Christmas and New Year are hopefully happy times for most people but sadly two separate foster homes lost a donkey. Both just had one remaining elderly single donkey and although we never recommend donkeys are on their own, in their twilight years many cope quite happily. Which is often just as well because finding a single elderly donkey is as rare as hen's teeth and putting a youngster with them would be very unfair on both.
Boxing Day saw the loss of Jenny in a wonderful Norfolk foster home which caused great distress. Jenny's true age was a little vague like all the best well preserved ladies, but probably getting on for 40, which even by donkeys' standards, is doing quite well.
Donkeys can live into their 40s and beyond but on average most have problems in their 30s. Jenny did look terrific for her age and this is testament to the care and attention she was given.
A week later saw another youthful 40 year old succumb to a sudden illness. Jacko had always been a fighter and was taken to Catley Cross Vets to give him every chance. Sadly not to be but both had wonderful lives in their foster homes and will be hugely missed.
Another of my foster homes is returning their group of three boys back into the care of the Sanctuary. These things happen but the foster owners know that the boys will always be safe and secure under the guardianship of the Sanctuary.
On a much brighter note, attached are pictures of Grafic and Sean getting to know new friends in their lovely new home which they joined recently.
Grafic is a slightly nervous donkey and not good with his back feet, due in part to having sores on his legs which needed treatment. All this was explained to Jennifer as his potential new foster mum and she was given the choice of whether to have Grafic. Jennifer has owned horses for many years and lost her last horse recently. Deciding she didn't want another horse, Jennifer looked into having donkeys and we have benefited from her experience as Grafic has blossomed. We try to match donkeys to people as we want the donkeys and their foster owners to be totally happy.
Donkeys can be somewhat territorial and chase any perceived intruders so introducing dogs or smaller animals gradually is always a good idea.
So just when I had reached the magic (to me!) number of 50 foster homes in my welfare area, I have lost three. However, all is not lost as I have one foster home waiting and did a home inspection on a potentially super new home this week. So maybe I'll get there yet!