Five Dollar Friday Update – Melody’s Journey
From a frightened bushfire survivor to the matriarch of our ‘Special Needs’ sheep crew, Melody has certainly come a long way in her four years at our sanctuary. Watching this now serene and somewhat world-wise ewe as she goes about her day, it is difficult to fathom all she has endured in her time, yet resilience is most certainly in her nature.
And this resilience has been tested somewhat of late as we were saddened to discover a tumour in Melody’s scarred stomach tissue – tissue that had healed after being burned during the 2014 Mickleham fires. With initial tests revealing there was no time to waste, Melody recently underwent surgery to remove the problematic tumour and provide her with the opportunity to live the life she so deserves. A life she undoubtedly enjoys.
And so, with the surgery complete, Melody now recovers in our care, with pain relief, veterinary treatment and expert care all on hand to ensure she has the best recovery possible.
Of course, this aspect of our work is made possible with the kind support of our #FiveDollarFriday community – and on behalf of dear Melody, we send our unending thanks your way.
If you too would like to be a part of the team helping provide animals like Melody with lives worth living, please visit https://edgarsmission.secure.force.com/Donate/5Friday
Getting by with a little help from her #FiveDollarFriday friends is Petal, who this week had her very own mobility cart designed and fitted.
Petal came into our care as a wee lamb with spinal nerve damage affecting her ability to walk and support her own weight. Countless hours of physical therapy, slow walks around the farm with the support of her harness, patience, love and kindness have seen Petal grow into a beautiful young girl with a true zest for life. It is hoped that this next step in Petal’s journey will assist her in becoming even more mobile and independent, with a life of choice and satisfaction, as is a sheep’s prerogative.
They say it takes a village to raise a child and with dear Petal, it is much the same. Our unending thanks, of course, go to our wonderful Five Dollar Friday community who make this avenue of our work possible as well as our dear volunteer Ruth who has clocked up many driving hours to and from appointments, the team at The Vet Practice, Whittlesea and Aquapaws; creators of Petal’s mobility cart.
If you too would like to be a friend to residents like Petal, please check out our Five Dollar Friday page here: https://donate.edgarsmission.org.au/Donate/5Friday
The things we do for love
It is no secret the little hen we have called How Now has truly succeeded in capturing our hearts here at Edgar’s Mission. Not only has her plucky resolve to survive the seemingly insurmountable odds stacked against her struck a chord with many, it is in those quiet moments of reflection alone with this dear girl that her true being has shone through. Chatty in nature and never hesitant to alert us if anything we have done is not exactly to her liking, we are reminded time and again that precious beings like How Now have their own distinct personalities and that each one is a unique individual with likes (green grapes), dislikes (red grapes) and favourite things (being chauffeured around in her pram by Pam). Continue reading
Late last year we responded to a request for assistance from Parks Victoria in regard to the rescue of two abandoned sheep who had taken up refuge in parkland just north of Melbourne. Befriending the local kangaroos and grazing vast fields, the duo could have continued happily ever after except for their ever-growing fleece and hard hooves potentially causing damage to fragile soils. Both factors show the unsuitability of these introduced animals to our shores. Proving too the smarts of sheep, reigning them in was to be quite a challenge. Whilst our makeshift corral brought a halt to the roaming of the sheep we named Charade, her feisty counterpart proved far more elusive, spiriting off into the several hundred acres of vastness, trees and hills. Reluctantly we headed home, with one ear and eye constantly peeled to the phone awaiting a call to confirm a sighting of the sheep. Alas, that call was not to come for several long months. However, this time armed with a far better understanding of the logistics of the park we were confident that the words of the park ranger, “You’ve come to get the sheep? Well good luck on that one,” were to be but an ingredient of his humble pie.
The first time we met Kitty, Cat and Tony, three hapless sheep who had been united by the circumstance of abandonment in a rural country pound, we found two extremes. While Kitty and Cat, two elderly Damara ewes, were scared and determined to have nothing to do with us, the affable Tony, a handsome Texel ram, sat at the opposite end of the spectrum— friendly, confident and only too willing to partake in a back scratch. Gently offering the words, “Don’t be afraid; we’re taking you home” to Kitty and Cat, the untrusting duo soon joined their chaperone, Tony, and were ushered towards our kindness.
Lambs are indeed social animals, relishing in the company of their own kind. And so it was to our bedroom each night dear Beanie Lamb went to ensure she was not lonely. However, coming to our rescue were the newborns, Deanie and the diminutive little Weenie. With their umbilical cords still plump with blood and nutrients, we were reminded of their vulnerability and short time dancing on this earth. Cords disinfected and clipped, warm jackets donned and life-sustaining colostrum downed, they were all set to meet their new buddy, little Beanie.
Whilst a penny will never pay for the thoughts of Beanie Lamb or provide an answer to just where she had been, we do know that it was through the swift-thinking actions of kind-hearted humans that she is alive today. Arriving at Edgar’s Mission in the cutest little baby jump suit emblazoned with little cans of baked beans, wee Beanie could not have pulled at our heart strings any more if she tried. Not long thereafter we learned that a traveller from Geelong had encountered the scared and hungry little one just shy of the township; struggling to rein in Beanie’s poor attempts at directing traffic, soon even more humans stopped to assist, as little Beanie’s journey of kindness began.
The promise we make to each and every animal who passes through our farms gates is that theirs will be a life worth living. Yet in the case of some farmed animals, whose genetics are geared toward rapid growth and artificially shortened lifespans, this promise does not come without its challenges. Take Brady and Babette, two of the beloved ‘broiler’ chickens who call Edgar’s Mission home. ‘Broiler’ is the name given to the type of chicken we have created for human consumption as opposed to those used for egg laying. Through many years of selective breeding and specialised nutrient intake, the sad fact is commercially raised ‘broilers’ now reach their ‘slaughterweight’ at just 5-7 weeks of age. At over two years old, Babette and Brady are experiencing what would be considered old age for their commercial cousins. Sadly, this rapid growth does not come without its price and the genetically determined disproportionate distribution of muscle mass and heavily burdened skeletal systems can take their toll on these young birds. Continue reading