In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Menagerie.”
I do have a menagerie, all adopted except the chickens. I have 6 dogs, 3 cats, a Blue-headed Pionus parrot, 2 ducks, 20 chickens, 2 lovebirds. They all live together on my farm in Colombia. I brought five animals with me here from the United States, I only have two left now 4 years later. So I adopted more. I can do this because I have help, I have a huge amount of land, and I have the time to give them all the attention they need. My favorite thing to say to them when they first arrive at Villa Migelita is “You just won the lottery!” Unfortunately, in Colombia people do not spay and neuter responsibly so many dogs and cats that live on the street. I wish I could take in more. Someday when I win the lottery I will make a rescue shelter here…until then I will enjoy the animals I have giving them the love they deserve.
The kitten is a rescue too, named Tommi. He is grown now and is best friends with my new addition Beeja. Beeja was going to be thrown to the streets, so I adopted her. She has bundles of energy which she runs off on my farm with the other dogs and cats. They accepted her pretty fast. My animals welcome new additions joining their home. Then there is Franchesca whom I brought from the USA when I moved. She was a gift to me from my deceased daughter so she is very special. The white duck is Corazon he is not aware he is a duck, he thinks he is a dog. I always have to shoo him away from the dogs water bowls. He has a huge lake to swim in, but he prefers to be with the other animals or his mate Poco. Then there is Yuki, Nayela, and Bruno Mars. Yuki is a character! He swims like a fish (so does Orion) and goes everywhere with us. He loves everyone. My friend found him digging in trash on the streets of Palmira. Bruno Mars is a rescue from the streets of Cali, Colombia. I got him when my other dog I brought from the States was lost on the streets of Cali. He was a Rat Terrier and so is Bruno Mars. Nayela, she showed up at my doorstep one morning as a tiny puppy and I kept her. I also have Geisha Girl, she is the sibling of Tommi, I had to take her when I visited a neighbor’s farm and saw her beautiful blue eyes. She is a so friendly and always likes to climb and perch precariously on top of things. It is too funny! I call her my acrobat. Then there is Luci the parrot that I rescued when she was barely 3 months, now she is over a year and eats hard-boiled egg because I read it was good for her to have the protein. Everyone who visits asks if that is normal, a bird eating egg? I don’t know but she likes them, along with apples, carrots, lettuce, banana and plantains. Then there is Marley, I left him to the
end because he is so special. I adopted him in the United States and he came here with me. Along with Taz, Colleen , and Cloudy. He is still with me but getting old. He is the love of my life. I get tears thinking he is getting older. All of my animals adore him, he is the gentlest most amazing dog ever! A collie mix, with the beauty and heart of an angel. The chickens give me really lovely eggs which I sell to locals. They are allowed to free range, and live a very nice life. The lovebirds live in an aviary under my kiosko, and there are two. So there you have it. My menagerie.
Honorable mention needs to be said for my babies I lost. Colleen, Taz, and Cloudy. May they rest in peace over the rainbow bridge.Please come visit me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/VillaMigelita
In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Motion.”
All of life reflects motion. Images imprint in our brains daily. Some reflect joy, love, and leave us in a place that gives us happiness for fleeting moments in time. I used to see these images and go on with my daily routine after acknowledging them with a passing smile. I was engulfed in my tragedy and did not allow these moments to penetrate the pain I felt daily. Now, I let these moments engulf me, take me to a place of gratefulness, I know that these little captures by my eyes are worth so much. They sustain me when I’m sad, they lift me up when I’m disappointed, they give me hope that I will one day have relief from the heartache I harbor in my soul. My animals are my therapy from the torment that I am left with after my daughter was murdered, an affliction I carry like a disease. Watching their unfettered love of life gives me hope I will be this way once again. Free in spirit, loving the life God has given me with unconditional joy. If we could keep these flashes of action in our memory to look at like this series of one afternoon of play, we could use them to draw strength of spirit when we are down. Don’t overlook any instance that draws a smile to your lips. Images are a refreshment to our demeanor, just like a cold drink is to our bodies on a warm day.
I have moved to Colombia, South America to find peace. Motion is part of my life whether it be my animals, hummingbirds, butterflies, or the changing views of the clouds that surround the mountains. Come visit and LIKE my Facebook page as I share moments from my life daily.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Four Stars.”
