All you need is, What you want is, All you need is love!

On Saturday September 17th 2011 I had the wonderful opportunity to hug a cow and cross Number 10 off of my 26 List.  My friend Melody had volunteered at The Maple Farm Sanctuary in Mendon, MA and was kind enough to share this beautiful place with me. Back in March when I created the 26 List I thought that it would be an amazing experience to hug a cow so I threw it on the list.  The truth is, I had no idea how amazing and fulfilling the entire experience would be for me.

Melody and I worked together about a year ago and I knew that she had volunteered at a local farm so I contacted her about it.  We met at the Maple Farm Sanctuary on Saturday morning and spent the entire day there.  We helped clean, make new beds, chopped fruit and then spent the rest of the day visiting the many animals on the farm, giving them love and treats.  I met many goats, llamas, pigs, cows, chickens, geese, sheep and even a couple of seagulls! The sanctuary provides lifelong homes for abused, abandoned and unwanted farmed animals so there are a whole bunch of different animals there that are all grateful to be in a safe place.  Just being there and seeing all of these animals was such a wonderful experience.  I never realized how affectionate these animals truly are until I visited this sanctuary.  

The cow that I got to hug is named Johnny Cakes and after multiple attempts at getting a good hug he finally let me and sort of hugged me back!  It was wonderful and thanks to Melody's fantastic photography skills I have a beautiful photo that captured the moment.  Here are a couple more photos from my day at the farm...

I got to bottle feed a baby calf!  His name is Griffin and he was super hungry!! 

This is Beau and as you can see he is kind of a love bug!  I wasn't paying enough attention to him so he decided to stand right in the middle of the pile I was attempting to clean sheep!

This is one of my favorite pictures from the day!  We were outside with the goats and it would appear to be from this photo that I was having a conversation with the one on the left!  Too funny!!

Melody and Pidge - I love this picture and I love that Pidge got so cozy in Melody's arms!

This is Max....he is GINORMOUS!  I have never met a cow as large as Max so I was a bit scared at first but after a minute or two I realized he is a love bug.  While I did not attempt to hug him I did give him a bunch of treats!

Melody & Bentley - He is the cutest little goat and as you can see from this picture he loves attention - look at these two!!!

I laugh every time I look at this picture.  I was trying to feed Lucky the pony some grapes and Chocolate Milk the goat jumped into the picture out of nowhere!  I must say, Chocolate Milk is very photogenic! 

Crossing number 10 off of my list ended up being an amazing experience that I will never forget.  Thank you Melody for bringing me to The Maple Farm Sanctuary.  I plan to go back there many times in the future to volunteer!  If you are interested in volunteering at the sanctuary or just want more information you can visit their website at

You can also follow my friend Melody's blog, Little House on the Vegan Prairie at  Melody is a vegan and her blog has a bunch of delicious recipes - I got to try the Tempeh Tuna Salad and the Peanut butter banana chocolate chip cookies which were both DELISH! 

Lots of Love,