Last week was one of the very toughest here at the Meadow. First let me say everyone – human and critter – are alive and well. It is just that we came around again to the idea that we were not providing the best situation for Darby. As the brunt of winter came along and I would see her long body squeezing into our little barns… I felt she needed more space. As she and Rosie continued to aggravate each other – resulting in a number of snowy days where a miserable Rosie never got to settle in the sleeping barn – I could see they needed more space. As Darby spent hours separating Rosie and Bella – or chasing them into the barn – I could see she needed bigger companions.
I contacted our “Donkey Grandparents” – Sue and Gary – who were still keen on bringing Darby back home. Darby was born on their farm in the Pembroke area. They still have her sister – Delilah – along with sixteen other donkeys – standards and miniatures. They also had just adopted another standard – Annie – who was looking for a friend.
Almost two weeks ago now Gary drove here with his horse trailer to pick Darby up. I thought my heart was going to tear in two! But I knew – deep down now – that this was the best option for her. She was not keen to get onto that trailer! However with kindness and patience we eventually got her aboard. And away she went to her old/new digs.
Sue has very kindly been sending me messages to share her progress. Along with pictures. I know she is also caring for me in the process! It does my heart good to see her pairing up with Annie and relaxing into learning that Gary and Sue are her human friends too.
It will be wonderful for her to meet so many other donkeys. AND I hear it was quite amusing to watch her reaction when she met her first llama! Can you imagine her eyes at seeing those long necks?
Meanwhile back here there is some TLC required for Bella. She was as heartbroken as I when she discovered that Darby did not come back to the paddock. I have been sticking close by, making sure she is eating and drinking.
Rosie on the other hand has been eating, EATING and eating … all the time looking over her shoulder for Darby to reappear and chase her away. It was heartening to see Rosie spend some of the first nights in a long time cozied into the wood chip bedding in the sleeping barn. We made the right choice – even though it is a heart rending one for us all.
This means the herd section of our ‘flerd’ is down to four ‘littles’. All of whom are going through an adjustment period. I’m sure time will help us all.
I’m glad I got to spend the time we had together. She is a wonderful character. There is a big hole here … she filled an even bigger than life role! I’m also aware that I’m better set to manage this ’til I’m eighty with only the littles to care for.
I’ll keep you posted on any Pembroke stories that come my way.