Spring Farm CARES Animal and Nature Sanctuary
Animal Memorials 2018
March 3, 2018

Animal Memorials 2018

Walking Through the PortalEach and every animal who resides with us on the farm is an important part of the whole family. Each one of them comes and touches our hearts and leaves memories that we cherish. Death is a part of life, a natural transition and process. Being an animal sanctuary we deal primarily with elder care and hospice care and, in that process, we are with most of our animal family as they pass from this realm into the next. It is sometimes very difficult, sometimes very hard, sometimes a shock, and sometimes it is an expected passing. But it is always an honor to be with them and to share in that most sacred moment. Here at the farm, it is an event that our whole staff shares in. Each animal who dies is given a memorial service and burial and whoever of our staff wants to participate, brings with them a parting gift to be buried with that animal. Whether it is some flowers or their favorite blanket or treat or toy, it is our way of paying them tribute. We laugh together. We cry together. But mostly we are there to share with one another the depth to which each animal has touched us. We share aloud the things they have taught us and the stories and memories we will always have. It is a chance to honor their heart and soul and a chance to thank them for sharing with us. It is an opportunity to say good-bye and to send them on their journey with our love and best wishes.

It is from this perspective that we share these memorials with all of you. These are not presented for the purpose of sharing sadness. While we do feel sad, the reason for sharing these memorials, is to impart to all of you a small piece of what we have been given as gifts from all of these animals. It is our way of thanking them for being here with us and to acknowledge them and share them with the world. It is a celebration for who they are and the mark they have left on this world.


Magic - February 26, 2018

Magic, goat

Magic was an incredibly special little goat with a very large and vibrant soul. She had come to the farm in 2008 after literally being “liquidated” from a petting zoo with a bunch of other goats who were no longer wanted by the business. All of them were hauled off to auction, many destined for slaughter. Magic was one of the lucky ones who ended up finding a home instead – and we were the lucky recipients of spending ten amazing years with her.

When Dawn asked Magic what name she wanted for herself, it was Magic who explained to Dawn that she was an old soul and was here to do healing work – a sort of “magical goat.” So, Magic it was and over the years she indeed got to work her special magic on the hearts of many humans and animals alike.

Since her arrival, Magic was paired with one of her goat friends that arrived with her named Fern. Magic Magic and Fern, goatsand Fern were great friends and were such a dynamic duo. We shall never forget the day that Fern passed away two years ago. We knew that Fern was ill and had a disease that would eventually take her life. But she was still comfortable and doing well. We came down one morning to find that Fern had suddenly become very weak. But Magic, put herself next to her friend and propped her up so that she could sit comfortably and eat some breakfast and look around at her world. One friend holding up the other, gently supporting her with all her strength, as the other weakened and began her process of leaving this world. Magic never left her side as we helped Fern leave her failing body. Magic, the old soul, did her healing work with her friend. It touched our hearts deeply and moved us to an even deeper understanding of the power of friendship and love.

Magic was then alone and we paired her up with a sheep who had recently arrived at the farm who was also by herself. The sheep, Daisy, was pretty shy and a bit leery of most everything in life. Once again, Magic worked her charm. It took a while, but soon Daisy had a whole different outlook on life. She started to approach us for treats just as Magic did. She began to trust life a little more each day. And Daisy knew she had a friend in Magic.

Today, Daisy grieves the loss of that magical friend who helped her find that trust in life. And we are sure that Fern was waiting for Magic to arrive where she was lovingly holding a space for her just as Magic had done for Fern.

We already miss the tippy tapping of your little magic feet as well as the sound of your wagging tail beating against the wall as you knew your treats were coming. We miss your goat smile and the way you came running for dinner with such joy. And, dear Magic, we are grateful for the example you lead by with your friendship and your wise old healing spirit. We thank you for all you taught us and for the world of difference you made in the lives of your friends.




Delilah - January 17, 2018

Delilah, American Mini-Pig


Today our hearts are breaking with the unexpected loss of a most amazing little pig. Delilah walked into our lives just a few months ago and changed the course of life in our facility. She was a mini-pig with a huge persona and huge mission in life. She was a bright light who within a short time opened hearts and deepened our connection to each other, to the farm, and I daresay to the heart of humanity itself. Sounds like an exaggeration? Well, if you never met Delilah it would be hard to understand the enormity of what her heart held and how she touched people. Delilah was an angel on a mission. And we were so fortunate to have shared what little time we did together.

