Monday, November 07, 2005


Early January, on one of those icy, grey days when the cold can be felt no matter how many sweaters you wear, a call came into the DSC office from a regional inspector of the Ontario Humane Society. Earlier that morning, while he was checking the animals at an equine auction, the inspector had come upon a standard grey donkey. He was hunched over in a pen, painfully on rear hooves that were ten inches overgrown. The inspector responded immediately to the donkey's pathetic condition by saying that the animal would have to be surrendered unless a veterinarian was called in to attend within the hour. The owner's agent decided on the spot that it was in the best interests of the donkey for him to be given up. The inspector turned to the Sanctuary for help. By the time that the DSC trailer arrived on the site it was dark, the auction was over and they were taken to the little donkey who was cringing in a corner, standing on the cement floor of the cavernous barn. They approached slowly, giving him plenty of opportunity to pick up the scent of the other donkeys that emanated from their barn parkas. He studied them for a few minutes and then allowed a halter to be placed over his head in order to guide him to the waiting vehicle. Reluctant at first, he then relaxed a little, sensing as the donkeys so often do that he was being taken to a place where he would not be under such intense stress.They murmured quietly to the donkey, coaxing him onward as he moved along on those painfully, grotesque hooves. The drive home seemed to take forever as they awaited the moment when the little creature could sink into the softness of a mat lined straw bedded stall. As soon as was possible thereafter, the DSC veterinarian would work to begin the process of restoration on the donkey's hooves. In addition, and in recognition of the time of year that he had arrived, it was agreed that he would be namend 'Epiphany'.
Fan is one of the oldest donkeys at the DSC, these days he spends much of his time in the barnyard where he greets the visitors and much enjoys the special attenion that he receives.

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