I am so proud to be the guest blogger today! What an honor to be able to share our story with Oma Linda's friends and fellow blogsters. Thank you, Oma Linda, for your faith in us and what we do!!!
What do we do? We rescue donkeys!!! We rescue, shelter, rehabilitate and find permanent homes for donkeys of all sizes that are abused, neglected or unwanted. Many donkeys who would not be adoptable due to health issues or past abuse trauma remain with us their entire lives. We are a small sanctuary but every animal that we bring in is treated with kindness and respect and receives a safe and loving environment to live in. Most of the donkeys that we take in need special care which can be extremely expensive. To help raise funds for veterinary care, farrier work, hay, supplements and other expenses, I make and sell a variety of products. We have an organic lavender farm where we grow 18 different varieties and plant over 75 types of organic herbs and flowers which we sell as plants or fresh-cut herbs. I also make many different tinctures, salves and teas from hand gathered cultivated and wild herbs for both people and their pets.
I'd like to share some of our happy ending donkey stories. Frankie Lee was living near Seattle when we got an email from a man who happened to see this donkey in a field near where he was hiking and snapped a phone picture. The donkey's hooves were over 18"long and the man did not think they looked right - what did we think? It took some doing getting this donkey but we brought Frankie to the east side by professional transport. He had to be supported during the trip and our horse trailer would not work so we paid $500 to have him carefully brought to us. Our vet said he had not been able to lay down in years because he would have known he could not get back up with those hooves. The pain would have been excruciating and yet he had obviously endured this for many years. Frankie has been with us for almost 5 years and now has beautiful hooves although it took many years to get them that way. He was also missing a lot of hair and was very aggressive due to his constant pain. Now he is gentle and sweet and so loving with a beautiful coat.
Cheyenne was 2 when we got her and her mother who were going to slaughter along with 7 other donkeys. This was a huge undertaking but we took a deep breath and took them all. Every donkey was adopted to a wonderful home, many in pairs.
We found Angelina in the local paper. She was overweight, her hooves were in awful shape from neglect and her fur was coming out in patches. When we went to see her she was listless with dead eyes staring out at us. She lived in a dark shed, was fed Wal-Mart dog kibble and taken out once a year for 2 weeks to be used in a nativity scene at a local church. It took 2 years to bring her out of her shell but she is now the queen of Lavender Dreams Farm and the herd leader.
Brayson was a 'free' donkey on craigslist. He was being offered as meat. He was living in horrific conditions in a small town in Idaho. He stood in manure up to his knees and had no shelter or feeding area. I have no idea where he got water from. The pen was about 10 x 10 and he had been in there for years. We led him out to our trailer and that was when we heard Sissy. She brayed and brayed and when we realized there was another donkey there we tried to buy her but they would not let go of her. We could hear her crying miles down the road. It was absolutely heartbreaking.
It took us months to raise enough money to buy Sissy and convince the people to sell her to us. Many (most) times we have to pay the owner to be able to help a donkey in need. There was no way we were going to leave this donkey in that situation. So we made a deal and went back for her. When we were coming up our driveway with her in the trailer there was lots of braying going on. We were still hundreds of yards from the corral and neither Sissy or Brayson could see each other. They just knew. It was an absolutely beautiful reunion. Which made it all that much sadder when we lost Sissy because they were inseparable. They ate, slept, drank, played and rested in the sun together. Sissy was also unbelievably sweet. Although she was deathly ill, she would drink from a bucket my husband patiently held for her. She drank for him which helped keep her alive for a few extra days. They were the sweetest, gentlest donkeys and had endured so much neglect and obvious abuse. Brayson is adjusting - it has been 10 months and he is just starting to make new friends and become apart of the herd.
We had a donkey with a broken jaw and a terrible infection that we didn't know if he would be able to recover from but he did! A donkey that was beaten so badly by a teenaged 4H girl that she really never recovered. Her spirit was completely broken and her body was seriously injured. Every day was like starting from day one. She never recognized us from one day to the next, was afraid of every movement and terrified of people. One day a woman came to see us. She came back many times and fell in love. Wendy seemed to accept her and a few months later Wendy went to her new home. This was a happy ending for a sad. sad donkey.
Birdy was a parakeet that someone dropped off here. He had been given to the couple by their grandchildren who no longer wanted him. For 5 years he lived in a closet. He had eaten nothing but seed and water and had no socialization. Our big dog, Smokey (also a rescue) took to Birdy and protected him, watched over him and kept our 7 cats away from his cage. Eventually Birdy learned to fly and be part of the family. He was adopted 6 months after we took Birdy in by a wonderful woman who just cherishes him.
There are many stories like this. Each donkey comes with its own heartbreaking history. One of our minis had 8 homes before he arrived here at 4 years old. We have several donkeys who were used for roping until they are so broken in body and spirit they could no longer be used. (Roping is considered a 'sport')
For over 30 years my husband, David, and I have been in rescue. We live a simple life, donating our time and resources to the donkeys, dogs, cats, goats, chickens, ducks and other animals that we care for and love. I hope that some of you will go to our website www.lavenderdreamsfarm.com and read about how gentle, sweet, intelligent and loyal donkeys are. You can also find many of the items we sell to support our rescue from lavender products to donkey greeting cards to pendulums, tiny needle felted animals, mohair bears and more. And please 'like' our facebook page: www.facebook.com/donkeyrescuer
Thank you for reading our story! Marci
I hope you all take some time and visit the website and read more about what these wonderful people do with and for animals. It is my pleasure to have had Marci here as guest blogger to share what she and her husband David and their mission at Lavender Dreams Farm is all about. I am in awe of what they do for love of the animals. And if you have the opportunity, won't you go to their shop or donate so that they might continue making the world a better place for the mistreated or unwanted donkeys and dogs and cats in their area. They also distribute dog food free to dog owners in their area who are unable to feed their pets otherwise.
Thanks lovelies, I know what caring wonderful people read this blog and I know we can help.
Smooches and Squoozes and again thanks Marci, Oma Linda