On December 29th we said farewell to our sweet old Rosie girl. Rosie came to us with her daughter Savant in June of 2007. They were owner turn-ins and after a couple of phone calls I was excited to take in two sweet donkey girls who had no emotional or physical issues, and re-home them. They were living near my husband's work so he took the truck and trailer to work and picked them up on the way home. He was to call me once he was on the road with the girls, and I sure thought I would hear from him a lot sooner than I did... when he finally called he was hesitant to talk. He just kept saying, wait until you see them... then he redirected the conversation to the loading fun... Rosie the mom walked right on the trailer. Savant, on the other hand, at age 12 having NEVER been on a trailer in her whole life... well, suffice it to say that Rosie got really tired of standing in the trailer waiting for Savant to load. Several people and a piece of plywood (put behind her so she would think she couldn't back up) still took over an hour to convince Savant to get on the trailer...
When they arrived and the trailer door opened, my jaw must have dropped to my knees and all I could think was OH MY GOD! Those poor donkeys... apparently the kind, elderly owners had never bothered to research the proper way to feed a donkey... both girls were horrendously overweight.
Savant is the larger, lighter one. A little hard to tell in the above picture but she was oh so lumpy with fat pads! And below you can see her broken crest - so sad, once broken over, this cannot be fixed!
Rosie was lumpy too but not as bad. Knowing now that she had leg issues, we assume Savant got more food than she did...
but she still had fat pockets! And something else going on, because she had not shed out her winter hair. Even the curry couldn't get it out!
And this was just one of Savant's hooves... she was the lucky one, a visit from our Fearless Farrier Mikey and Savant was A-OK once again!
Amazingly enough it didn't take long for Savant to be adopted. Ordinarily I would not let an animal leave in her condition, but the adopter had volunteered with another rescue for over 5 years, and with their recommendation, and her confirmation of a strict diet and exercise plan for Savant, we approved the adoption and I am happy to say that Savant is coming along nicely.
Poor Rosie was another story. Oh, with proper diet the weight came off ok, but she had other issues we weren't told about. Granted, the people may not have realized... but how anyone could look at that sweet girl and not see there were some serious problems is beyond me. The herbal supplementalled Vital PSP donated by adopters Nate and Lisa did help with her shedding issue - within a few weeks she had curried out just beautifully! However she had foundered badly at some point in the past and Mikey said she was certain that condition had never been properly addressed. In addition, there was obviously something serious going on with her joints, especially the front knees. The poor old girl could hardly walk! Mikey worked on Rosie's hooves several times and it's possible that with continued good care she might have made significant improvement. However, despite several different meds and herbal supplements, Rosie's joints did not improve, and with the onset of cold (well, it is for us!) weather, she spent most of her time laying down and would hardly even walk to her feeder. Arrangements were made to ease her suffering and this was accomplished on December 29th.
I won't go into detail here but if you have an equine suffering (in the state of Arizona), and are interested in a low-cost, circle-of-life type option, please feel free to e-mail me privately.
To Mikey and Wade, Nate and Lisa, heartfelt thanks for your contributions to the Rosie effort! And to Rosie, that week before you left was very hard on me, knowing we were going to have to say goodbye to such a sweet old girl, but now that you are pain-free, I know we did the right thing. I'm sorry we weren't able to help you enough, and I sure miss your quavery, old-lady bray! I'll be seeing you, sweetie! In the meantime, find Wilbur and the gang!