We don’t know for sure where the concept of counting sheep to induce sleeping comes from. However, for some reason we all seem to have heard about this technique. In fact, there have been studies done at Oxford University that suggest counting sheep does not promote quicker sleep.
“Counting Sheep” is a collection of sheep photographs that were taken at the Piedmont Farm Animal Refuge in Pittsboro, North Carolina. I am always grateful to have the opportunity to visit with the refuge residents. I am an avid supporter of the Refuge. They provide shelter to farm animals in need, and educate the community of the perils of factory farming.
There are a variety of farm animals at the shelter, each having it’s own sad story. You can read more about the animals, and the Refuge at it's website. http://piedmontrefuge.org
After spending time with each of the different groups of animals I can report with certainty the following observations.
Goats are party animals, curious, happy, and fun loving. I can “hear” them say “hey lady look at me take my picture” Similar to the goats, chickens are social, and like affection. Turkeys are ethereal. When they move they almost appear to float. Turkeys have a very grounding presence. Sheep are stoic and are also very grounded. They appear to be great contemplators.
One common thread is that all the animals love and feel. There are several mothers with their babies at the shelter. Their stories are so touching. In every case the mother put her life in harms way and suffered to protect her baby/babies. Then, there is Xavier the duck, who has taken on caring for two special needs chickens, Butterscotch and Lauren. I have included a photograph of this trio.
I hope you enjoy the photographs. The photograph of “Bo” sheep is a special limited edition and is available here http://piedmontrefuge.org/become-sanctuary-sustainer
Counting sheep may not necessarily help you go to sleep faster. But, counting the sheep at the Piedmont Animal Refuge sure gives my heart a good feeling. Knowing that there is a place filled with such love and compassion for all beings makes me rest a bit easier.