Enter Wilma, Barnie, Freddie, Ed and Em - all miniature donkeys with huge personalities! I know that we shouldn't have favourites but sorry, I have. Mainly because the utterly charismatic Wilma (28 inches tall but 17hh in her own mind) together with the delightful Barnie and Freddie, spent four months in my holding base and stole my heart.
Luckily they went to a first class foster home in Essex, so stayed in my area and I get to see them regularly. I am sure Roger is terrified every time I visit that I will donknap them back - a distinct possibility!
Roger and Audrey already had two miniatures and wanted more so when these three came up for fostering, it seemed ideal. Particularly because miniatures do need special management and careful weight control, so putting them in with other larger animals would not be a good idea. Wilma (or 'Vilma' as I called her whilst with me) is such a special little lady who knows it. She has this way of walking up the yard tossing her little head from side to side, just like a prima donna! Even the others fall in with whatever she wants to do and when she joined Em and Eddie, Em immediately became her devoted attendant. Here are a couple of photos - trying to get all five to pose together proved virtually impossible.
All three starred at our Suffolk Donkey Day earlier this year, held in Lavenham in the glorious grounds of Lavenham Hall, by kind permission of acclaimed sculptor Kate Denton. They are already booked for next year's event to be held on Sunday 1st June 2014 and throughout this year's event held Court to an admiring public. Next year they will have a full size bronze donkey and foal on display near them which Kate has just finished, but I doubt even this will upstage these three!
So make a date in your diary as there will be lots going on during the day including, we hope, a chance to meet and talk to Sara Turetta who is flying over from Italy to give a short presentation on her work in Romania. Liz, my friend and fellow welfare officer, and I visited the Sanctuary's holding base just outside Cernavoda in Romania last year. Sara not only runs the holding base where she currently has 55 donkeys, but also runs Save the Dogs which deals with the enormous problem of street dogs in Romania. A remarkable and very interesting lady who is passionate about what she does.