From The Gentle Barn
Our organization is 13 years old, which means that the original animals
we rescued in the beginning are now very old and making their transitions.
This last week we said good-bye to our very first sheep, Josh and our very
first dog, Kaylee.
When we rescued Josh and his late mom, Nonie from a petting zoo, they were scared and filthy. After a few months at The Gentle Barn they realized that they were safe and became the welcoming committee; always greeting children at the gate, following them around and charming them with their marshmallow fur and golden eyes. Because Josh had a mom and was loved, he believed it was only right to pay it forward. When we rescued orphaned animals that we could not console because they didn't trust people yet, Josh would befriend them, take care of them, raise them and make sure that they got a warm welcome from all the other animals. Josh raised many of the sheep and goats that are in our barnyard today. We are so proud of him and his service to other animals, children and us!
Kaylee was our first dog at The Gentle Barn. Even though Kaylee would press her sweet face against the glass and beg to be let out, when we first started doing school field trips we didn't know if it was all right to bring the dogs out with the children; maybe they would be afraid or allergic? One day when we had a large group, the kids saw her in the window and asked to meet her and the teachers said yes. We opened the sliding glass door and Kaylee came prancing out with an enormous smile. She ran right in the middle of the children and allowed them to hug and pet her. Since that day we have never hosted a group of children without her! Kaylee has worked by our side every Sunday when we were open to the public and every day for school field trips and special needs groups. Kaylee was our partner, our friend and our shadow and she motivated thousands of kids who had never felt unconditional love before.
It has been an honor to know them, learn from them, and serve beside them!