Reaping the benefits from our Five Dollar Friday Community’s kindness this week was our beloved Parker goat. Parker, a gentle giant Anglo Nubian cross has become a firm favourite among staff, volunteers and visitors alike with his cheeky personality, his unmistakable ears that often seem to have a life of their own and his perfectly executed, “Please Sir, can I have some more?” look whenever the rustle of a wheet bix box is in the vicinity of those aforementioned ears.
Over the years, Parker has been the recipient of multiple life-saving surgeries to correct issues within his urinary tract, which if left untreated or undetected, would likely have led to a most painful death. Regular checks and treatments are now part of Parker’s ongoing care regime to ensure his redirected urethra remains functioning and allows him to live a comfortable and pain-free life.
Every now and then we experience those moments of realisation that things, events and experiences have brought life around full circle. Often, these realisations come at a much later date, during times of reflection rather than at the actual moment they occur for those moments are often too painful, too demanding of our energies or too all-consuming to ever contemplate the bigger picture.
One such moment we experienced recently here at the sanctuary was the passing of our beloved Vincent van Goatee. Even the typing of his name brings tears to the eyes, still so real is the pain of losing him.
I have no doubt that each one of us has a desire to be remembered for something when our days on this earth come to an end. Were we brave and courageous, kind to a tee, intelligent, accomplished, rich and famous, did we achieve great things, right a wrong or all of the above? The list goes on. And if there is one defining quality that comes to mind when we reflect on the life of dear Vincent it was most certainly this: friendship.
A popular legend has it that an Ethiopian goat herder spied his goats nibbling on some bright berries; not long thereafter, the goats became much more energetic. Sensing there must be more to the simple berries than met his eye, the goat herder thought he’d let his taste buds decide. Soon he too received the same euphoric high his goats did. Bundling up the berries, he headed off to a nearby monastery to share his new discovery. Here the monk was not pleased at all, so much so that he threw the berries into the fire. The alluring aroma that followed was enough to ensure the roasted beans were carefully picked from the embers. Now, here’s where story gets really interesting: the roasted beans were then dissolved in hot water, yielding the world’s first cup of coffee.
There can be no doubt that goats have long enriched our lives, since their domestication around 11,000 years ago. They have featured for time immemorial in our art, folklore and fantasies. And although we may have received coffee and many other benefits from our symbiotic relationship with these gregarious even-toed ungulates—that’s just a fancy word for saying each of their cloven hooves are divided into two ‘toes’—the benefits have not been evenly shared. Continue reading
With a Facebook post alerting one of our supporters to the plight of the day-old little Dorper lamb we were to name Tweanie, our lamb clan of 2018 quickly rose to four! Feeding times now consist of four little dancing tails matched by the dexterity of our carers as they juggle four bottles and monitor intakes. When feeding orphan lambs, it is critical not to overfeed the hungry babies, tempting as their little bleats are for more. The resulting scours from overfeeding such immune-compromised babies can often prove fatal; hence our diligent recording of each feeding, all logged with love regardless of the hour of day (or night).
“If we are to reach real peace in this world… we shall have to begin with children.” — Mahatma Gandhi
Recently we were fortunate to have a delightful group of young adults from Templestowe College join us for our educational programme. The day began with a talk from our inspiring Founder Pam Ahern. Pam took our visitors on a voyage, allowing them inside Pam’s compassionate world and how it all commenced. From rescuing a loveable piglet called Edgar to giving up her successful equestrian career, and sharing her story of how she ended up on the road where she dedicated her existence to liberating farmed animals and creating a more kind and compassionate world.
Promoted as getting your clothes whiter than white, the hit media campaign of the 70s (yes, that’s the 1970s—some of us folk are that old!) by whitegoods manufacturer, Whirlpool, saw the catchphrase “Guess whose mum’s got a Whirlpool?” enter the Australian lexicon. With the essence of family, caring and responsibility at its heart, we could think of no more fitting name than “Whirlpool” for a whiter-than-white little lamb who tumbled into our world one recent evening. She was found only hours earlier by kind hearts, who quickly realised that had they not intervened, Whirlpool would have tumbled from this world. With two tiny teeth threatening to erupt from her baby gums, we could safely guess this hapless lamb was but two days young.
