December 1, 2020
Dear Santa Claus,
My name is Ruth. I was named after a very famous and intelligent lady. Oh now, you know who I mean! I hope to do her name proud. I am, in fact, a very intelligent rabbit. However I fell on hard times just a little while ago. I found myself out on the street with nowhere to go. Most peculiar. You don’t often see white rabbits taking walks, especially by themselves. Well wouldn’t you know it, someone came along and said, “Ruth! What are you doing out here? Let me get you to a good place.” That was indeed very fortunate.
This is my very first letter ever to you, Santa, but the other bunnies told me all about how this goes and that I can ask you for anything at all, my heart’s desire! Please send me a boyfriend. OK, never mind that for now; boyfriends are too much trouble and I’m doing just fine on my own, thank you very much.
Let’s start simple: I love love love these treats. They are called slims but let me tell you, they are not slimming. False advertising, if you ask me. But still – they are so delicious. In fact, everyone in here in the bunny room loves them. You could send more than one packet. We eat them pretty fast.
Next, I don’t mean to complain, but come on folks – the litter boxes they have here have been chewed on. By other rabbits. Eww. And they are all square – no imagination at all was put into designing those boxes. I’d like this elegant corner box so I can do my business and then have more space in my condo.
Now, I’ll tell you what I really want (besides a boyfriend – maybe) but it’s a project. I’d like to be able to run and play outside in the grass. But they tell me it has to be very secure. Maybe they even need to make a hole in the side of the house. And then build something so the hawks can’t get me. I’m going to think about the architectural plans and I’ll send them on under separate cover. That would be most efficient, wouldn’t you agree?
Finally, I have never been sponsored since I’m so new here. It would be lovely to have a sponsor all to myself.
Santa, don’t forget to wear your mask – those elves can’t be trusted not to go to parties behind your back, don’t you know? Thank you for reading my letter!
With deepest respect,
Ruth the Rabbit
December 2, 2020
Hey ho Santa,
Ernie here to get you up to speed on goings on here at the farm. I’m doing great, and there is a new goat in town named Falkor. He can fly! He’s so baaad and we love him (mostly). Leo’s gotten a little fat (shhh) and Jenny is still with us at 15, but retired now to the old folks paddock.
Now let’s talk business! I need a new collar. Mine is looking tired and old and it’s lost its shape and, well, um, it smells bad. I’m kinda into the supporting the little guy thing this year, and I found a fine shop that sells these single-layer bamboo collars – bamboo is really comfortable for us goats. We don’t like that fake polyester stuff. Bamboo is also tasty to eat, but that is another story for another day. I’ll let you choose the color, but I need a size Large.
Santa, I’m going to tell you something you can’t pass on to anyone. Ok? So some of the guys on the farm, they think that they can just mess with anything they feel like. No boundaries, you got me? So they jump on things and chew on whatever they might find. Me, I’m pretty particular about eating a healthy diet. But so here’s the deal: someone, or maybe a few someones (and I ain’t naming names) have made a project of the tractor seat. So this is what happens: a human hops on the tractor to drive it, maybe to bring us some hay, maybe to move manure around, maybe just for fun, and suddenly they shout something I can’t repeat here and their bum is all soaking wet. Why? Because SOMEONE chewed on the seat so that the foam padding is exposed. It’s pretty bad. Kinda like a nylon that has a run in it – once you start … not that I know anything about nylons. So yeah, when it rains, the humans get loud about their wet bums. So we need a new seat. (To the humans: you’re welcome.) Oh, hey, if you plan to bring us one, make sure to let us know since we can only use one seat.
Look here, I ain’t gonna ask for no treats this time. Not speaking for myself here, but some of us goats have kind of a weight problem. But if you want to bring us something fresh like apples or lettuce or kale, that’d be cool.
Hey, you KNOW I just love sponsors. They come and brush me and let me rub my head all over their nice clothes (sign of goatly luv). I’m so friendly I could go for a car ride with them and I wouldn’t even chew on the seats. So that about wraps it up. Say hey ho to the reindeer for me.
My name is George. I found my path to happiness through the officers at the Prince Georges County Animal Shelter who called Star Gazing Farm and said “hey, we have this fabulous pig here. You need to come on over!”
As you can see, I have a funny face. My tongue never really goes back into my mouth and my teeth stick out. I’m a shy gentleman of a pig, and all these qualities combined made Farmer Anne declare, “George, you really need to come home with me!”
