For the Love of Animals: From Sh*tshow to Snuggles!
by Jamie Spannhake
July 11, 2021
My daughter, Sarah, and I love animals. In our household, we had two dogs, Emily and Samantha, for over 17 years until recently. We've had a bunny named Sweetie. And we now have two cats, Simone and Silly.
We have also been volunteering at a couple of local animal sanctuaries. The animals at Clover Ridge Animal Sanctuary in New Milford, CT are goats, barn cats, and two pugs. If you follow me on social media, you've seen pictures of these adorable goats and our volunteer efforts in the past. When the owner of the sanctuary decided to go out of town for ten days, to visit friends and other animal sanctuaries, we volunteered to take care of the goats and cats while she was away. (Someone else was taking care of the dogs.) The duties were split between us and another two volunteers.
This past weekend, Sarah and I also volunteered at H.O.R.S.E. of CT, in New Preston, CT, a sanctuary that takes in abused and neglected horses.
As we were volunteering this weekend, scooping poop in a small field to remove all the horse poop, and raking the hay in the barn to remove all the goat poop, I realized: a large part of loving animals, and taking care of them, is cleaning up their poop.
It's like life, really. Not all the parts of the process are enjoyable. In fact, some parts are just sh*tty. But, when we keep doing the work, when we keep showing up, we get to the good parts.
This past weekend, after the poopy parts, we were able to pet and brush and snuggle with the goats. We were able to feel their enjoyment in being with us, especially when we had whole peanuts to share. After shoveling the field, we were able to groom the horse, pet his soft nose, and enjoy his funny personality.
In fact, I think we enjoyed these "good" parts even more BECAUSE of the difficult parts. Our work had positive benefits, for us and for the animals.
If you are slogging through the not-so-great parts right now, keep going.