Monday, March 29, 2010

Introducing Willbe( pronounced Will Be)

I left here at 9: 15 this morning and just sat down after peeling my clothes off that were soaked to my underwear.

This pig was in a cement water hole in a barn, just big enough for him to turn around in. His ears resemble that of a panda bear caused by rats and biting flies eating away the top half of his ears off.

To my horror this morning looking for a reaction of a waggy tail he turned around and showed me, he had no tail as its been chewed right off.

He is not neutered and too obese for surgery. And although his life will be rich here, its going to take some time. Right now the stress of needing a pen built right away is on me. A house big enough for him as the one he is in is so far away from the herd, and so unstable it troubles me.

He is a chatty boy and cute as a dickens and i am exhausted. And his name ..well that is all he came with his precious self.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Burnaby Pathfinders Rock

A few weeks ago Sheri contacted me , a Team Leader for The Power Rangers they wanted to return to the sanctuary to help. We booked the day and 15 girls would arrive with three team leaders at about 11:00 am.

Nancy and Brent hit the pasture with wheelbarrows and manure forks and Jane and i got to feed everybody breakfast. Thanks to my Mom and Erin we had bags and bags of healthy greens to fill up every body's bowls. Then Jane tackled dishes and waters and Brent's Mom took on one section of piggy paddocks. I took on another row and thankfully Alex and Cesar arrived and they worked on the heaviest work in the bigger paddocks in the last section.

The Team arrived and Rose and Comet greeted the girls and were very excited at the gates as the aroma aroused the pigs keen senses. In each members hands gripped a bag of piggy goodies and also presented me with a wonderful donation.

We handed out a few treats but the girls were here to work we would spend more quality time with the pigs after. I recognized a few faces and a few of the girls were also looking for ones they remembered. I was deeply touched when two different girls asked where Barney was. I lost Barney in 2006 but what a testament to his existence here as his presence is remembered with delight and love by these girls too.

The work accomplished by these young adults is amazing and i walked around last night at least three times to take in their accomplishments over and over again. And they enjoyed themselves in doing it. I could hear chatter and laughter threw out the day.

I am sure they would tell you the best time for them was sharing there gifts with the animals here and the treats they were able to hand out to them. And the quiet time when pigs were soaking up the attention with gentle hands, love and quiet voices.

There are 25 pictures on my facebook page but here are a few of my favorites!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Love A Plenty

Jean visited from Croften on Tuesday and arrived here with treats for all the pigs and especially for the babies she helped bring into this world. Two years ago Jean had agreed to foster two adults for us and within three weeks two pigs would turn into 12 with the birth of Soda and Scotches babies. Can you imagine looking after all those little babies?? In May, Jean would be in the stages of retiring to the Island and the pigs were moved to the Sanctuary.

Planning for her arrival i had all of her kids out running free to explore the acreage. Jean's face was lite up by the time she got to my door as her babies heard her voice and came running to the gate to great her.

We took a bazillion pictures ..

Monday, March 22, 2010

Bits and Peices..

Another busy week has flown by with a little help from the guy i was buying a trailer from. I saw this 7ft x 12ft single axle trailer on Craig List for $500.00. I can't get my truck to where the hay storage is here so i got myself storage on wheels. If i ever get it insured and learn to pull it i could go buy my hay with it. Have them load it and bring it back home. No loading and unloading. I have to make things easier for me any way i can. And if i get something else built one day on this side of the barn , that i can unload during winter without getting stuck in the mud then this can be used for something else or sold again. Anyhow this guy messed up two days for me telling me he was coming with it and never showed up.

Then when he did show up it was full of crap and CLEARLY was used as a little grow op complete with insulation, plastic covering the walls, a vent and a mini breaker box. An afternoon wasted arguing with him while we both cleaned it up and coming to agreement that he would come back the next day to fix this thing and only then he would get the rest of his money. Surprised the heck out of me when he did return the next day with the materials to do it. lol

Lots of emails from people back and forth who want to visit the Sanctuary. I book all visits in the morning so please do not get my email that says that , then ask me if it is okay to come in the afternoon. My afternoons are much different from your afternoons. And don't get me wrong, I love anyone who wants to come and see the pigs and love on them and visit. But my time is allocated by the animals routine and the work to maintain this sanctuary. What is accomplished daily here doesn't happen by me blinking my eyes. I don't get to do what I want in a day so pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee don't ask.

Lots of pigs needing new homes right now. One in Kamloops breaks both of our hearts. She is a full figured house pig who is tying her family down. They don't want her any more. They want the freedom of the burden she is on them. They can't go anywhere because of her and after i say either can i they still ask if i can take her. These people are killing me... She will need someone special, who will dry the tears from her eyes and fill her heart with hope and all the love in the world.

Two abandoned in Langley and the new tenant wants them gone. Thankfully Lisa at SARS spread the word and asked around and someone gave us a really good lead. So we may have a really nice home for them and there two chickens.

But in preparation of them possibly arriving, i changed the lives of three of our pigs here. I spoke to each of them about pigs needing a home , just like what happened to them.

Some of these paddocks were designed with adjoining gates with pigs who get along well with each other. One or both pens have housing suitable for 4-5 pigs. I don't like to force pigs to join up and would rather they do it on there own. Jack of Hearts had his own HUGE pen along side of George and Pebbles. They also have the same size paddock and a brand new big house. Thursday morning i closed the gate and locked Jack out of his yard. By evening i sat here watching him. Little baby standing at the fence looking threw the boards at the house he couldn't get too. Pebbles and George had gone to bed and i watched Jack go over to the doorway and he pushed some of the spilt straw out front on the ground with his nose. No doubt he was thinking and checking if he could sleep there. Then he poked his head in there house , then he went in and came right out again. A minute later he tested it again and went in for the night.

