Good-Night My Friend…

Yesterday was a day filled with mixed emotions.  Unfortunately, I had to say good-night to my sweet friend, Cutie.  Now keep in mind, I never say good-bye…ever!  I say “night” when I hang up on the phone with a friend, and I say “night” to my kiddos when they leave for school…it is just part of quirky me.  Good-bye feels too permanent for me.  So, I choose to say “good-night”, instead.  I truly believe that my friends and family, that have crossed over, are with me each and every day.  They live in my mind, my soul and my heart.  I am all about keeping memories alive!

Cutie lived a beautiful life, but she was just tired.  It was her time.  I knew it…she knew it.  She positioned herself under her favorite pine tree, yesterday morning.  I sat with her for about an hour, knowing I would not want to be alone during my final hours. She fell asleep in my lap, as I stroked her soft feathers.  Her breathing was shallow, but she was not in pain. I found it interesting that her small flock of Sebright and Silkie friends remained very close.  They were not free ranging, in search of tiny bugs and morsels.  They were just sitting, as if to say their own “good-nights”.

To some, Cutie would just be a bird…a chicken, no less.  But, she was my friend and a member of our family.  She brought me joy each and every day of her life.  She asked for nothing…ok, so many she asked for a few meal worms, but what she gave back was so much more.

Yesterday was that “one bad day”.  I was blessed with over 1000 beautiful days with Cutie, which makes that one difficult day worth it.

Hug your special friends today, furry, feathered and human!

Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Just Be You….

♥Roda

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Spring Fling in January!

Happy Spring…in January! We have had nothing but freezing cold weather and lots of snow this Winter.  But, today it was a balmy 54 degrees!  Only in Michigan!  The piles of snow melted and I could see green grass and lots of mud! Regardless, the animals were extremely happy and full of spunk today…

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The ladies were out and about, exploring all day!
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The ducks had the best puddle party, EVER!
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The babydolls were happy to get out and explore their new pasture!
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Frodo enjoyed looking out his stall door, for the first time!
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The meeting! And a beautiful meeting it was!

Magic has been lost, ever since Velvet crossed over.  Today, she seemed truly happy.  Although the two were separated by fencing, Magic often had her head over Frodo’s fence to saying hello.  Both critters were relaxed and had a beautiful day together! This made my heart bubble with joy!

This past week has been extremely difficult, yet beautiful all at the same time. We said goodbye to a dear friend and welcomed a sweet new addition, to Indigo Acres.  Frodo has been a true gift, in so many unexpected ways.   I feel extremely thankful and blessed…

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I spent much time with Frodo today.  I cried happy tears, while connecting with him in his stall.  I also cried tears of sadness, missing my old friend.  But, when I looked into his eyes, something magical happened…I was reminded of an old friend.  What an incredible gift…

I have a feeling 2018 is going to be a beautiful year at Indigo Acres!

Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Just Be You…

♥Roda

 

 

 

 

 

Velvet’s Final Days

As many of you might recall, Velvet had not been doing well for the past few months.  Having an ill, senior horse, approaching the winter season in Michigan, was a bit of a challenge. Between her Cushings Disease and chronic diarrhea, Velvet’s last few months were extremely difficult, regardless of how many vet visits, medications or supplements we tried.  Yet, Velvet was still the first animal to call out to me, when she heard the garage door open.  It was like she was saying, “It’s about time, Lady!”  There was definitely nothing wrong with her hearing!

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For the past few weeks, I knew her time was near.  I was preparing myself to not have my dear friend and teacher by my side for much longer.  I tried to be strong, each morning when I would greet her at her stall, and share with her my thoughts and dreams for the day.    Regardless of how hard I tried to be strong for her, I would always end up with tears flowing down my cheeks, as I gazed into those large brown eyes.  She would nudge me with her nose, which reminded me to pull it together and that maybe giving her another treat would help.  On her most difficult days, she was she was still the strong one.

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Velvet and I had a very special connection from the beginning.   Our time together was precious.  Being our alpha, Velvet had a bit of an attitude.  I was determined to soften her…   Yet, I never imagined the lessons she would teach me about strength and perseverance. I have to admit, Velvet loved me most of all.  I was her human.  I liked it that way!  Deep in my heart, I know I taught Velvet to relax and not take life so seriously!  This picture is proof of that!

