....and find myself lying wide awake thinking about SAINTS - wondering how Jenny is, and what the next animal will be to come through the gate, and whether any of the dogs are in crisis tonightâ€¦.and what SAINTS will be like a year from now.
It's been just over a year since I walked onto SAINTS' property, greeted by Carol and her friend Carmen who were looking for the incorrigible beagle Copper. At that time, Carol had been on the property for just over a month. There was portable fencing for the big dog area, the house was an ugly pale green with peeling trim, the rabbits were in the small bedroom, and there was a carport that has since become a wonderfully cheerful Easter-egg of a bunny room with large penned areas and oodles of space. There was an old hot tub in the back yard. The driveway was hardpacked dirt, and there was no roadway to the barn, let alone a path to the pond. The property was only partially fenced and so most of the dogs required walking on leashes in the neighbourhood. The barn crew consisted of Gideon, three sheep, and I think the donkeys were already there. Hay was stored in the barn, 'cuz we could, and I don't remember the chicken set up except that we didn't have the great sturdy outdoor area we have for them now. And I could count the number of volunteers on one hand.
A year ago, I'd never met a pig or a donkey, I was uncomfortable around horses, I'd never given an injection to a diabetic dog or helped a vet to neuter a llama or lain on a blanket on the grass with a dog being helped to leave this world. A year ago, I knew how to poop scoop and walk dogs and I knew a fair bit about the care and feeding of dogs and cats, and I had a few useful handyperson skills and that was about it. I never dreamed how much SAINTS would come to mean to me or how all the animals have such unique personalities or what amazing people there are that help to care for those that no one else will take.
And so I wonder - what will SAINTS be like a year from now? What dreams will Carol have brought to fruition, and what animals will have come and gone? Who will be working there and who will not? Will SAINTS have a much needed tractor or utility vehicle, will the water be flowing year round, will the multi-purpose room be finished and bringing new activities to SAINTS?
And will I still be lying awake in the middle of the night worrying about a sick donkey, smiling at the thought of Petunia's piggy laughter, seeing Wesley's lovely labby face as he tries to figure out his place at SAINTS, thinking about my wonderful friends - both two and four legged - and hoping they are all resting well tonight?