See the gorgeous 250lbs (plus)Hampshire cross pig lying next to me? We couldn’t touch him when he arrived at the Sanctuary in April. He had been through so much trauma many of the professionals we work with use the term PTSD. While we respect everyone’s sense or maybe the need to identify, we feel much more drawn to freedom. Freedom to change.
Today, if we are anywhere insight of him he comes running and flops down exposing his belly for us to rub. The courage to change. Damn! It is Brilliant.
Sweet Iris still loves to take her afternoon siestas at the house patio.
Iris was less than a day old when we rescued her. She fit in the palm of our hands. We bottle fed her. She lived in our house and was potty trained within hours of being with us. She figured this out on her own. We simple put a litter try in her playpen with her wondering (hoping!) she would know what to do. She did. #SomePig!
We understand eating meat is a part of our culture and many others. The animals (and our son) helped us to ask our selves the question of who was going to decide what would be on our dinner plate: Society or Us. We have been meat free for three years now.
Each animal comes to The Farm Way with a story. They ask us to accept their past and hold a space for their future. Here our compassion becomes their ally while they open to their best selves.
Brilliant buggers, aren’t they?!
How she melts our hearts...
Nell came from a farm breeding goats for the yoga goat phenomenon. It appears her Mama was mineral deficient during utero causing her front legs to be underdeveloped.
She has regular Chiropractic adjustments from the fabulous Dr. Shanie, along with a lot of excercise working around the farm with us. And of course some yoga stretches!
Check out her video for more about her story..... (Psst...the pretty girl in the thumbnail photo is Virginia. She insisted.)
“Am I too big for this?”
Nah Eddie, you fit perfectly!!!!
Eddie does have an amazing ability to stuff himself inside objects just a touch smaller than him. And boy are we grateful for his houdini moves or we would have had a problem getting him here to the sanctuary!
When we got the call to help Eddie, the information we had about him told us he would easily fit into our extra large dog crate, just like Hollywood did. Much to our surprise, Eddie is a cross between a potbelly breed and a Hampshire farm pig. Thus, taller and longer. Yikes!
We had to go for it! He could not stay where he was because he literally had the incredibly generous lady, who offered him a home when his original humans could not keep him, petrified of him. So we opened up the crate door and threw some *pretzels inside and told him to “get in his bed”. And in he walked! We had to stuff his behind in a bit and wire the cage shut so he didn’t pop out on the ride home. After getting in he did this incredible roll/flip so his head was facing the door to see out. All the while he didn’t say a peep, nor did he have an accident. He did let out a few toots. Understandably so! ;)
*When Eddie’s story was shared, by our friends at 2nd Hand Ranch and Rescue, we got the feeling he would be coming to The Farm Way. Once the call came that he needed our help, we checked in with him on an energetic/telepathic level and he told us to bring him pretzels. So we did!
We love these two have found friendship in each other....
Have you ever had one moment in time change your life forever? This is what happened to these two: TJ and River (photo left to right).
TJ spent his entire life an athlete, giving incredible long distance rides for his people. Until one day one swift kick to the leg from another horse- OVER! River spent his entire life loved by humans. Until one day, when his owner fell ill, he ended up at an auction where a kill buyer bought him. His loving life as he knew it- OVER!
When their life purposes were extinguished on those fateful days it left them feeling lost and alone. Their stories are different, yet, the feelings of fear are the same. And like many people, these two are still very tied to those feelings. Much of what they experience today is still being put through the same resonance of fear even though their environment has changed.
There is a part of us that want to fix them, put the bandaids on, cover up the pain, make them all better. Then we take a step back and look at the entire picture and see they already are perfect. Following this simple Truth allows them to just Be. Just Be who they are right here, right now. We love and honor them. And this is where their sweet, quirky friendship began here at The Farm Way.
We are proud to be their Sanctuary.
We love you, TJ and Riv!!!!
Did you know the energy of the Iris flower is like a wonderful detox, cleansing your system of old emotions and negativity? You’ll feel great just being near them. Your entire body will be recharged and you will beam with vitality. And if you ask Iris, she’ll tell you this describes her to a T. Come spend a day with Iris and The Irises and be reguvinated. And nudged, maybe a little muddied up, or possibly knocked over ;)
We do lovingly call her “the wrecking ball” because she has the perfect ability to sense when we need an extra nudge to knock us right back into our hearts AND, of course, clear out anything that may be in her way! Yet, she is as sweet and loving as she was when she fit in the palm of our hands.
We understand she was born into this world as a farm pig with a very different fate (her crossbreed is considered the “Kobe” of pork). But things can change. And we are grateful they did!!!!
We are honored to be her sanctuary.
We LOVE you, Iris.
Remington and Venus
This could be a start to an incredibly salubrious relationship for the two and just as much for all of The Farm Way horses. You see, Remi is our leading man and he needs a leading lady.
This is a big role for Venus for several reasons. But mainly because she spent most of her life as an only horse and one day found herself in the hands of a kill buyer. As fate goes, our awesome friends with The Hooved Companion Project saved her.
