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Donkey's Years (or is it.....)

I must begin this little piece of nonsense with an apology: to all who I have encountered in my role here at The Donkey Sanctuary Leeds; to all the lovely visitors; and to all who have endured me talking to them out in the community, extolling the virtues of our charity – to all of you, I am deeply sorry. But in my defence, and I can perhaps be easily forgiven because, even the Oxford English Dictionary has got it wrong on this occasion! But I digress, and perhaps I should begin at the beginning…

Donkey's Ears

William the Conqueror spared one last battle

Donkeys are known for their stoicism, which means they don’t always tell us how poorly they are. But when you’ve known a donkey for as long as we’ve known 24 year old William D, you soon get to understand the signs that all is not right. This week we have had to make the most painful and heartbreaking of decisions for this kind and loving donkey who was one of Donkey Sanctuary Leeds’ founding members.

William D

Magic moments

During autumn half-term we were visited by one of our more elderly I Love Donkeys participants, Audrey. Audrey’s daughter, Kathrin, says that Audrey has been passionate about donkeys as long as she can remember – her mum always the first to spot the donkeys in the fields when on a family outing.

Audrey with carer Angela pictured with William D

When Alexander The Great Met William the Conqueror (of Fears!)

Over recent months, within The Donkey Sanctuary’s Donkey Assisted Therapy centres - one of the charity’s primary focuses alongside the welfare of donkeys and mules - there have been significant changes set in motion. After 40 years of donkey assisted riding therapy operating essentially as its founder Elisabeth Svendsen imagined it, our programme is getting a beneficial ‘make over’.

Alexander the Great and William the Conqueror (of Fears!)

The significance of the occasion - 40 years of donkey assisted therapy

My name is Daniel, and I’ve been coming to the centre here at Eccup for around 8 years now, the past 18 months as an employee. Ten years ago, in the Spring, my wife gave birth to Grace Eloise McLoughlin – she was born very prematurely and had significant additional needs. She had a very active physio programme from an early age, and at around the age of three someone casually suggested we bob along to The Donkey Sanctuary at Eccup – even though it was on our doorstep we hadn’t heard of it!


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