How a new friend helped bereaved donkey Paddy through the grief.

It’s an upsetting time for everyone when rehomed donkeys have to be put to sleep, especially for the donkey friend that is left behind.

They mourn as much as we do. It has been known for a donkey to give up on life after the loss of their friend. They can stop eating and drinking, or become very quiet and sometimes destructive.

So after the loss of Joseph, who lived to the grand old age of 35 in the care of his guardian family, Paddy started to bray loudly and even broke down part of the fence, which was most unlike him.

The loss of his friend was clearly getting too much for Paddy to bear.

We knew from Paddy's reaction that we had to find him another donkey pal quickly. This is not as easy as it sounds. Although The Donkey Sanctuary has a number of donkeys on the rehoming scheme, we have to carefully match each donkey to the right home.

In this case we needed a ‘single’ who was not bonded to another donkey. The new donkey must also be close in age or of a similar character to the bereaved donkey, and must pass a medical to show he has no underlying medical conditions and is fit to travel.

It was with relief that the lovely Jack from Woods Farm was found, who fit the bill perfectly.

When Jack arrived in his new home, Paddy couldn't believe his eyes. He was fixated watching Jack walk off the trailer. It was love at first sight.

Jack hit it off immediately with his Donkey Guardian and kept approaching her for a reassuring hug. Paddy was clearly overjoyed with his new donkey friend. Paddy acted like the perfect host and showed Jack around his new home. Their first meeting couldn't have gone better.

Staff from the welfare department, grooms and vets all played a huge part in making this process happen as quickly as possible.

Due to their determination, Paddy had a new friend within the week and they have made a very sad donkey happy again.

We wish Jack all the best in his new loving home.

In memory of the gorgeous Joseph Wilson 1.1.80 - 16.1.15