminded of how fortunate we are to have such a beautiful nature preserve so close to the farm. Sue looked right at home riding Doc (Sue, I think this might be your boy!). And I am afraid I might lose my Zulu to Megan. They looked too good together!

I am so fortunate to be mixing it up with such positive people. Sue & Megan are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the many wonderful people who help support our farm. My little blog can’t begin to cover our gratitude.

I felt I would take this opportunity to thank Megan and Sue personally, for all their dedication. You are truly appreciated and loved! We can’t wait for many more moments (trail rides??) with you again.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Piece of Heaven

My grandma lived in Penryn and a number of years ago she met a wonderful couple who had recently moved down the lane, and so began a dear friendship with Deanna and Woody.

I have thoroughly enjoyed watching the Bartley home grow into a piece of heaven for dozens of animals (and the people who visit them!) Each time I see the the expanse of their love and dedication my heart swells.

So this past weekend I was fortunate enough to travel to A Chance for Bliss with my close family friends, a family of six with children ages 5 months to 6 years. The middle girl, Eve who's four, was a living testimony of how much a piece of heaven the Bartley compound truly is.

Anna and Greg, the wonderful parents, deeply enjoyed Woody's fabulous tour and learning the history of A Chance for Bliss (for as long as I've know them I'd never heard the whole story- what a treat). Eve precociously followed at Woody's heals, enthusiastically asking to pet animals with each breath. Her eyes sparkled with wonder and joy as she made contact with the gentle, knowing, and loving residents of the sanctuary.

Grace, six and a half, stayed back, happy to admire the animals from the shade, and little Jack, three, got a nice love nibble from one of the horses and then went to visit Ferdinand (the LARGE steer). I carried Jack over to the gentle and giant and he pointed excitedly, "I ride that one!"

In the house (which looks and smells as if no animals live there) we were greeted by well over a dozen adorable puppies, all old and many with special needs. These beautiful animals brought such joy to the three creature loving children, and Anna and Greg appreciated the herd.

A big thanks to Woody for his patient and incredible tour and to the Bartleys for their unbelievable work and spirits. Without them we would not have a little piece of heaven in Penyrn. If you haven't visited- I strongly recommend a day at the sanctuary- I personally enjoy visits with Deanna while shoveling manure (it is actually relaxing). I promise you will be inspired.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Photos by Deanna

There have been some fun ones lately, so I felt the need to share!
Chico warns me to get the camera away from him.

Murphy likes the table .

Prince (our eldest horse - 34) THOROUGHLY enjoys Bob's groom

Paddington works a Bully Stick.

Cottonwood fluff everywhere... Red soothing an itch.

Doc and Mini-Doc (Handsome is a bit thick right now!)

What? I'm helping to clean the bowls...

Gracie loves a blankie

Faith and Justice share a meal

A much thinner Miss Piggy enjoys a clean bunk.

Piggies eating poridge

Buddy chills on the ride to Modesto to rescue horses

Ms. Bow Tie kickin' it with a hoofie

Bug kisses her new Dad

Laid back would be an understatment, Otis!

This IS my normal face!

Hi! I'm Baby! I got my hairs cut!

Red sticks his tongue out at those who neglected him.
The big boy is looking better every day.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Faces of Love ~ by Deanna

Honestly, you'd think we had never seen a Boston Terrier before, the way Woody and I are fawning over our latest addition, Bug Findley-Bartley. We had never formally met, but have known of the sweet girl since February 2008 when Dr. Lana Linton [insert accolades here - she's truly special] called to see if we might be able to assist financially with this special girl. Bug was the light of her Daddy's life, but life has not treated him so kindly. Bug's Dad was shy, but would send us nice notes to keep us updated on her progress. Recently, he had to be hospitalized and Bug needed a place to go, so Tuesday morning we met her at last. A mere 13 pounds and looking every bit her 14 years, she has us both doting on her hand and foot, though not because she is demanding. It's just love. Over and over again we fall and we feel so blessed to be able to love so many diverse beings.
I immediately fell for Justice, as well, the 28yo Arabian gelding that arrived Sunday from the Modesto Animal Control. Heaven knows what he's been through, he has an angular hoof deformity, a sunburned nose, very little meat on his small frame, but a lust for life. Upon seeing our other horses, he immediately sprang into a full Arab prance, floating gracefully around and looking awfully proud of himself. His pal, Faith, is incredibly bright, as well, considering that her feet are in horrific, painful shape. We're unsure of Faith's age and breed at this point, but she is kind and well mannered. The sense of gratitude and trust that we are here to help is easy to read as we work with their feet and feed them special meals of LMF Low-Carb. Faith and Justice share their bowls and a true affection for one another. You can read their original story here.
I'm happy to introduce Doc, as well, who arrived on the 7th. Doc is a STUNNING 14yo Quarter Horse who has been suffering from Navicular for quite some time. He was bred in Montana as a cutter (Doc Bar lines, of course) and most recently worked as a therapy horse until his feet could no longer take a 30 minute session. The affection that his previous caregivers have for him comes across loud and clear and we're honored that they sought us out to care for the big boy and grateful that they contribute financially to insure his future. Here Doc is sporting his new boots.
With respect to hooves, these three present a tall order, but we cannot overemphasize the trust and respect we have for our trimmer, friend and fellow board member, Rachel Chao. We've witnessed her magic on Dolly and Spike, I've attended her Hooves 101 intensive and feel her passion regularly. She is brilliant and dedicated and we are lucky to have her on our team. I look forward to sharing the progress these three will make. We love her and don't put any pressure on her, ever! ( * wink * wink * )

