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Unconditional Love

The amazing story of one woman and the animals that changed her life forever Von:
User: melaniez
Unconditional Love
This is a true story that I wrote from the bottom of my heart. I had a wonderful childhood until my father decided to have an affair with another woman. Our entire family was in shambles…not to mention how heartbroken I was because I was a daddy’s girl. We finally had to move to the projects because that was all my mother could afford. Talk about going from riches to rags. I remember crying myself to sleep every night. I started hanging around with the wrong type of people and getting into a lot of trouble, eventually doing time in a state penitentiary. I was calling out for love, I really was not a bad person, in fact, I was always quiet and shy.
Life can be a hard journey. I did not have much of a childhood, or perhaps I've
blocked a lot from my memory. But by the age of fifteen I was all grown up. I
had to make decisions for myself; admittedly, some were not very good. Looking back, it didn't take all that long before I came to the end of my rope, but once I got there I
turned around. I grabbed on as tight as I could, and soon I was pulling myself up,
one grip at a time. And I've made a lot of changes in my life since then, mostly to
make it a better one.
The first time that I rubbed my nose against a tiny fawn‘s nose, it changed me forever.
Looking back, I wish I might have been a little smarter concerning my career
choice because I would have loved to be a veterinarian. But life can throw you
curves, and I've learned to make the best of every day. And the day I held that
warm, soft Guinea pig in my arms made me feel happier than I'd ever been. Happy
deep down inside where it matters the most.
The day eight years ago when we bought our “ranch”, I realized just how much
I loved animals—all kinds of animals—and how much it meant for me to have
them around me. I developed a piece of raw land into a working ranch and it
was a lot of hard work, pulling weeds, putting in a fence line, and building pens
for the animals we purchased from a local auction. And it was worth it, because,
as I said, I love all animals of every kind, each with its own special interests and
personality. I can spend endless hours just relaxing and watching them run and
play with one another. We have thirty-seven animals on the ranch right now, and I
love each and every one with all my heart. Most of them were adopted, saved from
horrible situations, and still need lots of love and attention. Eventually, living with
us, they come around and forget their past lives of neglect and abuse. Our animals
live their entire lives on our ranch. They live to be very old and die of natural
causes—the way it’s meant to be.
This heartwarming story pays tribute to my lasting love affair with animals small and large. Over the years, I have adopted abused, neglected, or unwanted animals and cared for them on my Florida ranch. I developed a set of beliefs about the human relationship with animals, and I have come to realize that each creature has a distinct personality, a warm heart, passion and even a sense of humor. I operate on the firm belief that every animal, whether an unfriendly cat, lame pig, or a blind cow, needs to love and be loved.
I was a pure-bred city girl, until I discovered how animals could soothe my soul and enhance my life. Since then, I have made it my mission to provide shelter and love for animals of all kinds, including cats, dogs, pigs and even cows.
I believe that every animal has a right to live—and live well. I respect their
wishes and they respect mine in return. It is out of this deep respect that I say that
animals are not toys; they have feelings and hearts beating inside them just the
way we do. And it is from animals that we receive unconditional love.
I know, because it is their love, total and unconditional, that changed my life
forever.
Thank you for your precious time.

Category Non-fiction
Title Unconditional Love
Subtitle The amazing story of one woman and the animals that changed her life forever.
Author Melanie Higgins Zysk
Illustrations 72
Pages 205
Words 74,002
Binding Hard and Soft cover
ISBN 978-0-595-43920-1 (pbk) 978-0-595-70484-2 (cloth)

Reviews:
info@apex reviews. net
Unconditional Love
Melanie Higgins Zysk
ISBN: 9780595439201
Reviewed By Cary Merriman
Official Apex Reviews Rating:
The path of Melanie Higgins Zysk’s journey through life is the very
definition of “circuitous”…
After her parents divorce when she’s just a little girl, Zysk, her mother, and
her brothers are thrust directly into the veritable teeth of adversity. After suffering
a horrendous accident that takes her friend’s life and nearly claims hers, she
decides to live life to the fullest and strikes out on her own into the dangerous, yet
exciting world that surrounds her. Along the way, she becomes a teenage bride,
spends time as “Miss Keystone” (a NASCAR trophy girl), and even does a 10-
month bid in the Pennsylvania state pen – for a crime she didn't even realize she
committed.
A quick study in learning the discipline of self-reliance, though, Zysk
eventually becomes quite adept at following the desires of her heart, which
ultimately lead her to start a rescue ranch for animals that have been abused,
abandoned, or otherwise left to fend for themselves. It is in launching the ranch
that Zysk finds her true calling, one that has lingered quietly, yet fervently within
her entire life: sharing the unconditional love of her selfless heart with those
who truly need it.
Unconditional Love is an intriguing study of a life lived on quite a far reaching
arc, but what’s most endearing about Zysk’s life story is the salient way
that her warm-hearted nature shines throughout. From the time that she is very
young, she always wishes for the best for others and sacrifices constantly for the
benefit of those around her. Of course, this selflessness is most apparent in her
undying affection for and dedication to her ever-growing family of furry friends,
whose lives would be devoid of considerable comfort and enrichment were it not
for Zysk’s faithful devotion.
Life is destined to throw obstacles in our paths, but what matters most is
how we choose to negotiate them along the way. In Unconditional Love,
Melanie Higgins Zysk provides the reader with the perfect example of how to turn
any adverse situation on its ear by focusing on the blessings hidden deep within.

