We have been busy working on several projects this fall. After trying to attend a conference that quickly sells out for 3 years, Andrea finally participated in Farm Sanctuary’s “Farm Animal Care Conference” in September. This three-day conference was taught at Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, NY. It covered many aspects of starting and running an effective organization, including fund-raising, educational programs, volunteer programs and animal care of the many species of animals that are housed there. Farm Sanctuary is the nation’s largest and most effective farm animal rescue and protection organization.
LWH continues to work with the Colorado Pet Pantry at 3 locations per month. This helps them to accomplish their goal of feeding Colorado pets to help keep them out of shelters and with their families.
John Pierre has been in Los Angeles doing outreach and working with clients, local groups and organizations.
JP demonstrated how to make healthy meals, when traveling, while on Jane Valez-Mitchell’s LunchBreakLIVE show in October.
John has been working with some pretty amazing folks. Check out Gene Bauer, the president from, Farm Sanctuary, working with JP on the pillar of movement.
JP has also been giving lectures locally, on podcasts and around the country. He has been spreading the news about Living With Harmony and his other projects.
Recently, JP spoke to staff at the local L.A. PETA office about some of the principles from his book, “The Pillars of Health.” This included eating as many plants as possible and reducing processed foods to stay healthy and vibrant.
In addition to looking into leads for our retreat center, we have been working with some of our residents and their special needs. Sometimes, these needs can be physical, but for several of them it is emotional. This type of special need requires extreme commitment and patience. That is why we have Denise to take on this most important task.
Here is an update on the three dogs we adopted, who were all rescued from laboratory research last winter. They are being cared for by Denise. We are not going to dwell on the suffering they endured, but instead are going to focus on their recovery. They are so amazing, such loving and forgiving souls despite the trauma they endured when they were merely considered objects with no rights of their own. The struggles have been difficult and many, the worst being overcoming their fears, mainly of humans, more specifically men, but also of everything they never experienced while spending years in labs (Elyse was in drug studies for 7 years, and she is now 8 1/2 years old).
The first issues were learning how to interact with people, other dogs (they had to learn how to be dogs), house training, leash training, and learning how to live in a home. There is so much that we take for granted that is so foreign to them; doorbells, microwaves, T.V.s, radios, vacuums, mixers/blenders, popcorn popping, the clanging of pots and pans, washers and dryers, and the list goes on.
Until their release from the labs, they would have never seen, smelled, or walked on grass, experienced wind, rain, snow, cars and trucks, sirens, joggers, bikers, yard sprinklers, bugs, etc., etc., etc. It’s all so very overwhelming for these precious animals to have to learn about and adjust to almost all at once. So, it requires a lot of patience when helping these little ones transition from being property to becoming a family member.
Our three new residents have all had, or still have at least one thing they continually struggle to overcome. Larry and Bobby have severe separation anxiety, and an occasional accident in the house, unless we leave, then they seem to have more than an occasional accident in the house. Crates are not even an option, as these sweet lives have endured enough hell in cages. So, we gently, lovingly help them through their fears.
Elyse has had the most difficulty settling in to a “normal” life. Because we will never know what her life was like in the lab, aside from the studies she was in, but rather how she was treated by her handlers, it’s impossible to say why her fearfulness is so much greater than the other two. She would cower at the slightest human movement, would flatten herself to the ground when trying to leash train her, did not eat until we were far enough away, and could find the tiniest nook in the house or yard to hide whenever people came over, or even worse for her, children. She is not yet at a point where she can tolerate children, and we wish we could understand why.
Their transformations from fearful dogs to confident, trusting, happy, healthy family members has been so rewarding. Even with Elyse, good morning snuggles were something she could not tolerate at first, and now she initiates it. When she spots us in the yard, she no longer runs away, but rather comes bounding towards us, excitedly wagging her tail and wanting to be petted. Gone are the days of waiting for us to leave her so she can eat. Elyse now pushes through to make sure she doesn’t miss out on any tasty treats. Her nickname is Miss Sassy Pants because she lets us and the other dogs know that she is there for her share (and theirs if she’s fast enough). It has been a delight to see the layers of sadness fall from their bodies, their faces, their eyes, but what is the most beautiful to witness is the gift of a new life emerging. It’s a testament to the power of LOVE.
To help other animals and dogs like Elyse, Larry and Bobby, please buy cruelty-free products.
Check out the Cruelty-Free Kitty website for more information and for shopping guides to help you make well-informed purchases that don’t involve the use of animals. Be sure to look for the cruelty-free bunny logo as well.
We are still actively seeking a property and have been looking into several leads. If you know of any properties that could house farm animals and domestic pets, or if you would like to make a donation, we would love to hear from you.
Please consider making a donation to Living With Harmony so we can continue our work providing loving, forever homes for animals in need.
Today in the face of an increasingly harmful and isolated culture, there is nothing we need more than a physical place to heal, connect, and grow.
This is why we are working to create a progressive, inclusive, and life-affirming animal sanctuary and retreat facility. Our facility will be based on the core values of compassion, acceptance, refuge and encouragement.