SOLO – Rest In Peace

Solo, the donkey, died today. He was 25 years old. Over the past two years his health  was problematical and time spent at  the Ontario Veterinary College for treatment did not provide any answers.   The immediate cause of death  appears to have been gastrointestinal.  A necropsy will be done on the body.

As some  are aware, Solo and his father, TicTac, came into our lives in 1992 when Virginia Buchanan-Smith and I went to pick them up from their home farm in Quebec’s Gaspe area.  More than any other donkey at the DSC, Solo alternately charmed and aggravated staff, volunteers and visitors alike.  He was unique and always he will  represent for me our early years of operation when we stumbled often  through our days, learning new things  all the while about the subtleties that are ‘donkey’.

I am grateful to have had the opportunity to share some time with him on this earth………….. Bonjour, beau ga’. Tu est magnifique.

Sandra Pady, Executive Director

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DONKEY by Jill Bough

I have read alot of books about donkeys in my time and, children’s story books and training manuals aside, there have been very few publications that have combined both in depth, well-researched material and a sensitive, respectful approach to donkeys and their cultural place in the world.  Well, I – or you- need look no further now that DONKEY, by Jill Bough, has been published (www.reaktionbooks.co.uk).

As we all know, historically donkeys have been among the most useful workers in the service of human needs, while at the same time they have  been much maligned in popular cultures and given very little respect. In DONKEY, however, Jill Bough champions these humble creatures, proving that after 10,000 years of domestication, this incredibly hard-working animal  deserves our praise and appreciation.

This concise, well-illustrated  analysis of the donkey attends to its contributions throughout history down to present day. But the best parts of the work, for me, are those sections where the author looks at the wide variety of social, cultural and religious meanings that donkeys have embodied, especially in literature and art.  With accounts that are both fascinating and touching, this cultural history inspires respect and admiration for the donkey, qualities of description that are long overdue.  DONKEY is highly recommended.

Sandra Pady, Executive Director

 

Our New Donkey Barn

Several more weeks than we had anticipated  have been required to complete our new Donkey Barn but, at last, we are there.  As I write, the gravel trucks are bringing in the final loads for the network of lanes around the barn and, on Sunday, at 11, we are giving tours to staff and volunteers.  The official opening will take place in the Spring.

The support that we have received for this building has been extraordinary.  Our supporters have given so generously to help with the costs of the building and we are grateful for each and every gift.  To date, $151,000 has been raised towards a budget of $175,000.  It is an incredible achievement for our modest organization. 

The new barn is bright, has excellent ventilation,  and we will be able to configure its layout in several ways, according to the needs of the animals.  The interior has a soft glow of light from the rows of windows on all sides and the insulated roof will help to keep things warmer in winter and cooler in summer.   Our Spring News will be filled with photos and, for now, there are many up on our Facebook page.   All of the people whose efforts and generosity have combined to make this happen have every reason to be proud!

Sandra Pady, Executive Director

Sandra Pady, Executive Director