Rescue Journal

do you know why, we the ongoing caregivers of saints do really well here?

Carol  ·  Jul. 28, 2010

it is because being here stretches forces us to step outside of ourselves and really look at the rest of the world.

you simply cannot be present at the passing of someone like tunie and not start thinking about the person inside of a pig.

even the vet who was here, was so thoughtful and patient..he knew the sound of a male voice pissed her right off, so he spoke in a whisper that she didn't mind. he told me that he tried to be really respectful and gentle with the farm animals he treats, because someday if reincarnation is true, he may one day come back as a pig and at the end of his life, he would like to be treated gently and respectfully too.

while we were waiting for the multiple sedation injections to send tunie to sleep, we talked about what is next for her there an afterlife? neither of us knew.

saints cannot make us intrinsically different then we made ourselves...we are already good, or bad, giving or taking, smart or stupid, blind or seeing, questioning or knowing, right or wrong, long before we come here.
and saints cannot change who we are....we are the only ones who can ever do that.

but saints gives us the opportunity to view the world and life around us differently. it gives us the opportunity to glimpse some things normally not seen by human beings.

last night, just as dark was falling..i went out to the barn to check on ellie. she was in her bed as tunie passed away, but she couldn't see her or touch her so i was wondering if she was ok.

i didn't want to disturb anyone or intrude if they all were asleep by opening the door and turning on the lights and destroying any sense of quiet or peace.

so i went to ellie's window and quietly just looked inside...and i saw ellie laying up on her chest with her ears upright. her face and her nose...her entire body in fact, was pointed directly towards tunie's bed. the horses were all standing at their stall doors, with their heads out in the aisle way and also silently looking towards tunie's door.

there was death in the saints barn last night, and of course every animal knew...and they knew it was petunia too.

i cannot even guess what each of them was thinking last night..but i know they were fully aware that tunie had died.

i just cannot imagine witnessing and participating deeply in the lives and deaths of our very special animals, and not being stretched, not being forced to try to understand, not being taken outside of our comfortable shoes and suddenly finding them too small to put on again.

and here is the gift that tunie and others share with us every single day...once those shoes no longer fit, they don't fit anywhere ever again. these animals, in just their being and endings, force us to grow bigger footprints to stride thru life with.

i think there is a reason why god closed the door between knowing exactly what goes on in someone else's head...that closed door forces us to think further, acknowledge and explore deeper, the possibilities around us in living and caring for others. we can if we want, project our thoughts into them but what good does that do? does that help us to try to understand?

every moment in life is an opportunity...even the moment of death. it is up to us to decide how far we want to go with it, how far we let it take many pairs of shoes we are willing to grow out of or if we just want to go barefoot from now on instead.

i really miss petunia alive and well in my world this morning but i am forever grateful for the opportunity to have loved her enough to learn how to wonder.



Belief is very personal; I just fear the fall-out from "different planes of life". I have heard too many people comment that animals such as pigs and cows in slaughterhouses must have been Nazis in their previous incarnations. They must have been horrible human beings and therefore deserve their fate. Again, a smokescreen for many human beings to shy away from the unconscionable horrors we inflict on other animals.

But, if a person's belief DOES encourage them to respect all life and live simply and with compassion then I'm all for it. We should just never forget that a life is finite and all sorts of spirituality and "higher thinking" can't make up for the fact that it may be all any of us have. Therefore, to knowingly take ANY life has huge ramifications that I don't think our society acknowledges at present.

Also, Carol, I thought this post was beautifully written and I have shared it with friends of mine with whom I am engaged in discussions about empathy.


I like to think in more of a Buddhist way of thinking with my own personal twist... if we live this life as a true being , doing what is right, we move on to a higher plain , we experience greater joy & love & less pain & heartache.

I think the humans who want an excuse to not help or not do the right thing, they will find or make the excuse to justify their position.

I had a very interesting conversation last fall with the vet .. and it started with him asking me if I believed animals had a soul.. of couse I said yes & the conversation went on for about a half hour.. I remember thinking when he left that SAINTS was so very very lucky to have him as our farm vet... cuz I've met some others that do care about the farn guys... but really they see them as a commodity & not really a thinking feeling sentinent being.


Here's why I am suspicious of reincarnation or "other lives". It gives humans an excuse to not help other living beings RIGHT NOW on this plane of existence, on this earth. Although none of us can really know, the truth is probably that we all only have ONE life to live, one precious life in one fleeting moment of time. And we should be respectful of that most sacred of gifts no matter who possesses it: cat, dog, grasshopper, cow, ant.

Remember how precious your life is to you and the lives of your loved ones. Then extend that circle of compassion and empathy to other beings. They also treasure their life and the lives of their loved ones even if you don't. The next time you eat a hamburger, the next time you shoot a deer, the next time you buy make-up tested on animals - these are lives you have taken, lives which should have been lived. And they have been robbed of the only existence they will know. And now they are and have nothing. Remember humans do not have a special right to is a gift given to many. Think of them as you live your own life. That is true compassion.

"The squirrel killed in jest dies in earnest."


i know what you mean. when my 1 damation passed away the other 2 thought they also had died and gone to heaven. he could be a little bastard and the other 2 were scared shitless of him. he was a cool dog who liked to be boss and also wanted to do what the other dogs were able to do. he was arthritic but that did not stop him one little bit. if they did it he did it. they knew he had gone and were quite happy about it not quite your story but the point is the same that being they knew.


the animals ALWAYS know. Several years ago my alpha female sheltie was dying by inches over the course of a full year. my other three dogs were somewhat scared of her... not cowering in fear but very well aware of the fact that she wouldn't hesitate for ONE second to put them all in their places as she, and ONLY she percieved their places to be. she could clear the room simply by lifting her head and looking at them... she liked things to be quiet... maybe because she was so very sick for so very long.
Over the course of that year, she had countless trips to the vets, some of which involved staying there for a night or a few. the others never changed during that time. Then, the last time she went, when she actually died, I came home and they acted as though they had been liberated... jazzing all over the damned house. She didn't even die at home, but they somehow knew the second I walked in the door that she was not coming back this time... I don't know HOW they knew, but I know that they did.
RIP tunie.


Any person who believes that animals don't think or feel should be so lucky to see the sight of four legged family members grieving over one that's been lost. I can only imagine how your barn family looked. It's a great reminder to us "superior" beings that we're not alone in this world, and that we're not the only ones who feel sorrow as well as joy!

My heart is breaking for you all this week. I agree with Pam - it's been a heart-wrenching morning of posts - but I'm so blessed to be able to share the happy times and the sad times via the blog.

Blessings to each and every one of the SAINTS and those who love and care for them!


Carol, I have cried a river this morning after reading the last several posts. I am sorry for the loss of tunie. I feel I know her so well after being a blog reader for over 2 years now... my heart is broken.

I am actually heading to Winnipeg tomorrow for a vaction and I hope to make it over your way to visit saints some day. Till then I will feel closer to you and your saints this week... thanks.


Fly Toonie, your free of earthly boundaries Thank you all for loving her so.. tears roll down my cheeks not for Toonies crossing because I never got to know her but for the words spoken about a little pig who owned the barn.


i am so very sorry carol and all the barn people who loved tunie.she lived out the remainder of her life well at saints. thank god she was given that opportunity. rest in peace be happy.