We’ve had numerous animals here with physical limitations or disabilities; blindness, an ill-recovered fracture resulting in a limp, and amputated limbs. At the current time, we have a dog born with only three legs named Nemo (below).

We also have a goat who injured his leg as a kid and had to have it amputated. This goat’s name is Finnegan (main photo). He’s a big beautiful Boer and he is not afraid to “grab life by the horns”. We call him Fast Finny because despite only having three and a half legs, he’s pretty darn fast!

Self esteem is defined as “confidence in one's own worth or abilities; self-respect.” It’s basically how we feel about ourselves, and it includes any judgements or opinions we have of ourselves. Growing up in our modern world, the unrealistic images of perfection and high societal expectations can wreak havoc on our self esteem and prevent us from truly loving ourselves. Cases of anorexia, bullying, self-harm and low self esteem are sadly on the rise, especially in young people.

One thing I love about animals is that they don’t let self esteem issues affect their lives. They just figure out how to get life done, and they get about doing it. I love that! They don’t spend time worrying about how others see them, or feeling sorry for themselves because they are not “perfect”. They just get on living.

One of my favorite humans to listen to is Melissa Peer. She is a wonderful therapist that helps people clear the blocks to self love; allowing us to fully live the life we are intended. She has a mantra that I adore and it goes like this: “I Am Enough”. It means that we are all enough; we are all worthy of love, and we all have value, and that our past traumas shouldn’t haunt us moving forward. This mantra can help us humans learn to accept and love ourselves which is great! And, we can look to our spirit animal, the GOAT, to see that in action. Our animals with challenges don’t waste time worrying, they know they are enough.

I’ve learned a lot from my animal family, and especially from Finnegan. He doesn’t let his challenge slow him down, he just gets in there and runs like heck and gets things done. He loves his life, and he’s happy with what he has. And through our visitor program, our animal therapy, and our kids camp, he’s helping others find that joy too — including me.

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