Our little mini-donkey Ariel passed away today from complications of liver failure. It's always so hard when this happens, especially when it's a sweet soul like Ariel. She was always so friendly, coming up to me looking for treats and letting me pet her. The last time I saw her I was helping our volunteer Justin brush out the last of her scraggly winter coat before she left for her summer foster home. She was so good, she just stood there and let us brush her with the shedding blade.
Ariel's long-time companion Zoe was with her when she passed away, and I'm sure she's already missing Ariel. We'll have to make sure to give her extra love and attention while she's mourning. Companion animals get very upset when their companion goes away, even if it's just to the barn to get their hooves trimmed. When their companion is gone for good I've seen them pace and call for days before they settle down. I will really miss Ariel...
Luckily, I was able to start feeding horses again as of a few weeks ago. It has really helped my recovery to be at the ranch again, although I still have a ways to go before I can work a long day. There's just nothing that makes me happier than taking care of the horses! The ongoing hot weather has made it a challenge, but we've all adapted our work schedules to make it a little easier. The most important thing: do the horses have enough water? We make sure they do...
Laura Weise is a Wings volunteer who lives in Stevensville and will be bringing you stories of life at the barn.