Venus has been at The Farm Way for nearly two years now. She has a beautiful mission with a momentous message of Love. She has asked us to give her time to quite literally find her own footing here amongst so many others. We get this. Who hasn’t felt overwhelmed and just needs some time!
A little side story- the other day Remi was trying to get Venus to stand with him head to tail to keep flies away. Venus kept walking around him and then stopped at his tail. He was his usual gentleman and kept the flies off of her.
Venus, we know you’ll get this girl! You have so many rooting for you!!!!
Stay tuned to see if Venus accepts Remi’s invitation.....
The orchard, where Avalon the apple tree resides, is where all our animals spend time getting comfortable with their new home. And as fate would only have it here at The Farm way, all members of the apple tree family are incredibly cleansing, especially for the really sensitive of souls.
Eddie is one of these souls. As he is opening up and trusting us with his story, Eddie is helping us understand how the concept of the animal as a commodity seems to be the root cause of so many of them needing sanctuary.
“Animals incarnate on earth for experiences much like humans. Somehow this message got lost. Let’s rediscover it together.” Eddie the Prezel of The Farm Way
We will continue to share Eddie’s story as he shares it. It is an important one. Thank you, Eddie, we are honored to be your messenger and your sanctuary.
Yesterday, this shy boy peeked his head into the barn while we were working. We were thrilled. Then, timid and gentle, he edged in further for a drink of water. He was vulnerable being so close to us but had a soft look in his eye. This is HUGE for a horse that has lost so much trust in people.
Several months ago we got a call about the ‘shy boy’ from The Hooved Companion Project. While listening to the voicemail message, I had the feeling that something horrible happened to this horse, unspeakably horrible. I learned more about the ‘shy boy’s’ history on a phone call with the founder of Hooved Companion and I understood my initial feeling. She described his last stop, a kill pen in Washington (a gateway to slaughter), as the worst of the worst. I was uneasy and unsure. I didn’t know if we could help this ‘shy boy’. Mike and I spoke about it a lot. We are a sanctuary: a safe-haven for all to come and be cleansed of fear-based things. Of course, this was ours to do!
They called him Flash. When he was claimed from the kill pen he’d been wearing a halter for a long time, too long. The folks at Hooved Companion were very good to him. They started the process of rebuilding his trust. They were able to get the old halter off and treat the wounds left behind. They fitted him with a new, soft halter and gave him nourishment the skinny boy needed.
On November 5, 2017, Flash arrived at The Farm Way. Three days later we took his halter off. He’s safe here. He has a horse, Venus, that came with him from Hooved Companion that he is attached too. If we had to catch him, for any reason, we could. For the time being, though, we wanted to honor his request not to be touched. We decided to wait for him to let us know when he’s ready. I remember the day when we decided this would be best: It was one of the recent, bitter cold days. Mike and I were out checking on the herd. Venus and Flash were the last two to check over. We wanted to chip off ice from Venus’s feet, so I had a halter and lead. The shy boy took off at a trot and Venus followed. I stopped, and said, “we only want Venus. Mike is going to chip out the ice stuck on her feet.” They both stopped. Venus turned and looked at me. I walked up to her and she let me put on her halter. The boy made a circle around and positioned himself so he could watch. We took care of Venus’s feet and checked over the rest of her body. She felt very warm and comfortable. As we brushed our hands over her body, it was almost like she purred, she is quite the love. Mike and I then went towards the boy and he immediately turned to walk off. We went still. We simultaneously sat down in the snow and started telling him how sorry we were for all he had been through. We did the ancient Hawaiian Ho'oponopono with him. For those unfamiliar with this quest for forgiveness, Ho'oponopono translates in English to I’m Sorry. Please Forgive Me. Thank You. I love you. Even though Mike and I are not the humans that hurt the animals that come to us, we always begin by apologizing for any hardships they endured at the hands of people. During this little heart to heart conversation with him, something incredible flowed through me. While the seeds of forgiveness were being sowed in his soul, I glimpsed another world where we all easily communicate with each other, the animals, nature, and so on. In this space, all is revealed and begins again with love as the foundation. This is the world for all of us. This horse, along with all the animals, will help us live it.
Today, we call him River. When we gracefully flow with the River our true purpose is revealed. In fact, you can’t miss it if you let The River (sing it just like Rush!) guide you. Remember my fear of failing him earlier? I realize now that it was River that helped me remember part of my purpose before we even met. I am here to listen to these souls and help them convey their messages to us.
Yep, this shy boy came with a really crappy past, and his start here has been challenging. Yet, he carries something so giving and wise within his essence, we know he is going to be a huge help to many.
Thank you, River, we are honored to be your sanctuary.
River and Venus Enjoying a Sunset Dinner
In the fall of 2011, Mike and I moved to a small farm in Central Illinois where we immediately found ourselves rescuing horses. The rescue was not part of our original plan, but we felt the calling while doing a search for a pair of ponies we did plan on caring for on the farm. Since childhood, my entire extended family and I have been horse owners. Mike and I wanted to continue this tradition. Upon searching the internet for a pair of ponies, we were overwhelmed with the number of horses that needed a rescue and/or a home.