The woman and I are asked quite often how Sheila, who runs the PrimRose Donkey Sanctuary, keeps going day after day. She has seen every possible negative aspect of human nature at work in the guise of the neglected and abused donkeys who make their way to her farm. Still she smiles, never raises her voice and one by one, tries to help the sanctuary residents and educate humans on how to properly care for donkeys in general.
I know some of you have heard me speak of Tabi (Tabolinski), the mammoth donkey who luckily found himself in Sheila's care. He had worked tirelessly pulling logs from the forest, without benefit of footcare for ages. When he was sold, his new owner decided to "fix" his feet all in one go, and the bony structure inside dropped down to his soles, leaving him in agony. Sheila and her vet and farrier and the volunteers nursed him back to health and he was looking shiny and standing comfortably, soaking up the sun and finally leading a wonderful life. One day last week Sheila went out to prepare donkey breakfasts and Tabi had died in the night. She is devastated. We have no details as yet but I know there are many of us, human and donkey, who know how much Sheila's heart is aching right now. I hope she remembers that even though his life was short - he was only in his mid-teens - she gave a great soul the chance to know what loving care is all about. He will be greatly missed.
On a happier note, Theodore, the "dumpster donkey" is thriving in his new home. After having been nearly beaten to death with a shovel by a lunatic who tied him to a dumpster and left him there to die, Sheila was called and he was taken to the sanctuary. To say he had trust issues is a massive understatement. Sheila felt his nightmarish experiences would make him a liftetime resident. One day a teenage human and her mother went to visit the sanctuary. Theodore marched up to the girl and declared she was "the one".
He went to live at her home and from being virturally untouchable, he is now calmly having his feet done by the foot man, being brushed, haltered and led everywhere. Last winter, he and his group of horses came into the barn during a bad storm. Theodore and the humans realized at the same time that one horse was missing. Back out went Theodore, up a steep hill, in the blinding snow, where he moved in close to the horse and led him back down the hill with the horse's muzzle pressed into his furry back. His day wasn't done yet. The teenage human's father found a chicken out in the roadway in the same blizzard and brought it home, fearing it wouldn't last the night. The chicken was put into the warm barn. In the morning the chicken was found fully recovered, nestled on Theodore's warm back. Theodore does not take his new home for granted. He knows how truly terrible humans can be but has the judgement to recognize the good ones when he meets them. That farm is in good hooves with Theodore in charge.
Those are just two of the many reasons we want to make the "Big Day" a very big success. Thank you to all who are working so hard to help my donkey friends and thank you to Sheila for doing, day in and day out, what most of us cannot even imagine. She's a woman on a mission and I gladly lend my name to anything that will help her to keep PrimRose up and running.