A visit to Twilight, a retirement home for elderly dogs, not one dog but 30 of them is something that will remain at the back of my mind for a very long time for a variety of reasons. I took the opportunity to get my derriere off my chair and accompany Jo Morris Bingham of Your Image My Imagination on a visit to their abode on Tuesday July 8th to deliver 200 bottles of Zoflora [which they did not know about]. It was also a good opportunity to see Mike and Leeanne in their home with their vastly extended canine family.
You could feel the love and compassionate energy in and around the house. Visitors are greeted with a choral bark for a few seconds as the inquisitives make their way to check out who has passed the big door. Now two dogs can make some noise, but imagine two dozen. Normality is resumed in moments, with the dogs going about their business. Some are taking cool refuge on the tiled floor. Some are lounging in their beds, sleeping or just being. Others are sniffing the circuit, while others are clamouring for attention from their visitors.
I am bit of a squeamish person, I wince at disability, not because I am embarrassed by it, but because a part of me feels that pain. Leeanne shared later that ¾ of the brood are incomplete. Some with legs missing, some blind in both eyes, one eye. Each with their own story behind their deep soulful eyes. It would be easy to be consumed with despair, but there is no room for that at Chez Twilight. It is very clear to see that their abode is set up for the dogs comfort and not a home where the dogs have to fit in.
Over lunch we learned from Mike and Leeanne that their working days, weeks, months and years are very much to support and serve their canine charges. We don't see the twice daily feeds, we don't see the dispensing of medication, we don't see the clearing up process of their accidents, we don't see visits to the vets, we don't see the washing of bowls, beds, bedding, mats, bathing of the dogs. This information really opened my eyes as to how these two people give so much of themselves and their retired lives to caring for their canine charges, providing a safe and happy life.
What you do see is a room full of love, compassionate caring and canine characters that put smiles on faces. A pack who are carefully lead by Mike and Leeanne, whether their stay is a lengthy one or a short one. Mother Teresa believed that everyone should have someone holding their hand as they go to the other-side. No one should ever go to the other side alone. I liken Mike and Leeanne to her, making sure that the animals in their care have someone to hold their paw as they cross the rainbow bridge.
If you would like to know more about Twilight, please visit their website and/or like their Facebook page.