This week staff and volunteers at the Sanctuary will be out and about adding hundreds of reed crosses to all the memorial plaques along the walkways in readiness for Memorial Day on Saturday 6th October. Having noticed a break in the rain showers this morning, I also collected a large bag of crosses... but before doing anything else, I took a walk to see Heidi's plaque and tied a bunch of roses mixed with wild flowers from the hedgerows to her memorial.
Many of you may remember the plight of Heidi after she was reported missing by a worried owner back in 2011 but despite all efforts after being found in a ditch and rescued, she sadly died from pneumonia. In her memory, Facebook fans asked if they could make donations towards a memorial plaque having been involved from the moment we mentioned Heidi was missing through to hearing the sad news that she had died.
Having also been involved personally with posting updates on Facebook, I took a moment to remember how the 48 hours unfolded of Heidi’s rescue with news coming in from Shelagh Steel, one of our welfare officers, to the nurses at the veterinary centre she was taken too staying up with Heidi all through the night having made her 10 hot water bottles and massaging her with towels to help keep her warm. Heidi definitely touched the hearts of so many.
I then headed off to Smithy Field which forms part of Walk H around Trow Farm where I begun tying one reed cross to each of the memorial plaques along the walkway. The sun had come out by this time and as I visited each memorial, I could see the donkeys in the field behind were quietly getting on with the business of grazing but their eyes followed me all the way around!
If you are visiting the Sanctuary, Heidi's plaque is along the walkway by Oakley Barn (Walk B).
Heidi's three donkey friends, Harry, Hazel and Poppy, are now living together at the Sanctuary in Rennies Barn at Trow Farm.
You may also remember that a little foal (pictured right) who was born here at the Sanctuary in March 2011 was named in memory of Heidi. She's 18 months old now and lives with a group of young donkeys at Shelter 2.