Pippin, the donkey, had shown all signs of being depressed and lonely when his rescuers first laid their eyes on him. His face was covered with dirt, body full of scratches, his head bowed low, and his eyes, utterly dull and tired.
The donkey had already been sold off to almost a dozen houses by the age of fifteen, and it was very likely he didn’t have a single friend.
The co-founder of Santuario Compasión Animal, a sanctuary in Valencia, Spain, Laura Llácer, said, “A worker from the store where we buy the feed for the animals told us about a man who wanted to get rid of a donkey. When we saw his picture, we went for him. He was not well in that place.”
Pippin’s owner said that he had recently tried to escape the small pen he was kept at, and ended up getting trapped under the gate, injuring his body. His owner called him “Tonto” which means “silly” in Spanish.
Llácer said, “When he was climbing into the trailer, we saw his sadness and resignation. What moved us most was that this was the 13th time he was changing homes. We promised him that he would never have to say goodbye again.”
Pippin, in the beginning, was a very skittish donkey. He would try to run as far from the brooms his caretakers brought to clean his shed, as possible. It was as though he has been beaten by it before. He also became nervous when anyone tried to touch his ears. Moreover, his body also needed a long time to recover. He previously had a poor diet and no room to exercise, because of which, his muscles were fragile, and his hooves were in the worst possible condition.
Nevertheless, Pippin was a calm donkey and was kind to all his caretakers. He loved getting pets so that he would stand for that for minutes. But he loved kisses the most! The sanctuary’s co-founder, Alberto Terrer, also Pippin’s caretaker, developed a special bond with him as days went by. When Terrer pet and kissed him, which was every day, Pippin wouldn’t miss to kiss him back!
“Above all, he has a special bond with his caregiver Alberto. He always seeks to receive kisses and caresses from him,” said Llácer.
Now, after a year of being at the sanctuary, Pippin has grown even more close to Terrer, and his company at the sanctuary. He has a lot of friends including the volunteers, the cows, and other donkeys. He has also been obsessed with apples since he came to the sanctuary. His rescuers only credit one thing for his excellent and speedy recovery, the companionship.
Llácer said, “ He had to spend the first months while he was recovering away from the other donkeys, whom he saw playing from afar. When they finally met, Pippin was super affectionate with them … As if they were the friends he had always wanted to have.”
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