2017 Misfit Support

$1,370 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 22 people in 10 days
Katherine Dunn  BREMEN, ME

As those of you that follow my work and blog know, here at Apifera Farm I have been adopting and helping barn animals, including special needs/elder animals for about 15 years, first in Oregon at our farm, and now in mid coast Maine. We moved Apifera all our Misfits here in 2016, built a new barn and my work continues. This work includes hospicing animals that come my way too. I really gravitate to hospice, as many of you know. You can see all the Misfit animals I've helped  and communed with at the blog-I cherished each one.

Now in Maine, I have talked to the State Veterinarian, and she likes the work I've done. She explained there are often needs where farm animals have to be removed from a site for neglect or other reasons, sometimes short term, other times forever. It is often hard to find places to send them, soI am now one of the people they can call. Im really excited about this. I am NOT an animal rescue, but rather, a safe harbor for an animal in need, or a hosice caregiver if needed. My understanding is sometimes these animals need a place or a short term, sometimes long term, sometimes forever. 

What the $5,000 fund will provide:

1] Quarantine shelter: I need to build a small quarantine shelter near the other barn, but where I can put an incoming animal, and make sure it is ok to mix with the other animals. We will be able to do the work ourselves, but I would like help to buy the materials.  

2] Feed/hay: It costs about $250-$300 to feed small goat annualy, about $800 a donkey and about $300 for a [small] pig.  

3] This does not  count meds, vaccinations, vet checks, and vet  emergencies, or fencing and such to help create proper paddocks. It's very hard to predict vet costs per year, but I can tell you it costs more in Maine than in Oregon since there are very few large animal vets, and the ones there are tend to be a good $100 trip charge.

Currently I am caring for the following Misfits who have been adopted out of needy situations:
- Rosie  [World's-Grumpiest-But-I'm-Fine-As-I-Am- Pig]
- Wilbur the Acrobatic Goat
- Sir Tripod Goat [crippled, ony three legs in use]
- Moose and Goose two goats
- Opie, a pygmy [plans to do therapy work with him]
- Rosie a retired pygmy
- Tigger, Anna and Yume three elder shelter cats
- Mother Matilda, an elder donkey
- Paco the Poet a mini donkey
- Sophie an elder goat
- The Little Apiferians: five house finches
- Isabelle Noir: an abandonned rabbit
- Hughie, a blind elder one-eyed pug
- Big Tony, original father to 25 cats, from old farm

Apifera is also home to other creatures [but the funds being raised do NOT go to there care since these are animals that did not come from neglect]:
- Boone, my horse
- Pino the therapy donkey, Lucia his sister
- A flock of 6 sheep [their wool will help pay their keep]
- Lady Birdie, a llama for the flock
- The Secret Sisters: our laying hens
- The White Dogs: Marcella and Benedetto [Maremma guards]
- Muddy, the chocolate lab house dog
- Earnest, Eleanor and Cornelia the Kunekune pigs

I will be leaving this fund up since it is a lot to raise. And I will be of course sharing stories of Misfits on the blog.

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Update 5
Posted by Katherine Dunn/Apifera Farm
1 day ago
How about a birthday gift to the fund in honor of Anna's birthday!

She is a young elder of ten, who we adopted along with two other elderly cats once in Maine. She lives in the front barn complete with heat in the winter-I think it's warmer in there than our living room. She has windows and the back Wood full of bird song, a special Raggedy Hay Twine Chair I am working on just for her and the other cats-and let's not forget she got to have a piglet for a roommate this winter.

Apifera at one time [in Oregon] took care of a small semi feel colony of 25 cats. Over a two year period, we trapped/spayed/neutered all the litters and adults, and they lived happily there until passing. The original litter lived to be twelve years old, and the main sire of them all-Big Tony-still lives on in Maine.

Because the setting here is different, the current cats have a special large room in the barn, safe from the front road. In time, they will have free roaming privileges in the upper loft too.
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Update 4
Posted by Katherine Dunn/Apifera Farm
5 days ago
On rewards: I will be shipping rewards out every couple of weeks. If for any reason you don't want your reward, just let me know [some prefer all money go to the fund-it is up to you]

I'll leave you with one of more colorful Misfits: Rosie aka The-World's-Grumpiest-But-I'm-Fine-As-I-Am-Pig. Rosie was living for her first year with an elderly woman, in the house with her own suite-a real bed. The woman died and Rosie ended spat Sanctuary One in Oregon. None of the animals would mingle with her-and she didn't care-because she was so grumpy about the change in her life. The only animal that tolerated her grumpiness was a very cripple goat, named Stevie. He would sleep near Rosie and when I went to adopt her, they told me I had to take the goat to. Well, I had plenty of crippled goats i was caring for,, and I even wondered if Stevie was so crippled he should be put down. But then I sat with him, and i understood the purpose of this goat. Stevie went on for many more years-a miracle according to my vet due to his extreme condition from neglect-and anyone who met him was in love, and felt his soul. And Rosie? Well, Rosie is still grumpy, but we do think she has risen to the occasion of being in Maine. She still has her own suite, she still grumps her way through any sunny day, but...she is our Rosie and we love her [and I will say she is lucky to have landed with us-no vet could work one her, she is truly a lady with her own opinion].

