December '07

And a Happy New Year to you, too!

Any 'horsey' person will tell you, there will never be a problem on a normal day, it only happens on Sundays and Public Holidays or when you have something special planned. So it came as no surprise when a mare and sick foal were brought to the stables on Sunday, 30th December!

So for the last 48 hours it has been wait, watch, feed by hand, all sorts of stuff which involved assistance from Dr Bonny and vital foal information from Dr Ash, practical assistance from Sharon at AWS and Genevieve with Tellington Touch Therapy. I, like most people, want the problem solved now, but with animals it sometimes takes a little longer and if only they could talk. So far, so good.

At the end of every month, I account to my bosses for what I have done/seen during the past month. The following information that might interest you, is as follows:

  • Investigations/Complaints: 68 involving 247 horses (Thoroughbreds, and including Saddlers and Crossbreeds) and 38 donkeys.
  • Township visits: 295 visits involving 496 donkeys and 29 horses (no thoroughbreds)
  • Spot Checks: 107 for 224 donkeys
  • Hospital visitors: 39 donkeys most of which have returned home to their owners.
  • Rehomed: 7 donkeys (mostly as sheepdonks) and 3 horses (all thoroughbreds)

When a donkey problem arises in the townships, I am contacted and where possible, the animal is treated on site and only on getting a problem I cannot handle, does the animal get admitted to the 'hospital'. Owners are encouraged to do the nursing required where possible, so at what cost?

5 ltrs of Bushy Park Farm Dairy Fat Free Milk, some glucose, and a couple of packets of bute.

Little enough for the joy and jubilation that ensued when the foal started drinking from its mom of which I was informed at 6.15 on a Sunday morning. The willingness of the owners to do the business of feeding 4 times a day is a pleasure. (Incidentally, one wife of a Walmer Carter phoned at 2 minutes past 12 last night to wish me Happy New Year!!)

If there is anyone out there who is interested in learning from a pro about driving horses and carts, please contact Di Roe on 0762068317 who is available to give instruction for a fee.

Could this be your hobby for the new year?! Please note: this is the 'real' thing, and not to be confused with collecting garden refuse!

On probably the worst day in the ECHCU's short life, I was told that money had been left for me at PE Saddlery in Mount Pleasant and would I please come and fetch it. I only got there on Thursday and after Gary had assisted me with sorting and counting, I found I had R282 to bank into the HCU Account. The story behind this is that a young lady decided off her own bat to have a chocolate raffle at a local show, (eventually won by EP atheletic star, Treloar Childs) for the Unit's work with the donkeys. Thank you and well done, Keralynn!

At the same time, we received a wonderful sponsorship of luminous bibs for the Carters as well as reflectors for the rear of their carts. The Carters were blown away by this gesture and it also means that Alfred and I, when called to attend to donkeys on the roads, are suitably visible in our very own bibs! Our sincere thanks to Mark at Midas Walker Drive for his thoughtful and practical sponsorship.


  • For the person who paid a Carter to remove the refuse and paid with a cheque that had insufficient funds! And guess who had to go and cash it?


  • To the township resident who phoned to report a dying donkey - only to find on arrival (with a SAPS van leading the way)that the foal had been born. Family was contacted and took ma and foal home.
  • On being called about 'donkeys on the road in Walmer', I found four donkeys 'chilling' outside the Zebra Restaurant that has a life size painting on the wall of the striped animals. I am quite sure the donkeys were just dreaming about what life would be like if they had have been born with stripes!
  • The Walmer Carters who were shocked to find three of the AWS donkeys loose in the township, as was I when I got their phonecall. The facts of the matter were that a dead tree had fallen onto the AWS fence and two of the jacks had followed what appeared to be an 'in season' jenny out of the property and  own the road. It all ended well with AWS fetching their donkeys and mending the fence and with suitable rewards to the very concerned Carters.
  • To Sargent Gumede at Fountain Road Police Station in Walmer township - he found a jenny trying to give birth in the road, so took her into 'safe custody' in the Police Station grounds, and then contacted me. I went to check and ma and foal were OK, so we took some feed to last the day till the foal was stronger and the owner could get her home, and then returned on Monday morning to remove all the detritus. Well done and thank you to Sgt Gumede!
  • The adopted donkeys at Webber who are given Low GI Seeded bread as a treat!
  • The Tony's two adopted donkeys who curl up on the grass at night, with a Boxer dog each tucked into their 'curl'.
  • The Watson sheepdonks who yell their heads off when their charges are 'taken away' for shearing and will not quiet down until reunited with their charges.
  • The taxi drivers who give me right of way both in and outside of the townships.

And so, on with 2008! I wish you a Peaceful and fulfilling Year ahead.