Bunky the Therapy Buffalo

As far as I can tell Penny's From Heaven Foundation, Inc./TADSAW has the only Therapy Buffalo (or Therapy Bison) anywhere. On the surface this might appear a bit odd, but in reality it is quite the contrary.

"Bunky" isn't just an ordinary buffalo living on a ranch in South Texas. This is a buffalo with a purpose - a mission to heal! He may not know it, but he is changing the quality of life for many of our wounded warriors whose lives have been turned upside down after deployment in Afghanistan and/or Iraq.

Bunky lives, and thrives, on the horse ranch of our Train a Dog Save a Warrior Program Director, Bart Sherwood, west of San Antonio. While working with warriors, Bart quickly found telling the story of Bunky, a retired rodeo buffalo, to the warriors and their families and kiddos, brought wide, contagious smiles, and joy, and just a bit of skepticism. "You have what? A buffalo? I want to see it. Where's Bunky?"

As the stories were told, a most important idea surfaced. What if we were to invite the wounded warriors and their families, moms, dads, wives, and children to the ranch on weekends to see 'The Bunk' - to feed him pellets and pet him and take a little buffalo hair home for a souvenir, along with pictures to treasure and share?

It didn't take but one weekend to see just how valuable and viable this idea would be. It removed the warriors and their families from the tedium of the wounded warrior housing and medical appointments, surgeries and endless television and video games and boredom to a rich and rewarding environment where there was fresh country air, a couple of crazy playful kittens in the barn, exquisite thoroughbred race horses, and a three legged dog named Harry to share sandwiches and chips with! Weather permitting, a picnic by a pond stocked with fish, was soon found to be the perfect setting to forget for just a day, or an afternoon, that they were injured in a war in a country far away.


Harry with his three-legs comforts the mother of a young warrior who lost his leg in Iraq.


The horses provide stimulation for warriors as they brush out their manes.


The feel of Bunky's muzzle against a warrior's hand holding a cane, somehow, for the moment, makes everything alright.


Warriors smile as their children, forced to grow up way too fast, find out what it is like to be kids again, as they give a horse a bath on a hot summer day.


Smiles come to faces where there hasn't been one for a very long time.


Husbands and wives separated by injuries from a war, watch their children take their first steps toward Bunky to feed a carrot. It just can't get much better.

Puzzle pieces get put back together. Lives mended. Moments and days remembered and cherished. Sometimes there are tears when the little ones don't want to leave Bunky. But they always have the promise that one day they can return and pet Bunky on his nose.


Personalized Halter & Lead for Bunky - His Name and the Sponsor's

A Sign indicating the Sponsor's Name

Personalized Feed and Water Trough

Photographs of the Warrior's Children and Families/Scrapbook

Twelve Months of Feed, Hay, Medication, Worming, etc.


$ 5,000.00 the first year - then $ 1,800.00 annually

Photography Courtesy of Jean MacTarnahan & Patsy Swendson

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