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๐“๐ก๐ž ๐‰๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ง๐ž๐ฒ ๐จ๐Ÿ a ๐†๐ข๐ซ๐ฅ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐‡๐ž๐ซ ๐†๐จ๐จ๐ฌ๐ž

Updated: Mar 7, 2022

๐€ ๐’๐ฉ๐ข๐ซ๐ข๐ญ๐ฎ๐š๐ฅ ๐†๐ข๐Ÿ๐ญ

Have you met my wife? What about Pepper? Let me just start by saying that if true love for animals is a spiritual gift, Dawn Kiki clearly has it.

Over the past couple years, I have written posts about our urban farm and our little petsโ€”mainly our feathered friends. From our chickens, geese, a rabbit, pigeons, and cats, Dawn has been at the helm of our farmโ€™s loving purpose and my stories.

Dawn has made beds for the healthy and sick, bathed and dried birds with a hair drier, created warming centers for frigid nights, asked me to sod the chicken/goose run to add a feeding space when penned up, added multiple swimming pools of various sizes and depth, and officiated funerals when needed.

Yes, without reservations, I can proclaim that Dawn is real love. ๐Ÿ’—

For over four months she has shown the depth of this love with our sweet Little Pepper, one of our four original Sebastopol Geese. This past October, Pepper lost the use of her legs. We don't know how it happened, but it has changed the course of our farm.

For Dawn, she has slept on the floor each night since October to protect Pepper. She has bathed and dried her, cleaned up her bathroom breaks, and made a hammock swing from a towel so Pepper does not have to lie on her legs all day.

Pepper rides in Dawnโ€™s front seat in a bin that is seat belted in. Everywhere she goes, folks are mesmerized by Pepperโ€™s personality and beautyโ€”if you see them out, please stop and say hi.

What has Dawn found out about Pepperโ€™s loss of leg use? Pepperโ€™s legs are paralyzed. It is believed that she has experienced trauma of the head, neck, chest, and or spinal cord area. We are thinking that she possibly fell off one of our stone walls that are 4+ feet high. These geese donโ€™t fly; they fall hard.

Dawn has been researching site after site and has found acupuncture and massage therapists to help. Everything is literally and metaphorically on the table.

One thing is for sure, she doesnโ€™t quit on our pets or anyone for that matter. โค๏ธ

The costs do add up. She has not talked about the expenses as we cannot put a price tag on the wellbeing and health of God's angel. Many people are blown away that we donโ€™t just eat our feathered friends or put them down ourselves when they get injured or ill. That is not our farm.

Maybe Pepper will need a fan base with financial support. The only real way we can determine the direction for her healing is an MRI, but this is a cost that we are not ready for.

We just donโ€™t know yet what will happen. What we do know is simple: Dawn is our spiritual animal advisor. Her example has been the reason our two kids have such honest hearts for people and animals in need of help.

As my father said, โ€œDawn is the most loving, compassionate person I have ever seen with animals. It is honest and real. She is such a great example for your kids.โ€

Yes, Dawn is a true blessing and has been endowed by the good Lord to love all animals.

Have you met my wife? I am blessed by such a beautiful person with such an honest heart.

๐“๐‘๐”๐„ โค๏ธ

Dawn told me that I have awakened a sleeping giant.

Just before Pepper lost the use of her legs, the geese paired off in love. Unfortunately, Olie was left alone and showed obvious signs of a broken heart. One afternoon I showed Olie that his girl was safe. What I didn't plan for was his memory and the depth of his instincts. Love is powerful.

Now that Olie knows where his lady rests, he will walk a mile to get to herโ€”or wait at the back door till he is let in. We can't help but want them to be together, but t

heir time together must be limited to short visit. Perhaps by Spring, healing will bring the lovers back together for a romantic getaway that might bring our farm more little friends.

๐€๐‹๐‹ ๐€๐๐Ž๐€๐‘๐ƒ! ๐†๐Ž๐Ž๐’๐„ ๐‚๐€๐๐Ž๐Ž๐’๐„ ๐ƒ๐„๐๐€๐‘๐“๐ˆ๐๐†

I have had this idea bouncing around in my head: build a โ€œGoose Cabooseโ€ for Pepper so that she can roll around and be in spaces that her people travel through. No one wants to feel left behind. Well, I finished the first sketch that night.

A while back, I helped a good friend of mine demolish a kitchen in one of his rentals. Because I donโ€™t like to see wood wasted, I took some home. After running the wood through my planer, cutting, and sanding, the wood was good as new and ready for its new purpose.

The construction was intentional. I made side holes and front access so that we could move her legs around and offer physical therapy. I added a rear entry . . . well, for quick cleanup. In addition, I added handles for easy carry. The top separates from the lower platform and wheels. I also made a swoosh in the front as Dawn requested so that Little Pepper could extend her head and neck to lay down without hitting the front edge. Then, I cut custom pads to meet her resting needs inside the Goose Caboose.

