Three weeks ago Rowan and Coal, two yearling mules, were brought to the DSC. Once again we had been called in to rescue helpless equines, living in a state of care-less neglect. They were underfed, short of water and the available housing provided minimal shelter.
I realize that I have just used the qualifier, “once again”, in my reference to the mules’ rescue and that these words signal an air of resignation, of frustration. Most of the time, here at the Sanctuary, we are able to put out of our minds the callous attitudes of some animal owners. People like them, like the person who was responsible for the mules’ birth and subsequent lives, refuse to acknowledge that equines are sentient beings, ones who feel pain, cold and the many other ravages of neglect.
In spite of moments like the one to which I referred above, most of the time we carry on our work in an atmosphere that is filled with positive reinforcement. The company of the animals, of course, is always encouraging in itself. As is clear in this photo, Rowan and Coal have left the past behind. They are adjusting to a new world and learning that the touch of human hands can be an enjoyable experience. As with all young mules, a little attention goes a long way and they are responding to consistent, positive handling by our staff.
Happy endings like this one is are a great boost to the spirits. I realize that “once again” can be used in a positive way, too. Once again, the DSC community – contributors, staff and volunteers – was able to help. And that is good.
Sandra Pady, Founder