Another recent addition is Robin, a (mostly) Suffolk sheep who managed to catch her leg in a fence and damage it pretty severely. Robin is eight months old and was raised in a 4H environment, so she is not overly shy. Robin is a beautiful girl and we hope that Dr. Robin Skillman can help her.
The Inn is truly full, as are our hands and hearts. The days are long and busy, but rewarding. We cannot thank you enough for the support you provide.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Tuesdays with Maggie ~ In my heart

Something about these two are special. Something in my heart just told me that we had to get these two horses to our farm and stat! I don’t know if it’s the extremely terrible circumstances they endured or their photos on the shelter’s website reflecting the neglect that they endured for far too long. Whatever it may be, in my heart I just knew we had to get them both. We had already decided to get one but something was just bothering me. Why did we have to decide? After several discussions we all came to the same conclusion: they must stay together. So on Sunday, Dee drove to Modesto to pick up our newest kids, to which we apply named, Faith & Justice. These two lovely horses were part of a herd that were dumped and left to die. They are just so sweet and so bonded, I am so glad we made the right decision. There is much to do with our little Faith and Justice. Both need extensive hoof reconditioning, which Super Rachel, will be able to tackle. They also need to add some weight to their skinny little frames but so far, have been enjoying their special feed. I am so very grateful for ACFB and that these two have a forever home. Together. This is why we do what we do. For animals who have been dealt a sometimes rather cruel fate, we can make amends with them and let them know that we aren’t all bad. I can’t wait to get to know them better and let them know they are wanted and loved. And they will be forever, in my heart.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tuesdays with Maggie ~ Ms. Hanauma

I am experiencing a bad case of writer’s block today and after writing this, I realized Dee was ahead of the game as always, and had already written about Earth Day. So most of this will be a repeat, but with a little extra. So I ask for forgiveness for the repetition. Let’s consider this an experiment with perspective.
A few weeks ago we attended Loomis’ Earth Day. It was perfect weather for such an event, something I am dreaming of now as it continues to rain. So, Woody, Dee, and I packed up the truck and brought Sunny, Murphy, and our newest treasure, Hanauma. In case you haven’t met Hana, she is one of our newest additions, a 30-year old Rocky Mountain horse. She is the sweetest girl and has become very popular among the gentlemen of our herd. We asked Hanauma to endure bows in the tail, bows in her mane, and to stand at our booth while we talked to the many visitors that came to say hello. For her first time as a spokes-horse, she did fabulous. She was patient and didn’t fuss at all. How many of us can actually admit that? I was actually ready to leave after a few hours. My favorite part was when the children would run up eager to pet her. Of course, little girls thought the lavender ribbons in her mane and tail were over the top! Nothing is more important that having our younger generation appreciate the animals and understand that every creature has their value. I just loved it. It was a successful day. We met many wonderful people and have increased interested in our volunteer program. The more the merrier!
Back to Hana. We rarely ask much of our creatures, just that they live happily and comfortably. So when we asked Hana to go the extra mile for us, she did an amazing job. Just goes to show what wonderful creatures we have at the farm. All are amazing and most (I am not sure Ferdi would – he has his own agenda) always show their appreciation and affection to us. It’s a wonderful experience and one we do not take for granted.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Trip to A Chance for Bliss ~ by Hector and Lisa

The anticipation starts at least a week before our monthly pilgramage to the sanctuary. The excitement in the air is palpable. All you can hear are the choruses of "We're gonna see the animals" or "We're gonna see the horses." As you see, we love visiting the animal sanctuary because it is very therapeutic. While there, we don't feel disabled. You see, the animals don't see our disabilities. :)

Lisa & Hector
Easter Seals Superior California
Help to Recovery Program