Yesterday was a very very quiet day at the DSC, with only 78 visitors all day it was a really nice and relaxing day. Not sure why it was so quiet, maybe because the weather forecast was really calling for horrible thunderstorms. When I drove up it was cloudy and didn't look very nice, but I think all in all it only maybe rained a couple of drops. They had promised rain for days now and really nothing. When I arrived I noticed that the animals already had their name tags on, some where already in the garden paddock because they just can't stay out on Open Day and everything was done except the clean up. Two donkeys had still to be moved to the garden paddock and I helped with that, because one, Apollo, was not going to go anywhere, so Steph tried to lead and I ended up having to get the "noisemaker" to get Apollo going. The noisemaker is just a crumbled up plastic bag at the end of a stick, but the donkeys really don't like the sound of it behind them and it is a sure way to get them to move, it works every time, because sometimes even our best efforts of getting them to move with our noises or clapping behind them doesn't do it. Then Steph wanted to take Gordon to the paddock and she thought he was limping, so she asked me to walk him so she could observe, by then it was obvious that he was in pain and didn't even want to put his foot down at all. Steph checked his hoof and it seemed fine, but she definitely felt some heat coming from his leg. We slowly walked him back into a soft bedded stall and the vet was called. I wonder what these donkey boys do at night time, when nobody is watching, because it seems to come from one day to the next. I hope he will be ok, Gordon is one of our oldest donkey boys and hopefully it will not be an injury that will do him in. Poor sweetie, and poor Helia, since he is one of her favourites and she just lost her beloved Danny and well Gordon is also one of my sponsored donkeys.
Buddy is still on stall rest, because he has a torn tendon under his knee, but apparently a tear is better and easier to heal than a pulled ligament or sprain. We will see, he seems to be in good spirit and definitely is enjoying all this special attention he is getting and he is allowed out of the stall 20 minutes a day for now. So he is happy.
After everybody was were they suppose to be, I began cleaning up the barnyard and the office paddock, it was so humid that within a few minutes of working, sweat was just dripping of me and my clothes were soaking wet, one could definitely sympathize with the donkeys and the pestering flies today, as even us humans had flies all on us and were constantly swatting them away. It was really bad.
Since it was such a quiet day I pretty much got a lot of donkey time in, not grooming, because we are not really suppose to do it while visitors are there, but just cleaning up after them and mingling with them all day long. I spent a lot of time on the dark side with Buffy and Dolly and of course then everybody comes and wants to get a cuddle and ear scratch.
There were a few priceless moments happening throughout the afternoon, like Ms. Jenners, one of our older donkey ladies, mounting a young donkey girl in heat and as we told her to get off Abigail, she got of and smiled at us with all her teeth showing. It was so funny.
Chiclet was in a really cuddly mood, which doesn't happen very often, but once in a while he has days like that were all he wants to do is lean up against you and be hugged.
Juno was enjoying a long ear scratch from me over the fence, with her neck stretching out as far as it could, her bottom lip quivering and her eyes just wide open saying all they needed to say...."oh I am enjoying this so very much".
Cocoa spent most of the afternoon inside the barn, but not leaning against a wall having a rest, but hanging over the stall fence and enjoying some ear rubs and cuddles from us. Omg he was so funny as soon as we would walk away from him and just stood there talking amongst us, he would make this wimpy little bray, not really a bray, not sure what I should call it, but just a really heartbreaking little sound, just enough to be heard and getting one of us back over to him to cuddle with him. Now Cocoa is a big boy and just having this pitiful little noise come from him to get our attention was too cute. Seems too that Cocoa and Buddy had this competition going on over the fence, who could get the most sympathy from people, when everybody gathered around Buddy, Cocoa would make his little sound and people would rush to him, and then Buddy would smile over the fence again and bray and everybody would flock around him again, so Cocoa had to come up with a more pitiful sound than before, it was priceless as this went on pretty much all afternoon. And people including us volunteers fell for it every single time.
Later in the afternoon I ran into a young boy, who I had met before at the beginning of the season in the Longear boutique, back then he was there to find a new donkey to sponsor since his sponsored donkey had just passed away in the winter and he fell in love with Augusta and picked her to be sponsored. When weeks later I found out about Augusta's fate he was the first person that came to mind, and I really felt bad about the thought of him having to face the loss of another sponsored donkey so very soon after the last one, and I thought I should really try to find out where he lives and give him a call and tell him about Augusta's passing , but me being me and scared to do so many things out of my comfort zone I didn't, and it's been really bugging me. So yesterday we had a nice chat with him about Augusta and I told him I have a really nice picture of her without her "goggles" like he called them, that I would like for him to have too, so I offered him to give him my email address and if he felt like he wanted it, he could email me and ask for it, but he replied right away that he wanted it and gave me his email instead. I promised to have it emailed to him by Monday at the latest, but it was the first thing I did when I got home yesterday. And he sent me back a nice thank you email with some lovely words about how this picture will be in a special place. I was glad I could make up somewhat my inability to do something back then and felt good about it. But I really should start listening to my heart more than my usual gut feelings and my f***** up mind....which usually are just there to protect me from who knows what.....grrrrr!
While Cate and Steph tended to the injured donkeys and I was the only volunteer left on site, I got to do things that usually only staff does, and it always makes my day. I really love working with and for Cate, because she always delegates the best jobs to me.....so I got to give the special feedings to Odin, Paco, Summer and Mrs. Jenners. After that it was time for the carrot walk and Steph was at the front, Cate walked up the lane way with extra carrot buckets and I was the end person waving the plastic bag....it was so much fun. I really really love to do the little things that normally are only for staff and I am so proud of myself that I get these opportunities and take them and not let my gut and thoughts get the best of me at these times, because I sure could come up with million reasons why I should not be doing this or that. Again grrrrr!
It was a really nice quiet yet exciting day at the Farm.