So I thought I better send a quick update on Dante’s behaviour. Working with this type of problem always has you up nights thinking about what the right course of action is and what plan we might use to help Dante. The answer is of course always to let the donkey tell you what the right thing is to do.
As much as you need a plan of the small steps that are needed to stay safe and allow the animal to learn, you also need to be flexible enough to allow the donkey, mule or horse to tell you how faster or slow to progress.
So this morning I arrived early at our rescue centre here in Spain because I wanted to observe Dante’s behaviour around feeding time and whether, when he was more anxious, he would be more dangerous to work with. True to yesterday’s form he was excited by the prospect of food and was already pacing about, but interestingly as soon as we arrived at his pen he gave us a full on bray. It is becoming clear that he likes people.
Anyway I have spent some time working with him this morning and he has been a fantastic student and teacher. I only have one set of teeth marks, quite minor really, and he has enjoyed a lot of scratches and now has a lot more enriched environment.
It has been a very inspiring morning's work and it always humbles me how much work the Sanctuary does around the world. The staff here are making such a difference to donkeys and mules in Spain.
I will fill in all of the details later, of just how far we have got and how we worked with him, once we have tried to do some more training later, but off now to do some human training.