I was delighted to be able to attend a recent coffee morning being hosted at a poultry breeding venture called 'Click-Cluck'. Diane German and her husband Paul rescued donkeys called Sparkle and Snowy a few years ago, both of which were colts and had been found thin and very timid. Diane nursed them back to health but sadly Snowy died unexpectedly leaving a huge gap in Diane, Paul and Sparkle's life. When he was well enough, Sparkle was gelded and the search was on for a companion coming from The Donkey Sanctuary. Diane and Paul were finally 'rehomed' by Shrek! It is said that they are actually his Guardians but Shrek knows better, that he is really in charge!
Diane adores her donkeys and she decided to do something for The Donkey Sanctuary. Local organisation Click-Cluck open their premises every Friday morning for local groups to run coffee mornings, so Diane decided to run one on the 5 August and asked me, her Donkey Welfare Adviser to attend.
I'd been dealing with a challenging situation that Friday morning and was running late. I grabbed some bric-a-brac and dashed off to the coffee morning. On arrival I couldn't park! The road was full of cars. I had to drag the bric-a-brac quite a way to the coffee morning which was heaving with people. Diane had managed to get so many people to come and her team had baked homemade cakes and were flat out serving tea. The raffle and other games were doing well and people and children were sprawled out in the sun enjoying the morning. Regular trips to see the donkeys were also part of the coffee morning with people asking all sorts of questions about donkeys.
Diane says that Sparkle and Shrek have become very much part of the village and have loads of friends and admirers. She said she was amazed by the support and the final total for the morning was a staggering £350!
What does Diane think about her donkeys?
‘My boys are my therapy, and my life. Sparkle was a scared boy when we rescued him, but with lots of love and donkey kisses he learned to trust me. He was a lonely boy and regarded me as his companion, which I was more than happy to be but I knew he needed a donkey friend.
So along came Shrekie-boy from The Donkey Sanctuary. The bond they have now is amazing.
I can say that the love I have for them makes me cry and I thank the Sanctuary for entrusting him into our care.’
It's true that not only does becoming a Guardian bring the joy of caring for and being with donkeys but also, for many Guardians, brings a whole new social life and circle of friends. Donkeys really do bring people together!