When a long day leaves me feeling a little depleted, there’s nothing like an evening walk through the farm.Â It’sÂ Â a ritual I’ve cherished since opening Catskill Animal Sanctuary: no phones, no e-mails, no human voices….just my friends and me.
Tonight, just outside my house, Mr. Specks stands watch over his flock, while Oreo the cat rests atop a pile of rocks in Mr. Specks’ former pasture — now the sheep field. Down equine alley, horses and cows graze in the distance, yet as soon as I enter their fields, each of them, whether Pete and his horse pals or cow buddies Amos and Jesse, rush to greet me. Pete nips at me playfully, while Amos licks first my shirt, then my salty neck, with his scratchy tongue.
My pace is very differentÂ on these peaceful nights. It is deliberate. In one pasture, keeping Hannah the dog close to me, I sit down to allow gentle Dewey to nuzzle me first, then Hannah. In another (with Hannah tied safely outside), Rudy the steer comes careening towards me, doing his best “I’m a crazy happy cow!!” dance. I stay, laughing, until it is no longer safe. On these nights, I am blissfullyÂ agenda-free, my only goal to be amongÂ the animals,Â in quiet and humble gratitude for their friendship.
View images from my evening walk here.