This morning I took a trip in the country, one that I had taken many times before, still the same destination but with a different purpose. I had toyed with the idea of doing this for the longest time, and came up with a few things of why not, but the why nots are not just my own personal boundaries, and really not good enough reasons to not do it. The main hurdle for me though was a little bit of the uncertainty of where the future home will be and having had reassuring reports over the last few weeks, that is will stay exactly where it is, I came to the decision to jump over my little walls and finally do it and today was the first part of the beginning. 15 of us newbies were assembled in the upper barn of the barnyard for an orientation session about the DSC. Felt a little bit funny, because most of the people there never even had been at the DSC before and I guess were just looking for some type of Volunteer opportunities, so me being an old pro at visiting, the info given at the orientation was really nothing new for me. I don't know how many times I have read the web pages and gathered any info I could find on the DSC, the animals there and mostly their work. I have always been impressed by the level of commitment by the staff and the volunteers there, their outstanding interest in educating people and to help these absolute amazing creatures, and having been an active sponsor for quite a few years for quite a few donkeys, I always wanted to get more involved, since I just absolutely find such peace and comfort in being around the donkeys. There is no better way of being in the now than with a donkey. After the "in class" orientation we got to mingle with some of the donkeys in the barnyard. I was lucky enough to have my cute Sable in the group and got to spend some time brushing and cuddling her. She really is one of my favourites and has been right from the start,but in all honesty I do love them all. They are all unique and have their own personality and temperament.
After almost two hours out in the cold it was time to wrap up part one of the Orientation/Training session and get back to the hustle and bustle of ordinary life. Part two is to follow next Saturday morning at 9 am with grooming and other animal care topics. I am really looking forward to getting started and yes it will take a while to get comfortable and familiar, but it is just such an amazing place that I am sure it won't be that long. I am looking forward to learning so much more and getting hands on training in everything that involves the care of a donkey.
On that note a few updates from the DSC....bad and good.....
* big change in staff and it makes me a little bit sad but ....DONKEY BOY is leaving to pursue his other passion. He surely will be missed by most of the donkeys, especially his buddy SOLO. He was definitely a big part of the success of the DSC, his love and passion for these animals showed in every interaction between him and the donkeys. He leaves big shoes to fill. I am glad to hear though that he will be still involved in training some of the hard to handle donkeys, like my other cutie HERSHEY.
*Juno, the donkey that arrived at the DSC in late summer is making slow progress in getting trust in people back, she was hit in the head by her previous owner numerous times and is really afraid of people approaching her, but she lets you touch her with arm length away but that is far better than the distance she used to put in between a person and herself just a couple of weeks ago.....one thing about donkeys....they have a great capacity of forgiving and letting go.
*the saddest news today was so to learn that the little neglected donkey Peaches had to be put down. There was no way in saving her from a life of pain due to the lifelong neglect of her owner. X-rays had shown that the bones on her feet ever actually worn down from never getting her hooves trimmed ever and them just growing forward and her having to compensate. No veterinarian had ever seen hooves and feet that bad, they even consulted the DS in England, and their trained veterinarians on any options for the little donkey. But in the end the decision was made that it really was in the best interest of the donkey to end her suffering.