Sunday, August 16, 2015

A letter to Theodore

(Theodore is a 3000 pound steer who is one of the critters making their home with R.A.S.T.A, an animal sanctuary moving to a property within ten minutes of my home.  I've been helping out a couple of times a week, doing odd jobs to get everything ready for the animals, who will likely arrive this week. If you'd like to see a photo of Theodore, head on over to their website here.)

Dear Theodore,

This is to let you know that your accommodation,  Shelter No. 1, is more-or-less ready and awaiting your arrival.  The paint crew (yours truly) finished painting it today, inside and out, with the paint generously donated by Cheryl of Dulux Paints.  It is a lovely light greenish tone which blends in beautifully with your new surroundings among the tall trees, freshly cut pasture, and soft earth.

The paint job isn't perfect - I'm a  "Jill-of-all-trades and master (mistress?) of none".  I'm sure, as you are a steer of great size, that you can appreciate the challenges of painting a wall which is two inches from a wire fence and about 15" max from another railing and pile of bricks.  As a person of  some size (in girth, though definitely not in height), squeezing into that narrow spot and painting with some accuracy was - well - a challenge.  But we got it done!

Finished!  Including the back! 

Your much greater height might have come in handy, though, to reach those rafters.  Even on a ladder, my 5'1" doesn't quite get me where I want to be.  And sticking an extension ladder between the rafters didn't leave much room - okay, didn't leave enough room - for this oversized painter to climb on through and paint from above.

I'm no spring chicken (or maybe I should say "I'm no young heifer"), as you'll soon find out, so looking skyward through my trifocal progressive lenses poses problems - the top of the glasses are the distance part, and painting the rafters looking up from the ladder required the middle or close up part.  I'm sure you would have laughed along with me, though, as I clambered up and down, up and down, trying to see what I'd painted and what was still bare.  Gotta maintain a sense of humor. Theodore.  If you spot somewhere I've missed, I'll touch it up for you.

Staring up at a bright blue sky and brilliant sun didn't help matters.  Yes, that's right - you can see the sky through the top of your shelter.  And the trees.  And the birds and bees and a spider or two.  In fact, you'll find a few painted spiders in your abode.  No, those aren't some scary giant breed found only in BC - just ordinary brown or black or white or pink or orange spiders who crawled out of their hiding places just as the paint sprayer or roller or brush was going past. But I digress.....

You can see the sky through the roof of your shelter, because the search is still on for donated or affordable metal roofing.  Maybe one of my blog readers will have some to donate? Or know someone in the business who might donate some or at least give the sanctuary a break on cost?  Moving is a huge expense, and as every sanctuary owner and rescue knows, caring for animals is financially challenging at the best of times.

Metal roofing wanted - for this  and several other shelters
to be built.

I promise you there will be a roof over your head come winter.  But for now, you will be able to enjoy your open-air roof, with gentle breezes to keep you cool in the daytime, and moonlight and stars to lull you to sleep at night.

It's beautiful here on the island, Theodore, and the winters are mild with little or no snow.  Sometimes there can be many days of rain, but it seems those times aren't that frequent any more.  And besides, you'll have a roof over your head, food in your belly, good friends to keep you company. What more could a steer want?

I'm looking forward to meeting you, Theodore, you and all your friends - the mini donkeys, the mini horse, the farm pig, the many potbelly pigs, the dogs and cats and ducks and chickens and whoever else comes along.  I'll have a lot of names to learn!

But do me a favour, Theodore?  Please ask everyone to load easily, travel safely, and unload smoothly. Lucie has done so much work here for you, and she's exhausted, so she really needs everyone's cooperation for the trip.

Before you know it, you'll be here -  and I can't wait to meet you!

Jean, the Jill-of-all-trades (but mostly a photographer and writer and animal lover).


Black Jack's Carol said...

There is great humour here, and I smiled often, but my heart is not fooled for a minute. This is a labour of love and I am deeply grateful that you have found a way to make a difference in Theodore's life, as you have with so many other critters. Just checked him out at the link you provided. What a beauty! Thank you, Jean.

Anonymous said...

I know how hard it can be to paint but you did a great job. I hope your back held out.
I'll have to go with you one of these days and help with what I can with my back the way it is.


Wendy Hamilton said...

Awesome Jean.. hard work ..but so satisfying prettify Theos' new home!...looks lovely...