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Update 3
Posted by Katherine Dunn/Apifera Farm
7 days ago
"Animal Conversations" are a gift of my life and I want to share a Conversation I had many years ago, when Mother Matilda arrived–some of you might recognize this from one of my books, "Misfits of Love" {Healing Conversations in the Barnyard}.
Her job was to be a brood jenny even as she entered into her senior years. Living in neglect, she subsisted only on straw in a cold climate. Her fortunes changed after a donkey rescue found Matilda and eight other neglected herd mates. Eventually they connected with Apifera and she arrived after a day-long journey. She had the same name as my elderly mother—surely this detail was not lost on the universal forces in charge that brought her to me. {This Conversation appears in the book "Misfits of Love"}

“I remember her ear tips as they drove away,” the old donkey said.

She was speaking about one of her many children.

“No matter where they took them, they came to the earth through me,” the donkey continued.

They can’t take that from her, I thought.

I put my arms around her neck and lay my head on her withers, looking back over her sagging spine. She didn’t move, except for ear motions to redirect a fly or acknowledge a fluttering hay stem.

“I never watched them get in the trailer,” she went on.

She reached over with her nose, touching an area of her back where scratching would be appreciated. I obliged.

“I could see their ear tips coming out of the trailer window as they drove off. They were pointed toward me,” Matilda said.

She scratched her knee by nibbling on it with her wiggling, giraffe-like lips.

To say the soul is not a physical entity could be disproven by looking into Matilda’s eyes. For there was a river of sentiment flowing from her glance into any viewer. I have seen it silence the outspoken, calm the over- energized, and touch the brokenhearted. Journeyers onto Apifera often write and share the more profound moments from their visits, which always include the simple phrasing,

“Matilda’s eyes.”

Arriving at Apifera, Matilda was placed in with the three resident mini donkeys. Her larger, white and brown spotted body must have seemed mythological to the gray minis who had never seen such a creature.
“She seems to have acquired spots somehow,” said Pino, the first donkey of Apifera, when he initially saw her.

“She’s very theatrical appearing,” said Paco, quite a serious thinker.

On the day of her arrival to Apifera, the always observant minis cautiously gathered around Matilda. I took note that the spacing between each mini appeared to be equidistant. I sensed this might be some kind of donkey ritual, of which I know they have many. I did not ask and they did not explain, nor did they share what was said in the huddle. It lasted a minute, if that, and then the little ones ran up and away to their favorite spot on Donkey Hill. Now their mini bodies were little gray spots with tails
prancing about, heads down in donkey play, but all the while they were looking back toward where Matilda stood, her sway back casting a shadow like that of a fertile mountain valley.

In the days to come, the minis treated her much like the Mother that she was. She groomed her little herd mates and they reciprocated, a charming equine behavior of acceptance. Matilda’s first weeks at Apifera were spent in carefree fashion, sunning and adjusting to her new heavenly diet of hay, grass, apples, and animal crackers. Old growth savannah oak gave her shade and at night she was free to dream deep in a century-old barn that had proven to be full of much motherly love itself.

“My purpose was to be a mother. I am old now. My children are scattered,” she said to me one day as I brought her berry branch clippings for a treat.
The conversation did not go past that, but as she chewed, I felt her searching for and then spotting the little clump of minis down near the stream.

Days turned into weeks, summer air became cool, with morning fog blanketing Old Barn. And one morning, the normal routine of the donkeys was diverted. I had gathered all the donkeys in a paddock and shut the gate behind me.

“What’s this?” the minis queried, speaking in ear twitches. “Is it shot day? Farrier day? So soon?”

Matilda’s soul streamed into me, questioning me with concerned eyes and active ear movements. The last time she was herded up like this, she was put in a trailer and after hours and hours, landed at Apifera.

I reassured her without words, gliding my hands up and down her back and neck, but I was soon interrupted by the cars coming up the drive. Matilda stood close to the minis and observed the strangers walking toward them.

They were all very polite and quiet, and carried nothing that raised suspicion—no vials of medicine, no syringes in chest pockets, no halters with long ropes.

Once in the donkey paddock, the people walked all around, slowly, watching, listening, and drawing things on paper tablets. Many seemed to gravitate to Matilda, who stood motionless.
“I am here, come closer,” the old donkey said with her eyes. “I will mother you.”

They began resting their hands on her in silence, gently rubbing her shoulders or her mane and temples. Matilda acknowledged each person’s space and then looked into their eyes, deeper and deeply. Some put their ears next to hers, others leaned on her body, running their hands on her
curved spine of age and neglect, recognizing it as a sculptural sensation.

“I felt compelled to get close to them,” Matilda told me later when everyone had left.

“They gazed on me like a Rubens painting of clouds,” she went on to tell me. “They shared the symphonies that play in my ears,” and she paused to eat some grass.

Her new purpose at Apifera was now sealed and she clearly understood her present and future task.

“I shall stand and be me, and love.”

She slightly bowed her head before me so I could use it like a head pillow. We spoke not a word while clouds blew over Donkey Hill.
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Update 2
Posted by Katherine Dunn/Apifera Farm
10 days ago
We are off to a good start-thank you so much! This means a lot to my old heart and it just plain helps out. Thank you.
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$1,370 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 22 people in 10 days
Created April 14, 2017
Tracie Huskamp
23 hours ago

HUGS Dear Katherine!!!

23 hours ago
Matilda's Friend
1 day ago (Offline Donation)
Linda Cahan
1 day ago
5 days ago
Nancy Kinzinger
6 days ago
Janet Stanley
6 days ago

Happy Birthday, Matilda!

6 days ago
7 days ago
Susan Hammond
7 days ago
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