A Vegan Love Story from Hugletts Wood Farm Animal Sanctuary

It is Valentines week and the world is full of talk of love. You may have seen our valentines blog last year, A Guide to Sharing Love while Loving the Planet, where we discussed the extreme over commercialisation of this day and how we choose to celebrate love in a way that considers the impact of our actions. So it is no surprise that this year we have yet again broken away from the norm!

We love love. And we have a huge passion for sharing our love with the animals so we thought what better way to celebrate this week of love than with a love story written by one of our chosen charities, Hugletts Wood Farm Sanctuary.

The love that Wenda, founder of Hugletts, shows to her rescued farm animals is like no other, it is pure love that means she is totally committed to caring for the animals and she is relentless in doing so.

We do need to warn you that this is a true story, one filled with real emotions and a real ending, it is not a Hollywood Rom-Com ending designed to make you believe in happy ever after because sadly there are many many animals in the animal agriculture system that have an ending that is far from happy. But we feel it is honest and truly represents the work that this amazing charity do to care for as many animals as they can year after year.

We hope you enjoy this story and understand why Hugletts are such a special place and one we feel honoured to be able to support.



This is a love story

A tale of happiness and hope

It’s about Dickie Hornbeam and me……

Dickie came here to die, one cold November night, many moons ago; his lungs calcified from him having been left out in the snow. His tiny head hung low and his chest rasped loudly as he fought to breathe.

That night and every night of the following six months, I slept with Dickie Hornbeam, his chin propped on my chest to help open his airways and despite my worst fears, I awoke each morning to the sight of  his two huge black eyes  gazing at me.

“Enjoy every day with him” the vet had said. The prognosis wasn’t good but “here”, she added “ anything can happen”, I  promised Dickie that no matter what the future held, we would face it together.

Of course we didn’t know then that Dickie had every intention of living life to the full, and as each year passed, we came to understand just how important that was to him.

We lived life together, enjoying every day. We listened to the nightingale sing as we lay in the shadows; we watched “Dancing on Ice” on a little black and white TV and chose the winners. His appetite was enormous and he threw his empty milk bottles right over his shoulder as he finished each one. Dickie became more mischievous as he grew stronger.

He turned out with his herd each spring, dancing and bellowing, until he became too breathless to do more than gasp in air while I patted his side; he lay in the sun, its warmth healing him, but as winter came and the nights drew in, he would slow down, his chest would once again rattle and the vet would come, examine him and leave us with medicine to help him breathe. Most days, I’d get chance to lay in the straw with him, holding heat pads on his chest or just laying along his back while he turned his head to look at me. I lost myself in those huge bright eyes.

From time to time while he was out grazing, Dickie would wander across to the hedge and peer through. If he caught sight of me, he’d moo loudly and we would spend a while together in silent conversation, his neck wrapped around me or with his chin resting on my head, my arms stretched wide open to hold him.

Life was gentle with us; birthdays, celebrated with grated carrot sandwiches and ginger nuts with the guests of his choosing, came and went; Dickie grew taller and plumper. We stopped thinking “what if” and dared to dream of him growing old with us.

The winter following his 10th birthday changed that tranquil existence. In fact, it shook it like an emotional earthquake, knocking my feet from under me and throwing life into turmoil.

The heart that had worked so hard to make up for the damaged lungs was weak and unable to keep going. Dickie rested more. At nights, I was back, holding him as I did when he was a calf. The fact that he was ten times larger made no difference. I simply wrapped my arms around him and prayed to an unknown God that he might be well again. I lay in the darkness not daring to think.

When I went to him for the last time, Dickie was sleeping. His breathing slow and irregular. He awoke, glancing over his shoulder.  I lay down and held him.

I stayed true to  the promise I had made to him all those years before – that I would always be with him on his journey and Dickie passed gently from this world..

As he died, Dickie turned his head to face me, his eyes looking straight into mine. They stayed that way long after he stopped seeing. I stared right back, cradled in their never-ending brightness.





Pin it A Vegan Love Story from Hugletts Wood Farm Animal Sanctuary
Pin it A Vegan Love Story from Hugletts Wood Farm Animal Sanctuary
Pin it A Vegan Love Story from Hugletts Wood Farm Animal Sanctuary

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