Back in May 2015 our welfare team worked with the RSPCA to rescue four donkeys from a field in East Yorkshire after a lack of proper hoof care meant that the three adult donkeys had very overgrown hooves.
The donkeys called Rhubarb, Custard, Apple and Pie were affectionately nicknamed the Yorkshire Puddings. They soon settled into their new accommodation at an emergency holding base where they could receive all the care and attention they needed to recover.
Vets soon discovered that Rhubarb was expecting a foal but as we found out she was in no rush to become a mother. Rhubarb carried the foal throughout the summer, autumn and into the winter months before finally giving birth on the 17 November 2015.
With the winds of Storm Barney pushing at the door, Rhubarb welcomed her little foal into the world. She was a fantastic and natural mother to her very long legged and wobbly foal, even burying her in straw to keep her warm as she slept.
After the excitement of the birth, our thoughts turned to the foal's name. Would she be called Crumble, Gooseberry or perhaps Cherry? All very fitting and lovely names, however this special little lady was destined to be a bit different.
The name Beattie comes from the Latin meaning ‘Bringer of Joy’. Beattie certainly lived up to her namesake when just a couple of days before Christmas she was visited by a couple to whom her name is very dear to their hearts.
The couple told me how they decided to visit the donkeys in memory of their late father and his wife, Beattie, who were great supporters of The Donkey Sanctuary. To meet our little foal of the same name was an emotional moment, one which was mixed with feelings of joy, sadness and reflection.
Christmas is a time when family is at the heart of everything we do, whether it be creating memories with the loved ones in our lives or looking back fondly on memories of those who have passed on.
For this couple, Beattie really was a ‘bringer of joy’ and I hope being able to follow her development and progress will bring much happiness to the family for years to come.