Monday, March 12, 2012


Jack at his first Donkey Days
JACK MOURNS.   Jack and his long time barn mate, Sady arrived at the Refuge just before Donkey Days last year.  Their human parents had to relocate and could not move Jack and Sady.  It was a difficult decision to give up their donkeys but they knew that Jack and Sady would be welcomed and well-cared for at the Donkey Refuge.
As with all of our new arrivals, our veterinarian gave them a thorough check up.  He discovered that both donkeys had heart problems.  Sady was quite thin and her coat was patchy so we knew that she would need a special diet and care that included walks to keep her active.  Jack's weight was good and he was active so we decided that we would just keep an eye on him for the time being.

Jack and Sady were both in their early thirties so we considered them "senior" donkeys.  In reality, they were "middle-aged" as donkeys can live to be fifty years old.

Jack joined our mini herd even though he is a standard donkey.  We thought it was best to put him with the smaller donkeys while he got used to being in a bigger group.  We set up a special area for Sady in the main barn where she could eat her special food and rest without being bothered by the other donkeys.

Donkey Days participants and subsequent streams of visitors to the Refuge were instantly attracted to Jack.  He is a beauty with his salt and pepper coat and quirkly personality.  He was first to the rails when visitors arrived and loved getting his ears and head scratched.
Sady received lots of attention as well.  She looked so fragile but still came to the gate to get her hugs and scratches.  With her beautiful brown eyes, she was loved by everyone who saw her.  She gradually gained weight and her coat became thick.  Visitors who had seen her at Donkey Days were thrilled to see how well she had responded to the special diet and care.  By November she seemed to be well on her way to good health and we were hopeful that she would live a long, healthy life.
Sady in late October
Winter arrived and all the donkeys moved indoors, out of the wind and cold.  Jack and Sady grew their winter coats and, like all the other donkeys, looked disheveled and scruffy.  By then, Jack had established his position as one of the herd leaders and had settled in to his new home.
In mid-December, Sady began to have seizures and started losing weight.  We knew that our girl was not to be with us much longer.  And so did Jack.  He became very agitated and started pacing in circles in the barn.

In early January, we lost our Sady.  And Jack lost his friend.  As we mourned her passing, so did Jack.  We knew that we had done all we could to make her comfortable and pain free in her last weeks.  Jack did not.  He only knew that his friend was gone.

It has been two months since Sady passed and we believe that Jack is still missing her.  He is a little cranky but is beginning to respond to our attention.  With a little care and a lot of love and hugs from us, and from the visitors to the Refuge, we know he will return to his former self.

So when you visit the Refuge this year, please remember to give Jack an extra ear scratch - for Sady.

For more information on the Refuge check out our website .  If you wish to sponsor Jack or one of our other resident donkeys, or to make a donation you can do so through our website by clicking on Donate Now.

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