The majority of my work at present revolves around welfare cases and actioning relinquishments , so it is refreshing to be able to turn my hand at raising the Sanctuary’s profile in the local community as well as helping to fundraise for all of all our wonderful donkeys.
On Palm Sunday I was asked by two local churches to bring a donkey along to their respective services. I have attended these Palm Sunday services for the past three years with my own donkey Murphy but sadly he passed away last year and I now needed a suitable reliable replacement!
Into the breach stepped a donkey called Charm who I had collected on a very wet and windy night last November. Charm had been found wandering the roads less than 15 miles from my own home and was in a bit of a dishevelled state. His hooves were long and he was not interested in engaging in human contact whatsoever.
Once collected I began to work with Charm over the ensuing months and was pleasantly pleased with his development. He progressed from being a donkey who required a lot of personal space to a donkey that would come up to me, rest his head on my arm and wait for a scratch and a pat.
I realised that Charm had the potential to go further and so I took him on exercises and outings to build his confidence. He was ready to go and with every confidence in Charm I brought him along to the services last Sunday.
As I suspected he proved to be a hit with the children who swamped him with affection and received pats and smiles from other church attendees. His big test came when he was asked to walk down the aisle to the pulpit, with excited children beside him carrying palm leaves and loud hymnal music playing. He was brilliant and although he had the odd moment of contemplation he took it all in his stride putting his best hoof out to represent the Sanctuary.
Charm’s education and handling will continue on and I believe he has the potential to go on and be an excellent foster home donkey or therapy outreach donkey.
Many thanks to Mount Merrion and Willowfield Churches for their continued support of The Donkey Sanctuary and kind donations made on the day.