You are here

Gill Hamilton's blog

Dudley arrives in Devon

A few months ago I wrote a story about Dudley living at the Holding Base in North Scotland. This week the lorry arrived to take Dudley and some friends to the Sanctuary in Sidmouth.

It is always a difficult time having a last cuddle and waving them on to their new life whether it be a new Guardian home or to the Sanctuary where you know they will be safe, loved and cared for. Waving Dudley goodbye was particularly hard, he had probably been one donkey that had tested my behaviour skills to the limit. But we pushed through and what a character he turned out to be.


Dangers lurking in the paddock

Every morning before turning the donkeys out, I walk the paddocks with my dogs usually with the wheelbarrow collecting any droppings.

The daily inspection allows me to check fencing, water butts and ensure no ragwort has appeared.

This morning the dogs started to bark furiously and on investigating found a party helium balloon wrapped around a fence post. Carried on the wind it could have come from anywhere.

Donkeys having a curious nature could have come to serious harm by taking it in their mouths.

Inquisitive donkeys will always find new things to explore

An unexpected surprise

A farmer in the Highlands of Scotland got an unexpected surprise recently. On checking his cattle herd there were two large stallion donkeys. Thinking they had maybe strayed he asked around but no one knew where the donkeys had come from.

Andy and Ross

Dudley just loves his toys

Dudley came to the holding base in North Scotland a few months ago. He was a 6 year old stallion and had minimal handling. He had lived on his own since being bought as a surprise birthday present at 8 months old.

Dudley presented us with quite challenging behaviour, being quite territorial, biting, and rearing. We soon nicknamed him "Deadly Dudley" as he bit first and asked questions later.

After discussion with Ben Hart, our Behaviour Trainer, we set about using distraction techniques.

Dudley playing with his bollard

Alex and Joseph get a new home

Alex and Joseph recently arrived in their new home in North Scotland. Their new guardians have a camping and caravan business with a small children's pet area.

Alex and Joseph will have some new friends in their home; there will be 3 goats and 2 Hebridean sheep, pet rabbits and a few chickens. There will be lots of visitors to make a fuss of the donkeys and future walks through a small wood to the beach.

Alex and Joseph settling in to their new home

New relinquishment, new challenge

The holding base in North Scotland has over the years taken in many donkeys. Many have had veterinary, farrier or behaviour issues which have provided the opportunity to put into practice our training and learn from watching the professionals at work.

From remedial farrier work, minor operations of sarcoid removal, castrations of stallions by the vets to assisting the equine dentist learning more about dental problems.

Rupert, Robbie and Dillon


Subscribe to RSS - Gill Hamilton's blog