Animal loving

Talking from Experiences by Ashleigh Tremere

Photo by Ashleigh Tremere

I am definitely one of those people who feel an internal conflict when it comes to animals in “show.” In pretty much any scenario where animals are part of the exhibit, I struggle to actually enjoy myself. I once tried to go to a zoo out West and I straight-up walked out. 

I love the idea of seeing different animals up close and while I want to experience it, mostly I just feel weird, sad and uncomfortable. Clearly I have a lot of feelings, particularly about wild things in cages. We’re not going to get too much deeper into that here, but it’s been a problem ever since childhood. Yes, I was a real fun sponge to some family and friends growing up—and who are we kidding, I clearly still am. 

However, I recently went to a petting zoo and for the first time in my life, it didn’t make me feel one bit sad!

I had been hearing about this place for some time but I had hesitations, so getting there took me a while to work up to. It’s called Brudenell Miniatures, and one early November morning we found ourselves trekking down East to check it out. The wind was a bit overzealous and brisk but the sun was full-on making up for it with that golden autumn glow. 

We pulled in a few minutes before opening and were just barely the first to arrive. There was an immediate thought in the back of my head that I might cut and run, then just as quickly, I realized it was going to be different at this place. 

As the kids went barrelling down the wide pathway that leads you through enclosures, the animals started coming out to greet us. They wanted to be petted! They could have easily stayed out of reach or ignored us, like I’ve found at most other petting zoos, but nope, they wanted to check us out just as much as we did them.

The whole place is lovingly handcrafted—all the fencing, shelters and hutches are well designed and rustic. It’s really nice and for a farm, man it was clean. I spotted the owner winding his way around visiting each pen and cleaning up their dishes, giving everyone a little scratch or treat. You could tell, just by his presence, that he has a great connection with the animals 

and takes a lot of pride in their place.

We actually ended up staying way longer than intended, circling round and revisiting the over 30 different kinds of animals multiple times, giving and getting lots of love—and one light head bunt. It was an adorable and conflictless morning well spent.

Brudenell Miniatures is at 74 Brudenell Point Road and I highly recommend that you go spend some time there. I went with my kids because I have them but I don’t think that they’re truly necessary for enjoying such a place. I think you just need to be an animal lover.