I was pretty badly mistreated before, so you have to be really still and gentle if you want to scratch my belly. I am learning to trust people though, little by little. You know, I’m a pig so I love to eat! Well, guess what – at this farm the pigs and dogs get their food cooked up fresh. In a pot. On the stove. In the house. What do you think about that!? They use fresh ingredients, and so we always need those (George’s Favorite Stew recipe is below). But we can also use canned goods – my absolute favorite is pumpkin. I just love pumpkin – fresh pumpkin, frozen pumpkin, whole and sliced pumpkin, and canned pumpkin. It’s easy to eat because it’s pureed and soft. I did some research because I’m a little bit nerdy that way, and this one seems to be the best deal: https://tinyurl.com/pumpkin-for-george but this one also is not too bad price-wise: https://tinyurl.com/pumpkin-for-george-2
There are two supplements that would be good for me and my friends Hazel and Waldo: the first has Vitamin B and helps with nervousness (and I am still sometimes a bit nervous): https://healthypigs.com/product/pig-b-calm/ The second is for our skin. Just like people, our skin tends to get dry in the winter time and this powder can help! https://tinyurl.com/skin-supplement-for-george
Now, Santa, there is just one more thing: we pigs don’t really care much if we drink water out of a fresh bowl or a mud puddle (sad, but true). But in wintertime it’s especially important for us to drink and so sometimes we just tip over the bigger buckets. That makes a mess and if it’s cold it turns to ice, and then the humans say bad words and the sheep roll their eyes at us. If we had a few non-tip bowls just for us piggies I think everyone would get along better. I think this one would work (96 oz sounds right to my calculations): https://tinyurl.com/dog-bowl-for-george
But this one would be also so handy when the weather is cold: https://tinyurl.com/heated-dog-bowl-for-george
Finally, there is the matter of a sponsorship. This is a new concept to me. It means that someone can pay a bit of money to help with my food and care, and they get a primo glossy photo of me plus my biography PLUS a real certificate of sponsorship, PLUS they can come and see me some time.
I’m so glad I got the opportunity to write you – in my many years on earth, I never was even told there was a Santa. How nice to know that there is and that you actually read our letters. http://www.stargazingfarm.org/sponsor
My best regards,
GEORGE’S FAVORITE STEW
Wash and slice the following:
5-6 large sweet potatoes
zucchini or any kind of squash
Cook these in boiling water for about 30-40 minutes.
Add in: peas and green beans (fresh, frozen, or last choice – canned)
A nice pasta: my favorite is Orzo, but the little macaroni pasta is ok, or barley (good for wintertime)
Cook for another 15 minutes and let cool before serving.
Makes approximately 15 servings.
My dear, dear Santa!
How how how are you? Oh my goodness, I’ve been such a busy dog this year. I’m what you call a “perpetual motion dog”. I was slowed down but only for a little while when I had surgery. They took a big nasty thing out of my liver. I woke up and said, “OK now, let’s go!” I was very disappointed that I had to have a ‘rest time’. Who needs rest when there is life to live and chickens to be chased!
On a serious note, Santa, sometimes I think and worry about my little babies, all those babies they made me have in the cage, over and over. I dont’ know where any of them live now. I loved them and was such a good mama – then they took them away from me and made me go and have more babies all over again. I don’t have babies anymore. Now I try to lick everyone just like I did my pupppies and am surprised when they say, “Mamie, no licks!” No is not in my vocabulary. And licking is life!
Which brings me to my duty, as a loving dog, to ask for a few presents that will help my own mama not lose her mind. Here is the first one: We need a new trash can. Our kitchen is small, so we need a narrow one. You see, I am sooo attracted to the trash. (You could maybe compare this to people who have to hide the chocolates so that someone in the house doesn’t eat them all …. I am a very self aware dog.) If I think there might be anything at all that is useful to a dog like me, I spill the whole thing and go through it very thoroughly. This one would fit and I’m pretty sure it would be Mamie-proof. https://tinyurl.com/trash-can-for-mamie
If I can brag just a bit, I’m really smart. I’ve already applied to DoggieMensa. I have figured out all but one of the baby gates that prevent me from going into rooms I’m not supposed to be in. So my next gift is one I don’t want, but my mum said we have to have. And I really want to please my mum. She has one on her office door and by golly, I think it might be dog-proof. So we kind of need two of them. https://tinyurl.com/baby-gate-for-mamie
Sigh. It’s so hard trying to be good. OK, since I’m doing true confessions of a Cattle Dog here, I need to tell you that I just hate it when anyone talks on the phone. I start to yip and yell and scream and then I tip over the trash, and then I run into the rooms with the doggie gates I can open, and generally I make such a ruckus that they finally get off the phone. Told you, I’m smart. There is only ONE thing that will stop me – and that’s a truly fine bone. I love this kind: it’s huge and takes me a really long time to work on it. https://tinyurl.com/big-bone-for-mamie Sometimes I haul my bones up into my mum’s bed. She said she isn’t really impressed with that. I’ll try really hard to not do that if you send me one! I will try!
