When I spend time with the donkeys, it’s often in the capacity of overseeing a film crew or taking a journalist on a tour of our Sanctuary (because I work in the PR Office) rather than hands-on care of the donkeys. So when the opportunity arose to groom a little donkey called Tommy during our recent Donkey Week, let me tell you... I made the most of it.
If you’ve never groomed a donkey before, I’m afraid you are missing out! It gives you a great sense of satisfaction when you give your time to a gentle donkey that enjoys the brushing sensation so much that they practically fall asleep.
Dear old Tommy was slowly drifting into a snooze as I groomed around his face – this seemed to be his soft spot. Once I’d given Tommy a good brush all over, I realised I was covered in more hair than he was!
Now I’ve had a chance to find out more about Tommy, which I thought I’d share with you all. Almost in his forties, Tommy is certainly amongst the oldest donkeys in our care at our outlying farm, East Axnoller, which is based in Dorset.
Tommy has a laid back character and with his age naturally comes a few ailments. He is given an extra feed each day, usually at breakfast time, to maintain his healthy weight and enjoys a daily medicine sandwich (usually a tablet disguised in a piece of bread or a ginger biscuit) because he’s a little arthritic, and he has problems with his hooves so he wears specialist plastic shoes which are replaced every four weeks by the farrier to keep him comfortable on his feet.
A super little donkey is Tommy. I’m glad I had the privilege to meet him, groom him and write about him.
If you wanted to groom a donkey, we do have special one-off experience days where you can become a donkey carer for the day and we are always in need of Quality Time Volunteers to help on a more regular basis providing the donkeys on our farms with one-to-one attention.
I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing about Tommy. Would love to hear your comments. Until next time...