Before heading off to the blind donkeys in Shelter 3, Phil and I had to make the obligatory quick 10 minute visit to see Ashley, Zena and Mr Khan - the baby donks! Well of course we had to stay and play for a while - it would have been rude not to! Then we noticed they needed a grooming... and while we were doing that some visitors to the Sanctuary asked us some questions...
Umm, anyway, an hour and a half later we arrived at Shelter 3 - the blind and partially-sighted donkeys. Of all the groups of donkeys at the Sanctuary, this group is probably my favourite. It never ceases to amaze me how well donkeys cope with blindness. The partially-sighted companions do a great job of helping the totally blind ones. Some donkeys, like Peter and Jenny, wear head-bumpers in case they walk into anything. Others, seem to cope without them.
The most amazing donkey to me though has to be Miff. Although he has had both eyes removed, you would never know it! He seems to sense when he is near to an object and can move around it. He rarely bumps into anything. Miff is also very good at following the sound of your voice and can navigate himself across the field and into the shelter just by listening. He also happens to be a very cute looking donkey and my heart melts everytime I see him!
Jack is a cheeky little donkey who is almost completely blind. He just loves being groomed and cuddled, as does Souffle! Souffle had to have an eye removed as it had become badly infected - but she seems to cope really well. She is a wonderfully friendly little donkey who often hangs around near the fence waiting for visitors to come over and chat.
I could talk about all the donkeys in that group - Gordon, Lowmy, Poppy, Barney, Jenny, Peter, Ben, Sooty and Benny - as they all have such special qualities.
I will however mention Dillon - who is a pony! Dillon arrived at the Sanctuary as a companion to a donkey called Jenny. Dillon is blind in his left eye but copes amazingly well! He always enjoys a grooming and a good back-scratch from Phil!
We feel very lucky that as Quality-Time Volunteers we get to spend time with all these little donkey characters! Mondays really are special days.