One could look at Delilah and feel only heartbreak and questions of why this had to happen the way it did. But to get stuck in that trap would not honor the heart and soul of Delilah herself. She would want us to reach past our sadness and ask us not to question why she left so quickly but instead she’d ask us to look at why she was here to start with. She would remind us how much she loved life and how every little nuance of life amazed and intrigued her. She would beg us to keep searching for every crumb in life and to savor each one. She would implore us to be daring and to explore all we can. She would remind us to stop periodically to meditate and reconnect with the heart of who we are – as she did when she enjoyed a good belly rub. She would tell us to run and leap and jump when we felt like it and to be happy and joyful and willing to squeal with excitement whenever the chance arises. She would demand that we do not wallow in sadness but instead bask in the warmth and appreciation of the love and light of who she is. Delilah would want us to remember her with joy and to live our lives more enriched having known her, because Delilah came with great purpose.

It is never easy to understand or make sense of a young being dying – whether animal or human – it is impossible to comprehend. It seems like an injustice to life. Yet, so many times, these are bright souls who come in to give of their abundance and take leave. It is not ours to understand or make sense of but it is ours to accept their gifts and their magic. It is ours to journey onward with all they left us with and in that way they live on as well.

Our farm will never be the same again as it was before Delilah came to live here. She was our first pig. And with all that she taught us, we are sure she will not be the last. Delilah brought the next wave of change to the farm. She ushered in a new era. In a facility dedicated to elder and hospice care, she brought in the exuberance of youth and rekindled hope and magic. We must not let those die with her. That would be a travesty. So we move on – all the more enriched by a wee little pig who came in and changed our world.

Delilah died after complications from a routine surgery. Nothing was done wrong. Nothing could have been done differently. So many people tried valiantly to save her. But Delilah seemingly had other plans. There is no blame. We are all equally saddened by her loss. From the veterinarian who performed the surgery and who was then aided by the specialists who tried to help after surgery, each of them was touched by her gentle soul. They treated her with nothing but love and kindness and we are truly grateful to all of them. We must not get lost or stuck in asking why it happened. Instead, we must be grateful for the chance to have had her with us and to know there are things we simply cannot understand – and maybe we are not meant to.




Jeremy - January 15, 2018


“To give in return what had been gifted to me was the greatest joy of my life.” – Jeremy

In 1995, Spring Farm CARES was blessed with the arrival of Margot Unkel who found her place in life along with Dawn Hayman and Bonnie Reynolds in becoming the three full-time Directors of the farm. Margot moved here from Idaho with her two horses, two dogs, and a cat. Jeremy was her rescue horse. He was stunningly gorgeous and, at the time, a pretty lost soul. But he found his home in Margot’s heart. And something significantly changed for Jeremy when he arrived at Spring Farm CARES. As Margot built her house and barn, Jeremy watched the progress daily from his pasture along with his horse buddy Tasia. We would tell him that that was HIS barn. He was stunned as he had never had his own barn before. Jeremy would spend the rest of his life taking great pride in HIS barn. Today, his barn feels empty without him. We lost Jeremy unexpectedly today. Although he was 33 years old, he had been very healthy right up until the end. Jeremy was the last of Margot’s animals that she had brought with her from Idaho and we join her both in the grief and in the celebration of Jeremy’s transformation from a rescued horse to one who rescued so many others.

Jeremy loved to share his barn with his friends. Over the years, he became Uncle Jeremy to many youngsters who had endured severe trauma. He raised two donkey babies – Felix and Leo – who are reeling at the loss of their friend/teacher/mentor. He helped neglected pony Charlie find his way back to health and wholeness. He raised orphaned foal Shawnee and helped him find his way in life. Shawnee owes a huge debt of gratitude to Jeremy for what he gave him in life. Jeremy was a huge presence and a gentle soul. He was just the right balance of feisty and wit and charm. He was solid in who he was and how he walked this earth. He was everyone’s friend. He was no one’s fool. He loved deeply. He bonded strongly. He loved this farm as much as we do and felt a part of everything this farm stands for. He was proud. He was loving. And he was steadfast in his devotion to the human who had saved him from despair and brought him not only to safety but to a world where he learned to trust again and be whole. His love for Margot was always evident and ever strong.

Words cannot express how much we already miss him. And there are no words for all the beauty and bounty he brought to our lives and to this farm over the years. He leaves behind his horse companion Ginny, pony friend Charlie, his beloved donkey boys Felix and Leo, his two goats Magic and Luna, and his sheep friend Daisy. He watched over all of them and welcomed them to his barn. We know there was a whole herd of friends waiting for him in Spirit. And we are certain that they were happy to welcome him back into their embrace even as he leaves ours.

Thank you Jeremy. Thank you for all the years we got to share and for all you gave to us. Your beauty and grace are your legacy that shall live on through all of us.

(Below left: Jeremy having winter fun. Below Right: Jeremy meeting baby Luna for the first time.)

Jeremy Jeremy and Luna First Meeting