Santa, I would love a sponsor, too. I’m really cute and once you get to know me, you just want to spend all your time with me. I’ll be so nice to my sponsor. I will! http://www.stargazingfarm.org/sponsor
Got to run now, lots of things to do on this farm!
Lt. Bubba Skinner at your service. I don’t believe I’ve made your acquaintance before, but I’m mighty pleased to do so now.
Let me just say that on the whole this is quite a satisfactory place for me to have ended up. I came from t’other side of the county, and I do not believe that my fate was going to be a happy one, to put it mildly. I was a young fella and something on the wild side, if you know what I mean. So when I heard folks talking about roasted lamb I jumped the fence and ran, and just kept on running. It’s no small miracle that anyone ever caught me, but caught me they did and brought me to safety.
I’m no longer wild, but when it’s supper time I do make a good run for it – I still have the old spunk at least when it comes to chow!
Now, it’s not in my nature to go asking folks for favors. You see, I’m a gentleman and don’t want to go putting anyone out for anything. But I was told it would be impolite of me to not send you some gentle suggestions. Naturally, I will make sure that this benefits the whole community. My first suggestion is a new and nicer feed bowl than what we have now. Here are two places this nice bowl could be had: https://tinyurl.com/big-bowl-for-bubba and https://tinyurl.com/bowl-for-bubba Let me paint you a picture: standing at the gate are half a dozen extraordinarily rude ruffians – goats, I should say. We all go into the pen at the same time and eat out of a variety of bowls. But there is quite a scramble and, well, I really would like to have a bowl I could put my name on. This would also be much easier to clean than the ones we have now.
Something we all like – the sheep, the goats, the cows, even the horses – is the Himalayan pink salt lick. It has such good minerals in it and it’s just delicious. https://tinyurl.com/salt-for-bubba
Really, Santa, the only other thing I truly want and so do all the animals, is for the walkway up to and around the barn to be re-gravelled. It gets muddy when it rains, and that’s not good for our hooves. I know my boss is looking into it, but we sure would love it if someone knew of a place that might donate either stone dust or filtered millings. We’re going to need about 8 dump truck loads and that’s a lot of stone!
I’m a modest sort, as I’ve already said, but I truly would be tickled to death if someone wanted to sponsor me. http://www.stargazingfarm.org/sponsor I don’t rightly know if I’ve had a sponsor in a while.
Dear sir, it’s been charming conversing with you and I do trust you will extend my sincere greetings to your wife and elves.
Lt. Bubba Skinner, III
16760 Whites Store Road
Boyds, MD 20841
My name is Roger and I’m a shy guy. Somebody left me in an apartment complex near the library. The steps were concrete. I didn’t know what to eat. I was a baby and didn’t know where my mama was. But some sweet children found me and helped me out and now I have a partner named Rudy and life is pretty good.
I had pretty bad ringworm when I got rescued but I got medicine for it. It was ugly. Maybe that’s why they left me on the concrete. But I’m cured now and I’m gaining weight and sometimes I’ll allow myself to be cuddled.
PS I really liked the dried out carrots.
Hi! I’m Henryka, the most exotic chicken on the farm. I was found way out by the river, huddled under a bramble bush. It was cold and uncomfortable, so I did not protest when Farmer Anne picked me up and took me home. I really like to live indoors. I really don’t like to be outside with the other chickens. It is going to take a lot of convincing and bribery for me to want to live outside with those barbaric common chickens. Pfui. I like to ride around on Julie’s shoulders when she is working in the bunny room. I also sing off key loudly and often.
We lived all our lives with the lady who saved us as tiny kittens (she even fed us with a dropper bottle to keep body and soul together). She loved us so much, and she let us take care of all the mice in the barn where the horses lived. But then the farm was sold and the horses went away. There weren’t so many mice, either. She loved us but she knew we needed a farm to take care of. The dog in the household didn’t like Cracky, either, so going to the new homestead and living with him was a big “No dice”.
We are doing a bang up job of rodent control and serving as welcoming committee.
We’re both big boys and love to be held and loved on. Fatty sings all the time and Cracky has a tendency to find corners to sleep in, worrying everyone as to where he is!
