Stories from high five ranch
It truly was a beautiful, warm Fall morning with a simple breeze when we said goodbye. We made an agreement that if I felt you were suffering, I would make the call. As soon as I saw you that morning, it was time. The part about being human I dislike the most is having to make such a painful decision. My selfish ego always goes to: I wanted more time with you, I wanted you to feel better, I wanted you to stay, I wanted to fix you. Sadly, that is not how this all works, is it.
You came to be with Moon, Jax, Banjo, and I because we were looking at mini’s as a friend for Jax at Terolyn Horse Rescue, who had three super cute ones that mom and I went to check out. As we were leaving, I thought I would just scan to see who was in the pastures. As my eyes went from left to right…they bounced back to the center pasture, I pointed and asked Teri who you were. That's Ralphie, she said. She told me because you had Cushings and some laminitis issues, it was difficult to adopt you out. Your heart called to me that day and I knew you had to be here with us. Teri was so kind to let us foster you and brought you right over.
The pasture has a name…ONCE IN A BLU MOON. For the Love of Aria took in a horse named Blu, who had been neglected and had horrific laminitis issues. He, too, went to join the Spirit Herd. Because of his and Moon’s spirit and lifeforce to help those living and beyond, this pasture is dedicated in their honor. You are now a member of those who left before you and were waiting to bring you in with open hearts.
As broken-hearted as I am, there is great peace knowing the last months of your life were lived just being a horse. No expectations…. just love. For me and what I have learned from others around me, working with and living with horses…it is all about honoring and giving the horse a voice. And I hope/sense this was accomplished in your short time here. Whatever may have been resentful in your past was set free, allowing you to just be.
There was a connection we had that is hard to explain. You were humble, beautiful inside and out and so brave, even though you didn’t think you were. I truly wish you could have seen what I and everyone else saw. And maybe that was your lesson to teach me, too.
You are free my love…run.
The light of my life, my earth angel. Abandoned in a cardboard box at a school in Texas, she found her way to live with my Mom. Mom was looking for a dog, since her dog, Heidi, had passed away a year before. Her veterinarian called and said they found a dog abandoned at a school; would she be interested[?]. Mom decided to take the young boy who lived across the street to go see her. As Mom puts it, she didn’t fall in love and felt she had to take YODA because she didn’t want to disappoint her young neighbor. Not to mention, the boy from across the street had already named her YODA – from Star Wars. Years later he would get a dog and name him Luke Skywalker.
That same year, Mom called me in LA to say she needed help. Didn’t really say why…just that she needed me. Dropped all I was doing, packed up my car and drove to Austin. When she told me about YODA I vowed I would not like her because the death of Heidi was so hard…I just couldn’t put love toward another dog, it hurt too much.
As soon as I met her, I was in deep love. She melted my hardened heart and I was in for the long run. And she bonded to me too. The reason mom wanted me with her, she wanted to downsize and sell her home for something smaller.
We found her a new small home and moved everything in. Once she was settled and good to go, it was time to move back to Los Angeles. As I was loading the car, Mom came in and asked if I was going to take YODA back to LA with me. I said I hadn’t planned on it [when deep in my heart, I really wanted to] …apparently, she did…YODA had jumped up into the driver seat and was ready to go to LA.
Mom was happy to let me have her…and so the adventures would begin. [A couple months later, mom would get a new dog…a schnauzer named Barney]
YODA went with me everywhere, even to work. She would travel to the other offices and visit my co-workers and was often hard to find. She was in heaven. When I had to leave that job, the person taking over bought a toy Chihuahua and placed it in the inner window facing the offices so she wouldn’t be missed.
Yoda is a natural healer. She greets everyone happily and gives her loving energy freely. It was especially inspiring to see how she reacted to homeless people in LA. Their faces would light up when they saw her...and she returned the respect with big tail wags and a non-judgement spirit. Once we were sitting at a stop light and a homeless person walked by the car door, glanced at Yoda and kept on walking. Yoda ran up to the window, stuck her head out and watched him walk away. I watched him in the rear-view mirror and saw once he passed the back of my car, he stopped, turned, pointed to his eyes, then pointed at Yoda and made the heart symbol with his hands…as if to say, I see your heart. It was such a beautiful sincere moment I often recall when I need my own heart re-boot.
