Shiloh means peace
Shiloh’s arrival reminded us of just how cruel humans can be, but her incredible recovery has been proof of the power of love.
The memory of our first pig is carried with us every day. It sits within our hearts, taps us on our shoulder, reminds us of our need to get up every day and be on our best game as it nudges our leg with jovial abandon when we least expect it.
The porcine perfection of pigs is etched out in their kaleidoscope of colors that is as rich and diverse as their quirky and endearing personalities – things that are never lost on us. Their unbridled and raucous expressions of joy are something so heart-warming to witness. Whilst their wit and their ability to be nature’s best anti-depressant causes us to love them even more so. And although we do not have favourites, for whomever individual we are standing next to bears this title, when we learn of the plight of a pig in peril, it moves us like no other.
Such is the tale of Shiloh.
The simple three letter word that was flipped back of, “yes” was more than enough for our hearts and rescue team to swing into action, doing what they do best.
Just over an hour later was the result of this as a most frightened little piggy, whose reason for being so was enough to break one’s heart as it had clearly done so hers, took refuge in a pile of golden straw in our barn. The fleeting moments that came before the straw was hungrily devoured lent just enough time for us to catch a glimpse of her wee body trembling in fear. Its pink patches flushed alarmingly bright fuchsia with its menace, and as her mind was disturbingly flooded by its memory.
Despite being forewarned of her state, we were not prepared for the absolute dread she held of our species. Our challenge now was to prove that the dread she held should not be absolute.
With the source long lost, but the message not, we recall reading that pigs are a species for whom, despite a terror-ridden and even abusive-filled past, they are an animal who can always be reached. And given kindness and time (sometimes copious amounts of both), they can recover from their trauma that claims them as they shelve their fear, forgive their wrong doers, and learn to trust again.
And today, just eight days in, Shiloh to our astonishment reached this point. And although we had great confidence this day would come, we never set its agenda so soon.
Gone is the being who would tremble at our voice or tell us in no uncertain terms to hold our ground. For now, in that space of a once terrified animal, is a curious and confident pig – only too eager to explore her newfound world or our trouser leg, hand, or heart – whichever is closer.
If you are a pig aficionado, you will picture this next image vivid as a smile steals your heart and your face. And if not, we trust we can do it justice and cause you such a theft.
The image is of little Shiloh’s snout, moving this way and that as it inquisitively emerges from beneath her bed of straw. Her body follows suit. A piece of straw sits precariously between her ears threatening to topple onto her gorgeous pink snout (we swear she spent hours getting it in place to cause her to look even sweeter than she already does – and we can report her efforts have admirably achieved this goal).
Her front legs take another step forward while her hind legs do not, which causes her back to still while her tummy elongates and stretches. She leans a little more our way, raises her head, but just a tad, and offers her piggy smile. She slowly chews the air, mulling it over in her mouth to take in its scents, then offers the longest of yawns, and flops “boom” on her side. But not before she wags vigorously twice her curly tail. Her front and back legs then shoot out in opposing directions like they have just had the most bitter of fights and cannot stand the other’s presence. All of which causes her tummy to be thrust bulbous and even more exposed.
Our touch clearly hitting the spot as she pleasurably nestled her body a bit deeper into the straw. All of which further enhanced our connection on so many levels as she laid bare to us the most vulnerable area of her body.
Perhaps too there is a deeper message here which Shiloh conveys. That in having the courage to show one’s vulnerability to the world, we can bring out the best of humanity in others. It is more than fitting then that Shiloh’s name means peace, as there has never been a better time than now for our kind to make peace with hers. Thank you Shiloh for the reminder.
Blending tragedy with hope comes Nepal, a sweet little Merino lamb, born one of triplets, who sadly became separated from his family.
While logic tells us he did not fall from the sky, he might as well have, for from where he has come, we cannot ascertain. It is as if he is nobody’s cat. And here now, he most certainly is.
Few things in life tug more at the heartstrings than when you see the life draining out of the eyes of an animal. And when that animal is but a youngster, the tug becomes an all-consuming wrench.
Found wandering on a highway that homed no sheep, it is believed that dear Jump did just that.
They have been declared the comedians of the barnyard (goats, that is) and proving this statement is not a work of fiction come Frick, Frack and Applejack.
It was the message we prayed we would never have to send – well, not for many a year anyway – to our team.
As a young first-time mum, having barely hit puberty, Margaret found herself in the direst of situations. Recently having given birth, and suffering a life-threatening prolapse, she did not know what to do.
Meet Annie Yokely and Mary Poopins! A community Facebook post was to prove the lifeline for two plucky and adventurous hens. It, too, was to prove just how maligned, disregarded and poorly protected their kind is.