One of our foster owners, Val Brazier from Herefordshire, has sent us a lovely story which we would like to share with you in her own words.
Jenny has been here for almost eight years now and the circumstances of her re-homing were ideal. Whilst the Sanctuary felt that a single companion was best for Jenny because of her past bad experiences before she was rescued, we were happy to relinquish ownership of Bruno to the Sanctuary, when she came, as he was so lonely after his mother had died. I still smile when I look at them now and reflect on the day she arrived.
Bruno was a real mummy's boy, born here and thoroughly indulged by Bianca, his mum., needing to be first for everything - he would even wriggle under the brush as I groomed his mother - and was generally allowed to do what he wanted, by his mum (not by us I may add ) and behave like a spoilt donkey child. This went on until he was eighteen!
The day of Jenny's eagerly anticipated arrival dawned and to my dismay it was pouring with rain. The stable was clean and ready, with a trough of sweet hay and water nearby and all, fortunately, under cover. Here was the problem. I had a clear vision of Jenny arriving, Bruno standing his ground inside the dry stable next to the food and water, and poor Jenny standing nervously outside in the rain. How wrong I was!
The Donkey Sanctuary lorry duly arrived and Jenny was unloaded, happily braying, with Pat Lavers (the Sanctuary's area welfare officer for Gloucester and Hereford), also in attendance for support. We led Jenny down to meet our spoilt big boy. To describe a donkey as being absolutely gobsmacked is an understatement. I can still picture the look of amazement on his face today and it still makes me laugh. Jenny took one look at Bruno, who had come out of the stable and into the field to see what the noise was, and with supreme confidence, walked straight past him into the stable and started munching the hay. It was Bruno who stood outside in the rain, watching intently, if not a little nervously. When she had finished, Jenny then turned round to face Bruno - who promptly and somewhat confused, turned round himself. A sniff in his tail area caught him off guard and he started to walk away, slowly at first, then briskly, then at a trot and finally at a gallop with Jenny likewise gaining speed and in hot pursuit. After a few circuits and to the great amusement of the humans, they slowed down, walked into the stable together and have been the best of friends ever since.
As for our spoilt donkey child, now 25, he always does as he is told, is respectful and courteous and does not always expect to be first. Jenny, most certainly, stands no nonsense and keeps him in good donkey order, in her sweet, gentle and kindly way.
If you are a foster owner and would like to send us a story about your donkeys, please contact us.