A lovely team from HorseHage feed recently came on an outreach visit to a nursing home with a donkey from our Ivybridge centre. They went away “in total awe of the joy that this little donkey had brought to do many people”. This is what they said:
“The familiar van of The Donkey Sanctuary pulled into the drive with a beaming smile from Cathryn in the driver’s seat. As Cathryn pulled down the ramp she introduced us to Paddy, a five-year-old donkey. Paddy stood very patiently in the car park and looked very petite! Debbie was handed a bucket and instructed that her job for the visit was to follow the dainty Paddy around with the bucket, just in case! Cathryn assured us that this very rarely happened but better to be safe than sorry. Paddy walked through the front door of the nursing home as if this was perfectly normal and all of a sudden he didn’t look quite so small!
Paddy was led into a large living room where he visited each individual, carefully manoeuvring himself around wheelchairs and fragile feet, expertly guided by Cathryn. Everyone was visibly delighted to spend time with Paddy and he very gently placed his muzzle on several chair arms whilst they stroked his gorgeous face and his fabulous, soft long ears. Some of the individuals in the nursing home could no longer verbally communicate but the expression on their faces said it all.
Paddy had more adoring fans waiting for his arrival further down a corridor, so off we went. I was, at this point, given the very important job of holding the tray with tea and cake that the nursing home staff had kindly made for us, with strict instructions that not all the cake was for me! Paddy once again conducted himself like a true professional and stood patiently as everyone made a fuss over him. There were lots of smiles, giggles and lovely comments made about the handsome Paddy and his visit was obviously going to be a talking point for some time.
Paddy had behaved impeccably and as we took him out of the nursing home, Debbie still in tow with the bucket, the manager of the nursing home rushed out with a large bag of carrots for Cathryn to take back to The Donkey Sanctuary in Ivybridge. We helped put Paddy into the van and said our goodbyes before heading home still in total awe of the joy that this little donkey had brought to so many people, his incredible behaviour at the tender age of five and the amazing work that The Donkey Sanctuary does.”