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How I spent my birthday.

The Life, Universe and Everything. Those of you fans of Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy will know the answer to that, 42. Forty two just happens to be how old I am. For my birthday I woke up early (But Dan, it’s your birthday shouldn’t you sleep late? ~Settle down, let me tell the story~) I drove 250 miles north to Ocala. (But Dan, it’s your birthday? ~ I said settle down!~)

Okay, enough interuptions from my psyche.

Cindy and I drove to the Kindred Spirits Sanctuary in Ocala, Florida, and there we met some amazing people, and some amazing animals. Greeted by Winston and Lilly, two farm dogs, we approached the sanctuary and were met my Logan, one of the care takers of the residence of KSS.

Logan gave us an amazing tour of the farm. Now, let me get this out there for those of you saying “I want to go.” First, go. Just go (make an appointment first), the place is amazing. Second, its a “FARM”, not a zoo, and not a theme park. It’s important you realize this because it will affect your choice in footwear. … Still not getting it? Okay, I’ll spell it out for you, P.O.O.P.  Oh, now you get it. Like I said, it’s a real farm.

Okay, don’t let that fact discourage you in any way. The place is extremely well kept, and the animals are happy. (How can you tell their happy?) Dude, you’re talking to a guy who spoke to a jaguar, and a black leopard, so trust me, I know.

The pigs are hysterical to watch. I never knew their snouts were so articulate. Their hair is like a bristle brush, but they are so comical. Some of them are shy, but others are right there checking you out. There are some piglets there as well, and they are as adorable as their name reflects. Logan knew each of their names, and spewed them about like they were all high school friends. I’m sure if I spent as much time with them as she does, I’d know their names, and their favorite drink at Starbucks.

Even the horses and burros had personality. Some of them came right over to introduce themselves, others waited to see if they liked us. What’s not to like? It’s important to know that some of these animals have been abused, and KSS has rescued them. Many of the animals need constant medical attention and thats where our donations come into play. Two of their newer horse residents were recently rescued from malnourishment and rain rot.  It’s sad to see, but reassuring to know they are now getting the TLC  they deserve.

Cows, bulls, chicken, goats, sheep and an escape artist rooster named Rosco, round out the over 150 residence that call KSS their home. Each animal has a story, a story with a happy ending. Laura, the owner and proprietor, spent a lot of time talking to us about what inspired her to create this wonderful place for her animal friends.

The next time you visit Orlando, take a break from the “planned” encounter rides and attractions for something more real, and down to Earth. Schedule a tour of the Kindred Spirits Sanctuary, you, and their residents, will be glad you did.

Links : Kindred Spirits Sanctuary – http://www.kindredspiritssanctuary.org

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