“We don’t give up on those we love. We fight like hell until there is nothing left to give. This is how we should love each other.” Kiana Azizian
To which we wish to add, “And then we dust ourselves off and fight some more.” This is what all gentle, emotional and intelligent beings like Hip Hop Bob deserve. It’s been another intense week of rehabilitation for our beloved Hip Hop, who underwent surgery to relieve pressure on her spinal cord and although progress, as can be expected, is still slow, Hip Hop is most certainly taking some steps (metaphorically speaking of course) to recovery.
Two hourly rehab sessions in which Hip Hop is carefully lifted whilst ‘scratch foot’ exercises are performed on each hind limb are beginning to bring back some movement to her legs. We can now feel her placing pressure on our hands as this exercise is performed and every now and again a twitch of the hoof or a lift of the leg of her own accord has us feeling this may just be one obstacle our beloved girl can overcome.
Driving almost halfway across the country to find a safe haven for a little lamb is not something everyone would do. But that is exactly what Alex did to save the life of little Ray Ray, a sweet little lamb who was born without eyes. This condition, known as microphthalmia, afflicts lambs whose both parents carry this recessive gene. It is characterised by either very small or absent eyes; in Ray Ray’s case, her eyes are absent. But that does not stop her in her desire to experience the world and all of her magic. Showing courage where few would, Ray Ray loves nothing more than to jump with wanton abandon at any opportunity. Slowly too she is learning to gravitate to the sound of our clapping hands, and her “seeing eye buddy” is growing accustomed to wearing a bell.
Who would have thought that getting lost could save a life? Well, that is just what happened recently when two kind hearts set off for a trek that was to last several hundred kilometres to deliver a little blind lamb to Edgar’s Mission. But with a GPS with a mind of its own (and don’t we all know and love those!), our heroes were directed down a road most certainly least travelled and right into the path of a little lost lamb.
Coming together to help the most vulnerable and least heard amongst us no doubt brings out the best within us, and that is just what happened in the rescue of Together. One can only imagine the terror that coursed through the veins of this gentle goat as the dog latched his teeth onto her face. Ripping one ear completely off and part of the other, it was the left side of her face that bore the most severe brunt of this trauma. But battered and bloodied, she had survived, as nothing had been able to extinguish her will to live. Thankfully in the days after her rescue, as her fear began to subside, so too did the swelling that had claimed her left eye, and it was only now that a sigh of relief could be let out, as it was revealed that her eye remained intact.
Sounding more like a recipe for a good night out, Fettucine and Martini are the names of two of the most recent lamby arrivals to Edgar’s Mission. Each year we take in dozens and dozens of tiny lambs, often newborns as in the case of dear little Fettucine (and no, he couldn’t get any cuter if he tried) or ones whose mothers have passed away (sadly this was the case for the diminutive Martini, although she had struggled for over a week on her own)—and yet more have been found wandering aimlessly beside busy highways or outback country roads.
Finding your Why
It has been said the two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why and on this very day back in 2013, a determined and courageous hen named Little Miss Sunshine was lifted from the crowded and barren battery cage that had contained her for the first two years of her life.
On this day five years ago, Little Miss Sunshine stretched her wings for the very first time, she felt the sun’s warm rays beam down upon her skin and she learned how it felt to walk upon cool, soft earth.
They say it takes a village to raise a child and it takes an entire community to save the precious life of an affable, clever, gorgeous and beloved pig.
If you have been following our recent updates, you will be all too aware that our dear Hip Hop Bob underwent surgery earlier this week to relieve the pressure being placed upon her spinal cord in an effort to restore sensation to her rear limbs.
Life was meant for good friends and great adventures.
Very recently, our brave How–Now went through a break-up with her friends, and it made her sad. How–Now did not give up, she put herself out there and met her new bestie – Onesie.
