Doolittle Farm offers the gift of Love.
This photo series highlights the experiences of the expressive animals who receive the generous, nurturing love of Cindy Gordon and Keith Hughes. Doolittle Farm-ette is nestled in the bucolic foothills near Boulder and close to the charming village of Hygiene, CO. This photo series offers a moment to reflect on the gift of life with an expanded focus: consider the ramifications of animal rescue and animal-assisted therapy.
Doolittle Farm residents
The horse is Mr. Darcy, the llama is called Sweet Dee, and the alpacas back to front are Alice, Elton and S’more. This herd has adopted its forever home at Doolittle Farm.
Doolittle Farm Rescue welcomes farm animals that have been abused, abandoned or simply need a forever home. The fragile beings come to eat, to play and to spend the rest of their lives enjoying community life with each other and their hosts. Doolittle Farm welcomes visitors by appointment.
A visit to the farm is a win/win option for those who are unable or ill-equipped to house an animal friend.
We can learn a lot about a ‘humanitarian approach’ to life by looking to the burgeoning growth of compassion and appreciation for life with respect to animals. The instances of life-affirming policies and practices accorded to the beasts of our planet serve to enlighten us when it comes to viewing the evolution of no-kill policies in animal shelters.
General Mission of Shelters
The mission of the SPCA is to create a caring and kind community that encourages fair and humane treatment of all creatures. Knowledgeable, caring and open-minded staff and volunteers strive to achieve this mission through proactive efforts to address the status of animals in communities. The SPCA offers education for adults and children, manages rescues and shelters for animals in need, and places animals into appropriate forever homes.
Previously, a seven day holding limit before euthanisation was common practice. The short period was intended to allow a pet owner (of predominantly cats and dogs) a brief window of opportunity to find and retrieve a beloved lost pet family member.
Currently, growing numbers of watch groups and ‘rescue.orgs’ support the rescue of animals condemned to death, either due to homelessness or lack of utility (as in aged or diminished health). Rescue groups exist for rabbits, reptiles, birds, etc. Organisations also rescue and rehabilitate wild animals such as lions, tigers and cheetahs who are discovered living in inhumane situations. Many organisations are dedicated to saving wild animals that are used as sources of income in zoos, circuses and other cruel circumstances.
Mr. Darcy, once fragile and condemned to death, now thrives with his newfound companions as a resident of Doolittle Farm in Colorado.
“You don’t kill animals here” is an increasingly expressed value. Just as spreading sentiments compel people to buy only organic produce, choose cage-free chicken or become vegetarian or vegan, there is a growing segment of society that wants to uphold deeply held values and beliefs for the appreciation of life itself.
In an impersonal world where people can feel isolated, there is a greater longing for connection. The love given to and received from animals can provide that connection.
The Human-Animal Bond: It’s Good For Us!
Posted by Cindy Gordon on Apr 20, 2016 in Animals, Nature.
“Many of us are lucky enough to have an indescribable bond with an animal. Growing up, a dog or cat may have been our best friend or confidant. I had two dogs growing up: Ting-a-ling, and then Snowflake. They were truly part of our family. I have two dogs now: Posey and Doug. Posey is older now, and as a senior she has presented new challenges and has taught me about patience, being quiet and unconditional love. Doug lives to play and loves affection and attention; when I watch him, I think, “That’s what it’s like to live in the moment.” He has also put his head in my lap during difficult times. Animals can be great comforts, friends and teachers.”
Thor, with his playful and bossy presence, watches over the herd with his bright blue eyes.
“We’ve got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant. You can’t just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it’s going to get on by itself. You’ve got to keep watering it. You’ve got to really look after it and nurture it.” ~ John Lennon
Mercury and Hermes emerge from their tubes as they spot a snack on the way!
Animal Assistance in Well-Being
Playful personalities and the gentle and tender sensibilities of animals can be a tremendous support to humans suffering from many sorts of debilitating conditions. Animal-assisted therapy is a growing field that uses dogs, cats, horses or other animals to help people recover from or better cope with physical health problems, such as heart disease and cancer, as well as mental health disorders or conditions.
Three species: horse, llama and alpaca, form a happy herd.
“An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.” ― Martin Buber
Animal-assisted activities, differing from therapeutic purposes, have a more general scope to provide comfort and enjoyment for nursing home residents or autistic children.
Elton – this sweet butterscotch alpaca is pleased to receive visitors.
Animal-assisted psychotherapy is a burgeoning field that utilizes the unique bond between human and animal in the service of growth and healing. Research provides evidence and anecdotal reports supply inspiration to support the efficacies of animal-based therapies. For further examples and information, visit Cindy Gordon’s website which offers information about animal assisted therapy and art therapy.
Caresses as well as treats encourage trust.
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”
~ Anatole France
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
Doolittle Farm Residents
“I think I could turn and live with the animals, they are so placid and self contained;
I stand and look at them long and long.
They do not sweat and whine about their condition;
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins;
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God;
Not one is dissatisfied – not one is demented with the mania of owning things;
Not one kneels to another, nor his kind that lived thousands of years ago;
Not one is responsible or industrious over the whole earth.” ~ Walt Whitman
Take a moment and reflect on your own experiences with animals.