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Last Friday, Velvet was not her normal self.  (Although, she still called out to me, the moment she heard the door open!)  She was a bit wobbly on her feet and was not eating or drinking much.  I kept a close eye on her throughout the day. I am always thankful that I can watch the horses out our bedroom windows.   We were preparing to leave and make a quick trip to the farm store.  I glanced out the window and Velvet was standing under her favorite summer tree, looking directly in at me.  She never moved…she just stood there, almost frozen in time, as the sun fell gently behind the trees.

When we returned from the farm store, we headed right out to the barn for evening chores.  It was odd to see only Magic standing by her stall door.  As soon as the sun would set, Velvet would always be waiting at her door, wanting inside for her grain.  She loved her treats!  My heart started pounding…  As I arrived at the fence, I noticed Velvet still under her favorite tree.  She whinnied to me, but her voice was weak.  I called for her, but she wouldn’t come.  As I approached her, I noticed that she was extremely unsteady and very disoriented.  I called for Wifey to help.  We tried everything, but she would not move.

At this point, temperatures were in the single digits, without taking wind chills into consideration.  Although both horses had their Winter blankets on, Velvet was still shaking with chills.  Slowly and with much gentle coercion, we were able to guide Velvet to the front of the barn.  As much as I wanted to tuck her in her stall for the night, I knew that having a horse go down/pass in a stall, would only make a difficult situation even more challenging.  It was Velvet’s time and also time to call our amazing farm vet.

When I returned from calling our vet, from the hot room in the barn, Velvet was not where I had left her.  She was back standing under her tree.  I am not sure how she got up and made it out there, but obviously, it was her way of telling us that she could not go in the barn. This confirmed for me that it was her time.  Completely disoriented, Velvet continued to be unsteady on her feet.  I realized that having her cross over, while out in the paddock, would be difficult for Magic.  I guided Velvet slowly back to the barn gate.

Within minutes, Velvet was down.  She was shaking and her breathing was shallow.  Minutes felt like hours.  I continued to talk to her and told her I would be ok and that it was time to let go.  My hands and feet burned from the cold, but I was determined to stay with her until the very end.  Wifey continued to finish evening chores for the other animals, while I waited with Velvet.    We were so close to the gate.  If only she would stand up one more time, we could head out of the paddock.   I talked with her about one of our special walks behind the barn.  And asked her if we could take that walk together, one more time…  She looked at me as if to say, I will try.

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It had been over an hour since we called the vet, so I stepped in the barn once again, to check my phone for messages from her.  When I returned, Velvet was up.  I called for Wifey to open the gate.  Slowly, I led Velvet out of the small gate.  She was extremely unsteady, but still managed to take a bite of the crab apple tree, next to the barn.  It was her way of making me smile through tears.  Within minutes, she had found her resting place and was down for good.  She found the strength to still do what was best for Magic and take care of our hearts, all at the same time.

With our eyes locked, Velvet drifted off to a deep sleep.  I continued to talk to her until her final moment.  She was truly one of my greatest teachers and most loyal friend…

The barn has not been the same these past few days.  There is no one to sound off, to the other animals, that it is feeding time.  There is no one nudging me for more treats.  Yet, Magic did give me a big wet kiss, across the face, with her tongue this morning, as I tried to reassure her that everything was going to be ok.  Who am I kidding, I was trying to reassure myself.  Deep down, I know Velvet will give me the strength to get through her loss.

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There is sadness on the farm, yet there is a little, magical twinkle, just around the corner.  Ironically, with the temperature changes at an unseasonably 40 degrees on Wednesday, Frodo, our mini donkey is able to be delivered sooner than expected.  We thought he would be a guardian for the sheep, but I think he will play a more important role for Magic.  Well, and maybe for someone else…

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Thank you, sweet Velvet for touching my heart like no other.  You showed me that I am stronger than I ever thought I could be. I will listen closely to the wind, hoping to hear your call at sunrise, each morning. Love YOU Always, my dear friend…

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♥ Thank you to so many of you who have been so caring and kind during this difficult time.  My heart is hurting.  I apologize for not being more in touch with reading and commenting.  I have to admit, it has always been easier for me to communicate with animals over people.  Many of you have magically changed that for me.  Thank you for being you and loving me for me…

Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Just Be You…

♥Roda

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