The following is from Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue:
We hope everyone and their animals have been faring well through the crazy mood swings of mother nature this winter. Here in Acworth NH we have been battling the frigid temperatures, where we have had weeks on end of below zero temperatures. For us at the rescue it has been brutal. Brutal on us and our bodies, mentally, and of course for the animals in our care who are always our first priority.
Last Monday while doing morning chores and check ups we noticed one of our newest rescue additions, Andele was acting off. As most of you donkey lovers know, when a donkey who is stoic by nature seems off something is very wrong. We called our vet immediately to see Andele the mini donkey.
After examining her and doing an ultrasound on her intestines it was clear she was colicing but nothing that was a clear sign it couldn’t be fixed. Our vet took a quick blood test to see if she had any kind of infection going on in her body. This determines the severity of the colic. She did not have anything major going on.
Our vet then tubed her, which is where a small tube is placed up the donkeys nose and into their stomach to give them the fluid they need with electrolytes to hopefully clear the colic and get them hydrated.
In addition to this we gave her some IV fluids and some pain killers to help with her discomfort.
On the second day we came out to do chores, to Ann’s mule flat out laying down in her pen. Again we called the vet immediately and she came out to treat Gertie for colic.
For four days straight our vet came out every day to check Andele and Gertie and to administer medication and tube/ give IV fluids. We made mashes for them every day at least 3 times per day.
Andele seemed to be doing much better, she spent Thursday morning out in the pasture walking around with her companion Wally. she laid in the sun, wandered about in the woods and explored the snowy field together with her buddy.
Gertie also spent part of Thursday seeming to feel a little better, so we let her out in the pasture with her companions Sprocket, Gusto and Slick. (Her goat, horse, and mule companions.) It was good for her to get out and walk about while we observed her to make sure she didn’t eat anything bad for her.
Gusto and Slick put on quite a show for Gertie as she watched them on the hillside next to the barn. Both Slick and Gus kicked, galloped, bucked and tore up the field as the sun set behind them. My sister who had come to help with Gertie’s care watched with me in amazement as we both cried. Animals always know when something is askew. I think we all knew at that moment that that was their way of saying goodbye.Im not sure if any of you have seen the classic movie black beauty or read the book. But it was almost exactly like the ending of the movie where they ‘danced’ to say goodbye to one of their friends. What a privilege to witness.
That evening we said goodbye to Gertie and Andele as we released them from their earthly bodies, and ended their suffering. The colic they were battling was too severe and we did not want them to suffer any longer.
We know we tried our hardest with both of them, and they were so loved and adored. But somehow it does not ease the ache in our hearts that their absence has left. I don’t think I will ever see another sunset and not think of our sweet Andele and Gertie.
Andele’s vet bill alone added up to over $3,000 which we were able to pay thanks to all of your support, from buying things from our shop, to sending donations large and small it all makes a big difference. Thank you all so much.
We are heart broken over these unfortunate events but the rest of the animals at the rescue still need to eat and chores still need to be done morning and evening every day rain or shine. Thank you all for your ongoing support, and helping us to change the lives of donkeys and mules, even when sometimes we have a few very bad no good days.
Stay warm, spring is just around the bend!
Hannah and Ann
Gertie, Ann’s affectionate mule watching Slick and Gus run around in the field as the sun goes down.
Andele with her companion, Wally walking around the field enjoying some space and exploring.