A year ago we were homeless...
2 horses, 3 dogs, 3 cats
HORSES: Royal Windjammer (34) have had him since he was(6), I got him out of a situation where he was with 12 horses and under constant attack, Regal (28) yr old thoroughbred had her since 2008 after the battle for my other mare Athena was lost and had to put her down,
DOGS: Tyson (5) yr old Rottweiler, Chloe (4 1/2) yr old pit rescue, Arial (1) yr old rescue,
CATS: Lulu only surviving kitty from move to homelessness, Dina & Stretch were abandoned at the barn where horses were in homelessness, I adopted them and they are 2 very loving kitty kats
My animals and I had been separated for 2 years after a break up with my boyfriend that left us unable to find anywhere to live. I REFUSED to give up my animals. A lot of REALISTS would have dumped them all and got an apartment so THEY would be ok and said "the animals are not important". I looked at house after house..no pets..no dogs..no cats..DEF no horses...there were quite a few that would let us bring one or the other but definately not all...I STILL REFUSED...I was determined to get everyone home. Many people thought I was being totally ridiculous. Many would say "get rid of the damn animals", "get rid of those horses" ... in the end I was sleeping in my office on a futon with the dogs. What was left of my cats after 2 of them had disappeared after I moved and my horses, were at a barn in Northford. The conditions they had tolerated there were heartbreaking. It was supposed to be for a SHORT TERM. It was the closest place at the time. My 28 yr old black mare "Regal" sustained 2 serious injuries: one was after she was locked out of the stall on a 93 degree day and was molested by flies because she couldn't get in. She kicked the entire front of her leg off. This all while my other horse "Royal Windjammer" 33 yr old sorrel quarter horse, was locked inside with NO WATER until I got there. As if that wasn't sad enough, months of bandaging and scarred for life, a few months later after being in such a small turn out Royal was so upset he viciously bit her in her thigh. It was so bad the vet thought she had a broken leg...that's immediate death...Thankfully again my little trooper healed. Every day, trembling with upset, I would say.. "Hang in there guys, I PROMISE I will get us all home... I promise". I was at the end of my rope when I had run into to the owner of this property.
We, my roommate and long time friend Tito and I, had looked at this property months before. If it wasn't for Tito's help, we wouldn't have survived this. After the previous tenants were here, with an unruly amount of animals, the smell of animal was so crippling you needed a Hazmat suit to just walk through the door. It was so bad and the owners were so mortified that they decided to rip out all the floors, redo the bathroom, prime and paint the entire house, get rid of garbage left behind and I don't know what else. It was they then decided to try to sell it, not rent. Another let down. In January they put it on the market and like everything else..it sat..and sat..and sat. I ran into the husband and basically BEGGED him to see if we could somehow help each other. A week later his wife called. It all came at one time. I had to move my horses and move my stuff from storage IN 3 DAYS... THESE PEOPLE SAVED US...And after their house was totally trashed by animals...they STILL let us ALL COME.... And here we are now, after a year being asked to leave because of a very sad and devastating turn of events...
We came here to what I have named "Windjammer Farm"...after "Royal". It was supposed to be a little co-op boarding barn...sadly it’s not happening. After my 2 yrs of being homeless I signed the lease holding my breath as it was a huge amount of money, but I was so totally confident I could make it, I just signed it not even attempting to make any revisions. The owners needed the help and we all needed to get back home together. By the time the owners finished trying to make this home livable, there wasn't much left to take care of much else. That's where we tried to take over...
The first couple of months we just tried to get organized and start cleaning things up. Many wonderful things had happened, one of them being a woman named “Sue” who saw my flyer pleading for help when we were homeless. I call her my “Angel”. She wanted to come to the farm to see how she could help, which she has been doing since that day. She is part of what will later inspire, my new idea.
By then, we were only a couple of months in when it was becoming evident that boarding horses was not happening. Thanks to the economy people have been forced to get rid of their horses... Ad after ad..Flyer after flyer...nothing..only a few calls. We were hoping for 4 horses at $300 rough board to help pay the rent, my website design business, KBW Designs could handle the rest. NOPE .. not happening. Finally we got one boarder, 2 horses.. $200 mo each... There was still fence repair and other repairs needing to be done so I knew it wasn't marketable at $300. One of the girl's horses she was leasing. He was a huge huge handsome man, "Apollo", a 16yr old thoroughbred that had been injured and is no longer ridable. Now he's just a big lovey horse that needed a loving home. Two days later her $500 check bounced. She was no where to be found at feeding time...stalls were not cleaned.. BIG MESS in the now gleaming immaculate barn. After about 4 days...I just started taking care of them, buying food and shavings. Two weeks later, she only made good on $140 which barely covered the bounce fees from her check sending my account into total chaos. I decided that was IT. You take your one horse and leave "Apollo" here before I choke you. We will take care of "Apollo". So now I had a third horse ...no other boarders in site...we continued to keep cleaning up and rented 1 room to help with rent...
