Our two lovely girls were estimated to be 7-8 years old when they arrived at Far From together. Their condition wasn’t terrible but was far from good. Both were slightly underweight and had strange skin conditions that no vet had ever been able to identify. One of the donkeys was covered in boils – each one being around 5-10mm. She had hundreds of them all over her body, and her fur went up and down in waves. Luckily, a better diet, clean bedding and fresh air has brought the number down to 5. We’ll call that a success!
Phylis and Flow’s troubles were more to do with human handling than physical health. Donkeys are exceptionally emotionally intelligent animals – their bonds with one another and with people are very different to their fellow equines. Once they’ve paired (the sex of the donkey being irrelevant), they’re paired for life, and can die of heartbreak if separated. It was clear to us that they’d been handled badly, and they were rightly distrustful and nervous to start with.
Working with animals with such a high level of emotional intelligence brings its difficulties as well as its rewards. We noticed straight away that they were open to trusting us just because of the way we approached them. Flow has the wonderful ability to truly see you. One farrier lasted one visit – my girls made their opinion very clear.
Learning to read our girls and watching them read you has been extremely rewarding. We’ve connected with them on a different level – even deeper than with our dogs. My husband walked into the kitchen one day and said, “I don’t understand why everyone doesn’t have donkeys in their life.” They are an essential part of happiness to us now.
These two girls have made us fall head over heels in love with donkeys – we can’t wait for you to feel the same.