I thought two pigs from southern California would be the next animal messengers to arrive on the sanctuary. My go-between on that rescue disappeared, however, and I can only hope those pigs found another safe haven. I was still thinking they might show up when two miniature donkeys arrived literally on my doorstep (okay, not the doorstep, but the fence line). They had escaped from a situation of neglect and were determined to make us their family. Maybe in my next book I can tell their story, but for now it will have to remain shrouded in mystery to protect both the guilty and the innocent.
Here are Ferdinand and Lily Rose, happy in their new home.
As always, I gave everybody time to get used to each other before opening all gates and letting everyone be together. Now Ferdinand and Lily are part of the family. Ferdinand, in particular, likes to roam with the big donkeys. I watched him making overtures for days before they agreed that he could be part of their herd. Lily is shyer; that may be because she’s pregnant and is protecting herself!
My sanctuary policy is to have the males neutered to prevent future births. There are already so many animals who need homes and I want to be able to offer some of them a place. But if an animal arrives pregnant, well… This was true of Sylphide the donkey giving birth to Ulysses after she came to the sanctuary and Fleur-de-Lys giving birth to the twin lambs Snowflake and Aurora.
I don’t know if Lily Rose is pregnant, but she lived with the ungelded Ferdinand long enough to conceive, I presume. (He has since been gelded, which is why the donkey trinity already here agreed to accept him.) Up to the day Sylphide gave birth, I was wondering whether she was pregnant or not. Maybe pregnancy is hidden among donkeys as a protection in the wild. Even the vet said he couldn’t tell by looking at Lily Rose. As with Ulysses and the lambs, I’ll know when I know. There will be a precious tiny donkey.