CLEMENTINE VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT FOR MARCH
For the month of March our spotlight is on a remarkable and inspirational woman, Vicki Engelman, who began volunteering at the ranch in January of 2020.
Vicki not only volunteers for Clementine Ranch she also volunteers for Rocky Mountain Great Dane Rescue, transporting Great Danes that are available for adoption seeking their forever homes. She has fostered over seventy cats/kittens and puppies for Best Friends and Salt Lake County Animal Shelter and she used to volunteer at the Kitten Nursery at Best Friends. When she stopped volunteering at the Kitten Nursery she began seeking out another opportunity and fortunately for us she found her way to the ranch. Vicki hopes to someday have some farm animals of her own when she retires, while volunteering at the ranch she is learning some skills that will be useful to her later.
When Vicki came to us she had no real experience working with farm animals. She had visited relatives in Iowa when she was a child who had a farm. She enjoyed petting the animals, playing with them and being in their company. She was drawn to animals and found herself helping a friend’s father who was a Forest Ranger care for orphaned or injured wild animals he brought home.
For Vicki the best part of volunteering at the ranch is being one of the people who feeds the animals. She loves feeding them breakfast because of the excited greetings she gets from them. As an animal caregiver Vicki finds it very rewarding getting to know each of the animals and their individual personalities. Vicki does an amazing job on Saturday mornings when she is at the ranch; she feeds many of the animals. She has learned so much in the year and two months she has been with us. She has come a long way from where she started, dumping and refilling the waters for some of the animals. We are so fortunate to have her and her energy.
Her favorite animals at the ranch are the emus. She says, “They make the coolest drum sounds and are like dinosaurs.” With patience and gentleness Vicki has earned the trust of these shy animals, they will crowd around her for food and attention.
We are all human right? We all have those moments that leave us feeling a little embarrassed. When we asked Vicki what her most embarrassing moment has been at the ranch, she said it happened to be the very first day she came to the ranch to volunteer. Farm work is not easy by any means and it takes a lot of energy and physical stamina. Well, Vicki did not eat breakfast that morning she came out to train at the ranch. Part way through the morning training, Vicki got very light headed and dizzy letting the trainers know she needed to sit down. She thought to herself, “These trainers are probably thinking this volunteer is not going to last.” But she is still with us and has learned to eat breakfast before she arrives in the morning.
If you ever want to surprise Vicki with her favorite food, it’s anything chocolate!!!!
Vicki is a true outdoors woman; she enjoys wilderness camping, wildlife, safaris in Africa and is looking forward to a trip to the Galapagos Islands when traveling opens up again. She also has a more quite side; enjoys reading and audio books. Vicki looks forward to retiring and developing her property in Montana where she can care for her own farm animals.