The Donkey Sanctuary of Canada is not a large organization and so every donkey and mule to whom we give care is known well by staff, volunteers and our supporters. 142 equines have been taken in over the years and each one has charmed us in a unique way.
And then there was Paco.
Paco was a tiny donkey, born with a severely malformed jaw and thoughout his life, he could chew, very slowly and awkwardly, only on one side of his mouth. His tongue hung out on one side as a consequence of the deformity; indeed, the entire right side of his head was askew.
In spite of all of that, Paco displayed a level of determination that was truly awesome. Every meal that he ate, he ate slowly, carefully and, at times, painfully. 18 months ago, our veterinarian removed three enormous teeth that had grown at devious angles. He was more comfortable after that.
Since Paco was a small Miniature donkey, he was a great favourite with our visitors. He was always gentle and more than patient with human attention. About 3/4 of the way through every Open Day, Paco would indicate that it was time to be alone and to rest. And, always, Chiclet, his devoted companion, would be nearby.
Paco collapsed a few days ago and experienced violent seizures. We rushed him to the Ontario Veterinary College Clinic but to no avail. He died soon thereafter and it will be a few weeks before the test results are available which might inidicate the cause of his demise.
Here at the Sanctuary Farm we see alot of death and each time a donkey passes on, we mourn. In Paco’s case, it is like a little light has been extinguished, one that signalled exceptional courage and determination. Rest in peace, Paco. We are grateful for the time that you were with us.
Sandra Pady, Exec Direc