Angus full bodyRecently, I had the pleasure to meet in person Audrey Smith, a remarkable woman who had come to the Sanctuary Farm  in order to spend some time with her old friend, Angus, a large Standard donkey.

Until 2007 Angus had lived contentedly on Audrey’s small farm in British Columbia.  She had been retired for many years and in addition to Angus, she cared for sundry goats, sheep, cats, dogs, chickens and a pony. Then one day, most unfortunately, the pony died and in the weeks to follow it was clear that Angus was affected deeply by the absence of his former companion.  After some research and careful consideration, Audrey contacted the DSC to ask for our help.  Could we provide a home to Angus?

I remember clearly my several conversations with Audrey, both when she made the initial request and then as plans were finalized for the journey by trailer that was required to bring Angus across much of Canada.  Audrey cared deeply for the donkey and would miss him very much but she had concluded that it would be best for him to live amongst new companions at the DSC.  I telephoned Audrey when Angus arrived at the Sanctuary Farm. It was clear that her relief at the news of his safe arrival was tempered by the very real loss that she felt.

In the eight years that Angus has lived at the Sanctuary Farm he has charmed several of our volunteers, in particular.  In turn, some of them have kept in touch with Audrey and as is not unusual, friendships have been formed over shared acquaintance with a donkey.

As time passed by, Audrey’s affection for Angus did not abate.  In spite of the distance, she was determined to see him again and so she made her plans.  A few weeks ago, we received the news that Audrey was about to leave BC.  She would be driving the 5000 kilometres on her own and would take the better part of a week to make the trip.  Audrey was in the thoughts of many of us at the Sanctuary during those days, as we mentally tracked her journey.

During her visit to the DSC, Audrey had plenty of time to spend with Angus and his companions.  She told me that it was like old times to be able to groom him and to talk to him as she always had done.  He even remembered her particular manner of lifting his feet so that his hooves could be cleaned.

As I write this note, Audrey is well on her way back to BC.  She told me that she will drive 10 hours most days.  As the kilometres pass by, I know that she will be treasuring the memory of this time spent with Angus.  They are both a very special part of the DSC community.

Sandra Pady, Founder





  1. As someone who had a donkey in the family for almost 30 years, I always look forward to seeing your photos and reading about the DSC. Our donkey, ZAK, had a pony companion for almost 25 years – he lived for three years after her death…

  2. What a touching story, Sandra. I couldn’t help but put myself in her shoes and behind the wheel. A long trek indeed, but I understand her determination to see her long ears friend. Thank you for sharing this!

  3. This is a beautiful story, Sandra. Thanks for sharing. I hope all is well with you and David and your lovely home and doggies. Love, Cheryll

  4. Omg!! So cute! I love this story! So touching! Wish I could have seen her face when she and Angus were reunited!!! She had a tough decision to make so many years ago, but she made a great one! The DSC is amazing and Angus is totally happy!

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