Bryndafydd Animal Assisted Therapy which is supported by Mollichaff Donkey, has a new star on the scene!
With huge hooves to fill, it is hoped that new donkey, Sky, will take over the role of being a very special therapy donkey following the retirement last year of 26-year-old Enoch, a foster donkey from The Donkey Sanctuary. Enoch was the absolute master in visiting nursing homes, hospices and hospitals. He formed a strong bond with his foster owner, Ann Slater, which gave him the confidence to happily enter any environment and to bring happiness and love to many people. He is now enjoying his retirement and just has twice weekly visits from school children to keep him ticking over.
Although Ann’s five other donkeys are very well behaved and do a great job as therapy animals, Ann wasn’t sure that they had quite the temperaments required to do the very important duties of visiting hospital wards and nursing home bedrooms. Her miniature Shetland pony, Robbie, has mastered the role perfectly and often accompanies her, but fantastic as he is, it’s the donkeys that seem to really inspire and bring out the confidence in many people.
So with help from the grooms at The Donkey Sanctuary, Ann has been searching for the right donkey to follow in Enoch’s footsteps. She wanted a small gelding suitable for therapy work but ended up travelling down the M5 to meet a 12.1hh mare called Sky – not quite what she envisaged.
However, she went with an open mind and as soon as she met Sky for the first time, Ann immediately knew that she had the vital characteristics required for the task ahead and that the grooms had made a great choice.
Said Ann: “She has a calm nature and her love of people just makes her perfect for the job!”
So Sky is now in residence at Bryndafydd Animal Assisted Therapy and over the next 12 months will settle in to establish a bond with Ann. She will experience meeting new people and new environments until Ann is sure she is fully ready to make special visits as a fully- fledged therapy donkey.