The snows of fierce March weather have finally melted and signs of spring are appearing in bright sunshine daffodils beginning to bloom at the sanctuary. This winter was relatively mild by Northeast standards, with the exception of a few knock-out-the-power, snow-up-to-your-eyebrows storms. We survived the Great Arctic Freeze in February with temperatures reaching -15 degrees below zero. The dogs refused to venture out in the chill, preferring to do their business in the house, thank you very much. We silently blessed the inventor of puppy training pads. Barn Manager Brenda Izzo arrived dressed for an expedition to Antartica and dealt with frozen water buckets and pipes. Thank you Brenda! The horses were bundled up in warm winter blankets with access to shelter, happily kicking out fence rails for entertainment.
And then Mother Nature threw a fantastic tantrum in March, dumping the saved up snow that never fell during the preceding months all in one day. Once again, we prepared the horses and monitored closely. Max, Trooper, Moon and Lou de Fontaine share the paddock behind the barn where a run-in shed is available for shelter. Trooper makes frequent use of it, galloping for cover at the first droplet of rain or buzzing fly. Max will always follow him, so we knew they would head for safety. Moon actually likes to stand out in snow storms, but he also has no problem jostling for space in the run-in shed should he be so inclined. It was Lou we were worried about. While he was a formidable competitor on the race track, he takes a back seat in the paddock, letting the other horses eat first and generally boss him around. We knew he would not fight for space in the run-in shed, so we brought him into a stall just before the high winds and precipitation commenced. How nice to have a stall with plenty of hay and a warm mash all to yourself, right?? Haha! What silly heads we are! Lou immediately commenced a vehement protest, yelling and circling his stall punctuated by forceful kicks to the door. Wyatt, munching hay two stalls down, was delighted to have an accomplice in creating mischief and responded with syncopated kicks on the walls of his own stall. The effect was rather like sitting in the kettle drum section of the orchestra during a performance of the Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique. We kept our resolve and expressed a fervent wish that the barn still be standing in the morning. The day after the storm we let Lou back out in the paddock where he gleefully romped in 300 feet of snow and kicked down a fence rail for good measure.
But enough about winter. We’re tired of snow. So there’s a wonderful Italian film that was released several years ago entitled “Meno male che ci sei” which translates to “I’m Glad You’re Here.” It’s the story of two strangers unwillingly thrown together and facing continued challenges from life. They begin to help one another and gradually their resentment turns to gratitude for the mutual support. The importance of this film is not so much the story line, but the phrase “I’m glad you’re here.” It had a powerful effect on Founder Susan Bandy. The Lily Pond was started in 2015 as a sanctuary to provide a lifetime home to otherwise unwanted, un-adoptable animals. We have created a house of belonging. Every day, Susan tells the animals “I’m glad you’re here” while petting a cat or walking a dog. The animals need assurance that their lives matter; that there is a place of safety on the planet where they belong… especially the horses saved from the kill pen. Eight years later, we continue our mission with 51 animals currently in our care. Rescue works. Your support makes a difference. We’re glad you’re here.