In the animal kingdom, really? Do animals make friends and have long standing relationships? Well Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre (EHCRC) is convinced it's so. There are so many incredible stories of animal friendships at the Centre that are truly wonderful for the soul to see and experience. Here is one such sweet story of companionship, although the end is ultimately incredibly sad as EHCRC suffered a double loss in less than a fortnight, this story of true friendship is to honour the two animals in question.
It's the story of two inseparable elderly ladies, two donkeys that is, Della and Little Lady. Sadly Lady died on 11 January having suddenly deteriorated and Della went downhill immediately after and despite all possible veterinary intervention and 24 hour care, less than 2 weeks after the passing of Lady, the painful decision to put Della to sleep had to be taken. Sue Weeding, Co-founder, said “we are devastated by the sudden loss of Lady and Della.”
Just two weeks ago Lady suddenly started to show some odd behaviour. Their vet Dorothea came immediately. It appeared to be a neurological problem and despite doing everything possible they were unable to save her and she passed away during the night in her sleep with her constant companion Della by her side. However the heartache didn't end there as almost immediately Della really started to struggle after she lost her faithful companion. Literally the moment Lady passed, they noticed Della deteriorate, she stopped eating and drinking and then one morning she just couldn't get up, her existing health issues flared up suddenly. Della was such a fighter and survivor that EHCRC wanted to do everything possible for her. Sue explained, "Everyone rallied around to do absolutely everything for this wonderful donkey, Dorothea our vet came out to see her daily to give pain killing injections including morphine patches to ensure she was not in pain while we tried to treat her laminitis and hyperlipemia, Enrique our farrier (who was on holiday) and his team actually came out at night to check out her feet and make new supportive shoes for her as the vet thought this would give her some extra relief and as she hadn't been eating the vet also recommended we get her some fresh cut alfalfa and even the alfalfa suppliers, Jose and his father, came straight round when they heard what she needed." Sue and Rod Weeding kept vigil over her day and night ensuring she had the best of everything. But devastatingly Della just couldn’t recover and the painful decision had to be made to put her to sleep.
Both Della and Lady had suffered terribly before their arrivals at the Centre, their stories at EHCRC begin over 5 years ago when Lady was first rescued and then Della a year and a half later.
Lady was rescued in July 2013. She was among five donkeys and a number of dogs rescued from the rundown property of a hoarder who’d died alone. Kept in appalling conditions, she was incredibly thin, with horrendously overgrown hooves and afflicted with severe laminitis caused by years of neglect.
Then in February 2015 Della was rescued with the help of Seprona, the Animal Welfare branch of the Guardia Civil. She had been kept in a dilapidated old shed, on a very small piece of land hardly able to move, knee deep in faeces, surrounded by broken bits of cars and machinery. Suffering from a variety of injuries and illnesses, including a piece of metal in her knee, Seprona were so incensed by the diabolical situation in which Della was being kept that they arrested the perpetrator and ultimately prosecuted him.
Della was a real loner as it was understood she had been kept isolated, never allowed to mix with others and at EHCRC she never really took to any of her own kind except of course for lovely Lady. One morning instead of going outside Lady decided to go to Dellas stable. She waited until the door was opened for cleaning and burst in to introduce herself and that was it. Over their years together these two wonderful elderly ladies, both in their 30s, have had total freedom to potter around the Centre, meeting and greeting visitors, checking out new arrivals as they so wished but always happy to be by each others side and to settle down every night in their shared stable. It was thought that Lady was the little weak one but actually she was the one who probably kept Della going. Every morning Lady would be demanding for their stable to be opened and she was the one who used to lead the way out into the fields for a wander or to munch on some hay. EHCRC is convinced that Della was a lost soul without Lady and her inexplicable sudden deterioration can only be put down to a broken heart.
Sue said “what occurred between these two rescued donkeys in their time with us is what makes it all worthwhile for us here at EHCRC. We have seen time and time again the tight connection and bond between animals.” Call it what you like but this really is a true expression of friends forever!
EHCRC is located just outside Rojales at Partida Lo Garriga, 59, and open to the public on the first Sunday of every month between 1pm and 4pm. For more details visit www.easyhorsecare.net or follow the Centre on Facebook at @EasyHorseCare.
– Written by Diane O'Neill.