This book is the start of a journey. Part cliché; An Emotional Triumph’s main character revolves around a middle-aged woman who gets a divorce and goes out on her own genre. But then it gets interesting. The daughter dies during said divorce and the characters show flaws that are not cliché but reality to many people who live with tragedy in their lives. She lives life with gusto that cannot be matched by many. She promises her deceased daughter that she the mother will live her life for all the moments the daughter will never have. She sells everything and moves with a younger man to a foreign country. She learns a new language, a new culture, restores a house and opens a bed and breakfast. She has setbacks after the death of her daughter, but she does not allow them to diminish her goals. She goes from being a one woman train wreck to the master of her own destiny. She is living in a peaceful environment with the beauty of Colombia as her backdrop. She has learned to forgive and move on. She has sadness in her soul but beauty in her heart. She has found her way in a life that was not what she envisioned. She continues living as a free spirit in a new environment; the love of animals and nature keep her centered. She prevails with a gentle heart that looks for the best in life. This is a worthwhile read for those who seek change. This book shows that is possible for anyone to pick up and start over. This is the happy ending we all seek at some point in our lives, but cannot get the gumption to try something different, something new. This will make you think twice about how you view life and your surroundings.
Follow me at http://www.facebook.com/VillaMigelita
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Take That, Rosetta!.
I had a dream so vivid that I was speaking Spanish fluently, that I could finally call myself bi-lingual. Ohh I must be in heaven. Then I woke up. I woke up looking out my window at the beauty of the mountains of Colombia while thinking “if only I could rattle off Spanish like it was my first language” as I thought of the dream. Then my little puppy popped up her head and I spoke to her in Spanish as it has become my second language; although I might be on my way to fluent I am in no way bi-lingual.
If I cannot claim to be bi-lingual after living 4 years in the mountains of Colombia, then who can? I never realized a new language was so hard to learn until I tried it out. So you see I am a bit ahead of this post, as I moved to Colombia BEFORE I knew Spanish. I had always wanted to live in South America as I love the music, the food, the people and the warm ambiance I would discover every time I visited a South American country. When I moved and settled into my new life it was time to learn Spanish! I studied using Rosetta Stone, and I definitely talked a lot in Spanish….but no one understood me! What’s a girl to do? Keep trying! I try every single day even though I have many obstacles. I have an accent, those who I speak with whom are strangers look strangely at me when I speak Spanish. They have no clue what I am saying! This is a bit depressing, as I am working really hard on my language skills! I know the words and I pronounce well, ok I guess I really don’t pronounce well as my accent interferes. But I do speak it and know Spanish damn IT! Now I can relate to anyone who moves to a new country and they have a hard time because they sound strange to the natives. I get it so well that I want to shout from the mountains “hey don’t ignore someone speaking your language with an accent, just listen and you will understand!” because once I say “please listen” or “Escucha” they do pay attention and they actually understand. You see we transplants from other countries really work hard to become fluent. We never stop, we watch movies in the language of choice, we talk daily with the locals, we read any subtitles that are supplied on any show or movie. I go to the movies here in Colombia and sometimes they have Spanish subtitles even though the actors have Spanish dubbed into their mouths. Imagine that? I get a double dose of Spanish when this happens! I don’t know where to go to first my ears or my eyes! I am reading and comprehending at the same time I am listening and comprehending. Sound confusing? Well, it is…no wonder I have Vertigo. Oh that is another story. Smile. I am happy and doing what I love. I am just doing it backwards. I am not sure I would suggest this to anyone else, but I am slowly coming into my own here in my new home. I have opened a Bed and Breakfast, I have fulfilled my dream. So take that Rosetta Stone!
Please visit my page Villa Migelita to share in my adventures. I have many and I post them for everyone to enjoy. I love living here, even though my last encounter was just last weekend at the former Hacienda of Pablo Escobar near my farm. I spoke with the young employee, I spoke the sentence right and he just stared at me. I have gotten used to that now. I accept my fate that I might always sound like a gringa, however I will continue to talk Spanish to all the animals as they do understand me, accent or not.