My name is Jethro and I come from the hills of Kentucky. I was in really bad shape. I’d lost half my body weight and had almost no hair, and I’m pretty sure I heard folks saying I was “ugly”.
They tell me I’m a Catahoula Leopard dog, but with something else probably mixed in. Well, it’s true I don’t know who my daddy was.
I reckon good fortune was on my side, though, when somebody dropped me off at a vet’s office. I cannot tell you why, but the ladies who worked there were on my side. They helped me eat and feel better about myself. I went from 29 pounds to 56 pounds in just 3 months, and most of my hair came back. The Bourbon County Rescue folks brought me up here on a long, long drive and I had no idea what was happening. Being the tidy sort of man that I am, I didn’t mess in my kennel the whole drive, but oooo-ee I sure had to go when I got out of there.
Then like magic, I was living on a farm. I will say that folks around here have funny accents, but other than that I love it. I have dog and cat friends, and people keep telling me how handsome I am. I’m awfully happy to have been given a second chance in life.
I am one lucky little sheep, don’t you know? Well, maybe I won’t be little for long because my daddy weighs 300 pounds and he is SO handsome and strong. I’m a hair sheep. That means I don’t have to be embarrassed in the spring and get tipped over and shaved naked. Nature lets me shed all by myself which is fine by me.
So I was born with not quite developed eyes. I have amazing hearing and smell, though. I use my ears all the time so you will see me tilting my head to figure out where things are. I really love people – people have been very kind to me and made sure I was always safe. I have made a wonderful friend here. His name is Ricardo and he’s just a little younger than me. Just quietly, he’s a bit bossy but his friendly personality makes up for any bits of grain I have to give to him.
Just for your information, I love pieces of corn and I really love neck massages.
I was housed in a very crowded and dirty place with a lot of other dogs who looked like me. Some of them were my brothers. I liked them and they liked me, but we did not get enough to eat and we were not happy, and one of them died and just lay there and we didn’t know what to do about him.
I don’t know how it happened or why, but by some miracle, one day these human ladies showed up with a big white dog. The big white dog’s name is Sam. He said he is a distant cousin. He waged his tail and lifted his ears and I felt happy for the first time in a long while. But I was still afraid and the long car ride made me so uneasy.
And then …. I came to this place and there were sheep dancing and goats jumping, roosters singing and lots and lots of hay and good farm smells. I’m still trying to figure it all out. Is this really my home? Can I really stay here? Please, no one take me away from this place. Please, no one give me a different name. Milo is my name and I am an Anatolian shepherd. And I’m a happy dog now.
Little Vinnie was born in April of 2017. He is a Nigerian Dwarf goat is extremely naughty. He has figured out how to jump into the front yard and gets into everything. He climbs on top of the sheep and tries to steal food from Bullwinkle the steer. There seems to be no limit to his baaaaad imagination.
While Tony will holler when he wants something, Vinnie is the quiet type. He’ll sneak up on you without your realizing it and steal the food right from your hands. It’s a good thing he is so cute!
Holstein cross steer
Weight approx. 1800 pounds
Bullwinkle was naughty from the time he popped out of his mother. He was bottle-raised at the Prince William Animal Control petting zoo, and from there was destined to go to the auctionhouse, but a kind lady fell in love with him and his buddy Rocky, bought them at market price, and hauled them over here.
Bullwinkle has such a distinct personality. He loves to go up to people and lick them all over with his rough, sandpaper-like tongue, but you have to watch out – despite his steer status, he is an amorous kind of a guy. He is extremely sweet and loves massages. He used to have a wild streak in him – if you simply turned on the tractor he got so excited, he’d racing from one end of the field to the other. He is advanced in years now, however, and has arthritis so he has slowed down quite a bit. His best friend is Brandy the Angus cow.
George the Chinchilla was adopted out from and returned several times to the animal shelter. People claimed he was “too much work.” He ended up at the Arlington Animal Welfare League who let us take him home and give him a permanent place to be himself! We set him up with a marvelous, four-story condo with lots of shelves and perches. He also loves to run around the bunny room, and has a special fondness for exploring the bunny’s living quarters.
When he first came he was terribly shy, and tended to give little bites to get people to get away from him. Very gradually, he has learned that it’s ok to be touched sometimes, and especially when he gets special treats like a biscuit or a small piece of dried fruit.
George is quite a special guy – smart and athletic and inquisitive, and we feel very fortunate to have him as one of our residents!
Would you like to sponsor George?