Saturday, June 17, 2006

A trip through Navajo country

On a recent trip into California, I travelled through Navajo Country. I remember growing up in this area, barren and desolate, water is scarce, life can be very hard.

I can't help but remince about my experiences on these reservations. I loved it, fit right in, it was never foreign to me to see these people and what little they had because I identified with them. They have a lot of family nearby always and they don't need what they don't have. We used to be able to play baseball with a Navajo family near Canyon De Chelly.

My first memory of meeting this Navajo man and his family is of the many dogs he had chained up around his house. They were thin as are most reservation dogs and I, being the animal lover I was started to run over to them to give them a pet, only to hear the blasted warning from my father " no! don't pet those dogs!". Back then I thought he was just plain mean for not wanting me to pet that poor creature.

Now I understand. They were full of fleas and ticks, could have had rabies and were practically starving. I grew up with this and so it became second nature to see. We used to help my dad guide tours into Canyon De Chelly. We watched many a tour bus and a few horses get caught in quick sand, the buses rarely made it out. I remember all of the horses making it though. I met an old lady who lives in the heart of that canyon, probably never has seen civilization as we know it. She still lived in a hogan and had a pretty nomadic way of life, herding her sheep and surviving off of the land.

On this last trip through this country, I encountered many starving horses staring at us as we drove by with a yearning look in their eye, not all of them, but many. The land has nothing to offer them, the drought has hit hard and water is scarce. They have no home and no one to care for them, though they may have at some point. The Navajo people that live on these reservations have nothing really for themselves let alone their animals. Where is the funding in place to care for these horses, dogs and other animals? What if there could be a way to come up with it?

There are many horse rescues caring for horses that go through the sale barns and would otherwise be on their way to slaughter had these people not rescued them, but what about these reservation horses, is it better for them to starve to death rather than encountering that slaughter truck? I ask myself these questions thinking that it is definitely the lesser of two evils. But I can't help but think, what if we could come up with a way to fund hay and veterinary services for these animals? Would the Navajo people be open to us helping?

Just food for thought.............................

Thank you!

Denkai Animal Sanctuary would like to thank all of those who have assisted in making the move to the new sanctuary site a success. It has been a busy time and we could not have made this move without the help of dedicated volunteers! For those who have donated items to the sanctuary and monetary funds, your compassion and dedication to our cause is also greatly appreciated. We have over twenty bags of Senior Grain awaiting pickup at J&T Country Feed and are so thankful for those who have donated! I don't believe that we can say "thank you" enough, but we truly are grateful for the support and dedication of all those involved. The animals are doing well at the new site and we hope to see all of you soon! Keep reading the blog...we will be posting photographs of the new site very soon!

For volunteer opportunities, e-mail your inquiries to and again, thank you!!

Remember Emmie?

Emmie continues to prosper in her new home. Can you believe that she was living on the streets a little less than four months ago? Emmie is comfortable in her surroundings and enjoys talking, eating, and lounging in bed.

Would you like to volunteer your time at our new sanctuary site helping to socialize the animals? We would love to work with individuals willing to spend time talking to, grooming, and walking the animals in our care. There are many horses, pigs, goats, and dogs on site that would benefit from positive human interactions. Consider sponsoring an animal and spending time building a wonderful relationship!

Emmie is a shining example of what socialization, patience, and love can do in order to help to rehabilitate animals once abandoned, abused, and or neglected. We hope that you will consider spending time with some of our animals! We welcome all those who would like to volunteer their time and will train you in techniques that will help in the socialization process of the animals. Hope to see you soon!