6:30 AM : Martin, galloping down the path toward me in the early morning light. He had refused to come in from the back of the pasture last night, choosing instead to sleep on the rise, next to the fence, with the two llamas from the next property sleeping just on the other side of the fence. I do believe they were having a sleep-over! Perhaps I should have offered them marshmallows and built them a little fire for their campout?
9:00 AM: Closing the gate across the driveway as I leave for work this morning, I glance back at the piggy yard and see one lone pig, snout pressed against the fence, looking at me with his big round eyes. “Foster Mama, do you HAVE to leave us???? Can’t you stay and play with me????” (Or maybe he was thinking “Hmmm…if I root under this fence, run up the driveway, and root under the gate, I too can take off for the day!!! An Adventure!!!!!)
4:30 PM: Ten piglets racing up the hill to the piggy yard gate when they hear my car enter the driveway. Squealing and oinking and carrying on “Foster Mama! You’re home!!! Come feed us!!! Come see what we’ve been doing in our new field!!! Foster Mama!!!”
4:40 PM: Three dogs and one cat, crowding the kitchen entrance as I unlock the back door, waiting eagerly to greet me, tails wagging, paws waving, meows and woofs and yips and yaps. "Mom!!! About time!!! We missed you!!!" – such a great welcome home.
4:50 PM: Sadie, confidently and briskly trotting down the pasture path, nose to the ground following a trail (I swear that dog has some hound in her!), no longer clinging to my side as she did the first week or two. She is no longer afraid that I will disappear if she doesn’t watch me every moment.
8:30 PM: Coyotes howling their song in the pasture just beyond the gate. I quickly run out to check they are not bothering Martin, and find him lying calmly in his pen, not in the least perturbed by these familiar visitors. He looks at me as if to say “I’m fine, mom, really – I’m fine”. It amazes me that they live harmoniously, yet I have seen them lying in the sunshine not ten feet apart, these species that should be predator and prey.
9:00 PM: One little sheltie who comes over to me and puts her front paws on my knees, asking to be lifted up for a cuddle. Though she has always patiently accepted my picking her up, it is the first time Belle has been the one to initiate it. (Eighty-seven pound Sadie, on the other hand, is constantly trying to climb into my lap!!).
Magic moments, mini vacations from the demands of the everyday world. How very fortunate I am to live this life with these critters.