The two sweet girls sleep in the vet room at night with a heater on to keep them warm. And as besties do, they chat for hours over dinner until it’s bedtime. And when they’re not eating and chatting, they spend their days in the yard having a dust bath or two.
With their herd slaughterhouse bound, Cal and Bonnet somehow found themselves on the right side of kindness and instead were Edgar’s Mission bound. That two young lives were spared shows a glimmer of hope in what is that blackest of hours for Boer goats. Introduced into Australia in 1980s from South Africa, the Boer goats have, through their selected genetics for fast growth, become renowned as “meat goats”. However, as we constantly find, regardless of the label we humans place on an animal, nothing can diminish their will to live.
“Tiny, she’s shiny. She looks so neat above her feet, we call her Tiny shiny”
My name is Pam Ahern and to many people, I have become synonymous with pigs and farmed animals—for after all, it was a pig who trotted into my world in 2003 and changed both of our lives forever. But what not so many people know is that it was a little one-time stray cat named Tiny who first ignited my fascination and love for animals in all of their glorious forms—something the passage of time has failed to extinguish. Little Tiny and her “plus one” Blackie were the first animals to ever grace my world. Rounding out the four-legged contingent of our family was Laddie, an affable yet goofy black Labrador who often mistook me for a tree as we became constant companions and together navigated every inch of our family’s backyard. To Laddie I was the most important person in the world. Through his gentle presence, I learned of the unreserved loyalty of dogs that so easily lends itself to the self-sacrifices dogs make in saving their humans.
It’s been a week since Ray Ray’s epic road trip to Edgar’s Mission and not a day goes by in which we aren’t blown away by this dear little lamb’s ability to thrive despite seemingly insurmountable odds. Born with no eyes, Ray Ray is a lamb many would discount as being able to live a full and rich life. But not kind-hearted Alex, who saw hope where others might see none and who left no stone unturned to secure Ray Ray’s future.
This week Ray Ray was back on the road, albeit this time for a far shorter trip to our trusted friends at Animal Eye Care, Malvern for a thorough ophthalmologist examination and expert opinion on her condition. You can imagine our delight when we received the news Ray Ray indeed has every chance of leading a full and happy life and is experiencing no current complications as a result of her condition. We now have a care plan in place and regular check-ups as Ray Ray grows will ensure we can identify any issues if they arise and provide prompt treatment.
Little Ray Ray – what she lacks in sight she more than makes for in courage and her vision that the world is something to be explored for all of her magic.
If your heart was smiling with Ray Ray’s arrival last Friday, well brace yourself for more! Here is a quick update on how little Ray Ray is getting on at Edgar’s Mission. Please share this video with friends and family to show them just how strong a little lamb can be. With a community of wonderful and supportive people, we are so sure that there is heaps of Kindness at the end of the “Raynbow”.
Together we can save the world…
If you are reading this, it is because you care about the work of Edgar’s Mission and it is only through the belief of people such as you, we are able to change the lives of so many animals for the better. And today we did just that as we welcomed little Ray Ray (a plucky young lamb who was born without eyes), the sweet Lucky Star (who, by the most fortunate of circumstance was found weak, fragile and all alone) and the incredibly resilient Together (a gentle goat who had some days ago been attacked) into our world.
Thank you so incredibly much for believing that a kinder world is possible because we know that together we can make it happen. Have an awesome weekend.
Love and kindness as always
Pam Continue reading
Driving almost half way across the country to find a safe haven for a little lamb is not something everyone would do. But that is exactly what Alex did to save the life of little Ray Ray, a sweet little lamb who was born without eyes.
Feel Good Friday
And feeling much better indeed, thanks to our wonderful Five Dollar Friday community is our dear matriarch pig, Mary. Earlier in the week, something told us all was not well with Mary as she didn’t meet us at her usual spot for a secret pre-breakfast treat, nor did she respond to our efforts to rouse her from her comfy straw-filled bed. When our promises of a delicious warm mash breakfast were met with little to no enthusiasm from Mary we knew it was time to act and so it was over to The Vet Practice at Whittlesea. Continue reading
It’s the final day of National Volunteer Week, BUT our celebrations do not end today! We are thankful every day to have such great volunteers who believe in what Edgar’s Mission is all about 😊
Today we are celebrating Cassidy, Kyoko, Carolyn and Barry (that’s a mouthful!) What’s better than one volunteer, well four of course! Thank you for everything that you do, your hard work does not go unnoticed 💕
What a day today has turned out to be. The sun’s been bestowing her rays upon us to provide us with much-needed warmth. Not only that but our lovely volunteers extended their kindness towards us, and for that, we are ever more grateful.
