What a great question! Thanks Sandy Sturdy for asking for this topic to be discussed here on our blog!
I will start with the chickens:
Our amazing and long-term administrative staff Jessica travelled to Ponoka, Alberta and then Okotoks approximately 4 years ago to purchase a bunch of extraordinary and really cool chickens! They included our chickens Michael Jackson/David Bowie, Clancy, Batman, Mushroom and a whole bunch more. One of them, a giant Cochin, we named Tanya and it turned out that she was a rooster! Lol, she was quickly renamed to T-Rex because he was as big as a dinosaur! (Not really but, you know ;)). Through the years, Jess, who is an extraordinarily knowledgeable person about chickens, has been arranging some cool breeding patterns and now all the rest of the chickens you meet at Dreamcatcher were hatched here and are the offspring of these beautiful exotic breeds.
One chicken in particular, Bubs, was hatched by two moms. Unfortunately, they both wanted to sit on her to keep her warm and in the process, they injured her. Our volunteer coordinator, Emily, took her home and nursed her back to health for 3 months. Bubs is an amazing chicken who loves to snuggle humans and she is very much Emily's 'child.' Because of her early life injuries, she gets ill sometimes and when she is not feeling well, she goes home with Emily who makes her feel all better again.
Our Rabbit: Bobbles
We had two rabbits, Binky and Bobbles and they are named after my cousins in Newfoundland. Binky recently got sick and passed away. We are not sure what happened. Bobbles still lives in the chicken coop and in the summer, he has his own houses in the outdoor coops. Binky and Bobbles were given to us by my step-son and his wife, Alex and Alyssa Stepanov. They own the Pet Values in Spruce Grove and Stony Plain and donated these friendly bunnies to us!
Moonshine: Mini Donkey
Moonshine was made special for us! Cindy Gilette, who gave us our horse Rain and are (now deceased) llama Spitzy, made Moonshine for us! When she saw what Rain and Spitzy were doing for a living over here, she said: "I'm gonna make you a donkey!" And she did! She owns a farm in Tofield and at that time, bred mini donkeys. How cool is that?
Ceilidh (pronounced: Kaylee) was given to us by Sue McIntosh of the Healing Hooves program. I helped Sue with some children's groups/camps and fell in love with her donkeys. She loved them too but agreed to give them to me and so I brought Ceilidh and her sister Daisy home with me (her name was Maisey but i changed it). Daisy passed away last year but Ceilidh is going strong. Her name is Gaelic, as Sue is Scottish and I too, am from Scottish descent. In my culture in Cape Breton, a Ceilidh is a kitchen party. It's so cool that Moonshine and Ceilidh hang out on a regular basis as in my culture, that happens often back home! lol
As mentioned, Rain was given to us by Cindy Gilette. Cindy had rescued Rain from a breed farm where they likely would have taken Rain to the auction due to her ears being frostbitten. She was a yearling when Cindy rescued her and she came to live at Dreamcatcher shortly thereafter. Rain will be 19 this year.
Echo was given to us by our farrier, Derek Inverarity. His partner had been his groom at the racetrack when he was just 2 years old and when he injured his knee, they sold him to her for a dollar. She took him home but her horse was not nice to him and so he came to live here. Echo was 4 years old then...he will be 21 this year.
Romeo was given to us by a lady who's daughter used to ride him / jump him. She outgrew horses and moved into cheerleading and so the lady wanted him to go to a good home and she chose us. Romeo was 9 when he came to us and he is now going on 11.
Wanda came to live here because her brother Joey (now deceased) had been rescued here and he needed a goat friend so the farmer took Wanda from her twin sister and mother and gave her to us. She was only 3 months old. Wanda is now going on 4 years old. 1.5 years ago, a male goat named Jupiter was born here at Dreamcatcher and he gave Wanda her twin boys Sully and Oliver. They will be 2 years old this April.
Luna was given to us by a goat farmer and she was pregnant when she arrived. She had the baby Jupiter and as goats do, Jupiter gave Luna another baby named Orion. Orion will be 2 years old this year.
Stardust was given to us by the same goat farmer as Luna and she was also pregnant when she arrived. She lost her fist baby but then Luna's Jupiter gave her another one, Nova. Nova will be 2 years old this year.
Emma was given to us by a lady who was moving from her acreage and needed a home for Emma.
Ellie was given to us by our mechanic and fellow farmer, Sydney Gonzalez. None of us knew that Ellie was pregnant when she arrived but lo and behold, one day the staff sent a picture of a baby standing next to Ellie in the shelter. Although we thought the clever staff had photoshopped it, it turned out that Ellie had a baby overnight!! We properly named him Sydney after his sheep farming donor!!!
Ninja was rescued by the Barrhead humane society as someone had dropped her off in Parkland County. The story goes that she was with 9 kittens when they found her and she was only 9 months old. At the same time, Dreamcatcher was asked to choose and prepare a cat for a treatment facility for children and youth and as we had a connection to the Barrhead society, we ended up with Ninja. The deal fell through and the facility no longer wanted the cat so Dreamcatcher became her forever home. Ninja is 3 years old this year.
Shadow is exactly that and not seen by many as she is feral and lives under our office. She showed up here one day and then had 9ish kittens. We took them all to the humane society and they adopted most of them out but gave her back to us. She lives with us and elsewhere lately but can still be seen slinking around and sometimes will let people get close to her but not very often.
Gravy: Mini Horse
Gravy was living with some older people who had him for their grandchildren. When the grandchildren outgrew him, he went to live with a kind family who got him a wife named mashed potatoes. In the end, Gravy was alone at their farm and so they sold him to us so he could have a forever home with friends.
Teddybear: Mini Horse
Teddybear was living with a family nearby and he was often the pony party when the little kids he lived with had a birthday. Teddy did not like this anymore and would not let the children ride him so the family donated him to us and although we never let anyone ride him, he still seems quite uncertain of people. He has found his forever home though and helps many people who are also not sure of people.
And that is the Dreamcatcher Therapy Animal crew!