Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Gift of Hope

In one week, it's my birthday. And a month from that, it's Christmas.

And gifts are nice and all - but let's try to up the meaningfullness here.

I think one of the best things you can give is a chartible donation in someone else's name. For instance, one year Pay, thru the Foster Parent's Plan, made a donation in my name. And you can select SPECIFIC items to go to one family. So - I 'bought' a couple of chickens and a fruit-bearing tree. Isn't that cool?

Now - if you want to do something for ME, this year (or whoever!) - you can make a donation to a charitable cause that is close to a lot of our hearts. I've talked to you about it before. Remember the woman filing a lawsuit against the Quebec Government to put an end to puppy mills?

Here name is Nicole Joncas and she operates an animal rescue just across the border in Ontario. One woman SUING the Quebec government. But as you can imagine - the waiting, the red tape, the fundraising is tough. And she needs hope - and money. Her lawyers are working for free - but it still costs a lot of money to get the suit to court. I've been in touch with her lawyer, I've been in touch with Nicole and while I know a lot of people are on her side it takes more than that to keep the ball in motion.

So - THIS is what I want for my birthday, okay? Nicole knows about this - and is grateful.

Or, you can mail a cheque here:

Nicole Joncas
Teja's Animal Refuge
21511 McCormick Road
Glen Robertson, Ontario K0B 1H0

Teja' Animal Refuge is a registered charity #85496 4202 RC0001. Receipts for charitable donations will be issued for donations of $25 andmore. No donation is too small to help with this lawsuit. On the memo line of your cheque, please specify "Re: lawsuit".

I believe one person can make a difference. And I would like to be able to say that I was a part of the lawsuit that put an end to these disgusting and inhumane operations in Quebec. I hope you feel the same way!

And now, if you've got a few minutes...

Nicole sends regular updates about her life on the rescue farm. Sometimes the stories are heartwarming - other times, they are heartbreaking. Either way, this is the reality of her life.

I never know a boring moment at Teja's, and never do two days look alike.

A few weeks ago, a woman drove up asking if I could foster her 12 sheep, saying that she had no place to put them. I told her that I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, etc. etc. and that I was using every ounce of energy I had to care for my animals. She insisted that she had no place to bring them. Of course, I have only me to blame, as I broke down and told her that I would help.

She arrived shortly after with 4 small sheep in the back of her car. We put them in with my goats, who won't get the award for "the welcoming committee of the year". They butted the sheep in hopes to make them disappear, although with time, they chose to ignore each other, and now graze peacefully, sheeps at one end of the pasture, and goats on the other.

The woman came back a few days later, saying that she also had a miniature bull and could I take him in because the farmer who had him wanted him gone asap. I felt the pressure, but most of all I felt sorry for this little creature whose only fault was being born. She rushed to get transport for him and the rest of the sheep, and in the early afternoon, a large stock trailer showed up at Teja's.

I have a passion for farm animals, but this 2 year-old miniature bull was to die for. He followed her out of the trailer like a puppy on a leash. He was very calm and tied to a long rope proceeded to explore his new surroundings. The woman brought out the remaining sheep, and bits of fencing to make a safe area for them, enclosing a shelter that was once used by my two bulls, Boco and Shenindoah.

All the while, Puzzle, the little bull explored himself to a bucket where I had placed a salt block for my animals. He had never licked a salt block before, and because it had rained much of the block had melted where he was drinking salt water (toxic). The woman who was working hard to make the enclosure for the sheep caught on that he had not moved from the bucket. She ran over to him and walked him away from the bucket which she tipped over, and went back to working on the sheeps' pen.

Puzzle brought himself into the open loaf barn and layed down, which was not good. She went back and brought him closer to where she was working. This is when she noticed that he was bloated and had trouble walking. He went down. She began to press on his sides to try to get the air out of his stomach. She became frantic. I ran to the house and called my vet telling him that this was an emergency. I stood on the lane waiting for him to arrive, to lead him to the little bull who had walked to the pasture near the house. The woman was screaming "he's not going to make it!"

She was a vet herself but had not renewed her license, and for reasons of her own is now going for her law degree. She ran to the house saying that she needed a knife. I told her to go in and get one. She got the knife and ran back to releave the pressure on Puzzle. She knew what she was doing.

Finally after what seemed like hours, the vet and his assistant arrived. I led them to the pasture with a flash light. They began to work frantically to save his life. They put a long hose down his throat in which they poured a gallon of mineral oil, they gave him injection after injection, they inserted a device into the pucture wound to help with the bloating. All the while, he was flailing, thrashing and fighting for his life. While the vets were working on him, the woman brought bales of straw for him to lay on, and I got him warm blankets, as we knew he would not be getting up from there any time soon.

After everything that could possibly be done for him, the vet explained that the salt water had gone to his brain and that his chances of survival were 50/50. I walked the vets back to the lane. When we got to the van, the vet told me to call him first thing in the morning if he makes it and that he'd come by and start him on antibiotics. No sooner had he finished telling me this, I heard the woman screaming from the pasture. I told Brian that I won't be calling him in the morning.

I ran back to be by her side. She was lashing out at herself, that she was a vet and should have known better than to let him lick the salt knowing that there was water in the bucket. I knew that she had to work through this. I sat next to Puzzle, cradled his sweet head, and told him repeatedly how sorry I was that he had to go through this. A bucket of tears did I cry for this precious little angel who's only fault was being born to die so brutally at such a young age.

Puzzle was buried the next day, and a monument of rocks marks his grave site. See you on the other side Puzzle, love, someone you never knew, but who loved you the moment you walked off the trailer.

The woman slept in the shelter with her sheep that night. It took a lot of courage for her to do what she did to try to save him.

I hope that the next story I write about A Day at Teja's will be a happy one.


1 comment:

Maria said...

awwwwwwww you such a nice girl not wanting anything for yourself...
Thats the spirit of the season.

You go girl!