1431 Foulk Rd, Wilmington, DE 19803

Open Tue-Fri 9-6, Sat 9-5

Saying goodbye

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This week we said goodbye to Sunny, our pony.

At 32 years old, he’s been a mainstay at the farm for a long, long time. Longer than my sister has been alive!

And being 32, we knew his time with us was short, but that knowledge doesn’t stop the tears.

Like all horses, Sunny was a bit of weirdo. A sweetheart. But a weirdo.

Sunny saved allllll his spooking for the adults. Tree branch with one less leaf than yesterday on it? Spook. Plastic bag blowing in the wind 2 miles away that is completely out of sight and hearing? Spook. You wore a T-shirt today when you also wore a T-shirt yesterday? Spook.

Tractors were not scary though. Nor the inside of the barn where he'd sometimes try to sneak in for a snack.

But stick a kid next to Sunny, and he was a rock. An unspookable rock. He was perfect for kids who hadn’t been around horses before because he completely forgave any faux pax as they learned. They could walk behind him, throw things, snag a tangle in his mane – we’ve even had toddlers walk under him! – and Sunny wouldn’t bat a lash or shift a foot. Sunny would even forgo swatting at flies with his tail if a kid would be in the line of fire. (And no, he wasn’t forced into proximity with the kids; he actively sought them out).

Grass tastes better from a toddler
Sunny's last kid experience

To add extra tears to the eyes, my dog took Sunny’s death very, very hard. Sunny has always existed for her; she’s spent her entire life nosing her way into his business (maybe that’s where she got her grass-eating habit from…). And just like with kids, Sunny was a perfect gentleman with our dogs.

And then Wednesday he was no more.

After her nudges and licks failed to get Sunny back up, Lucy stood watch over him. And even after he was picked up, we spent many hours going in and out of the field looking for Sunny. While she’s better today, she still stops and looks (and sniffs) first thing in the morning and last thing at night. She’s not alone in that. I still automatically look for him each time I leave the barn.

As my sister aptly put it, dogs are more perceptive than we think. And as Ruth said, it’s an excellent reminder to express your grief as you work through it.

We will miss Sunny. But I’m sure he was met by a slew of friends on the other side of the rainbow bridge.

Willow, especially, will be happy to be reunited with Sunny

(non-exhaustive pictures of friends to meet Sunny are Willow the miniature horse, Buster the pig, Jade the Doberman, Casey the gray and white cat, Mimi the tortoiseshell cat, Chelsey the mutt, D’Angela the duck, and Chip the goat.)

Some seasonal inspiration:

Open Tue-Fri 9-6, Sat 9-5. 

Closed Sunday & Monday.

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About Highland Orchards

Completely surrounded by suburbia, our small farm has been growing beyond expectations since 1832, just north of Wilmington, Delaware.

Growing a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and flowers, Highland Orchards provides true “farm fresh” for the community all year. If you want to shake the hand of the farmer who grows for you, here is the farm! With plants in the ground or under cover in tunnels, we grow for every season. A family farm, we have three different generations involved in running the farm right now.

Come see us to eat fresh, eat local, and eat well!