A donkey left heartbroken following the loss of his best friend has now found a new companion.

Max, a 24-year-old male donkey, was left forlorn and lonely after the friend he had lived with for many years sadly passed away due to colic. Thanks to our efforts, Max has been introduced to Marian, a 20-year-old mare, and the pair have since become inseparable.

When Tewsday Herbert, one of our Donkey Welfare Advisers, found out about Max's fate, she knew she had to act fast and find him a new companion.

Speaking about Max's case, Tewsday said: "Donkeys form strong, and long-lasting friendships. The separation of bonded donkeys can often cause extreme distress in the form of pining behaviour. So it was very important that we found Max a new companion as quickly as possible."

After sending Max's owner some photographs, it turned out that Marian looked very much like Rosie, a sign that would help them to bond if we introduced them.

Marian lived at one of our Devon sanctuaries and has a pre-existing dental condition which had previously made rehoming a tricky decision, as she requires specialist treatment every six months. Fortunately, Max is also seen twice a year by one of the UK's top dental vets, meaning they will both receive the best care together.

After discussions with our Veterinary Team, Marian was given a full medical examination by veterinary surgeon Vicky Grove to ensure she was fit and well. Once we had completed dental treatment and farrier work to her feet, she made the journey to join Max at his Berkshire home.

Vicky says: "When a donkey loses a bonded companion, the need to find a replacement is urgent. However, we try to find the best match, which meant an older, single donkey in Max's case."

"A rehoming medical allows us to identify any ongoing age-related issues and then communicate this with the potential home to ensure additional care is put in place. As Marian requires expert dental care more frequently than the usual annual check-up, the home is already perfectly prepared for Max's dental issues."

Max had been extremely close to Rosie. He had been alone since November and had spent much of his time at the fence looking very lonely, so Marian proved to be the perfect soulmate, and the pair hit it off straight away. Lacking confidence, Max was smitten as Marian took the lead, proving to be the strong character he needed.

Marian has given Max a new zest for life, and the pair have been enjoying their time together. She has been by his side since joining him, and the pair have clearly bonded.

Vicky concludes: "It is so heartening to see the joy Marian has brought to Max and his owner."

Max's owner, Sally Hunt says: "Marian has been a delight since she has arrived and she has given Max a reason to live again. Donkeys are truly magical!"

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