Heading into winter the economy was doing its last hack on my business. Then winter came and I was in big big trouble. It all came crashing down. I was only able to pay $1000 each month, keep heat on at maybe 55. I went to food pantries, never went out, sent "Apollo" back to his owner and just worried, worried, worried. It was evident I was going down and ... letting everyone else down too. Now I was putting the owners in another bad situation which they did not deserve after helping us.
Out of fear we were losing it, they tried to put the house on the market. Now more reduced price. 6 months...nothing. Somehow winter finally ended. I THOUGHT things were getting a little better. Still no boarders or ideas...tried renting hayloft for storage...tried more flyers..more ads...nothing. I continued my battle with the property. Again my friends came even with machinery to help dig out stumps that could not otherwise be removed, but my rent payments, even though I was paying a little more each month became totally inconsistent and I now have lost the landlord's confidence. Their situation is the typical story; house is upside down, they needed every penny from the rent to keep themselves going. I actually managed to pay $2500 on time in May. The owners were trying their hardest to work with us, but then came June. EVERYTHING went wrong. I wasn't able to get any rent to them until the last week. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Now, they have asked us to leave August 1st and have put the house on the market. How did this happen? They put themselves at risk to help us. We did things here no tenant would have done to help them, especially when it wasn't used toward rent. Now they have lost all confidence in me.
I came here to pursue my love of horses. I did work on the property because I was trying to make something out of it. To bring life and love here. I felt so sad for it because it had been so neglected and now with a little more work it can be a showplace. My dad before he died so wanted me to follow my love of horses. I hate to leave here failing to do that. My idea for "Royal's Pet Pad", I believe was brought to me by my dad. I just thought of the name the other day. He must have been sitting with me when I was brainstorming. His little store was named "The Music Pad". It was the coolest spot on the Cape back then. I stayed with him many times. He didn't have much heat either, but would burrow in blankets; one of my favorite memories and pictures of him. My dad sadly passed 4 years ago July 19. He was my best friend. I miss him so terribly. It has left such a hole in my life I can barely stand it. I just keep hearing him say..."it'll be alright darlin'...everything will be alright".
Even though my idea to start "Royal's Pet Pad" finally came to mind due to the situation unless we can get IMMEDIATE funding I will not be able to start it here, which would be a shame because this would be the PERFECT PLACE. It suits all the needs of Windjammer Farm and we have already done a lot of ground work...literally.
The animals love it here..the dogs..the cats ..the horses...there are birds chirping...frogs grunting...ducks quacking...deer coming to visit....the wildlife is returning to the pond which myself and my friends have spent hundreds of hours clearing the perimeter to open the beauty back up. A duck with her 4 babies is now here, a blue heron comes for his morning visit. This is supposed to be a rescue for animals...a haven...a "PAD". The cats play with the dogs and frogs...the horses play with the dogs and "Regal" loves the deer. Everyone is running around freely, unaware of the impending disaster that may befall us. My heart is totally broken. It was my landlord that said, "How about an animal sanctuary?" This was 3 weeks ago when I think she still had hope I could pull it together...after refining the idea..it just came too late...they are just done.
It is so very sad that they tried to help us and we tried to help them and it has come to this. We have no where to go. It was only 1 year ago I was homeless. I don't think I or my animals can handle another round of that...
My 34 yr old "Royal" almost died a month ago. His kidneys had shut down 75%. The vet gave him less than 48 hrs. He somehow pulled himself out of it and I know he did it for me. The bond I have with that horse is something I can't even begin to explain. If you are an animal lover you know...and you also understand why I have put myself at constant risk to keep them all...
Windjammer Farm and possibly Bed & Breakfast, introducing "Royal's Pet Pad" ...a place to retire your horse.. .a place to donate to animals in need... a place to help animals loverz in need, KEEP THEM. The Bed & Breakfast I have also always wanted to do, I think it would also be a TREMENDOUS asset to the property, and some of its revenue can also be donated back to the farm.
Please read my idea...
B&B introducing "Royal's Pet Pad"
Helping Hooves, Paws & Claws!