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Thursday, June 27, 2019

Rescuing Lydia-Loo

Hi Everyone,
so it's way WAY over due for you all to 'meet' someone very extraordinary & special,
our newest family member and newest rescue
Lydia Loo
(We added 'Loo' in memory of our late Betty-Loo).
We rescued Lydia way back last summer on August 25 of 2018
Lydia's story was a stressful one for me and I think that's why I put off telling it for so long!

This photo (above) was us completely stressed out on our way to get her...
I had a bad migraine that day and all week prior, my honey had calls he couldn't miss all day long
but we were determined to get on the road and get her into our hands as soon as possible.
She was reported as an urgent neglect/abuse case by a fellow rabbit rescue place,
so once we knew we could extract her from her situation,
head-pain or work were not going to deter us that day no matter what.
It took us over two hours to drive to her, she was on the outskirts of some little country town and
we weren't sure if the woman would pull out of the agreement etc etc, so it was s-t-r-e-s-s-f-u-l!

But I am getting ahead of the story....
So, I was sitting there on my phone one summer afternoon, having my coffee,
looking at a rabbit rescues pages, which I do way more often than I really should!
A fellow Ontario place popped up, I never heard of them & I was over the moon to see that they
were only about 8 hours away from us, not really close but not impossibly far either.
So I was surfing their page to see what they do exactly etc,
They have no shelter or any actual building but operate on a foster care system,
which is great, they help a lot of rabbit this way and I really respect that.
So there amongst ALL the beautiful deserving buns waiting for homes was this little baby bunny....
there was something in her face that made me stop and stare (and keep going back to look at).
Unlike all of the others listed, she was at the time the only one listed as an URGENT case.

We were not whatsoever looking to bring another bunny home.
We were still heartbroken from loosing Betty-Loo so soon after adopting her from the THS shelter.
We didn't really have any free rooms or areas at the time
and I want to bring ALL the bunnies home, every single one, every day, enough is never enough!

We do this life with rescue rabbits all on our own, just us two, we don't get any help,
finacially, physcially or emotionally.
We never ever get a vacation and we don't ever get money or donations from anyone whatsoever,
soooo at the end of the day I have TRY to accept that we are doing ALL we can & that has to be that!
this face on this little bunny, I couldn't let go, I couldn't forget...
I mentioned her to my honey....he immediately said 'no we just can't right now'.
A week later she was still constantly in my thoughts
and I just really deep in my bones felt like she was meant to come home to our little warren of wayward misfits....so I talked to my honey again, explaining my feelings to which he said
"Well if your gut and heart are feeling sooo strongly about it than okay let's do something about it"
(Yes, I know, I have the most amazing supportive guy...however there have been times in the past believe it or not when I was the one feeling unwilling to bring more home & he had to convince me!).

(I am going to make this long part of the story shorter!)
So in our house we take turns filling out adoptions forms because they can be lengthy (& annoying!)
and so it was my honey's turn.  So he immediately contacted this rabbit rescue telling them we were interested in this urgent case bunny and they said great 'fill out the forms'....so we did...
and we were turned down! With no explanation at first just a 'sorry you didn't qualify, goodbye'!
What The Fuck!!!
After 24 years of caring for and making rabbits our #1 priority,
we were told we weren't a good enough home!
At this point I was feeling desperate (and definitely quite angry)
I felt so strongly about this little bunny being meant for us,
that I felt like my heart was going to disintegrate....

It didn't matter one single fig to this person at this place that we had years and years of experience.
That our vet himself wrote a glowing recommendation for us
saying we are one of thee best homes he's ever seen....
that the shelter we've been working with for years now wanted to write a letter on our behalf
or that a farm sanctuary we volunteer at also gave us such a glowing beautiful recommendation
Nope, this place was so stuck on policy they couldn't see past that to any of the good.
Policy is good, it definitely without a doubt has it's place, it's a necessity,
but when it's a special urgent situation there needs to be room for movement & discussion too,
especially when it involves the well-being of a defenseless animal in a bad situation.
But this place was not willing to communicate or budge whatsoever period.

Than it turned out that they listed this bunny on their page but she wasn't even in their care!
They just 'heard' about her, they didn't know where she was exactly! (or that's what they said).
And because this place operates solely on fosters, all of their foster people were full up,
so they apparently had no room for her at all and they were actually going to leave
this little bun in a bad situation that they themselves deemed an 'urgent abuse/neglect case'
just because they didn't like the way we filled out one section of their form!
Well we weren't at all okay with their
"she will sit there until a foster home opens up & no we don't know how long that could be"

So when we found out that they didn't know if or when a foster home would open up for this little being and that she was infact not even under their care whatsoever, we decided to try to step around this rabbit rescue which clearly had no respect for all of our rabbit experience & willingness to help!