Baby is a twelve-year-old yellow Lab who was going to be sent to a shelter because her owner was moving and did not want to take her with him. She had lived her life with loyalty to her human but he was not showing loyalty to her. In fact, he actually never treated her as one should treat a cared for pet, he left her outside on a patio her whole life. She has scars on her body from laying on cold, hard concrete, without a bed for her comfort, not even a blanket. Yet, Baby loved the only family she knew. Her owner knew she would be put to sleep and would have surrendered her to a shelter if my dear friend Madeline had not stepped in to save her. Madeline owned the house he was renting and he had told her he was moving to another state. She asked about Baby “what were his plans for her?” Madeline is an activist in her spare time for animal rights. She is also a Delta Air Lines flight attendant and my friend of over 30 years. She posted about a senior dog needing a loving home and I immediately offered to post it on my page Villa Migelita. If we could not find a home for her they could send her to me here in Colombia, although I knew it would be a traumatic trip as I brought a senior dog here myself when I moved from the USA to Colombia. The thought of leaving any of my animals behind never entered my mind and that is why I was so adamant to help. This blog is a story of friendship, kindness and the unified efforts of six women to save Baby and get her to her new home in Kentucky. Baby would never have had her home with Lisa her new owner, but for a series of events that led her to my page. When I put the post on my page the outpouring of heartfelt sadness and anger that someone could do this to an older animal was immediate. People shared the post, friends offered to help. Lisa came to the thread saying without a moment’s hesitation she would take Baby into her home in Kentucky. Within a day the six of us had rescued Baby and were trying to find a way to get her to Lisa’s home in Kentucky from South Miami.
Lisa just happened to see a video I posted of a hummingbird trapped in a window here at my house in Colombia on March 25th of this year. She had a friend who had liked my video and it showed up in her news feed on Facebook. She loved this little hummingbird and the way I held it in my hand and let it go and could only think of her beloved dog Chevy who had passed recently. Lisa went to my page and saw the post about Baby being abandoned and in need of a new home. My post moved her and she wrote that she would take Baby all the while remembering what she had whispered into Chevy’s ears as he drew his last breath. “Chevy, I love you so much and will feel you close to me when the hummingbirds return soon.” As she wrote to me that she indeed wanted to give Baby a loving home, she thought it was no coincidence she found Villa Migelita because of this little hummingbird. “Could this hummingbird be Chevy’s message to her from the Rainbow Bridge?” Her thoughts were that she should have Baby in her home just as the hummingbirds would be arriving in April. Her whispered comment into Chevy’s ear that sad day were so fresh in her mind, a moment embedded in her heart for all eternity. So this story begins with an ending, an ending of a life of a treasured pet. Now Lisa was waiting to get Baby to her new home and shower love and kindness on her for the rest of her life. A dog’s life she was saving in Chevy’s memory, with the hummingbirds as the sign it was what she needed to do. Baby had not had an easy life up to this point but Lisa would to change that, along with all of us. We all were in this together, and we all felt a love that connected us through this one senior dog that would forever create a warm bond between women.
When Madeline heard that Lisa was going to adopt Baby, all of us went into action. My friend Jo had offered to meet Madeline in central Florida and drive Baby to Kentucky. Marlene had friends who did pet transport and was checking on that angle. Meanwhile Baby had to be checked out by a veterinarian and my friends Kathy, Madeline and Marlene took her to the vet. Poor Baby had many health problems from living outside on cold concrete all of her life. She had hot spots on her feet, she was callused on her legs, she was underweight. The need of antibiotics along with tender loving care which had never been provided to her in her life was just a start. She was grateful, as she had left dreadful conditions and was given comfort for once in her life. Madeline continued to worry over the long trip to Kentucky and if Baby could adapt and withstand such a long journey. Lisa was on hold about getting Baby to her house as the logistics were discussed. Jo wanted to drive and would have, but Marlene and Madeline decided to use a pet transport that both thought was reputable because they had used this man before. Well, poor Baby had another disagreeable experience with the use of this transport called pet48llc, the owner Bill Timmons in Ft. Pierce, Florida. He offers what sounds like a good package but when it came down to the actual transport Baby went though hell. Marlene and Madeline were told that Baby would leave on Friday morning of Good Friday, and be at Lisa’s home on Easter Sunday. What a wonderful gift for both Baby and Lisa, to arrive on Easter Sunday! We all were on pins and needles when she left with Bill on Good