We’ve all heard the idiom, ‘When pigs fly,’ a figure of speech used to portray the impossibility of a task or situation at hand. And apart from pictures on the internet of pigs paddling about in sunny tropical seas or the lolling about of our own porcine residents in their beloved wallows, the idea of a pig swimming, really properly doing her own doggy (or piggy) paddle is almost just as unlikely.
Today is World Gratitude Day and we here at Edgar’s Mission wanted to take a moment to tell you about something we’re most grateful for. Actually, it is not a something but rather a someone. That someone is you.
If you’re a goat who finds himself alone in a country town, the prospects of living a long and happy life are not all that great. And if you’re a goat who finds himself alone in a country town with a horrific injury to top it off, your chances at a long and happy life just got even slimmer.
Fortunately for Tripod, a cheeky young crossbreed boy, he hadn’t read the rulebook on what it means to be a goat and so it was from a rural pound that he found sanctuary at Edgar’s Mission. It seems too that Tripod also didn’t read the veterinary textbook on the fate a significant laceration and fracture injury should afford a young goat and so it came as an incredible shock to discover the tissue of Tripod’s hind right leg was almost completely without sensation. With a veterinary examination immediately booked, it was ascertained that Tripod’s injury had occurred at least 6 months prior, with a laceration or constriction cutting off almost all the circulation to his leg and the subsequent effects of this rendering the limb unsalvageable.
The phenomenon that is Women of Letters said a poignant goodbye at the Melbourne Writers Festival last week with the aptly themed show, “Love Always.” And as we acknowledge the end of an era with the brainchild of Marieke Hardy and Michaela McGuire that reignited the lost art of letter writing coming to an end, thank you will never come close enough to expressing the gratitude all of us here at Edgar’s Mission have for this incredible show. Many may not be aware that Women of Letter was not only a literary sensation but one of incredible kindness and selflessness, donating proceeds from all shows to Edgar’s Mission over the years. Women of Letters is a true testament to the power of kindness and a celebration of what can be achieved when we follow our hearts. Women of Letters, thank you for everything.
Here come the hoofsteps of a little Tom cat. Well, a lamb named Tom and one who found sanctuary in the nick of time. You may recall dear Kitty and Cat, two elderly Damara ewes who came our way some months ago via a rural council pound. Wary of humans and quick to flee from sight, it was with gentle kindness we offered the words, “Don’t be afraid; we’re taking you home.”
The waiting is the hardest part. Waiting in the deafening silence for the vet to return with the green needle that will set you free on your final journey. Waiting, staying strong, looking into your beautiful “Who me?” face and seeing yet more beauty that had eluded me. My mind treks back to the day I first met you, sitting on the floor on the barn where you had been placed. An injury to your back robbed you of the ability to move your hind legs, but not your ability to live or be loved. Your “Who me?” face darted left and right, then back again, commanding us, your now-loyal servants, to do everything in our power and your might to get you mobile once again. And that we did, with almost 100% success, no doubt spurred on by your dogged determination to live life to the full. No one told you that you were a food production animal and that your worth would only be the sum of your parts. If they did, I know you would have looked at them with your “Who me?” face and said “Bullocks!”
Whilst I am not sure exactly when this diary started, I do know the first tear-stained page was etched in a commercial pig farm that should belong to a bygone era. But sadly, it and others like it do not. Here gentle sows like Princess never have a name, let alone a reason to live. Their existence is in a world allergic to compassion, kindness and even a straw bed. Their beautiful bodies and curious minds are reduced to mere productions units, producing 2.2 litters of piglets a year. Their pitiful lives are measured by output not opportunities. Yet somehow, between this servitude and her salvation, Princess and three of her buddies wound up in the middle of a state forest and herein turned a brave new page of the Princess Diaries.
On 22 July 2018 the plight of a critically injured sow met with the path of kindness. There she lay, bloodied and bleeding, her exhausted and emaciated body barely finding the strength to heave out her next breath. In what would seem like her darkest of hours, Princess was to find her north star in the form of a kind-hearted four wheel drive enthusiast who happened to be in the wrong place at the right time. Desperate, confused and devoid of phone reception, the kind heart elected to wait it out until another car came along, hoping beyond hope it would be piloted by another equally kind heart. As Princess lay stoic and motionless, save the blood still spurting from her wound, she accepted her lot as a young piglet came into view and refused to leave her side. Continue reading
“A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.” ― William Shakespeare
One of our greatest joys here at Edgar’s Mission is witnessing friendships bloom in the most unlikely of places. Longterm resident Duffy welcomed the recently-arrived Tripod with open arms… Well with open hooves and gentle, playful headbutts. We are certain his bond with Duffy will help Tripod through upcoming surgery to remove a portion of the hind limb that was badly injured prior to entering our care. In turn, cheeky Tripod has well and truly brought the once-shy Duffy out of his shell and we find ourselves yet again grateful to the powers of kindness and circumstance that allowed this special friendship to grow.
“If we could live happy and healthy lives without harming others… why wouldn’t we?”
Joining the Dots under the watchful eye of Dobbin goat last month were students from Catholic Regional College who visited Edgar’s Mission as part of their studies. Meeting the animal residents, listening to a thought-provoking talk by Founder and Director Pam Ahern and being empowered to question all information presented to them, many students went away with a newfound appreciation of the animals with whom they share the world. Meeting and hearing the stories of our animal residents, witnessing the love and care they receive and even how to befriend a pig were all highlights of the students’ day. And certainly, the promise of a kinder future for all of us cannot be underestimated as the greatest positive of them all.
If you would like to learn more about our Humane Education program or book an incursion or excursion for your school, please click here.
Wayne Dyer was realistic, he expected them. Jean De La Bruyere told us they grow out of difficult times. And American author Willa Cather believed great love provided the perfect environment in which for them to flourish. They, of course, are miracles and we here at Edgar’s Mission have been fortunate enough to witness our own recently in the form of one very special, determined and oh so loved pig named Hip Hop Bob.
If you have been following Hip Hop’s recent journey to recover from emergency spinal surgery, you will know that no stone has been left unturned to get this brave girl back on her feet. And indeed, just like the beloved Babe in the movie of the same name, Hip Hop has already rewritten many new chapters in the story of what many believe it means to be a pig. We’ve witnessed Hip Hop patiently awaiting her CT scan on the day her injury was first detected, the bond shared with her favourite human pulling her through those post-operative ups and downs, keeping her spirits high with her favourite David Attenborough documentaries playing on what is now affectionately known as ‘Hip Hop’s iPad’ as well as winning hearts and quite possibly changing minds worldwide along the way. Continue reading