It's always a relief when Spring arrives! I love living in Montana, but the winters can be tough to take sometimes, especially working outdoors. I always look for that first buttercup in my front yard, and that gives me hope that the warm weather is coming. This spring was tempered by the loss of our beloved Spike, who died in his sleep at the end of March. He was so sweet, such a wonderful spirit, and it's always hard to say goodbye to a friend. Debora wrote a nice memorial to Spike, and it reminded me of my own animal friends that I have loved and lost. I always try to remember that the joy they bring to our lives outweighs the pain of saying goodbye. I'm so glad I knew him.
On the up side, we've got some new volunteers helping out at the ranch and it's fun to introduce new people to the horses and donkeys. I so appreciate these hardworking people! We had such a good response to our call for volunteers that we're having another orientation this coming Saturday at 11:00. You can still sign up on our Volunteer page and attend if you'd like to help out at the ranch. Spring means a lot of clean-up and preparation for summer activities.
We're also doing visits this summer at the Sapphire Lutheran Homes retirement community, and it's so fun to see people's faces light up when they interact with the horses. And it's a hoot to be driving the mini-horse minivan with a horse looking over your shoulder! Lucy likes to look out the front window and whinny at the passing cars (it's kind of loud when it's right in your ear!). She got really excited when we drove over the Bitterroot River, for some reason. When the weather gets warmer we'll be taking the big horses, too, and having an outdoor meet-and-greet with the residents. Stay tuned for Facebook updates!
Laura Weise is a Wings volunteer who lives in Stevensville and will be bringing you stories of life at the barn.