Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A very lovely day indeed!

Sunday started out to be just like every Sunday for the last few months, getting up early to get ready for the day at the DSC, packing my stuff and gathering a few extra things today and off I went. This time it was a little bit different tough, excited mixed with a little bit of anxiety I arrived at the farm without a donkey in sight. I thought it was a little bit odd since it was a nice cool morning, but hey what do I know about what goes on in their cute big heads. I stopped at the boutique to drop something off and made my way down the lane way. Juno was hiding behind a tree and stuck her nose up in the air as I walked up to her. She really has come so far, in the beginning she would just run when she saw somebody coming towards her, now she is somewhat relaxed, it depends on who is approaching, and just enjoys the moment with a person around. She comes to sniff you out and then if you are lucky you get to pat her and she stands still and likes it. She is such a brave little donkey and one I hold dear to my heart. I walked further down the lane way and well somebody is trying to mess with me.... the fly mask that usually was on Sable was on somebody else and the other two of the trio had the big ear covers on and I couldn't see their little faces, so I had no clue who was who until later in the day when I got to spend more time with them and actually felt their differences. I was going to  clean the yard area in front of the barn, Steph and Adam were busy in Halfway Haven and nobody else was around yet to do chores. Of course before I started I went inside the barn to say hi to the ones on stall rest and to see who else was there around the feeder and to say good morning  to every one of them. I am really proud of myself that I pretty much can tell everybody by name, there are three of the pintos I have trouble with, and three of the white ones, but the rest of them I can name by sight, something I thought I would never get a handle on way back in the winter. I grabbed my pick and started cleaning, as I walked around the feeder outside, I noticed another big guy out on the special need side. It was Cocoa. How nice, usually Cocoa is with the main herd, but it was a special weekend for him, so he was on the visitor side. And how nice to have him out here with us. I find it always nice to spend more one on one  time with  the ones you don't get a regular chance to do so with, so it was not only special for Cocoa it was special for us too. He definitely enjoyed the hay at the feeder as that is where he spent most of his morning. I started picking up the yard and voila I had a sidekick. Solo came out to check on me and wanted to figure out what I was doing, he nonchalantly placed himself in front of me so I had no other choice but to scratch his belly, omg he loves belly rubs. Solo does relax so much when you do it, he stretches out his neck and his bottom lip starts to loosen up and he just puts his head sideways and looks at you with such appreciation and love for that moment. Of course I had to keep working and I stopped rubbing and moved on to the next poop pile to be picked up, and Solo kept following me over and over again, needless to say it was a very slow morning with the clean up. Thank god two more volunteers came and we tackled the endless job together. Shortly before ten I made it over to the dark side hill to pick away at it and well I think some of the donkeys mistakenly took me for a good scratching post, Bob Ray must have scratched his head on my side for good five minutes and again needless to say it took forever to clean up. The first visitors arrived and it was time to talk to people, still being on the dark side, it was nice to stand among the donkeys and tell people about their stories and their lives now, of course I had my little sidekick Buffy with me at the fence. Oh how I love Buffy, she is one of the sweetest donkeys, very shy and gentle.
The morning passed by fast and as I was standing at the fence talking and cleaning donkey ears, Kim approached me and said there was somebody who wanted to meet me, I turned around and pretty much recognized her right away, even though I had only seen one small picture of her and Cocoa. We exchange a warm hello and hug and just started talking and talking and talking. It was so nice to finally meet Cocoa's "mommy". We had been exchanging messages and emails via Facebook for months now and I was so excited to hear that she was coming on her yearly visit to Cocoa, and we would finally meet up. It's funny, usually I am very reserved and shy and need time to assess new situations, but I liked her from the very first time we exchanged messages on Facebook and in real life she was just as amazing as I thought of her to be. Her love for Cocoa is always so apparent in her words and messages and I admired her strength and determination to make a good life for Cocoa even if it meant for her to loose a donkey friend close by. Her selfless act of love for Cocoa's sake and the pain it caused for her, was always something I was aware of and I could only imagine the hurt and yet the joy of seeing him well she experienced and still experiences. Funny I am always so aware of what others can go thru and even on the drive up that morning I was thinking about her and that she was leaving again on Monday and how hard it will be to say good bye again and it made me cry already and that was before I even had met her that day. Cocoa was definitely delighted to see her and I know she was to see him. We talked pretty much on and off all afternoon and I could have listened to her stories about her Cocoa and Lucky all day long. It was so nice to hear how she got Cocoa, how he was when he was little and over the years, and she told those stories with such pride and joy and love and it was just delightful to listen to them. I really didn't want that afternoon to end, and for me to be that comfortable and relaxed around somebody "new" is huge and means a lot, but she is just one amazing lady, beautiful inside and out. She was delighted to watch Cocoa mingle with the people, enjoy being brushed and petted and being a little bit of a brat as he kept trying to empty out the brush bucket over and over again.   Even though Cocoa can be an assertive donkey, who knows how to get the attention he wants, he is such a gentle giant and I really enjoyed having him on the visitor side. 
Throughout the afternoon  we had a few discussions about the DSC in general, the changes that happened, the changes to come and the current happenings on the farm, and I am sure we will continue these discussions in emails and messages, there is just so much to talk about and so much to share and the end result is always what is best for the donkeys and the love of these amazing animals. I am so looking forward to continuing our friendship and well from my point I can say that I will treasure this friend tremendously and I am just overjoyed to have had the chance to meet her in person and recognize the wonderful person that she is. 

And I like to think that like minded people are generally alike and generous and loving and caring and giving, well as far as I have experienced it anyway, and it was so touching and sweet of her to give me a gift of her love as I was giving her a gift of her love too. Well my morning  coffee will definitely taste better from now on with Cocoa and her kind and loving spirit in mind. Thank you so much! I love it and it was very nice and thoughtful of you!

Well after four o'clock it was time to say good-bye, as we walked up to the parking lot, exchanged a few more hugs and then it was time  to go with the promise of " see you next year" . I was so glad she was able to make the long trip up the Guelph and am looking forward to next spring.
Hopefully  she had another beautiful day with Cocoa on Monday and the good-bye wasn't too hard...but who am I kidding here ...I know it was and she knew that too. 


Sharon said...

What a heart warming post, Tina! A very special day!

Melodie said...

What a great story and a really neat donkey mom!

Tracey said...

So lovely....wish I was near to place like that. xxx