Blog Image

Grant Us the Courage

It is unusually mild on this late December morning as I stroll the grounds to spend some quiet time with our four-legged and feathered friends.

Down equine alley, I call to Buddy the blind horse, who’s napping in his pasture. The old  man lifts his head at the sound of my voice, and walks confidently toward me.

“Stop!” I say assertively, and he stops on a dime, inches in front of me. I brace myself as he uses my back as a scratching post, then turn and kiss him between eyes that, though they see nothing, are so very expressive.

In Mario and Audrey’s field, I call loudly, “Pig, pigs!”, and in a moment, the pair appears at the crest of the hill, then trot down to say hello.

“Good morning, pigs, I whisper as I sit down in front of them to scratch their cheeks. “Happy New Year.”

“Mmmmph,” they say back to me, and coat my pants, my hands, my face in mud from their cool snouts.

In our geriatric cow pasture, I groom Dozer’s thick winter coat, talking to him as I move from his head, removing dried mud from the fluff of his ears, to his neck, over his massive body. He lowers his head, and blinks his eyes in appreciation.

I go on like this, from pasture to pasture, barn to barn. And as I do, I’m not thinking about the freakishly warm temperatures that came on the heels of record-breaking cold and wind. I’m not thinking about the ugliness that infects our politics, or the struggles of so many humans for basic rights that so many of us take for granted, nor of the Wired article that predicted cataclysmic weather for 2023. 

In fact, at this very moment, I’m not thinking at all. Instead, I am sitting in warm straw, with Remi, Delilah, and Jimmy, three of eleven lambs born to newly-rescued Moms in a Christmas baby boom. Jimmy sprints and “boings” around their enclosure. Remi, the tiniest of the ten born in the last few weeks, allows me to cuddle her close, her sweet breath warming my hands and my cheeks. Delilah climbs on her patient Mom’s back–a favorite vantage point from which to survey a world that, through her eyes, is a very, very good world, indeed.

It is indisputably a challenging time in which to be alive. My friends, colleagues and I take frequent “news fasts” to keep the darkness and the demons at bay as best we can. Still, the heaviness creeps in in moments expected and unexpected. 

But as I sit here in this true and perfect moment amidst a pile of sheep who will know nothing but love for the rest of their days (the sheep are my final stop on today’s “walkabout”), the words of the Serenity Prayer come to me. “Give us the courage,” I whisper over and over, “to change what we can.”

For thousands of animals who have called CAS home, the courage of legions of good people–our staff, our volunteers, and our donors, without whom the Sanctuary could not exist–has created a world of profound beauty. Their joy is our reward, and whether we receive that reward directly as we sit amidst a pile of innocent lambs, or vicariously through social media, what a wonderful reward it is!

In honor and celebration of courage, and heart, and kindness, and animals, and you: Happy New Year…and let’s carry on.




Herd Around The Barn


, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 replies on “Grant Us the Courage”

  1. Hi Kathy,
    This is wonderful N’Ewes!
    I will send a donation to help support those lovely lambs-
    Unfortunately since the pandemic started three years ago, I have had to help my
    family in Denver/Boulder Co. with financial support- So I am not able to fully sponsor a Ewe or Lamb right now-
    I will add to what I donate monthly as much as I can-
    God Bless You and Everyone at CAS, Human , Furry, Feathered etc!
    Robin Loomis (Distefano)

  2. Very much enjoyed reading this. I am a true animal lover and have been reading Kathy’s book “Where the Blind Horse Sings” . Believe it or not my 1st horse was blind in 1 eye when I purchased him. Coincidentally I acquired him from the same stable??? that Little Dino lived. Fortunately my friend and I moved our 2 horses out of that place months before the terrible fire that claimed so many horses. I am so glad Dino came to you for healing and love. He was one tuff and brave little pony.

Comments are closed.