Saying goodbye for a final time to an old friend is always hard - and so it was with Aramis. Phil and I arrived shortly after sunrise to spend some time with him - and to give him a final grooming - something we have been doing twice a week since his arrival at The Donkey Sanctuary.
Aramis arrived at Buffalo Barn about 3 years ago with his half-brothers - D'Artanyan and Guinness, where they joined another member of their family - Percy. Four handsome Poitou donkeys together.
Aramis was always the cheeky one, always up to mischief! His life may have been short - barely 5 years old - but he had a fun-filled life. He was particularly fond of upturning the box containing the grooming kit and then disappearing with a brush or two - a game he would never tire of playing.
On another occasion Aramis and D'Artanyan travelled down to Ivybridge to meet and greet visitors at the donkey-assisted therapy centre summer fair. Aramis enjoyed it so much he flatly refused to get back into the lorry to come home again, testing the ever patient grooms to their limit! But Aramis being Aramis wanted to do it in his own time thank you very much.
Two years ago Aramis was chosen as an adoption donkey and so he and D'Aartanyan moved from Buffalo Barn to Shelter 5 where Aramis was better able to charm his way into the hearts of all those lovely people who chose to adopt him… and many more besides I suspect.
Last year it was confirmed that Aramis had developed sarcoids (skin tumours) and had to undergo a lot of treatment and care - so he was regretfully taken off the adoption register. But that didn’t stop the long stream of visitors coming to visit him - many of whom came several times to spend time with this lovely boy.
And so we have arrived at the final goodbye to a loveable, mischievous donkey who was so loved - not just by Phil and I, but by all those who came into contact with him - but perhaps most of all by his groom Marleen.
Phil and Angela Harlow,
Quality Time Volunteers