The next day i told him he was a big boy now and thanked Pebbles and George for taking him under there wing and keeping him warm all night. The three of them are small pigs as far as pigs go and they look so darn cute standing in a row looking out at me. The Three Amigos..

Well i better go , Mouse has been in here twice to get me and Buddy is giving me the heavy sigh treatment a dog will do to get ones attention. lol Mouse gets several meals a day to get her weight up and well Buddy and I are hungry.

Oh and here are the rain covers Wayne built for the pigs here!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Pigs Of Course

Well our newsletters are out and anyone who would like to get one please drop me a line!!

My focus for the newsletter is of course to bring all of our friends up to date and even though there are five pages it is never enough room to cover everything. That is because i normally can't fit in the time to do more then one a year when working full time and would actually have to take time off of work to do them. With help from both Dayna and Jean writing for us and Dayna getting them printed for me is a huge help. So we are going to try and aim for twice a year this go around. Please if anyone has some suggestions or input for our next one bring it on!!

The newsletter is also our one and only steady form of advertising the Sanctuary covering everything from our dreams to our basic needs. We still have many pigs who need sponsors to defray our produce costs every month. Right now we are feeding approximately 70 lbs of produce a day. While you shop next time look at the cost of the produce your buying and you'll understand some of the expense of running a farm animal sanctuary here in B.C.

And if you have a fruit or nut bearing tree gather the goodies up , email your friends ask them about there over flow in there gardens and if you have room plant some seeds . Round it up and surprise the caretaker with goodies for the animals so they can save there money for on going veterinarian needs.

I would also really love to plant some fruit and nut trees here so if you have any connections let me know!

Its pouring rain out there today and its been a wild week from t-shirt weather to snow! What a tease with all that warm weather we had and things were starting to dry up.. now more mud again.

When Mouse moved in here i fixed her a spot by the patio door in the great room which is where my office is. Although there is a TV in here i find myself in the front room of this house in the evenings as it feels more cozy. The pictures of Mouse suggests she feels the same way, although the sound clip of her is probably more explanatory. The front room is also just off the kitchen.

What surprises me most about Mouse is she was never a pig who came inside in all the years of living back at the old place. She was always rather timid and still is. But she drinks out of the dog dish with out tipping it over unlike my two regular house pigs do and she will lick a plate clean with out flipping it and sending it crashing once done. I wouldn't give Winnie or Casa a reg plate to eat off of and they have more house experience then Mouse ever did.

I also want to reach out to those of you who are still eating meat or using animal by products. I bet there are millions out here who are tossing around the vegan thing and know it is right and want to start but it is so easy to stay in a comfort zone and don't really know where to begin.

Start today and remove one animal from your plate. And of course lets start with piglets and keep Pork off your fork!!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Sunny Days..

Well I spent a grueling week after doing the straw and writing for the newsletter. Running out of ink, printing receipts and then getting an offer by Dayna to print our newsletters, RIGHT ON!!! A huge saving for the pigs never mind one major chore of running to Pitt Meadows twice to get them done. All the way from Alberta!!! And then Nancy and i spending four hours stuffing envelopes and Mom who picked up more stamps on the way out and then mailed them all. Done... whewwwwwwwwwww

Wayne who i had purchased two sheds from arrived with two big surprises. He framed two rain shelters that cover two piggy paddocks each. And he was very clever at how he built them and they way they fit in. I should of taken pictures will get on that tomorrow. We have an offer of tin for the roof and i can't decide if i want something clear or not. So the sun and light can shine threw... anyhow he even had poly cut to use in the mean time. VERY cool and they look really good too. Professional!!

Another fun day was a visit from friends with a big bag of hazelnuts. the pigs masterfully spit out the shell in a split second and chew the nut . It was pretty neat when we treated the Super Wee's , to hear all 12 pigs crunching at the same time. LOL

Mouse had me worried as she threw up two weeks in a row so her diet has been changed and 8 days now with out any problems. She is out every day all day if i let her.

High Speedy Penny is in the feed room before i can move , so different for the pig who lived in the carport who i would pull the blankets off, to get her up. She is fast!!

I watched Casanova spin and buck in his paddock again yesterday. So cute to see the adult pigs feel so happy that they do that. George was laying on his side in the middle of the yard today sun bathing. He got his belly rubbed!! And trying to lay out the 12 trays tonight with 12 pigs getting in your way and Rickey who wouldn't budge from my leg. I had to laugh , i even playfully patted him with the cookie sheet and stuck to me LOL Silly pigs..

And Roscoe looking up at Jane and giving her a gentle rub with his big head , and my Rose who bucks after i tell her she is beautiful and almost knocks me over. I tell her "its NOT funny" and i know the way her tail is wagging she is laughing at me. So i tell her " that's not funny ha ha Rose!!!"

Nancy and Jane were here today and Nancy worked for the horses and Jane and I worked for the pigs. I raked and tipped wheel barrows while Jane scrubbed and got fresh waters. One more volunteer and it all would of all got done and less work for every one too. Jane and i went till about 2 as i just couldn't do any more.

Dior has learned how to pull the boards out and let her self in the yard and Lacy stands back waiting for her to do it. There like bad kids and race galloping in like big cheeky brats. Last night i nailed all the boards so when i need to drive in next time with hay I will to pull them out. I need that fence line replaced its only a matter of time before she takes out the flimsy gate .

All the pigs need to be dewormed so that is on my mind and has to get done. We will fix a bazillion jelly sandwiches and lace them all with meds.

The weather has just been beautiful and the pasture is littered with Robins every day. I heard my first coyote kiyi here tonight and it sounded wonderful as did the chatter of squirrel over the neighbors way. Hard to believe there calling for snow next week LOL could of worn a t shirt out there today.