Sometimes it takes a while for you to realise how much a donkey’s story has affected you, and that was certainly the case for me with the tale of Rupert.
One-year-old Rupert was in such a critical condition when he was discovered by the RSPCA in Morecambe, Lancashire, last week, that it was touch and go whether he would make it through the night. He was immediately signed over to us to receive the specialist care it was clear he so desperately needed.
Whilst his story tugged on my heartstrings as it came to light last week, it was only as I related Rupert’s plight to family and friends that it really hit me. I’ll admit it, I cried.
The thought of a young donkey so weak that not even the promise of a ginger biscuit could encourage him to eat, struggling so hard to breathe that his respiration rate was five times higher than that of a healthy donkey, was just too difficult for me to comprehend.
I resolved to keep my fingers crossed for the poor lad and hope against hope that the specialist treatment that Rupert was receiving would be enough to allow him to pull through. It was touching and comforting to see so many of the charity’s supporters doing the same with messages of support and encouragement on Facebook and Twitter. If only Rupert could know how many people were rooting for him.
This morning I was relieved to find this photo in my inbox – not only was Rupert still with us, but over the weekend he had managed to stand and had been happily browsing the hedgerows for tasty treats! A miracle if ever there was one. The vets looking after him have also said that his respiratory rate is now much closer to normal, and they will continue to carry out lung scans (hence the shaved patch on his coat) to monitor his condition.
Whilst Rupert still has a long way to go to return to health, his chances seem to be improving day by day thanks to the expert care he is receiving. There is hope that in time he may no longer need a drip for his medication, but will be able to swallow his medication unaided.
It goes without saying that this is fantastic news, and I can only hope that the positive news about Rupert continues to pour in over the coming weeks and months.