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

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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

"Will you get any bigger?"

Paco has been asking Guinnias so many questions that I am giving the old goat some time to adjust before barraging him with a photo session.

We drove up on Monday to pick the old man up. The forecast was horribly inaccurate and we left at 7 am in a cold downpour, in the dark, with Huck and Billy crammed in the back of the car, along with a large crate for Guinnias. The roads were clear, thankfully, and we saw sun for about 10 minutes in Seattle. It actually hailed at Ellen's.

Firstly, it was so wonderful meeting Ellen and all her animals. I wish we'd had a longer, leisurely visit, but an hour was better than nothing. Ellen was as kind in person as she came across on the phone, and she is really helping a lot of animals. We met a bevy of goats, one of her rescue horses [it's actually good we live so far away] and a smattering of rescued sheep, like Dolly here, who came to Ellen's farm with so much unkept wool on her that they had to cut and shave it away from her face.

It was a long haul to get up there and turn around and drive back - but, I am so glad we did it. It felt so good to take this old guy home. He is adjusting well, eating and drinking which I'm pleased about. He came to Ellen's very thin, and she got some weight on him, but I hope I can get more on him. He has a really weak rear, favors one leg, has some missing teeth, but he eats whatever I give him which is good.

I have him in the Ward Room at night, just so I know he can eat all his food without a Paco-Pino-Lucia-Frankie smorgasbord. He likes to be with me when I do chores in the barn, but is very independent of the other animals, which was Ellen's experience too. He's submissive to Frankie, who is not at all interested in sharing her special hay barn. However, they get along, but the hierarchy in the herd is set fast, and it appears Guinnias is at the bottom. He adores Teddy Bear Graham Cookies.

I hated putting him in the car when we picked him up. I thought of what he might be sensing as we drove back to our farm. How do you explain to an animal they are going to their forever home? I guess by going out each day and feeding them and showing them care, over and over.


Cathy said...

I'm sure the old man knew the moment you touched him that he had found a very special, loving guardian.

Balou said...

What a lucky guy to get to spend the rest of his days with you & yours. Welcome home old man.

Claire MW said...

I'm with Cathy on this one - Guinnias didn't need to have it explained - he just knew that he was going to a good place. I believe animals can identify people with a good aura, and yours must be positively glowing!

farmlady said...

Animals live "vertically" not horizontally. He will only remember the love that you show him from now on.
In his new place there will only be "now" moments and you are there to give him the last, best months or years of his life.
You're doing a wonderful, wonderful thing.

Happy New Year to you all.

Katherine Dunn/Apifera Farm said...

Thanks, guys. I like that thought, "animals live vertically", interesting way to verbalize it. I do think that is true for the most part, they don't hold grudges either. But I do think they have learned behaviors/atttiudes that can stem from bad behavior/or wrong behavior by caretakers [or lack of caretakers] and that can take years to correct, or soothe.

I wish I could help a million at a time. But then it wouldn't be me interacting with them one on one, still leaving me time to nurture my farm, pets, flock, husband, and art/illustration/writing. I'm thankful for the places like New Moon Farm and others who are conduits to the little guys like me.

Blackfeatherfarm said...

You can't do it all by yourself, it takes everyone to help. No one person can adopt them all. Those who can't adopt can donate time or money. So much need. We all have to pitch in to help. Thanks for giving the old fella a forever home. I wonder who actually gets more out of it. We may say we've saved this animal or that one, but sometimes I think it is us they are saving. Happy New Year !

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Thank you for reading! The farm and my art/writing keep me hopping, so might not respond immediately. Thank you for understanding. ~Katherine & Apifera ~