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FARM ROUNDUP 28 NOVEMBER 2021 - Tribute to Coco

Best of friends, Chris and Eli

At CaenhillCC there are so many animals who have come and gone. They have come to us in need of a new home, good care and the chance to live a stress free life and Chris works hard with Caroline, Claire, Helie and some amazing volunteers to deliver that. Unfortunately though, there also comes a time when we need to say goodbye. Thankfully not all farewells are sad, some leave us to find new forever homes with families, some go on to support new projects or other farms, but sadly there are some who pass away.

Some pass away due to nature, like our dear Cuthbert who, despite our best efforts and his fighting spirit, never fully recovered from a challenge to be top goose. It's rare that our animals don't get along but you can't stop nature. Some reach old age and go peacefully in their sleep like our much loved sheep Polly who started off our project. Polly spent her whole life at the farm and has seen everything develop. Then, although very rare, there are those who take us by complete surprise and suddenly pass away with little or no warning, like our international star and carrot munching donkey Coco who passed away last weekend.

Coco was very much the voice of the farm, nobody was louder when it came to getting attention and nobody was cheekier when it came to their chats with Chris. She was the face of the farm too. Coco and Eli were the first faces our visitors would see as they turned the corner on the farm track and approached our gate and her hopeful face welcomed so many of you to our live videos. Coco was (and still is) one of our most loved at the farm too, she charmed visitors and volunteers, helped our placements come out of their shell, became part of family time across the world and received so many parcels of carrots that she could probably have her own world record.

To have lost Coco has been heartbreaking, especially for Chirs and Caroline, and there are so many times that I wondered if it was all just a bad dream. So many times that I can barely believe what I am having to write, but it's true. Coco has gone and unfortunately there was nothing that Chris could do, nothing the vet called in could do, and nothing we can say to make this any easier for everyone who loved her. But, despite the broken hearts, the tears and the upset over the last week we are beyond thankful. Thankful for all of your support, messages, the flowers, the parcels, the donations, the memories shared. Thankful for being able to work through these difficult times as a team and with our volunteers and most of all, thankful for Coco and the time she did have with us.

As we continue forward with our project, we will of course be sad that Coco is no longer with us to share the adventures ahead, but we will continue. We still have the rest of our animals who need our care, our placements relying on the team, our magical farm to share, our followers to share our journey with and our wonderful donkey Eli.

The Tuesday farm team, all with lots of love for Eli

So, where do we go from here?

Well, as I said, there is Eli. He's doing so well after losing his companion thanks to Chris' efforts sitting with him despite the cold and visits from Caroline, but we'd like to do more. He might be surrounded by friends every day and there's nearly always a goat to see in his manger, but we think he deserves a donkey companion. This certainly wouldn't be a donkey to replace Coco, she's impossible to replace, just the chance of a new friendship for Eli. Hopefully a donkey who he can roll in the field with when spring arrives, munch carrots with and share his amazing new donkey shelter from Nicky with. We're on the look out already, especially as these friendships can take a while to form, we'll let you know any news as it happens.

There's also a new life on the way. We'll have lambs with us before we know it and we're keeping a close check on our sheep. We think Rodney and Del, our biggest emus, are laying eggs somewhere around the farm, it's now Chris's challenge to find out where. Our goat Alfred has been keen to create some kids of his own as well this week and being as this is CaenhillCC, I'm sure there'll be a few surprises too.

There are new projects and ongoing ones as well. We have things to build like some walls to create new areas, and of course a new donkey shelter. We have new merchandise ideas and I really can't wait until Dexter sleeps well enough to let me join in on creating ideas. Plus we have so many exciting things coming your way that we aren't quite ready to share yet.

Then there are volunteers. We've been hoping to strengthen our volunteering team following the craziness of the last few years and I'm happy to say we've been so lucky to have some great volunteers join us recently. While helping at the farm might look like a dream and can often feel like a dream, the work often needs a certain skill set. We need people who can build, with skills to work with animals, with knowledge about fencing and land management. As well as having the ability to work alone, people who are happy to work hard despite the weather and people who can help give Chris space to work and Helie time to enjoy their home.

I'll be back soon bringing you more news from the farm, there's so much still to say and so much on the way, especially as we head towards Christmas. For now though, I'll bring things to a close. Don't forget to visit our store for some unique CaenhillCC Christmas gifts, or book your Christmas shoutout before we close our form. I'll be contact those of you who have requested a Quishmas shoutout already soon. And, to everyone who has contacted us with their best wishes following the passing of Coco, thank you. We might not have been able to reply to you all just yet, but we have read your messages and we appreciate each and everyone of them.

Though, the last thank you of this week is to Coco. Thank you for the memories you've left us, the joy you spread across the world, the love you had for Chris, Caroline, Eli and our farm and most of all, thank you for being you Coco. Gone, but never forgotten. 

Until next time, take care.

Kara, Casey, Dexter and Teddy 

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