What the Animals Taught Me is the story of how a woman came upon farm animals that needed rescuing and what she learned from them as they gradually changed her home in Sonoma County, California, into an animal sanctuary.
Wishing to escape the urban rat race, freelance writer and editor Stephanie Marohn moved to rural Northern California in 1993. In return for reduced rent, she fed and cared for two horses. Life was sweet.
Then more farm animals started to appear: a miniature white horse, a donkey, and sheep, followed by deer and other wildlife. Each needed sanctuary from abuse, physical injury, or neglect, and Marohn took them in, gradually turning her ten-acre spread into an animal sanctuary.
With each new arrival, Marohn had to learn how to care for it, to help it to overcome trauma, and to transition back to life with other animals—and to trust people again. With each successful rescue and rehabilitation, Marohn learned lessons not only about animal care but also about love, compassion, patience, trust, and so many of the qualities we often try to cultivate in ourselves.
She shares what she learned from the sheep she rescued from an animal collector and the abused donkey she helped nurse back to health. She also tells about the hilarious response from the guests at her Thanksgiving dinner when they saw wild turkeys come floating down "like paratroopers" to land next to the miniature horse that had walked right up to the patio window.
Marohn's delightful memoir illuminates how the animals have much to teach us and how they helped her to reconnect with the natural world and to see and embrace others as they truly are.