I’d like to tell you about a special donkey-friend of mine called Percy who lives in the back yard of Buffalo Barn with his other Poitou friends – Guinness, Noah, Aramis, D’Artanyan and Inky. I love them all but Percy is my boy. Well he’s not technically mine of course – but you know what I mean.
Phil and I have been grooming the Poitou donkeys every Friday morning for the past three years and have subsequently got to know them all well. We’ve greeted new arrivals at the Sanctuary and enjoyed getting to know them, and we’ve felt great sadness and loss when some have passed away and gone to that great Rainbow Bridge in the ether. But through it all has been Percy – a bouncy blondie Poitou full of chutzpah and charm!
Percy has a bit of reputation for being mischievous and loves nothing better than giving everyone the run-around - especially when one is in a hurry and you really need full co-operation from the donks! Percy has a canny knack for sensing this and he will immediately initiate a good game of chase or hide and seek and lead us all on a merry dance around the yard!
But time, experience and the donkeys have taught me many things during my time as a Quality Time Volunteer at the Sanctuary – including how to occasionally outwit the playful Percy! So instead of playing his chase games, I simply focus on Aramis or D’Artanyan. I always chat to the donkeys while I’m grooming them, and of course they all get the ubiquitous ear-rub and rump scratch, and meanwhile Percy edges ever nearer…
These days Percy comes to greet us at the gate and will stand for ages while I carefully brush, comb and spray his coat. Where once he’d object to having his face brushed, he now lowers his head, closes his eyes and lets me get on with it. He loves having the inside of his ears brushed and stretches his head out, bottom lip wobbling in a state of true donkey-happiness and contentment!
So if you’re ever at Buffalo Barn (Walk C) and you spot a blond Poitou with a cheeky look in his eye – do say hello to Percy!