With our lovely Alex no longer at the helm, everyone at the sanctuary is pulling together and determined to keep things going just as she would have liked.
It’s very strange to drive in now, knowing she’s not there any more.
Such a genuinely beautiful person with so much to live for, she has left a very big gap and will always be much missed.
Alex was so hands-on with the animals, knew every one of them, fought and cared for them and was the most wonderful figurehead for ABC.
She was also remarkably pragmatic about her illness, and gave many of us our instructions for when she’d be gone. I have several tasks, and one of them is to continue this column for her. So here I am, and I’ll try to live up to her expectations!
It was a damp and dreary day when I went back to the sanctuary last week.
A group of remarkably resilient helpers were plodging about with buckets and wheelbarrows and brooms. Amazingly I heard very few complaints as they got on with all the daily chores.
But the fields are in an awful state with all the rain, so one of the first jobs, from Alex’s list, is to start laying a concrete path down the side of the fields.
Then everyone, on two legs or four, can walk though the gates without disappearing into the mud!
The donkeys especially hate getting wet, so they will really appreciate a path. Two newish ones are Thelma and Louise – age 20 and 17 respectively – brought in because their owner became ill. They have needed some rather costly vet treatments, but they are the most friendly pair and like nothing better than a stroke and a nuzzle.
Another pair, Hutch and Hansel, have also had some TLC from our marvellous vet Alastair McVicar, from the Anvil Equine Vets Clinic. Even though Hansel still spends a lot of time lying down and we don’t yet know why, he manages to snack on a jam sandwich every morning and evening – strawberry or apricot – he doesn’t mind which!
We hope that two Shetlands may have been rehomed by the time you read this. The home check is due to happen on Alex’s birthday, so I think she’ll be sending down a few vibes to get them happily settled. Also ready to go are two other horses – George, an 11.2 Welsh section A, and Marty a lovely big hairy boy of 16hands.
They would both be suitable for riding in knowledgeable homes.
And last but not least – anybody fancy a pig, or two? Pinky and Perky – two real characters, about 3 yrs old, are another really friendly pair. They would love a new home with people who know about pigs, and can give them a bit more living space.
As well as a new pathway, there are several other jobs on Alex’s list, and in the coming months we’ll do as much as we can. For the moment we won’t be able to take in any more equines, and will have to be frugal with our spending, but we are definitely here for the foreseeable future and will continue to care for our resident animals in the way she would have wanted.
This where you might come in! Any donation you could spare, however small, will go straight into the care of the animals. Or you might consider becoming a Champion or Friend of the ABC or a Sponsor of one of our resident animals.
Details can be found on our website www.abcanimalsanctuary.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org On behalf of Alex - Thank you!
Report by By Sue Jameson. Pictures contributed.