What struck me the most when I met Laurel, Hardy and Tim is their sincere craving for fuss and attention. But then it's expected when these poor creatures have been shut inside a stable for a minimum of six months.
And what surprised me the most is there uncanny affection to one another considering they are all stallions! Stallions normally fight for leadership within a herd, but the sad fact is… these three are too poorly to care.
This blog is a little late as I met them for the first time on Tuesday 28th July at our holding base in Buxton, Derbyshire. First I looked at their long feet - Laurel's being the worst. Chris the manager told me that the state they were in, they could have been left for anything up to a year.
Their skinny bodies brought back memories of terrible scenes I saw in Egypt last October when working donkeys like Soad were brought to our mobile teams for life saving treatments.
Whilst waiting for the vet to arrive, I just spent time sitting with Laurel, Hardy and Tim and that's when I realised how friendly they were and that they just wanted to be loved - I gave them cuddles and scratches and they also cuddled each other.
Very poorly donkeys
I'm afraid their health checks didn't go smoothly. They were the perfect patients of course, and although Laurel was very nervous having his head collar on, he did stand quietly the whole time. But the vet explained the long list of problems they have just from what she could observe at first glance… they have long feet, lice, they're malnourished and she suspects they have internal parasites (worms) which won't have helped. She didn't even want to look in their mouths to see if they'd ever had their teeth looked at as it would be too much.
Joy, one of the Sanctuary's wonderful grooms, brought them some breakfast after the vet had been. She told me she can't wait to start working on them, to make them better. And that's it, they really are safe now. I left Buxton later that day feeling like Laurel, Hardy and Tim were about to start a new way of life.
My next blog will be about their visit from the farrier in the next day or so.