Violet and her friend Coco were fostered out to a lovely couple called Pauline and Mark Bowpitt about 18 months ago. At the time, we felt that Violet was very much a shrinking violet and lacked confidence. Sue Field, the Sanctuary's welfare officer, was present when these two delightful donkeys arrived at their new home and said that "Mark and Pauline were overjoyed with them but it was apparent that Violet was rather shy and somewhat nervous". But having lavished so much care and attention on them, Violet has definitely come out of her shell!
We received this lovely photo of Violet and will leave it to Pauline and Mark to tell you how it all came about.
'After initially walking around the paddocks with the donkeys we started taking them around the local lanes to build up their confidence. This helped Violet enormously although we occasionally met something which spooked them.
Our welfare officer, Sue Field, was somewhat startled on one of her visits to see a pram parked in the garden. Sue asked, with some trepidation, did this mean a forthcoming new addition to the family? And would that affect the donkeys?
Barely able to contain our laughter, we explained that on our walks with Coco and Violet they had been rather nervous on passing somebody walking their baby in a pram - so we obtained an old pram and used it in the paddock to get the donkeys used to it!
Occasionally we have to go off road which may involve going up a small bank or crossing a puddle. Coco always tends to step over any obstacles, but Violet will often jump across, so we decided to see if she would go across a proper jump. We set up an old fence post at tyre height and then I got in front of her and gently encouraged her over.
We do the same with Coco, but he is very reluctant and looks as me as if to ask 'What is the point, when I could just walk around this!' He eventually does step over, but you can almost hear him sigh 'Anything for a quiet life!'
However with Violet, after a few attempts in which she just stepped across, she did a proper jump. Her confidence has come on no end and she is so eager to please, bless her!
We make a rare old fuss of her, telling her what a clever girl she was and she really seems to enjoy it - as you can see in the photograph!"