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Scotties in Devon

I was proud to be a Scottie owner when I saw the Scottish Terriers leading each team onto the stage for the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games, they are wonderful loyal and friendly dogs.

Meg, my own Scottie, who is now 8 years old, was a wedding present from my husband and her favourite toy is still her soft donkey that I gave her when she was a puppy.

I have had to sew an ear back on and make some repairs to his stomach but whenever she is worried she always wants her donkey with her.

Meg with her comfort donkey

Happy New Year from Billy

Happy New Year to you all, it was such a lovely sunny day I could not resist visiting Billy at Cottage Shelter on my way into work this morning.

We have had some terrible flooding and storms over the Christmas break and I was delighted to see that the new building that now houses the donkey assisted therapy team at Sidmouth was creating a superb facility for these special donkeys.

Billy at Cottage Shelter

Colleferro... progress being made

Earlier this month I was lucky enough to be able to spend a few days at our rescue centre in Italy. Il Rifugio degli Asinelli is situated in a beautiful location in the foothills of the Italian Alps, although on the day we arrived the fog was so thick we could not even see the end of the road! On the second day the sun shone and the views were incredible. The donkeys rescued from Colleferro earlier in the year could not have come to a nicer location.

Poldo and Quasar

Naughty Face barn

It may be hot and sunny at the moment, but our in-house maintenance team have designed and manufactured the framework and wooden slats for panels to be fitted to the sides of one of our more open plan donkey housing areas at Trow Farm. When Naughty Face barn was originally designed (named after Dr Svendsen's first donkey) we thought it would be lovely for the donkeys to have snug stables, individual run out areas and a communal feeding area. This feeding area is roofed but had open sides.

Billy making a huge difference to children's lives

I went to see Billy yesterday because a banana I had brought in for my lunch had been sitting on my desk over the weekend and was very brown and smelly - just the way Billy likes them! I found him resting in Cottage Shelter with the other riding-therapy donkeys who were not on the rota to give rides and was very pleased to see me with my offering. Billy is very gentle with the way he takes his bananas and he knows it's a special treat.

Short back and sides!

Bathing and shampooing the donkeys once they have been clipped has proved an effective method to minimise their lice burden and means that we have not had to use chemicals on them with the aim of gradually lessening the resistance to the drugs that the lice have shown. Some of the donkeys do look a bit odd with their extreme haircuts but their hair will grow back and they are much more comfortable without the lice.

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