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December 2012


Well, the first day of January 2013 has finally, I think, come to an end and what a day it has been to start the new year off.  We had a very early start, packing up all our AHS vaccines for delivery so that the horses in East London where there has been an AHS outbreak can be ‘done’.   Followed by a visit to a donkey in Lusaka (NOT the Zambian Lusaka) who managed to step into a bed of smouldering coals after the New Year celebrations in that township!

Anyway, let’s get into the new year and look at the Unit stats.  The Database of every case/client/complaint has grown to 600 even though we still need to update with all of November and December.   The 168 horses and 138 donkeys attended to in December, brings the total for the year to 1238 horses and 994 donkeys and 2 mules.  A total number of 404 ‘visits’ undertaken and  54 donkeys and 3 horses admitted for medical attention and 17 horses and 21 donkeys adopted out.
OK.  Now back to December 2012.

A donkey gelded at the request of his Uitenhage owner proved a difficult customer and literally ‘drank’ the anaesthetic.  But he went home just fine to a very happy owner.  At the same time, a donkey that had been lame for 3 months was attended to by Stanley who found 3 stones deeply embedded between the hoof wall and the laminae and had removed them.   Donkey not lame anymore and returned to his owner!

It is also nice and occurs often that folk who have adopted equines are happy to send photographs of their ‘family’, and also good to see that they, the horses or donkeys, are doing well. 
At the same time, meeting up with old equine friends for vaccinations or hoof trimming, means that we keep in contact with them as well as picking up any problem that might be starting and sorting it out before it gets out of hand.

Every year about this time, Johan requests the services of a donkey cart for the Stanley Street Carnival.  Inevitably it falls on a weekend when we visit Kruisfontein!  This then entails a whole lot of planning like getting the cart to the right place followed by the donkeys with owner/driver prior to heading down the coast.  The Unit does not benefit directly, but the Cart Owner Patrick does, and it helps to sensitise  people to  just how ‘good’ donkeys are.   This year, we finally got a picture of Patrick strutting his stuff at the Carnival!  Great!

When we arrived in Humansdorp, we were very proudly shown Beauty and her new foal, Beatrice, that had been born two weeks previously with no problems at all.  Added to this is that we vaccinated Beauty in October so both mare and foal should be safe if anything should transpire AHS-wise.  Beauty had also been dewormed and looked the picture of health.  Well done, William!  He had previously asked for a mane comb and was very grateful when we handed one over to him.
And then to finish that particular day off on a good note, we were alerted to two donkeys on the verge of Heugh Road by a motorist at 8.30pm!   With the assistance of the CPF (Crime Prevention Forum) and Guardmed, we managed to move them over the busy road and back into the township.  Thank you!

It has to be said here that when people thank me for whatever, they say ‘Baie Dankie’ (Thank You) and I reply with I don’t have to ‘buy a donkey’, they just come in on their own!   We have had a number of donkeys waiting for us at the gate in the mornings recently and sometimes they bring their friends as well, and it always make me giggle!  But at least they are off the road and you are kept safe!

An interesting international debate was done on the Unit Facebook page, complete with pictures and comments about the lineage of a surrendered donkey and after all was said and done, I call her a ‘ponky’.  I seem to remember that somebody saw a pony serving mama, and I think this would account for her horsey mane, forelock and beautiful fur on her face, framed with a giant pair of ears and a donkey fringe.  Her croup also has the rounded appearance of a pony rather than the ‘pointed’ croup of a donkey mare.   And THE most ridiculous ‘voice’!   But what a sweetie she has turned out to be, an absolute glutton for carrots and touches.   Whatever she is, she will find a wonderful home and be a great addition to any family!

A photograph in the local newspaper showing a donkey cart dumping refuse in what the driver thought was an inconspicuous place, but wasn’t, was published and in due course photocopied by us and taken into Walmer township to show the Carters that pictures are taken and this is where they land up from time to time.   The Carter who was ‘blamed’ in the paper was incensed that his name was used as it definitely was not his cart.  The person who had done this act was identified by the Carters and had already been ‘chased away’.

Another jenny was surrendered in December as she was ‘alone’.   After a hectic 1 ½ hours, Stanley, Tom and Alfred managed to catch her, no easy feat she being very resistant to being handled.  But the guys are very good at their job and in due course we got her loaded and home.   Eugene started ‘gentling’ her, as opposed to ‘breaking in’, and in a very short space of time, she ‘came to hand’.  Luckily for her, she found her new home quickly and in due course was delivered to a delighted Paul. 
And then there is the story about Ngam, the donkey stabbed in the hindquarter during the Motherwell protests.  We were able to heal the outside wound, but clearly the sharp instrument had done damage closer to the bone than was first believed.  Ngam had been surrendered to the Unit and in due course, Eugene came up with a suggestion to try and alleviate the hindleg lameness and began working with Ngam.  He improved rapidly.  And then one day, a lady came to visit and sat on the drinking trough in the camp and Ngam walked up to her and put his head on her lap, and that was it!   Case closed!  After being gelded he was taken to join up with our other three special girls on the farm to make one big happy family!  So happy now for Ngam, now known as Victor, for all he has overcome in his short life.  Nice hey?  Thank you to Sam and the SAPS Colonel for this ‘neat’ story.

Stanley’s visit to the Transkei on his ‘on duty’ weekend led to many other equines getting their deworming, compliments about yet other equines who had been dewormed the previous time and that owners had noticed a difference already, and 18 horses getting their AHS vaccinations done.  Never mind the distribution of tack and bits that has been donated by you.  Clearly there is a need as there is ongoing yammering about ‘when you coming back?’
A frantic call about a motorist finding a man with two donkeys on the

 Malabar Hill/N2 highway got our immediate attention as this is illegal!   To make matters worse, every now and again he would smack them to move them on which meant they ducked away and into the traffic moving at 120km/ph causing much drama.   With help, I managed to locate him where he was trying to hide and with the assistance of the SAPS and Bernadette I Patrol, collected the horsebox, loaded the two donkeys and brought them home.  Not activity for 38 degree heat either!  Thank you to all concerned!

Christmas Day and Boxing Day were quiet, which was rather nice!

Thank you to Paul and Fanie for their assistance at this time of year when ‘everybody’ shuts up shop, to get the one bakkie moving again.  Seems that the fuse for the remote locking of the vehicle had blown and brought the bakkie to a complete halt!

Chris – donated narrow shaver for wounds
Cindy – grass delivery and lucerne sweepings
Volunteers Paula and Aaren, from Theodore Herzl, brushing the girls
Grass Delivery and Bread from chokka boats
Barbie – grass
Jani - donated saddle (already rehomed), tack and lucerne leavings
Mark at Metlife Food Lovers Market - bakkie load carrots, beetroot and apples
Ellen – bales of Lucerne




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