When foster owner Lesley rehomed the 14hh mule Wallace from The Donkey Sanctuary, he had the makings of a riding animal, but was apparently unhappy taking a saddle. After trying different saddles and having his back checked and his being given a clean bill of health, Lesley and her team, Harriet and Vince, saw that world-famous horse whisperer Monty Roberts was coming to nearby Harpbury College as part of his UK tour.
Cardinal Newman in Coventry is a large secondary school with an alternative curriculum which includes animal care, preparing students to go on to Foundation and Degree courses in all aspects of animal management. Current students are destined for the prestigious Harpbury College and other universities.
Lucas and Jim live with long-term Guardian Lesley Harding in glorious Gloucestershire. When Lucas lost his friend, our vet Anna Harrison thought it would be an ideal opportunity to enrich both the donkeys' lives through introducing a new friendship; Jim was at The Donkey Sanctuary but not settled in a large group and Lucas was all alone. Anna was thrilled with the idea of a happy outcome for Jim, and Lesley delighted that a new companion had been found for Lucas.
Bruce and Choco were relinquished by their owner early this year as she was busy with her job and moving home in the near future. She felt they weren't getting the attention they needed as much as she loved them dearly. When I visited I thought they were a super pair of donkeys that just needed their treatments bringing up to date and Choco to get a little bit more confident being caught.
As most of you will probably know, donkeys can live a long time. Sometimes they outlive their donkey friends, occasionally they can also outlive their human carers.
Let me introduce you to a very special foster donkey called Elijah. Sadly Elijah is no longer with us as he was put to sleep this year at the great age of 36.
I first met Elijah in 2003 when he was living in Hampshire with his elderly guardian carer. Sadly Mr Ewens passed away after a sudden illness and Elijah’s future suddenly became less certain.
A year after Mark and Jill welcomed Rosie and Daisy into their home they wrote an update for The Donkey Sanctuary Welfare Team, and their Donkey Welfare Adviser Sue Field.
If it wasn’t for the wonder of Facebook “reminding” us of the event one year ago when our donkeys arrived we may well have forgotten. The girls have become so much a part of our lives that it feels like they have always been with us.