Here at Paccombe Farm, and as with all of the farms, we really love our donkeys. It is a pleasure to look after them, and getting to know each one of their individual personalities is the best. They are all special, but sometimes, there are some donkeys who really stand out from the crowd - Peggy is one of them.
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A couple of months ago, three mares arrived here at Paccombe Farm and joined our group of expectant mums. We knew they had been relinquished to The Donkey Sanctuary, we knew they were all in foal, and we knew they were very much in need of some TLC, but that was about it.
When they arrived they were all very thin and nervous. One mare, Jubilee, who was nearest to foaling, was doing her best to avoid us or even kick out at us if we got too near. We felt as if we were against the clock - our vets thought we had a few weeks before the foal would arrive and they were right.
We were all really excited when we heard we were having a new group of mares coming to Paccombe, especially when we found out that some of them were in foal!
When they arrived they were understandably pretty nervous and avoided us as much as they could, huddling together as a close little herd. We gave them time to assess their surroundings but we tried to settle them in and make friends with them.
With a cold snap finally upon us, this time of year we like to take extra special care of our elderly residents. One of the ways we do that is by making sure they all have something warm in their tummies throughout the day.
In 2012, thanks to your kind generosity, we were able to raise enough funds to install a hot water tank in our group of elderly donkeys in Old Yard here on Paccombe Farm. On several occasions throughout the day we refill the donkeys' trough with a cup of tea and enjoy watching them gather around for a drink.
If you're a donkey lover then we're sure you'll agree that whether they are tall or short, young or old, black or white, brown or spotty - donkeys are all great.
But every now and then a larger-than-life character will nuzzle their way into our hearts... and this one goes by the name of Neil.
For those of you who have been to Paccombe Farm during Donkey Week, or possibly on a training course, you will know that our farm manager is also called Neil.
Giving the gift of time is something that our wonderful Quality Time Volunteers do... the power of it should never be under-estimated. Some of our volunteers show such dedication. They even travel extra miles to visit the donkeys at our outyling farms if the regular farm they volunteer at is temporarily off limits. This is the case of this very special lady, Hilary.