Flash forward to now, Yoda is [I think] 13ish years old. Her hearing is gone and the clouds are beginning to appear in her eyes. She is a bit slower and needs more attention when jumping up/off chairs, steps, and couches. Nonetheless, she is living her best life as a ranch dog chasing the barn cats, barking at horses and donkey’s keeping them in line. She loves living here and still keeps up on our mile long morning country road walks. She is brave, courageous, smart, and sweet…I want to be her when I grow up.
The love I have for her is beyond measure, she is a brilliant role model and a wonderful teacher. Her attitude is to be happy, no matter what is going on around her. Except if her brother takes her treat, then the gloves are off. She has saved my soul on more occasions I care to admit. When “they” say…your dog is your mirror…I am happy to have her reflection.
Every day is a blessing with this little being…I cherish all I can get with her. She was definitely meant to be with me, and I am grateful everyday for all she has given me. There are some who don't believe animals have souls, I am not one of them. It has been my experience each animal has a soul and a purpose - and if you are open enough to see...you might have one of the best experiences of your life.
A New Adventure Awaits
Many times I have been told I should write a book because of my colorful adventures in life. Considering I have the focus of a squirrel...and gold metaled in procrastination...it is difficult for me to sit and concentrate on writing a book. What is the next best thing...write a Blog.
A little about me...I've transitioned into another chapter in my life. My mom is turning 88 in November  and is at a point in her life where she is ready to be cared for. She has been a caregiver the majority of her adult life...my brother had brain damage from a car accident in 1979, my father died in 1985 and she had to care for his parents as they aged. She is ready to have someone else do the "taking care of" and since I am so fun to be around, time for me to step in and step up. And I am happy to do so. We have been living together since 2016.
Mom and I were both born and raised in Colorado...I moved to Los Angeles, CA in 1987 to pursue a career in comedy and acting and she moved to Austin, TX in 1989 for warmer weather. To accomplish the role of "taker carer" there were a couple options. #1, Mom could move to CA and live with me. However, at the time I was in a very dysfunctional relationship and there would have been no way I would have brought her in to that scene. #2, I could move to TX...no way. #3, we could both move back to Colorado where, if needed, I would have relatives to help me.
In 2016, I moved away from LA, sold my Mom's home in TX, loaded up the car with two dogs and we all moved to a nice home in Parker, CO. I am not a person who can sit idle...I need to have something to do or I will get myself into trouble. Since I needed to take mom to doctor appointments and such, working a 9-5 job was not possible, I had to find something PT to occupy my time and brain. I found an advertisement for a Ranch Hand at an animal rescue near where we were living and somehow convinced them to hire me, with no experience what so ever. I loved it!! And was bitten by the "must have a ranch with animals" bug...little did I know 6 years later I would own a ranch of my own.
For several years I worked for non-profits and for profit organizations specializing in rescue, rehab, and everyday happenings of horse, acreage, and animal maintenance. As time goes by, I will dive into more of these organizations and stories.
In 2020 Mom and I sold the house in Parker and moved to a very cozy 5 acre horse property. Yes...I moved my 87 year old mother to a [large for us] piece of land with a home that was build in the 50's...why not...life is short, right? HA! Almost everyday you will hear me mumble..."move out to the country, they said...it will be fun, they said". And some days...I want to strangle "THEY". Having large animals and living on land is not for the faint of heart, it is very hard work. Nonetheless, I love it and wouldn't have it any other way.
Ok...to bring you up-to-date...we currently have two horses, two donkeys, two cats, and two dogs. Our own little Noah's Art starter kit. And of course I will showcase them all with their own story.
And so it begins...stories from High Five Ranch and Once In a Blue Moon Pasture. I hope you enjoy. Thank you for reading.
The past 6 years has been a time of major renovation for Trish Lay. In taking a break from the corporate scene, speaking, and coaching…Trish has been transitioning into a whole new world of challenging expectations, rewards beyond measure, and a unique form of healing she hopes to share with others.