FOREWORD MAGAZINE wrote:

Animals & Nonfiction. UNCONDITIONAL LOVE: THE AMAZING STORY OF ONE WOMAN AND THE ANIMALS THAT CHANGED HER LIFE FOREVER by Melanie Higgins Zysk (205 pages, soft cover, photos, 978-0-595-43920-1): Florida rancher, animal rights enthusiast, and author presents this heartfelt tribute to her lifelong love affair with animals of all kinds; storylines include how inner city life and a led Zysk on a search for her life’s purpose, and ultimately to the devoted mission of saving animals; how to rescue and care for abused and neglected animals—such as pigs with backaches refusing to walk, blind cows ready to give birth, and dogs of all dispositions; and how to see life through the eyes of “unconditionally loving” animals—with humor, pragmatism, determination, and passion.

Endorsement:

"Drama, hope, and love, along with an unforgettable cast of characters, both human and animal, show us that with love, anything is possible." Sy Montgomery, best-selling author of The Good, Good, Pig.

Please check out my web site www.melaniehigginszysk.com you will laugh at all four of my videos with my animals.

I dedicate this book to my Mother, Dolores Baker; she is now resting in peace.
If your parents are alive, cherish them with all your heart. My mom was a great
influence in my life. I love and miss her dearly.
A portion of all proceeds from the sales of this book will be donated to the
Humane Society.

vii
Contents
Foreword. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .ix
Chapter 1 The Beginning of My Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Chapter 2 Tim Came into My Life and We Started a Business. . . 23
Chapter 3 Happier Times . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Chapter 4 Sad Times . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
Chapter 5 Selling the House . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
Chapter 6 The Business was Growing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
Chapter 7 Lil’ Abner and Lots of Excitement. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101
Chapter 8 Building Our Dream Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117
Chapter 9 The Wonderful Wedding Day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129
Chapter 10 The Terrible Hurricanes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147
Chapter 11 Sally and the Crazy Things that Happened . . . . . . . . 159
Chapter 12 Going Psychic and Here’s Foster . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 185
Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 203
About the Author . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 205
Special thanks to my mother-in-law Carolyn Zysk and Sara my wonderful pig.
ix
Foreword
Life can be a hard journey. I did not have much of a childhood, or perhaps I've
blocked a lot from my memory. But by the age of fifteen I was all grown up. I
had to make decisions for myself; admittedly, some were not very good ones. It
wasn’t that I believed I was a bad person. I just made some bad choices about
some people and some of the things that I chose to do. Looking back, it really
didn't take all that long before I came to the end of my rope, but once I got there I
turned around. I grabbed on as tight as I could, and soon I was pulling myself up,
one grip at a time. And I've made a lot of changes in my life since then, mostly to
make it a better one.
The first time that I was in contact with an animal, it changed me forever.
Looking back, I wish I might have been a little smarter concerning my career
choice because I would have loved to be a veterinarian. But life can throw you
curves, and I've learned to make the best of every day. And the day I held that
warm, soft creature in my arms made me feel happier than I'd ever been. Happy
deep down inside where it matters the most.
The day eight years ago when we bought our “ranch”, I realized just how much
I loved animals—all kinds of animals—and how much it meant for me to have
them around me. We developed a piece of raw land into a working ranch and it
was a lot of hard work, pulling weeds, putting in a fence line, and building pens
for the animals we purchased from a local auction. And it was worth it, because,
as I said, I love all animals of every kind, each with its own special interests and
personality. I can spend endless hours just relaxing and watching them run and
play with one another. We have thirty-seven animals on the ranch right now, and I
love each and every one with all my heart. Most of them were adopted, saved from
horrible situations, and still need lots of love and attention. Eventually, living with
us, they come around and forget their past lives of neglect and abuse. Our animals
live their entire lives on our ranch where they also get special attention from our
friend and vet, Dr. Coughlan. There they live to be very old and die of natural
causes—the way it’s meant to be.
We believe that every animal has a right to live—and live well. We respect their
wishes and they respect ours in return. It is out of this deep respect that I say that
animals are not toys; they have feelings and hearts beating inside them just the
way we do. And it is from animals that we receive unconditional love.
I know, because it is their love, total and unconditional, that changed my life
forever.

Stichwörter: 
love, rescue, animals, neglect, abused, pigs, dogs, cats, cows
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