Earlier this year I wrote a blog called ‘The hardest call to make’ and talked about Mark who had to say goodbye to his beloved Blewen. Mark's donkey JJ was left pining for her friend and long-term companion so the search to find her a friend was vigorously launched.
I got in touch with all my colleagues and contacts asking if they knew of a possibly suitable donkey who needed a new home. I was delighted to receive a call from Sue Field, the Donkey Welfare Adviser for South Norfolk and Essex, who told me about Isobel and JD. She said that they were mother and son and absolute sweeties who needed a caring home.
Well they say you wait for a bus and nothing comes along and then suddenly two arrive at the same time, and these donkeys’ characters and needs seemed to fit JJ’s perfectly.
I contacted Mark and told him all about them. It was meant to be with JJ and JD having such similar names! He thought it a great idea to have two donkeys so that the pain of leaving one on his/her own wouldn't have to be repeated.
I couldn’t wait to tell Sue and photos were soon winging their way across cyber space between Mark and Lisa, the owner of Isobel and JD. Texts and calls ensued and a date was chosen to transport the donkeys to Cornwall.
Sue and I were as excited as Mark and Lisa and we were both relieved to hear that they had loaded well and were on their long journey to their new fabulous Guardian Home.
After many hours, or it so it seemed to us, I finally received a call to say that they had arrived safely. Great news but all was not well. JD and Isobel pleased to be off the lorry ran around the field and JJ took refuge in her stable. Poor Mark was stressed, his precious JJ seemed more unhappy than before. I tried to encourage him by saying that it can take time for donkeys to gel with each other but as long as there was no aggression, he just had to be patient. I advised to let the donkeys have plenty of space so that they could find refuge if need be.
I explained that it could take several weeks for them all to get used to each other and to ensure that all three could access their water and straw by placing buckets in different parts of the field. A few days later I visited Mark and instead of seeing Isobel doing the chasing, JJ was now chasing her!! The lovely JD just stood in the field not sure who he was meant to chase and” why wasn’t anyone chasing me”?
Time and patience paid dividends and last week I had the great pleasure to be invited over to Mark’s to meet Lisa and her husband, who were on holiday in Cornwall, solely to be reunited with their donkeys and meet JJ.
I was thrilled to see three beautifully groomed donkeys all clearly enjoying each other's company. All vying for cuddles and kisses on their muzzles, the sad memories of seeing JJ on her own after Blewen’s death, were quickly erased.
This story has a wonderful happy ending. Not only have new donkey friendships been forged but Lisa, Mark and their partners have also formed a great new friendship all thanks to their lovely donkeys.
Sue and I were delighted to play cupid and are working on another match at the moment. Watch this space!