You may recall that on Sunday, August 29, ACFB received a very special visitor who literally drove from Denver to see this place for himself. Not knowing exactly which day he might arrive, chores were in full swing when Albert pulled up, slightly flustered because we had offered inconsistent directions which had him doubting he would find us. We hoped to enjoy dinner with Albert, so there was little time to slow down and show him around as the chore list is long. I feared that, having driven 1,300 miles, Albert might feel a little put out.
While visiting, he often said that he didn't know what to expect. Shortly after his return, I gathered the courage to ask him what he thought of his visit. I was deeply interested in his observations as it is difficult for me to have perspective on what has grown slowly over the past decade. It feels pretty natural to us, but I wondered what Albert made of this circus. His reply:
Dear Friends, Deanna and Woody,
How can I put into words what I experienced, first reading about you guys and the wonderful work you were doing in the USA Today article. Something came over me, as I never met people like yourselves, who had such amazing compassion for God's Creatures who cannot help themselves. Then that picture of Stevie, the blind, beautiful horse, just did it for me. I had to visit and see for myself, and I had to meet you. It was my way of saying thanks for doing what us mere mortals cannot, will not, or do not have the same compassion to do. The trip was cake compared to all the love I witnessed around me. I mean, doting on blind animals, cooking meals for 21 dogs, nurturing horses, dogs, pigs, cats, rabbits, birds, etc., and literally putting yourself last, as our 9pm dinner will attest to. I did not articulate a lot of this to you, because I was amazed at the whole personal experience.
Your sanctuary is not a "circus" ~ As Shoeless Joe Jackson asked Kevin Costner in the movie, 'Field Of Dreams' ~ “Is This Heaven? No, it is Penryn, California."
God Bless You,
Nu Yawk Albert
Once more, Albert, your sentiments have brought me to tears. I've counted myself lucky to have so many animals in my life, not babies spoiled from the start, but broken hearts and bodies that are such a joy to see reborn. They don't hold grudges and are happy with the simplest things. NEVER IN MY LIFE would I have imagined that someone would make such an effort to come see what we love. We think you're some kind of special yourself and we're so honored. I do hope you'll return next year.
This sentimentality makes me long for so many that we've lost. Brave souls who endured much, I wish I could share them all with you. Their stories are barely told as sharing is relatively new to us. I wish I could devote long days to capturing each of their spirits for you in writing ~ Glory, Winston, Magik, DeeDee, Ebbie, Spike, Tank, Ruth... They are what drives this. They are the only thing that makes sense. For now, here is an incomplete album that contains so much love and many tears.
Albert, I don't think you'll ever understand how much you've touched us. Thank you is inadequate.
With deep gratitude,