For the life of me, I can’t remember who sang that song, Easy Like Sunday Morning (and maybe that’s not even the title of the song, but it’s those four words that have been running through my head today. Lionel Richie sang it, maybe?) Anyway…
Those four words describe my Sunday mornings for the past few weeks. I absolutely love them! I get up early, by around 6, just because I’m kind of slow moving until I get my coffee fix. Then by 730, I’m getting on my way to the zipcar that will take me to the ARL in Dedham and its barn animals. Right now, the livestock population is small, and this is a good thing because all of the livestock animals are there as law enforcement cases, so the fewer, the better for the state of the animals. Two of the goats were adopted over the past two weeks, so there’s only the pregnant one left inside the barn, along with the pigeons/doves, and chickens and roosters. Last week, I met the other (long time) Sunday barn volunteer and we get along great, and even discovered that we grew up about a half hour away from each other, in upstate NY! It really is a small world sometimes.
With so few animals, we finished up in about an hour, so that gave me a good amount of time to spend with the horse, who is just beautiful and named Fancy. She was transferred to the shelter to be a companion for another horse whose mom had died, and then the other horse got adopted so she has been by herself for a while now. And we think she’s lonely, so I just loved spending lots of time with her today,
Fancy loves apples so I gave her almost two full ones, and then we just stood next to each other for a long while so I could talk quietly with her, and rub her head behind her ears – she loves that, by the way. Since I’m so much shorter than me, she would put her neck down to make it easy for me, and then occasionally she would nudge me with her head, to remind me, to “hey, keep going, lady, that feels good.” I hated leaving her. She looked so forlorn and followed me to the gate and just watched me walk away. Needless to say, I will be spending some good time with her again this Thursday morning (Christmas morning.)
As I was talking to Fancy, it struck me how lucky I was to be trusted to spend time with this beautiful creature, with such a beautiful soul. Animals really do have beautiful souls. I can tell by looking in their eyes. Here is this animal that has only seen me a few times and she let me put my hands on the sides of her face, and then put her head down so I could put my forehead against hers. It was a really peaceful moment and one I won’t forget for a long time. (Oh, and I know she’s not like a dog or a cat, but that didn’t stop me from giving her a few kisses on her face too.)
After visiting with Fancy, I had some time left before I had to return the zipcar, so I spent some time with two cats whom I was told were absolutely terrified when they were brought in. They were both what they call “known strays” in their neighborhood. You could definitely tell they were each scared when I started to talk to them in turn, as they were shaking and their breathing was rapid. I found that soft talking and some quiet singing seemed to calm each of them down (and the girl cat especially appreciated Temptation treats.) Each of them were closing their eyes and nodding off as I left them. The boy cat even let me pet him, ever so lightly. So I hope to help put them both at ease again this Thursday when I go in on the holiday.
I hope that if you have a pet, this post makes you want to reach out and give them a few loving pats or a kiss or two. It might be hard to forget sometimes, but there is a lot of good in this world and sometimes all it takes is to look into the eyes of a gentle creature, to remember that. I can’t wait to start learning more about how to take care of them when they are sick or need help. Working with animals seems to truly be my heart’s calling. Just took me a little bit of time to realize it. (Ok, 42 years, but better late than never.) Now, I really look forward to my Sunday mornings.
I hope that each of you out there has had a great weekend and isn’t allowing the holiday season to stress you out too much. Just remember that a lot of it is media hype and snazzy advertisements.
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