Today we are celebrating Ruth and Ro, two of our dedicated Volunteers. We thank you for your hard work and dedication to our mission. You strengthen our belief that there is a kinder world for all out there and we will never give up. Continue reading
Give a little. Change a lot.
Happy Wednesday and an even happier Wednesday to every single Volunteer out there. Volunteers are amazing! And without their help, our work here at Edgar’s Mission would not be possible.
Give a little. Change a lot – it’s National Volunteers Week May 21 – 27
It’s that special time of day again… The time to show some love and appreciation to our Volunteers. A BIG, warm and loving thank you to Kate, Emma, Cherie and Shinae.
Kate helps out with merchandise and the shop every week and Emma, Cherie, Shinae help out around the farm. It’s so easy to be kind when we have supportive volunteers.
Please join us tomorrow, so we can spread love to more of our vollies 💖
Give a little. Change a lot – it’s National Volunteers Week May 21 – 27
This week we are celebrating a passionate and hard-working group of people – our volunteers. At Edgar’s Mission, it’s all (farm) hands on deck. With over 450 residents here, it takes more than a few hands to feed, clean and provide the utmost best in care for them all. Each day this week we’ll be featuring one (or two) of our lovely, hard-working and much valued volunteers. Today we have Deanne and Sharan, awesome works guys – we love you! Continue reading
Rounding out our lamb clan of 2018 to six has been a tiny ewe lamb named Zucchini. With so many lambs arriving very early this season, anyone could be forgiven for thinking it was raining lambs! And whilst orphan lambs may have been in abundance, rain of late has not. Such a dry season placed an unwanted burden on pregnant and lactating ewes, who were already struggling to cope on poor pastures. These babes are indeed lucky, for they have escaped the rigours of a brutal winter that so often claims the lives of millions of lambs each year, but they nonetheless suffer the trauma of losing their mothers. Snuggled up now in warm jackets on cold nights, with bellies full of sweet formula, our lamb clan is proving resilient. Their now cherub-like little bodies are testament to our expert care, sweet formula, the watchful eye of Vet Nurse Ruby and kindness—oh, and not to mention some pretty cute names: Beanie, Deanie, Weanie, Tweanie, Lamborghini and Zucchini!
Now this isn’t your usual run of the mill before and after photoshoot nor is our beloved Dana posing with the obligatory newspaper to prove the passage of time. It may be hard to believe but these images were snapped just hours apart. Now whilst this first image may alarm some, we wish to assure all is now well for this dear girl. Our Dana experienced a sudden onset of swelling along her jaw, which was aptly identified by our animal caregiving team. With the lump of such an enormous size and with no external wounds present, today Dana was vetward-bound to eek out the cause of this unsightly and most certainly uncomfortable swelling. A wayward grass seed was adeptly pinpointed by our vet as the culprit, most likely to have entered via Dana’s mouth or even ear canal! With a thorough treatment carried out and medications prescribed, Dana was soon relieved of her woes and tucked straight into a wheet bix treat to show her appreciation. Continue reading
In 1963, Italian manufacturing magnate, Ferruccio Lamborghini, decided he wanted to build sophisticated cars, cars that would be defined by their elegance, power and comfort. History reveals that Ferruccio admirably achieved his goal. Today, Lamborghini is synonymous with style, head-turning grace and a distinct turn of speed. But for us at Edgar’s Mission, when we think of the word, what comes to mind is an adorable and cheeky little orphan lamb who goes by the name of Lamborghini, who also has style and head-turning grace—as well as a cute little jump of glee producing a distinct turn of speed when the word “bottle” is mentioned.