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Spending a weekend at Animal Ambulance

25 October 2012 (Written By Linda Magor)

My weekend at Animal Ambulance…

…was most probably the most rewarding thing I have ever done in my life! I know all shelters do their best to provide for all the animals wants and needs, but this was a different experience.

From the moment I spoke to Maria and she told me that her 80 dogs roam free and do not stay in kennels, it was very comforting but also a worry cause how on earth does a person handle 80 dogs all with their own personalities…it must be a mad house! And it was! I felt the feeling I feel every time I go to a shelter…all 80 dogs barking of excitement, yet it was not loud enough to overwhelm my anxiety. Then the silence broke, louder than anything I have ever heard…I was shocked to experience the silence with 80 dogs in one house so quiet and so comfortable on their own. I could feel the calmness, a calmness I have never felt in my life. Every dog picking a place on the couches or on the blankets laid out for them, a sense of happiness I did not expect. Puppies running around, playing carelessly as if it’s their own little heaven.

Then it was time to meet everyone outside and I quickly realized it’s the chicken we have to be scared of! At first I thought this was a very talented chicken doing a little side-ways dance, till it tried pecking me! And from that moment the chicken provided us with excitement and laughter every time we would come across it’s path! We NEVER left the room without a broom or a stick. The donkeys, pony and goats were so loveable and loved the cuddles. I noticed that they couldn’t wait to get into their sleeping courters, which was weird as I thought they would love to stay outside for as long as possible. But as soon as that door was open each and every one of them couldn’t wait! Where in your life can you say you have ever seen such well-behaved animals? When I looked inside it became very clear why they love being inside, cause even I wouldn’t mind sleeping in such comfort!

I met the best people in the world!!! I have so much respect for Maria, as she dedicates her life to these animals. She has been slammed with criticism, as people will always want to imagine they know better than the person actually putting the effort in…yet, she still stands strong and allow people to say what they want cause at the end of the day it’s the animals she is fighting for. It takes a strong person to stand for what they believe in and courage to face the brutality of humans. I look up to her because I know it would break me to do what she does! Katia is first of all, the BEST cook in the world! The food was amazing! She’s a wonderful girl and have such a free and happy spirit – it’s amazing to see her eyes light up when she speaks about each and every personality of every animal on the plot! Her mother (Maria) raised an angel! Then Barend…I wish we could send our other halves to him to teach them how to be a REAL gentleman! You can ask him anything at any time and is always willing to help…without complaining! They were just the most wonderful people to be around.

I paid R750 for the weekend, and yes it’s a lot of money! Was it worth it…YES! I went there thinking I’m going to help out, but I walked away with lessons learned and love in my heart that you can’t put a price tag on. No amount of money can buy the love I’ve been given, and yet it would’ve been given freely. I paid the money in a heartbeat to help out and now I feel thankful that God has given me the chance and opportunity to be able to give and help out, cause the reward was overwhelming!

I left the Sunday, not actually realizing the full extent of this blessing and got home and felt an absolute hole in my heart without the animals and people around me…I just broke down and cried! I can honestly say, this has been the biggest blessing in my life to have come across Animal Ambulance!

Thank you Maria and team, and know that I appreciate everything you do for the animals and I have a great respect for you!

Love you guys,

Linda Magor xxx