Jewels in the Barnyard
This past August I posted the blog, And Then There Were Four, which described the rescue of 4 donkeys by the DSC. Their lives had been shadowed by living conditions of gross neglect and their physical conditions were sources of great concern. The 10 day old foal wheezed whenever she inhaled and her mother was much too thin to be a nursing jennet. One of the older donkeys had severely twisted, deformed, overgrown hooves while a fourth hobbled on feet that had been ‘trimmed’ with a hacksaw.
The first two weeks after the donkeys’ arrival was a tense period for DSC staff, our veterinarian and our farrier. Hoof trimming had to be carried out as delicately as possible while the mother of the foal was introduced to a high nutrition diet. All the while, staff were nearby, encouraging the donkeys, demonstrating to them that human contact could be positive. Gradually, much-needed weight was put on all of the donkeys. The foal started to frolic, a most welcome sign.
Three months have passed, now, since the rescue. Just this week the donkeys were moved out of quarrantine and into the barnyard with our special needs group. Yesterday morning I watched this little band investigating their new world. Sheep and goats were sniffed and examined very carefully. The foal moved around as if glued to her mother – so many new scents and sounds! And the fourth donkey who had been gelded soon after being brought to the Sanctuary had, just a few days ago, been moved to a paddock with Austin and Bentley, two lively geldings.
At the time of the donkeys’ arrival, the question arose as to what names should be given. An informal survey was held and it was decided in turn that jewels should be the inspiration for the names. Consequently the gelding was called Jasper, a two year old jennet was named Pearl, the mother we called Diamond and the baby was named Ruby. While I gazed at this little group, moving around their new companions, so obviously contented, their names once again brought a smile of affection. Each one is indeed a jewel in his or her way and their presence will be a reminder always that, when people care enough to take action, precious positive results can be realized from even the most negative of situations.
Sandra Pady, Founder