Where Magic Lives

There is a road I once traveled and in my mind’s eye, I still do. A hollowed-out canopy of live oak and cypress, root-rutted, snug enough for a small pickup and treacherous for low-slung vehicles. It has grabbed a few mufflers and grassed many a chassis.

It’s not a particularly easy path because not all are. It is a portal, of sorts. And it leads to a kind of magic few will ever find but once known never forget.

It is a place of second chances, this farm, where a family offers what they have to animals in need, be it medical, emotional, or both. And no one is turned away for being too old. A sanctuary where a second chance is a clean slate, a new life that leaves behind the pain of the past.

Here home is what you make it, full of the possibilities of a second chance. I’ve never known one of these animals not to take full advantage of what they receive. They are grateful for every second of life for finally, they know love. They have found family.

Whenever I think about what the world could be, I remember where magic lives. Second Chance Farms. It’s not Disney. It’s everyday life, more pain and death than most of us will ever know but it is life that continues. Courage persists.

It comes in all sizes, shapes, years, and species, and here, it is given sanctuary. Sometimes, courage comes calling as a child.

Phoebe Louise Dooley knew the sanctuary as her friend Emily’s home. True animal lovers those two. The girls did not have long as friends but as children do, they made the most of their magic.

Six-year-old Phoebe died of pediatric brain cancer. She leaves a lifetime of courage, and it lives deep in the heart of the sanctuary. Phoebe knew that not everyone gets a second chance, but she believed in life, regardless.

Perhaps she sensed that a second chance is a lifelong commitment, no matter the emotional or medical needs, no matter how long or short the life. No wonder she felt so at home on the farm.

Well, that and the love of her friend, Emily (and Brandon and Annabelle, too!).

The legacy of Phoebe lives on at the sanctuary, one life at a time, in Phoebe’s Fosters. And it begins with Bruno, who comes with considerable  “medical baggage,” and like most hounds, he is as kind as he is stubborn. He is a perfect candidate for a second chance. He has Phoebe’s kind of courage.

She fought so others would have a second chance. Who knows how many animals will find sanctuary because Phoebe lived.

I hope you visit Phoebe Louise Dooley  and  Second Chance Farm for more profiles in courage. Oh, and September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month (hence, Bruno’s gold ribbon). 🙂


Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

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