Leading up to International Donkey Week, everyone is mucking in to help each other here at the Sanctuary to get ready for the arrival of our supporters who will be spending a week visiting our farms and cuddling the donkeys.
My own two donkeys, Lady and Little Pippa, now live at Harvey's Barn, which is one of the three barns down at Hurfords. Three times a week, I spend my lunchtime helping to groom the donkeys, Shetland ponies and mules that live down at Hurfords.
As I walked towards Rennie's Barn to meet up with the grooms, Kelly and Nicki, there was a chorus of donkeys braying as I passed. I'd like to think they were all saying "groom me, groom me", but above me there was a rather large black cloud waiting to burst. The donkeys were already making their way to the barn, so they were more likely to be saying "hurry up, you're going to get wet"!
I found Kelly and Nicki busy painting the fencing and as the rain started, I helped them gather all their paint brushes and pots of paints and move them to their store out of the reach of inquisitive noses. By this time the rain was at its heaviest and some of the hardiest donkeys were still out, so off we set to bring them down out of the fields.
As it was raining, the donkeys were too wet to be groomed, so we took a look at the information boards that Kelly had made a start on for the donkey weekers to read. Kelly had already taken photos of the residents in the barns, so I volunteered to type out their potted histories to display on the boards. It's wonderful to see how proud the grooms are of all the animals in their care and, for me, I'm proud to be part of an organisation that cares.
Drenched by the rain I may have been, but my spirits were not dampened in the slightest!