We even had a friend who was willing to lie for us, to drive the 7-8 hours one way and all the way back to adopt her under their name, only to give to us but we didn't want to lie, it didn't feel right.

We even asked, since winter was fast approaching and this little one could not be left out there in winter waiting for a foster home to open up, if they could give us the contact info for this person who had her but they told us that they didn't have it & didn't even know how to get in touch etc. hmmm!

When we sent pictures of the room/area this bunny would have to herself in our home
(where there's a will there's a way and we figured out a great new area for a new bun after all)
They just wrote back 'oh cute room but everything's going to get chewed'....um okay!!

This rabbit rescue had no interest in working with us whatsoever, which truly made me really sad
and is a real shame because we should all be working together, not fighting each other to be the only rescue around, which really ended up being the feeling of ours and the feeling of others in fact after we chatted with some other people who know and how dealt with this place also.

Soooo anyhow, ha ha, we took a chance, copied this little sweeties photo from the rescue site
and we put an ad on the internet in the area we believed her to be and basically said
'We are looking for this bunny and anyone who has info about her please contact us".
We heard from someone within the hour!
The whole time this is happening my heart is racing and squeezing and I am so so stressed out.
I truly felt like I had a baby lost out there in the big mean world and I couldn't get to her!
I was truly feeling feral about it.

We talked to the lady who had her, we made arrangements to go rescue this little bunny,
we were hoping for not as bad a situation as we imagined,
we hoped it was really not a neglect abuse case but
what we saw and where she was was sadly absolutely a desperate situation for this bun to get out of.
The second I saw where this little babe was my heart rested instantly knowing
that we were doing the right thing & I am glad we took matters into our own hands.

She was in a tiny metal cage, the cage was on a sloped hill,
the cage was surrounded by dog shit and flies,
it was not on grass, it was on mud and moss
(and when it rained she would have had a river of mud running under her feet).
I noticed when my honey crawled into the cage which was difficult for him because it was so low, that there was inches of poop built up, there was no water, no hay, no pellets, no food whatsoever,
and when he opened the door to this awful cage, about 3 inches of moss scrapped away
that alone right there told me that that door had not been open for some time.
There was no shelter from the rain or the sun...it was without a doubt no kind of place for any living being and whiles I wanted to punch this woman in the face and tell her exactly what I thought of her for keeping this rabbit in such a situation, my job was to distract by listening to her talk on about all of her life's woes whiles my honey extracted the bunny and got her into the carrier.

When we got her in the carrier and into the Jeep, I just said to my honey
"Get us the fuck out of here"
I just wanted to be away from that woman and her awful place.
We drove down the street a ways and than pulled over and got Lydia out of the carrier
and just held her and told her "We found you baby, we found you"
and that we were her new mommy & daddy and we were taking her away
from that awful place forever and almost instantly she just melted against us.
I think she felt the love right away and I feel like she knew she was finally safe and loved.

I remember posting on Instagram "We Got Her.  She's Safe Now.  She's skin and bones and in a situation no animal ever should be kept in but we found her, we got her and we're coming home".

I wish people would just make the connection that animals are just like us.
That rabbits should not be kept outside in the heat and the cold and the rain,
they don't like it anymore than a person would like it.
If you can't give an animal what it deserves than don't take it on.
And as angry as I was at this woman,
I am also super super grateful that she was willing to part with and give Lydia to a better home.

Pretty soon after we had Lydia extracted we got super hungry.
I don't think we ate much from all the stress for the few days before.
We drove to Huntsville, stopped at an all vegan fry stop and pigged out
the woman there even gave us a nice little lettuce and carrot snack for Lydia so we found a quiet
place in the shade of a tree to part and rest and eat for a spell and when Lydia started eating
right away we knew she was going to be just fine.

So that's Lydias story...
sorry it's coming soooo late, yikes, my bad ha ha!
So everyone, officially please meet our Lydia-Loo Saile Peterson,
rescued from a situation no bunny or animals should ever be in...
around 6 months old (now almost a year old wow!)
and she's so so amazing, I can't even tell you all,
she's so affectionate and kissy and huggy
(although she hates being pick up still to this day)
She feel like an angel bunny, whose rescuing us as much as we did her.
You can feel that she's grateful and I am so beyond glad we went with our gut.

