Monday, September 27, 2010

Hugs make it all better!

OMG, who would have ever thought I can come close to loosing it on the Donkey Farm? But yesterday I was about as close to a nervous break down as I have ever been to one. For me, being  a very health and safety conscious person in the things I do, whether at work in the Community Centre or volunteering at the DSC, it was almost too much for me to handle yesterday and even though I was just absolutely flabbergasted by the ignorance of some people I can keep my cool and say what I need to say in good customer service persona, but yesterday it took about all that I had in me not to freak out on people. The safety rules implemented at the DSC are for protection of the visitors and animals, why should they be up for discussions to begin with. Honestly yesterday I couldn't wait for the day to be over, at least the open hours, because there was just one accident waiting to happen after another. Where did these people come from? Who acts like that on an outing? It would be easier if I could just sum it up to parents not acting responsible for their children, but it wasn't only that, it was grown people too, or maybe if I say men, that would explain probably a few things even better! I don't think people realize how much they can get hurt by the things they do around the animals, and who will they blame when something happens? The animals or the place they are at, but the truth's people who cause accidents, not the place nor the animal. It just boggles my mind, after all the most important instructions they get before they enter, that people disregard them so profoundly and do the things they do. Some of the instructions that are given to all first time visitors are things about how to approach a donkey, what to watch out for when around them and to definitely never ever stand or walk behind a donkey, I know I always explain that this is especially important inside the barn and around the feeders. Then there are more kid specific things to consider, like no yelling, no running, no climbing on fences and equipment, no opening any gates etc. I also tell parents that they should at all times know where their child is. ( Children under 8 are not allowed to enter the barn yard without grown up with them either). Well yesterday we had a group of parents, that apparently knew each other and met at the DSC for a fun outing, while the parents were chit chatting half way down the lane way, the four children, the oldest maybe 7, were running around in the barn yard, in the barn, playing hide and seek and tag with each other around the donkeys. I told them once, I told them again five seconds later, and I told them again a third time, looking at me like I had three heads  and I finally asked where their parents where, the answer, oh somewhere up I went to the parents, and all I got was "oh they are just having fun"...wonder how much fun they will have if the donkey they are hiding behind is kicking them out of their way? We had kids hanging on to the donkeys behind running after them, we had kids standing  within a foot of the donkeys behind around the feeder, with the donkey's foot stomping and tail wagging....and as I tried to get one kid out of the way I was just barely missed by Orly's hind leg as she was kicking out because we were so close. So we do put ourselves in harms way at times to save some kid that can't be properly supervised by it's parents. But I think the icing on the cake was an older gentleman, and I will still call him that, someone I had seen the day before at the Luncheon, who came back with his wife and some friends for a visit. He was standing within a foot of three donkeys' butts by the feeder, their tails going ninety and I just grabbed him by the arm, pulled him through the "pee spot" away from the donkeys and explained to him nicely that he is just way to close to the donkeys' behinds and that he was at risk of getting kicked, he looked at me and said 'well maybe I want to get kicked' which I just replied too 'trust me you don't want that'  and he walked up to the next donkey, which was Panne, and stood right behind him again, all of a sudden I saw Helia darting for the man to pull him out of harm's way and she gave him the exact same explanation as I did, she didn't know that I had just done the same to him less than a minute before. Honestly I had to walk away, because really you can't fix stupid. I really wonder if people just don't believe us when we tell them, but I guess those are the first people too, who would sue the shit out of the DSC if something would happen. Go figure!  By then my nerves were really getting bad, sometimes I just have a hard time to deal with such profound ignorance, especially if I know that people have been told. Then there was the saviour of the day....a surprise visit from Cate lol, and with a hug and a "how is your day going?" it was nice to see her again. I spent the rest of the afternoon at the fence by the dark side, with my sweet Buffy, she was really affectionate and huggy. Her head nestled nicely into my arms and she gave me a few donkey hugs, so what could be better than that and it made everything worth while. Helia, Sheri and I went to visit the memorial hill and Helia showed us Danny's stone....of course it said" Danny- the sweetest of them all" and how true that was. We all still miss him so much. Of course we also talked about Gypsy and the new donkey we will be getting today, it was confiscated by the SPCA, so it means really nothing good, it will either be an abused or neglected animal, so we will see what the story is and that means we are at full capacity right now, with still more donkeys on the waiting list, but they are in safe places already, but not a permanent home.


Sharon said...

You are right, you can't fix stupid. I wonder if people don't pay attention to you gals, because you're women? Think they would listen to a big, burly guy? I would really hate to see DSC sued or closed because of an idiot that simply won't listen.

Louise said...

I'm sorry, I know it can be frustrating. I think that you handled it very well. The problem is that you then have to internalize your anger and frustration, and that does no good to you. Hah, maybe you should tie a red ribbon on the donkey's tails, like you do with a riding horse who is a kicker.

Jodie said...

It's people like that who shouldn't be allowed to be around animals. Beyond infuriating!

Verde Farm said...

Some people just don't get it...and your right, they would be the first to get a lawyer and cry negligence. Do you all have visitors sign a waiver? They do things like that when you go parasailing or ride horses and it pretty much says, if you get hurt, it's on you. I don't know how those things hold up but it may be a good thing to do. If they are dumb enough to get kicked, it would be so nice to say "I told you so."
Amy at Verde Farm

Fantastic Homeschool Family said...

You can't fix stupid. And what bothers me the most, being a parent as well, is that these kids need their parents to show them the rules. And you can bet your donkey that those parents would have been the first to blame DSC if something happened, totally disregarding the fact they were told they needed to be supervised. I wonder what those kids will be like when they grow up.
I'm sorry you had such a stressful day :(

Tina said...

Sharon- yup stupid is just not fixable. Maybe I should just stop being Mrs. Niceguy to such ignorant people.
Louise- wow we would have 58 donkeys with red ribbons tied to their behinds lol, Not sure if they will get the hint though lol.
Jodie- you are so right on that one. Wonder how some people even make it that far in life.
Amy- the waiver thing has been brought up in the beginning of the season as we had a few incidents, I am sure I will bring it back up when we have our summary of summer in a few weeks. I think it's time. And omg I so would love to say "i told you so".
Marina- you are so right, I have three kids myself and well it sure wouldn't have crossed my mind to let my kids act like that on an outing, we would have been in the car homewards bound in no time. I mean you can't blame the kids, it's the irresponsible parents and you see them every where. And yes how will these kids be when they grow up? Good question. Well being around the donkeys makes it all worth while.
Nice to see you here on my blog, thanks for visiting.