Animals Rescue People and Vice Versa

Gentle Barn Activities Beneficial to All

It seems that it is not just animals in distress who benefit from being cared for by humans.  In fact, one could argue that it is the oft-abused humans who are gaining more benefit from their care for animals.  Gentle Barn – a Santa Clarita farm spanning six acres – has seen many of these miracles.  Indeed, people have healed themselves by working or volunteering at the farm that houses abused cows, goats, horses and pigs.

Perhaps the abused adults and youngsters relate to these animals because they were also once threatened in some very disturbing way.  Or perhaps the unconditional love given by the animals to the people who have more often than not been the victim of terrible abuse, gives them hope again.  Either way, both are doing well.

One example is the goat named Sophie who enjoys being read to by Solana Mejia-Schnaufer.  She believes she likes the book ‘The Hunger Games’ but not ‘Animal Liberation,’ as she tried to eat the latter but not the former.  Regardless of the goat’s taste in books, she has definitely helped Mejia-Schnaufer with various issues, to such an extent that the volunteer described her bonding experience with the goat as “a life-changing experience.” She had been struggling with eating disorders and depression for a long time which had even resulted in a suicide attempt.  She believes it was Sophie who enabled her recovery as she gave her hope that “life was worth living,” due to the goat’s “incredible calm and open energy.”

If one goat can do that for one person, just think how many other animals can help people.  Those individuals who suffer from any kind of mental trauma, or abuse, where no care facility can help them and even special drugs start to fail after some time, need a place like Gentle Barn to really get their spirit back.  Mejia-Schnaufer is one case in  many at the Gentle Barn that shows just how much animals can give to people who are struggling when there is no hope left and they feel like everyone else has given up on them and life is no longer worth living.  Keep it simple: let the animals do their jobs.

New Years Resolutions

The New Year is a time for resolutions, fresh starts, and hope for a better future. How many parents have said to themselves, “I want to be a better parent, but how?” Here are some ideas for how to put hope and good intentions into practice.
1. Be sincere. Be a role model for your children on how to be honest with your emotions. Children can tell when you really don’t mean it.
2. Always look for what each of your children is best at, and recognize his special strengths and show appreciation. Respect your children’s limits; don’t ask for more than they are capable of.
3. Each child is different, recognize each child’s nature and respond appropriately.
4. Boundaries provide security. Be consistent so that your children can show the courage to explore their limits while also feeling safe and comfortable that they won’t become embarrassed or get hurt.