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PACO – Rest in Peace

February 16, 2011

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

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Shelley permalink
    February 16, 2011 6:42 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear about Paco. This is a beautiful tribute to him.

  2. February 17, 2011 4:06 pm

    Our hearts are filled each day with the joy we receive from these wonderful loving animals but when we lose one our hearts feel a little less full. Thankfully I know that the donkey’s soul goes to a better place where there is no sore feet , no sore teeth, no neglect, no abuse and no pain. They are finally free. So sorry to hear about your loss.

  3. Joanne Greenberg permalink
    February 17, 2011 4:40 pm

    Sandra,
    I’m so sad to hear of Paco’s passing!
    He was truly a sweet little donkey and I know how much you did to help make his life better!
    He made a lot of people happy with his sweet personality and was a hit on Donkey Day!
    Just know that he isn’t suffering and is at peace! Know that you and your husband are a very special people, along with the staff and volunteers, that do
    miracles for all these abused and neglected donkeys~!
    You will be blessed!
    Fondly,

    Joanne Greenberg xoxo

  4. margaret boland permalink
    February 17, 2011 6:00 pm

    sad when you lose a animal friend,i hope his close companion will be ok and make new friends.

  5. Linda Gardner permalink
    February 17, 2011 7:02 pm

    I am so heart broken that i won’t get to meet Paco in Aug. He is frolicking at the Rainbow Bridge with all the other donkeys who have gone before him ~~~

  6. anne murphy permalink
    February 19, 2011 4:38 pm

    I think that many people felt that Paco was their special donkey. That’s how I felt about him – his sweet little face looking out from a corner of the barn. I echo Margaret’s thoughts about Chiclet and hope for the best for him. Looking forward to my next visit. All my sympathy to you folks who knew and loved him best.

  7. Bonnie permalink
    February 25, 2011 11:48 pm

    Poor darling little Paco. Sponsoring him helped me get through a rough time in my life. He was there for me in ways he would never imagine. Rest in peace, sweet Paco, you did amazing things on earth and will always be remembered by those you touched with your sweet personality and determination.

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