October 25, 2017

A Day at The Gentle Barn Animal Sanctuary in Santa Clarita

22554991_10214373818845480_8072614750151786533_nA bus, a ranch, a barn. That can only mean one thing. Yup, another Retirement Practice with DayTripper Tours Tour Director Keri and driver Tony. They picked me up bright and early in Mission Valley and we headed north to the other side of Los Angeles. First stop was the William S. Hart Ranch.

William S. Hart was a silent western film star back in the early 1900’s. We had a docent led tour of his Ranch House and also his much larger, on the top of the hill, past the bison, Mansion / home turned museum. Everything was like it was back in the day. It was fun to see the Encyclopedia Britannica. Brought back memories of term papers and late night studying. I could totally have moved right into the mansion. Well, after a bit of dusting that is.

22769766_10214373810365268_634278366877331206_oAfter a picnic lunch we headed on down the road to the place I had been waiting to go back to since the first time DayTripper Tours had this tour in March. None other than The Gentle Barn in Santa Clarita. A place where they rescue animals who have been abused or neglected, heal them both physically and emotionally and then use their stories to bring hope to children going through similar situations. After a brief introduction, we were led over to the cows. Yes, everyone has the opportunity to brush and hug a cow. I couldn’t wait.

My much taller than me buddy, Gentle Ben was laying down in the barn. Buttercup, Faith and Aretha were walking around outside. I went up to them like I was greeting an old friend. Amazing the bond that happens when you take the moment to look into their eyes, to greet them where they are at and to hug them on a whole different level. It’s been said many times at the barn that “We are all the same, we just look different”. So true.

22792156_10214373818925482_189561234573025538_oNext we headed up the hill past where the goats and sheep hang out to the wide open pen. Here we saw King, the llama, who runs the place. Earl the emu was hanging out with Jewel the peacock. Honey Bear was in his stall and Zeus was in his. The pigs take turns hanging out in the pen, as they don’t get along much. Got to say hi to a sheep named Pebbles, talked with a turkey named Sun and later lay down with Zeus the pig. When Zeus and I were hanging out, Honey Bear was causing a ruckus because he was hungry and that got Zeus all wound up so he started to get up but I got up much quicker and ran out the stall door and secured the latch. A few seconds later, Zeus was head butting the door. He decided he was hungry as well. Guess I can take “outrun a pig” off of my bucket list. Ha, ha.

Next we walked back down the hill to the big corrals where the donkeys and horses hang out. I couldn’t wait to see my buddy Addison, the donkey. He was over in a smaller corral with Bonsai and Andrew, his horse buddies. It was fun feeding carrots to all of them and scratching their heads. I even had a foot race with Andrew. Back and forth along the fence we ran. After a few laps he would receive a carrot. Once he chewed it, I would start off again and he would follow. It was fun

22688674_10214373822165563_1029108265896627919_nSoon I was out of carrots and folks were boarding the bus but I couldn’t leave without saying good bye to Hope, another donkey in the main corral. I started over to the other side where she was, called her name and she came running over to me. After a few head scratches, we ran along the fence line. I said my good byes and then ran over to the bus. With a happy and sad heart, I boarded the bus for the ride back to San Diego. Thanks Daytripper Tours for making my dream come true and thanks to The Gentle Barn and Olivia and Barri for hosting us! I can’t wait to come back!

22553277_10214373799564998_5780566110070659521_oDayTripper Traveler Donna Grover
Tour: The Gentle Barn Animal Sanctuary

Date: October 22, 2017


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