Let us tell you about a little white donkey called Gwyno who lives here at Trow Farm and his owner's love and devotion. There's a tinge of sadness to Gwyno's story, but for now, let us tell you about his life.
Sheila rescued Gwyno together with another donkey called Plato when she visited Llanybydder horse fair in Wales back in August 1994. She was told Gwyno was about 3-4 years old and probably from Ireland. Plato was 9-10 years old and had been with a group of travellers. Neither donkey knew each other at that time, but within a few months became inseparable friends.
In their new paddock overlooking Cardigan Bay, they had found paradise. But whilst Plato was lovable and very friendly, Gwyno was absolutely terrified - he hid in the bushes or behind Plato and ran away from everybody. It was a nightmare to catch him for the vet and farrier and when caught he had to be sedated. Sheila spent many hours talking to our welfare team for advice on what to do.
At that time Sheila thought she would have to relinquish Gwyno into our care. Yet there was something about him that led her to persist and this is part of his story. With the help of Sheila's friends she won through.
Gwyno became a lovable and very well behaved donkey. Sheila even showed him for the first time in Carmarthen donkey show and he was awarded a prize. He has also been filmed by BBC Wales for a special show. Sadly, Plato died a few years ago of a heart attack and Gwyno mourned the loss of his best friend by hee-hawing and running around Plato for hours.
Because of ill-health, Sheila wasn't able to continue giving Gwyno the care and attention he needed. So in March 2012 she escorted him into the Sanctuary’s lorry and gave him a last tearful cuddle.
But that wasn't the end of the story... Sheila is now a regular visitor who travels from her home in Wales to spend the whole day with Gwyno taking him for a walk around the farm.
As we mentioned earlier, there is a little sadness because Gwyno's own health is deteriorating. We noticed that he had been losing weight and condition and has been diagnosed by our vets as having liver problems. We've put Gwyno on two extra hard feeds a day to try and gain weight but at the age of 25, any illness in a donkey can be life-threatening.
We couldn't finish Gwyno's story without a final word from Sheila... "I feel sure that those happy years in Wales in his beloved paddock and spinny with his human and animal friends, especially Plato, will forever remain special memories for him of his past life."