I am very thankful to live so close to an animal sanctuary. I am also thankful that I have no family obligations that would make this holiday difficult for me. Instead, I headed to the sanctuary for morning chores.
This is sort of my default for holiday mornings. And I’m not alone. Holidays seem to bring more people than just a normal weekend day, which makes it a pretty easy volunteer day.
Spending time at the sanctuary gives me about 200 reasons to be thankful, and for some of them I’m extra thankful because it hasn’t been easy for them.
Wilbur is one of those – after surviving extreme neglect last winter before being rescued, Wilbur ended up partially paralyzed this summer for reasons that seem to be more a guess than a diagnosis. He simply stopped being able to use his rear legs, which might have been due to an infection. The vets didn’t think he had a chance, but Terry and Dave didn’t agree. The medication the vets gave him did help, and once he started moving his back legs a little bit we knew that he would likely be okay in the long run. His road to recovery has been long, but with steady progress. He wanders to the goat yard and back, to the stream and back, and grows stronger every day. Today he’s not only able to walk, he trotted towards where we were gathering leftover pumpkins! He has made an amazing recovery so far, and watching him happily munch a pumpkin is definitely something to be thankful for.
I was also thankful that it was a rare foggy morning, making for interesting pictures that I don’t normally see.
Edward is always gorgeous, but this morning when he would make his odd peacock sound (cross between a guinea and a crow, as best I can describe it) small plumes of “smoke” would come from his mouth. I can honestly say I’ve never seen that before!
Darcy, the blind horse, was walking around neighing for his herd mates. It’s heartbreaking to hear him calling for them, and looking for them, but at the same time it makes me thankful that he is at a place that doesn’t see him as a someone whose value is based on youth, usability, or money. He is highly valued simply because he is loved. And he is in a place where his blindness isn’t a handicap, though it is sometimes a challenge. He is in a place where when he calls, someone responds, even if it’s a human responding by helping him find his herd mates.
They say that the more we love, the more we can love. I am thankful for the 200 or so residents of the sanctuary for showing me how true that really is.