I couldn't think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than in the company of three little foals called Marion, Heidi and little Ben who's the newest member to join the 'crèche' at Brookfield Farm (oh and my other half Dave)!
On Friday before I left work I quickly called Andy the farm manager at Brookfield and asked if it would be OK to go and groom the little ones and their mums over the weekend. Armed with grooming kit, Dave and I set off with huge grins on our faces and made our way to their paddock. Sitting close to their mums were Heidi and Ben but Marion had already spotted us and was already trotting over to be the first to greet us.
No sooner had we gone into the paddock, we were joined by Heidi so out came the brushes and we shared the grooming between us.
There's one word I can think of that best describes Marion - it's velcro! She just loves attention and sticks like glue to your side. So much so that it was really difficult to get any photos of her... well we could, but they just came out a blur as she trotted back as fast as she could to us.
Marion was born at the Sanctuary on 4th April 2011 to Ginny, a 5 year old mare, who came into our care in August 2010 already in foal. Ginny is a lovely mother and we could see where Marion gets her character from as Ginny also loves being groomed and stood for a long time just being pampered - well mums are worth it don't you think?
I've seen Heidi quite a few times now and she's growing into such a beautiful donkey. This time I noticed two little tufts of hair growing on her cheeks just below her eyes which helps distinguish her from Marion because they're almost the same chocolate brown colour.
Heidi was born just before Marion on 31st March 2011 to Bonny Bee, a 3 year old mare, who arrived into our care in October 2010 also in foal. Bonny Bee is still a little nervous of people but she was more than happy for us to fuss her little foal while she watched over her at a safe distance.
Ben, with his super long ears and long legs, soon came over to see what all the fuss was about and he too shared in lots of cuddles from us. He was only born on 27th May 2011 so is the youngest of the trio at only 10 days old. His mother is called Linda who is also 3 years of age and came into our care in September 2010 in foal.
I think we probably stayed in the company of this little trio of donkeys for about 2-3 hours and loved every minute. We arrived with huge grins on our faces and left with even bigger grins!
Now that I'm back in the office, I'm finding myself being more aware of the number of donkeys coming into the Sanctuary and noticed that Ben's records show him as being the 11,293th donkey. His mother Linda was the 10,836th. Just doing the calculations between mother and son shows that 457 donkeys have arrived at the Sanctuary since September 2010.