A few months ago, my wife and I adopted a little dog from the West Suburban Humane Society. He’s some kind of terrier mix, maybe jack russell/west highland terrier. Maybe five years old. His name is Pineapple.
Having a dog turns out to be a lot of work. He’s afraid of storms and fireworks and needs to be held like a baby to calm down. He won’t poop in the yard so has to go on multiple walks a day. He might have an allergy so we have to diligently wash his feet when he comes in from outside. Like I said, it’s a lot of work and he’s only one fifteen pound dog.
I couldn’t imagine what it takes to live with 600 rescue animals… until I read Funny Farm.
Laurie Zaleski tells her life story from the age of five, when her parents split up and she and her siblings left with their mother to live in a run down shack on the outskirts of the Pinelands of New Jersey. Even without money or resources, Laurie’s mom, Annie couldn’t resist helping any animal in need. Soon their new home was overflowing with once-neglected animals and they were running out of room.
Annie’s dream was to build an oasis for any dogs, cats, goats, horses, pigs, chickens, cows, emus, and llamas that needed a home. An early death took her just two weeks before closing on a new farm, so her daughter Laurie, now a successful business woman, took on the responsibility and made her mom’s dream a reality. She founded the Funny Farm Rescue and Sanctuary, a place for unwanted animals and animals with special needs.
In her memoir, Laurie tells the funny and often sad stories of growing up poor with a large hearted mother. She also tells the stories of all the animals that she has come to love.
It’s an inspiration to do more good in the world, but right now, I have to take Pineapple for a walk.