A place where special needs children and animals could find respite was Diane Reid's dream in the late 1990s.
She opened Whispering Hope Ranch with a few animals and limited services in 2000. The ranch closed for a year of remodeling in 2005, reopening in September 2006.
Reid facilitates interactions between guests and the rabbits, emus, cats, peacock, goats and all the creatures that make their home on the ranch.
Campers experience the animals on a one-to-one basis.
"They are often transformational for the participant and shift individuals from viewing animals as something to be feared or to dominate, to amazing gifts to be nurtured and loved," said Mary Clark, WHR executive director.
During 2007, Whispering Hope Ranch Foundation provided specialized camp and retreat programs for individuals with physical, medical and developmental challenges, and other life-limiting situations including abuse and neglect, autism, brain injury, cancer, cerebral palsy, developmental disabilities, Down syndrome, dwarfism, hemiplegia, kidney disease, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, post-polio syndrome, spinal cord injury, stroke and visual impairment.
"The activities that were most cherished by campers were those in which they communicated with the animal residents of the ranch," Clark said.
The Clydesdale mare, pictured on the cover, was born in 1993.
Magic Maggie spent her first nine years as a brood mare at the Anheuser-Busch Farm near San Diego.
A family in the Phoenix area purchased her when she was no longer used as a brood mare and she spent four years being loved and adored by them.
Sadly, Maggie could not tolerate the Phoenix heat and also developed laminitis from standing in irrigated pasture.
Much loving energy was focused on helping Maggie heal and her owners then asked that she become a resident of Whispering Hope Ranch, Clark said.
Magic Maggie is a very loving, gentle giant who loves every moment interacting with guests and visitors.
For more information about the ranch, to make a donation or volunteer, call (928) 478-0339 or log onto www.whisperinghoperanch.org.