Welcome to our lives Lydia-Loo, we loved you before we even met you XO.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

A Kind Night

Here's that new image I am slowly plugging away on inspired by the Herons we see when kayaking.

I know unfortunately that Herons eat all kinds of creatures, so this image is called "A Kind Night"

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

A Majestic River Guide

This was one of the best most beautiful paddles ever...
Herons live along a river that we kayak down often.  It's a river close to our home.

I am over the moon with these photos of our majestic river guide
& he's inspired my newest image which I'll show you tomorrow.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Muskoka VegFest

Last summer we went to a Vegan festival in Muskoka Ontario and it was amazing.
To see all of these new vegan products, to listen to animal activists,
to be around other people who care about animals and who advocate for them etc
was really really empowering and awesome to experience.

We ate and ate and ate, we had hot dogs, popsicles, fresh-pressed juice, the best cappuccinos ever
and we came home with vegan chocolate, cheeses, spreads, pie, pizza buns, shortbread etc.
If your vegan or have interest in being vegan I highly highly recommend seeking out
a Vegfest near you, it's so worth it and veganism is on the rise so I bet there is one near you XO

Thursday, June 20, 2019

New Glitter Jewels On The Way

Here's a sneek peek at some of the new Glitter Jewels I have coming up real soon.

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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Flynn Update

So we took Flynn back to the doctors last Friday
and we got good news and bad news.
His nasty ear infection has completely cleared up
but the infection has busted his ear drum and it's completely detached so he's deaf in that ear now.

Apparently sometimes the eardrum can repair itself if the gap/hole isn't too big but the doctor
showed me the inside of his precious little ear and the hole is pretty darn big so we'll have to see.
He goes back in a month for another check up to make sure the infection isn't reoccurring.
Otherwise he's back to his rambunctious awesome adorable self.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Respect For Earth's Last Week

Hey everyone
I just wanted to show you some shots from the awesome group exhibition
I was lucky to be included in recently called "Respect For Earth" at the Novah Gallery.

It was a showing of almost 20 local artists and over 50 pieces of artwork
all pertaining to our own unique viewpoint on this one precious home we call Earth. 

This is one of five pieces I had hung in the show "She Took Care Of Her Kindred Spirits"

The gallery space at Novah is pretty cool, two long nicely lighted hallways
and a really cozy common area to show the artwork, a really nice space for an art show.

It was an honor to be included.  North Bay may be small but we have amazing talent aplenty.

And first time curator Sarah Carlin-Ball did a really amazing job at putting it all together.

Sarah made these gorgeous weaved baskets and we were supposed to set an intention or make a wish
on an object or on a piece of paper which we than put into the baskets...all were welcome to do so.

My wish was that more people make the connection and choose to go vegan for the Earth's sake.
My other wish was that I am able to keep being a voice for the voiceless & a home for the wayward.
And I set an intention to start using less plastic when grocery shopping (more on that later).

This was one of my all-time favorite pieces in the whole show,
there's an honesty to this piece that touched me.

Here is another of my pieces in the show called "She Was Nourished By Green Living"/

This is my friend, mentor, high-school teacher and one of my very first supports and reasons why I became an artist, David Carlin.  How cool it feels to be in the same show with him.

The exhibition has a multitude of mediums, including pottery in the outdoor space,
like this outdoor piece by local potter Pat Stamp.

And multimedia metal pieces by one of my favorite local artists Carol Davidson.

The opening was a crowded, lovely, uplifting afternoon with beautiful company.

Here's another of my pieces called "She Wished On Every Star To Always Be A Safe Haven",
this one is a self-portrait (it's for sale but I am more than okay if this particular piece never sells!).

(Pottery by Pat Stamp)
I truly think there's something for everyone in the show.

On the big poster my bio says "...(Mandy) firmly believes that the best & biggest way to respect our one Earth is to go Vegan" and I know that will 'annoy' some people but it's an opinion I feel very strongly about and here exactly why...meat agriculture is irrefutably the main leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions, dead ocean zones, mind boggling rates of species extinction and mind boggling mass deforestation...the simple act of adopting a vegan lifestyle is one of the biggest and best ways a person can actively not participate in all the things that are killing our world! 

So if you are in the North Bay area and are local to me (I know the majority of you are not however)
hop on by and check out the show at the Novah Gallery located at 176 Lakeshore Drive
This Saturday June 15 is the very last day...
however there is a possibility that the show just might be made into a book, wooowww, so exciting.