When I was up at the Sanctuary earlier, I noticed a few new faces amongst the Barnyard Group. Donkeys in this area have special needs of one kind or another, ranging from the demands of old age, to minor injuries, to personality eccentricities, to questionable health issues. These animals, in particular, are always on our staff members’ personal radars: slight changes in condition, whether positive or negative, are monitored closely so that treatment can be adjusted as necessary.
I was interested to see that Chico had been moved to the Barnyard Group and will stay there for the winter. He is 28 years old, now, and feeling the cold even though it is only November. He will probably wear a blanket throughout the season. Diamond and Flint, mother and three month old foal, have been moved in to spend their days with the group as well. He is ready for more donkey socialization at this point and the relative peacefulness of the ‘oldies’ environment will be a good introduction. Jimmy, the mule, has been recovering from a tendon injury for several months and he has finally reached the stage where he can be out of his stall on a full time basis. Of course, he would like to rejoin his mule colleagues but their lively pace is still too much for him. The same goes for Gertie, another mule in the Barnyard. She is a recent arrival at the DSC and still hesitant around so many other equines. A tendon injury has plagued Bob Ray, too, and it is healing well after many weeks of stall rest. This relative confinement was due to Bob’s liking,; he is inordinately fond of being inside the barn. Gentle Daisy, who usually lives in the jennets’ herd, has been brought in due to a bizarre swelling that appeared on her chest recently. Her appetite has not been affected, however, and she is showing no other signs of ill health. Of greatest concern right now is Amigo who has been receiving ongoing special care for several months. Although the surgery on his club feet was successful last year, since the Spring he has had periods when his breathing has been laboured. At the moment he seems better.
These eight donkeys and mules, along with eleven others, are each receiving ongoing particular attention. It is comforting to know that they are in such capable hands and as I walked back to the house I gave a quiet, “Three cheers” to our capable staff members who take care of these donkeys and sixty other healthy equines as well.
Sandra Pady, Founder