Friday to go to Lisa in Kentucky, although he already was behind schedule because he left mid-day. Baby was clean, on antibiotics and had a new special blanket for her ride of three days. She had a new collar and leash in girly colors. She had spent a couple of days with Madeline being pampered. Baby had never known this kind of love in her life. She ended up with what she was used to, indifference. She suffered this drive with her stoic nature, and gentle spirit. It took over 80 plus hours for Baby to arrive in Kentucky to Lisa’s awaiting arms. The 6 of us were on Facebook all hours of the day watching as the drive that was to end with Baby in Kentucky on Easter Sunday, turned into a nightmare of many stops and a lot of lies from Bill. He went this way and that. Posting maps on his page that made no sense. He stopped to see his brother, a recreational stop not included in the plans he told them about. He was over 25 hours late to Lisa’s house! We were all were crying with sadness for poor Baby. She was in a crate way to small for her size, which he said was a crate for Great Dane …. it was not. This crate was against the hatchback of his car and she had no view nor circulation. She was in that crate for the entire time, along with some other dogs squeezed into the back o f his SUV. The only time she was out of the crate was for bathroom stops which Bill complained he had to take too many stops and this was why he was 25 hours late. He said posting a few photos on Facebook was causing him to get behind schedule. We were frantic and Marlene was super worried and finally called him to get a hotel which the girls would pay for. He declined and said he would sleep in his car. My assumption is that those dogs never left the crate at all, and he had the floors of the crates covered with mulch because these dogs did not have enough stops to use the bathroom, so they went in the crates. When Baby finally made it to Kentucky Lisa was frantic with worry. Baby was so happy to see her, and didn’t know what to do first, use the bathroom, or into her arms. It was like a meeting of soul mates, Baby knew she was home. Lisa had so much ready for her to be comfortable on the drive to her house in Kentucky. Her back seat down with the blanket that Madeline had bought for her on the floor. Baby finally got to use the blanket after 80 hours in a small crate, Baby was comfortable and ready to begin her new life.
The next chapter of this journey was encouraging as Lisa brought Baby to her vet and was told Baby was strong, in good health and could live a lot longer. The only thing the vet said was a problem was a slight cough which she was given medication for. However, Baby started to become whiny and needed to go to the bathroom all the time at night. Poor Lisa was not getting any sleep. Baby was in distress and Lisa did not know why. She brought Baby to the vet again and Baby has some health problems that were not picked up by the vet in Florida nor the first vet Lisa saw. She has an enlarged heart and a tumor that is pushing against her trachea. Lisa broke down sobbing when she heard this sad news. She vowed to do everything to give Baby the best care she could. Baby’s breathing is labored. Lisa has many medications to give her, but she is fine with this as she knew when she adopted a senior dog this was to be expected. Bear her dog that was Chevy’s companion is slowly accepting Baby and they wander the farm all day chasing squirrels and birds. Even though Baby has health problems she is playing for the first time in her life. Baby has freedom now on Lisa’s farm for the first time in her life. All of us have been in contact daily since Baby arrived to be with Lisa. Lisa is doing a good job of handling the pressure she is under caring for a senior dog with health problems. Baby is living her life one day at a time, enjoying the sunshine and space she never had on that concrete patio. We all pray for Baby and Lisa to have more years together, as Baby will be managed with medication which Lisa is so graciously paying for without a complaint. Lisa had Chevy who had similar health problems, she feels that Baby is a gift from Chevy as they did not have enough time together on this Earth. We all enjoy the many lovely photos sent to us daily of Baby living in her new home. I will always be grateful that someone stepped in to help Baby continue life in comfort. The next time you adopt a dog please remember that an animal is for life, not to be discarded because you have to move or change your lifestyle. Baby got a second chance and for that all of us who participated in her adoption are forever grateful.
I have a request for everyone. Please keep Baby and Lisa in your prayers. They have a difficult journey ahead. Lisa took on a dog with health problems and she is not complaining. She is stepping up for Baby and giving her the comfort she deserves in her twilight years. Soon the hummingbirds will arrive at Lisa’s farm in Kentucky, and Lisa can watch them knowing that Chevy sees them from his home over the Rainbow Bridge. Chevy would be proud of his Mommy Lisa because she will be looking at those hummingbirds with Baby by her side. That is a miracle for all of us. The miracle of how a hummingbird video on Villa Migelita page saved the life of an old dog. Yet I am not surprised as I have long known hummingbirds send me messages, now they have saved a life.