By Stacey L. Evans | Photography by Samantha Shal
It all started with two chickens.
“Then six chickens and three peacocks. Goats were next, then came the llamas,” said Lindsey Harris Morrison about her father’s collection of animals. Her dad, Rick Harris, had always been an animal lover and wanted his own menagerie.
When Lindsey was a child, her family had ducks, rabbits and a pig at their Smyrna home.
They moved to a large farm in Powder Springs when Lindsey was in the seventh grade, and that’s when her father started bringing home a variety of animals.
“Once [my dad] got 13 acres, he went crazy,” she jokes about his collection of animals.
Lindsey’s mother Delores quit her job to help take care of the animals at what they named Golden Pond Farms.
As she got older, Lindsey followed suit. Though she now lives several miles away with husband Steven Morrison and their two-year-old daughter Lucy, she still manages the farm.
Golden Pond now has more than 75 furry or feathered creatures — including goats, llamas, miniature horses, donkeys, Great Pyrenees dogs, peacocks, pigs, ducks, chickens and an emu. Some are for sale, but most are permanent residents and/or breeders, which are treated like family pets.
Lindsey says it’s impossible to choose a favorite because she feels close to many of the animals. But she’s especially fond of four-month-old Ramona, a very affectionate and playful donkey. She would have been sold, “but everyone got way too attached to her,” said Lindsey.
Lindsey also loves the goats because they are the most entertaining.
“The goats are fun. They are very playful with each other, especially when they are babies,” she said. “They can jump so high. We put the different slides and things for them because they like to play king of the mountain with each other. One will be at top of slide, bouncing the others down.”
But it’s the llamas Lindsey names as her favorites to interact with.
“They are just so different and most are very affectionate,” she said. Llamas are curious animals, and typically have very laid-back temperaments, which is very welcoming to affectionate humans. There is just something irresistible about those long furry necks — the height is perfect hugging, said Lindsey.
But the best thing is what Lindsey dubs ‘llama kisses.’ The animals identify people by the smell of their breath, so they will put their face directly in your face and politely sniff you out.
“You can’t be mad while kissing a llama,” said Lindsey. “They are great stress relief.”
Animals are a big part of Lindsey and her parents’ lives, not only at the farm. At home, Lindsey has two Great Pyrenees, Bowser and Aurora. Her parents have two small dogs in their home, which is on the farm. At her parents’ company, Harris Diversified, LLC, where Lindsey also works full time, resides two Dobermans, two cats and two birds. Her dad visits twice a day to give them treats, so they are ‘very spoiled,’ said Lindsey.
Golden Pond Farms >>> If interested in adopting an animal, call (770) 794-6668 or visit www.goldenpondfarms.net. Please note: The farm is not open to the public.