Meet Frieda, One of Our Customers

I want to introduce you to one of our customers. We never share our customer information, we never sell, give, share or even give peeks at who our customers are, that is an important part of our customer service. I don't like it when a company sells my name and contact information, and so we have always been mindful of the trust our customers place in us. But this one time I'm going to make an exception and give you details about one of our customers. This is Freida, a retired circus elephant.

Frieda, in her retirement home at the Elephant Sanctuary.
Calling Frieda "retired" sounds so sweet, doesn't it? In reality, Frieda was rescued. One of the problems circus elephants suffer from, is having to stand for long periods of time between shows, often in wet, unhealthy conditions, without normal exercise. Over time many elephants develop foot problems, including nail fungus and a condition similar to athlete's foot in humans. If not treated, or conditions aren't changed, the nail fungus causes very serious deterioration of the toe-bones of the foot. The deterioration, as you can well imagine, causes pain and can become infected to the point the elephant can no longer walk.

When we go to the circus, or even to a zoo, most of us don't think about what happens to the elephants when they are no longer useful as a tourist attraction. When they reach old age and are no longer useful to the owner, they are often neglected, starved, abused. Elephants live a long time. In the wild, or in perfect conditions, elephants live between 60 and 70 years. But like humans, if their living conditions aren't good, they die much younger. For example, European studies have shown that elephants kept in zoos die at 17 to 19 years of age, although zoos claim to be doing a better job of caring for elephants since that study was conducted. (In contrast, elephants used in the timber industry in places like Burma/Myanmar lived to a median age of 41 years. Frieda is 44 years of age, pretty old for a circus elephant.

Frieda has nail fungus and foot problems, which is how she came to be our customer. Since my formula Nail Fungus Soak worked well on horse hoof problems and dog foot issues for some of our customers (it's meant for people's feet but we love hearing additional sucessful ways people have used it), we were delighted when the caretakers at the Elephant Sanctuary found us on the web and asked if my formula might be helpful for Frieda. She's using Nail Fungus Soak on a daily basis and we have great hope it will help Frieda.

Frieda is one of 14 residents at The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, the nation's largest natural habitat refuge for retired circus and zoo elephants. For more information about this nonprofit organization, please visit elephants.com.

Please note, this is not one of those tourist places where you can go and stare at the elephants or pet them. This is a refuge for elephants to live out their last days in dignity and peace. You can't stop for a visit because they don't accept visitors. It's run by very dedicated caretakers whose goal it is to give the rescued circus elephants a respectful, stress-free retirement. No tourists throwing beer cans, no little children screaming, no chewing gum offered as food. Just loving care by people who love the elephants. Their motto is: A natural refuge where sick, old and needy elephants can once again walk the earth in peace and dignity.

One of the elephants in Tennessee snow.

The Elephant Sanctuary depends on donations (and profits from sales of calendars, t-shirts and other items featuring their elderly elephants). You can also "buy a brick" that will pave one of the building projects. If you like elephants, or always imagined having one in your garden (don't! They eat between 300-600 pounds of food per day), you can visit their website and see all the retired residents and you can make a donation to a very worthy cause, as well. A donation is a good gift for the person who has everything, too! You can even sponsor a particular elephant if you would like. And this is fun, you can go to their Ele-cam to view what the elephants are doing right now!

I'm glad the only elephant I have in my garden is one that's only l5 inches tall and spits water into my fishpond, but I'm even more happy there is a place where abused, neglected or otherwise overlooked elephants can go to have a peaceful retirement.

Happy gardening and all the best for the Season!


Lemon Verbena Lady said...

I love your customer, Jim! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Jim Longs Garden said...

From the Sanctuary:
I looked at the blog and it’s actually quite sweet. What’s really nice is it seems that you understand what this place is about, in more ways than one. Even if it doesn’t bring in a single donation, you wrote it from an educational perspective, so I’m sure it will cause more than one person to take a moment and think about things they probably never took the time to consider.

As far as frieda- her feet are doing a lot better. The blow-outs seemed to respond very quickly to the soaks. We are continuing them daily for now, and will for at least several weeks, to try to work on any deep penetrating issues that haven’t surfaced at this point. But we’re really happy with the way things are looking at this point. cause when our elephants are happy- we’re happy.

Thank you again- it really is wonderful when we can make the girls even a little more comfortable.