Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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©Katherine Dunn.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

One Less Tooth and Donkeys Teach

Because of so many who participated in the Big Tony Tooth Raffle, Big Tony is now comfortable and eating well and free of possible infection for his bad tooth. The winner is glowing and I wish we could have sent a print to everyone, but that would defeat the purpose of the raffle. Big Tony is busy as we speak sending thank you notes - it could take some time, he is prone to naps.

Because of the many raffle participants, I found this site and person who is helping animals also - only they are equines. You can read about her efforts here, and possibly even support one of the horses in need. Her site also reminded me that one of my goals is to do more of the pet therapy I started in Minneapolis with my dogs - only now I want to share my donkeys with people. Whisper Ranch is also doing this, and finding her site through the raffle was a little poke of a finger for me - don't forget, you want to do this...

If a child who has never touched a horse or donkey comes to our farm, he leaves with that new experience. Young children learn that being gentle with an animal brings rewards to both. The first time feeling of feeding a horse and feeling his whiskers brings some trepidation but then joy, and accomplishment to a child. Touch is a powerful healer. When one is sad, or lonely, petting an animal and standing quietly brings thoughts of comfort. Energy moves, and the comfort brought about from animals is carried away by the child into a home that might not have comfort for him. If an unfocused child learns to walk a donkey and sees how a gentle nudge can move a 200# animal without a fight, perhaps that example is a tiny step in his or her development.

On Saturday, Pino and I will host a troop of Brownies who will learn about the lambs, and bring carrots for the donkeys. In this small way, I can do my pet therapy. But Pino's heart is so full, and since he will live to be possibly 30 or more, we have some time to get our show on the road. Still, life is short. Pie season is upon us. Just yesterday Pino was eyeing the fruit trees, watching for blooms that will bring berries for his pies.