Its been a long time since I have written anything about our donkeys Bing and Frankie. It's probably because they have been sequestered as constant companions for our geriatric gelding, Sandi, (Winnies of Change and Seeing-eye Donkeys). Since Sandi's euthanasia three weeks ago, the donks have been released from baby-sitting duties so they can pursue other interests.
At first they appeared a bit lost. They seemed to wonder where their leader was. Why wasn't he joining them at the hay pile or eating his grain while they savored their cookies? The donks weren't necessarily depressed, just quiet. They fell out of the normal routine for a few days. Eventually, they rallied and ventured back to the carefree existence they had enjoyed before being recruited as herdmates for Sandi.
While deep snow concealed the grass and confined the donkeys to the barnyard, they were granted freedom to roam and play. It is a pleasure, (that I've sorely missed), to walk with them in the woods and to watch their sprightly antics.
Presently, many animals at MRF are entering the aging zone after living long, full lives. Each one requires special consideration in terms of maintenance and health care. I must acknowledge their limitations after the many years they went out of their way to please me. It's difficult to accept that our days together are dwindling.
Donkey youth reminds me that watching animals grow up is a joy. There is no escaping the inevitable at the end of life. However, if it is lived long and purposeful with strands of love and respect binding us together...it is so worth it.
When they arrived in December, 2012...
...Bing and Frankie were only 5 and 7 months old, (respectively).
...and into our hearts.
Neutering was necessary to gentle them...
...but did not diminish their playful spirit.
Now they are in the process of losing baby teeth. Frankie has many teeth pushing their way into his adulthood.
Frankie wears an expression that suggests wisdom...or is that because of his ears?
Bing's velvety muzzle....
...conceals significant coming of age transition.
Although I celebrate their new found freedom, I am indebted to Bing and Frankie for providing authentic and necessary companionship to Sandi in the last years of his life.