The motion is going to take some getting used to, but it offers her and us some new freedoms to move about. This is what #farmlife at the Kiki and Co. Family Farmhouse has come to. Who would have thought three years ago that urban farming would be our destiny?

These are the moments that I seize to teach and to create a lifetime of memories with my son, Justus.

Pepper will continue to have more appointments so we're praying for healing. Having not walked in over four months, it has become very obvious that she suffers muscle loss in her body, especially in her legs.

๐‘จ ๐‘ช๐‘ฏ๐‘น๐‘ฐ๐‘บ๐‘ป๐‘ด๐‘จ๐‘บ ๐‘ด๐‘ฐ๐‘น๐‘จ๐‘ช๐‘ณ๐‘ฌ ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป

Do you believe in the spirit of Christmas?

Do you believe in miracles? Let me speak to you straight from all that I find sacred and holy: I BELIEVE. As you continue to read, please believe.

So, for months, my life . . . our family has been tested. It is true that I ran about town in my best Mr. Christmas suits during December. From one smile to the next and one new conversation after another, I have loved every minute of it. It was a true Christmas gift for me.

Unfortunately, the sun in our familyโ€™s universe felt like it was setting. Pepper has been our everything for 24/7. It has been many weeks since she took her last free step. We have prayed and our friends have prayed. Yet, I see the weight taken off Peppers legs and placed upon our hearts. We have cared for, loved on, and prayed for a way to get Pepper back to normal.

No one in our family has felt the loss of Pepperโ€™s legs like my wife. For almost five months, she has not had a good nightโ€™s sleep. Yes, I have asked to switch her spots, but she wants to make sure that Pepper gets the attention she needs.

Well, being that we havenโ€™t had a new direction, I took to the garage again to build a Goose Hammock. Like the Goose Caboose, which I made a few months ago to help move Pepper around, its design is to help us with Pepperโ€™s needs while adding a therapy device for continued foot & leg movement. If you look closely at the pictures, you will see that Pepper is a Zags fan! Go Zags!

As we moved through the Christmas holidays, we prayed for a miracle to save our precious Pepper. I know that many have said to me and more have thought it, but yes, we have checked into what is needed in letting Pepper go with one final visit to the vet. The thought just cripples more than her movement . . . our hearts.

This past Christmas Eve, we prayed and believed in a miracleโ€”still do.

๐€๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐๐ฎ๐ข๐ž๐ญ ๐จ๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐–๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ๐ง ๐…๐ซ๐จ๐ง๐ญ

One night as I was working at my computer, the house got oddly quiet all the sudden. I got up to investigate the stillness in a house that normally is in continual motion. It was as if the moon was absent from its duties and the oceans became still.

When I went into our bedroom, I saw the reason for my concern. Justus and Pepper were asleep on the floor.

Of course, Iโ€™m still not sure who is the moon and who is the ocean with these two. I suppose that sometimes the moon needs to sleep, too. As family, we take turns taking little goose-naps with Pepper extending her sweetness out across a part of our bodies.

๐€ ๐’๐ฉ๐ข๐ซ๐ข๐ญ๐ฎ๐š๐ฅ ๐†๐ข๐Ÿ๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐–๐ก๐จ๐ฅ๐ž ๐…๐š๐ฆ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฒ

The past four months have been difficult that is for sure, but the gifts that our kids have learned, lived, and shared are priceless in navigating life. From helping build contraptions, to cleaning up messes, to spending hours watching her and sacrificing play time, our kids have spiritually grown.

Farm life offers youth a view of life, survival, and overcoming in a way that many don't experience. We are an urban farm not a large farm or ranch, so size doesn't matter in these moments. Yes, these gifts can be created and shared in the smallest farms, offering memories for a lifetime.

For example, this past Thanksgiving, we traveled North over an hour to spend the holiday with Dawn's parents at the family property in Colville. We could not leave Pepper with the rest of our feathered friends, so we loaded her up and headed out.

With a bow tied just right bye Dawn's crafty hands, Pepper was the only goose in America that sat at the table for Thanksgiving Dinner rather than on the table for dinner.

๐๐ž๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ'๐ฌ ๐‰๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ง๐ž๐ฒ ๐‚๐จ๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐ฎ๐ž๐ฌ

Please pray for healing and believe in miracles. We hope that you stay with us on Pepper's journey. If it is an MRI that we need, we may reach out for help from the animal lovers in the world. There is no doubt that Little Pepper is a spiritual gift.

Every day since Pepper's last step, Dawn sits with Pepper in her lap or places her in the Goose Caboose to offer a level of physical therapy in hopes that one day when she is able to walk again that her feet and legs are ready.

A List of Growth Since the Accident

Pray for Little Pepper and for Dawn's resiliency during these times. Hope is our strength.


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