Jack, our resident Poitou donkey here at Brookfield Farm, was sadly put to sleep last week. Poor Jack had such bad teeth that it was the kindest thing for him. He had already had treatment for his teeth a few months ago. The dentist couldn’t do any more. It would have meant a big operation which he really wasn’t up to.
He was a very popular boy at Brookfield and was always the centre of attention when hundreds of supporters visit us during the Sanctuary's annual Donkey Week. There was a constant crowd always around him.
Jack has been at Brookfield for about 12 years. He had a very special friend called Treacle who was a small donkey. You could always find Treacle in the mornings, he always stood as close to Jack as he possibly could. We think it was to keep himself warm. It was probably like standing next to a big furry radiator. Poor Treacle passed away a few years ago, but Jack was a lucky boy as he had another friend, Branwen, who is a large grey mule and very much in love with Jack. If she lost sight of him she would shout so loud until she saw him, which didn’t take long as he was so big.
Jack was 24 years old. He was a clever lad. If he didn’t want to move, he wouldn’t, and to get him across the yard into the shed we weigh our donkeys or for the farrier to do his feet was a major operation. We came up with a solution to the problem. Jack hated picking his feet up so we would run our hands down his leg as if to pick his foot up and he would soon move on.
He had his own head collar, but what with him being such a big donkey, it is far too big to use again. It will always be hung up with the other head collars as reminder of him.
It is very hard for us when it comes to the end for any of our donkeys. Branwen was with Jack at the end, and when he was gone we stayed with him and Branwen making a lot of fuss of her. Then we left her to say her goodbyes.
We all love our job, but it is difficult at times like these. We all get a bit emotional but it is part of the job and we all do all we can to look after and love them right to the end.
Goodbye to our big Jack. You will be missed by us all.