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Lavender Dreams Farm & Donkey Rescue » 2009 »

Archive for April, 2009

Sunday, April 19th, 2009


Love, Miracles and Frankie Lee

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

Frankie is doing well. It’s been 12 days and the changes have been encouraging and heartwarming. Frankie is the first to bray in the morning and is always eager to see us at feeding time. He knows his new name and appears to be pleased with it as he lifts his head and comes towards us when we call for him. He knows about treats and feeding time and can smell a carrot from 50 yards away. 

Frankie’s feet have been recovering faster than expected. We are using herbs and alternative therapies with him but it is more than that. There is something magical about the way he is getting better mentally and physically. Is it the love and respect he is receiving? Does he understand that he is safe and secure here and loved for who he is? Even the vet can not believe it. We are just astonished at his progress. 

Frankie still limps and drags one of his hind legs and when he is tired he is obviously in a lot of distress but he is improving daily. He no longer sleeps in a separate stall. We could tell that he was ready to join the other donkeys and have taken down the fencing to his ‘bedroom’. At first, Frankie was biting and kicking at the others but he was simply establishing himself and we knew they would have to work things out between them. (He does still try to bite us but he is obviously poorly socialized and will find one day that he does not need to bite to get his way.) 

Here is the amazing news I have to share today! Yesterday we heard the thunder of hoof beats as Angelina and Joey raced around the field chasing each other. Donkeys love a good game of tag and play often. The surprise was that Frankie was running right along with them! He was trotting along with his head held high. It made me cry to see this poor little donkey transformed in that brief moment to a proud, racing stallion. He tired quickly but this was truly a miracle to witness and is just one more step towards Frankie’s full recovery.  

Thank you all for your emails of support for Frankie’s rescue. He must feel all the love, prayers and good thoughts coming his way. It sure is making a difference for this little longear!

Frankie Lee & The Miracle of Flower Essences

Monday, April 13th, 2009


In this photo Frankie Lee is eating a snack of grated carrot mixed with a hawthorn berry supplement for hoof repair along with the flower essence remedies I mentioned in an earlier blog. When we bring in a new donkey, we always dose them with Bach’s Rescue Remedy as this is very calming (among other things). We have used Rescue Remedy for many years for a variety of issues for all of our animals but this past year I was fortunate to meet

Clifton, the man behind Botanical Alchemy ( and everything changed in how we work with our new rescue donkeys. When

Clifton heard about our donkey rescue he immediately mailed me Flower Essence Formulas he felt would be helpful for the traumatic and often abusive situations our donkeys come from. These different Flower Remedies have already helped Frankie so much as they work towards easing his physical and emotional pain. Flower essences are an all natural product that work on an energetic level. When properly used, they are some of the safest, most effective and least intrusive remedies available.  This afternoon Frankie spent a few hours up on the hill, to lay peacefully in the shade of a fir tree. To see Frankie able to get up and down makes our hearts sing with happiness. Just six days ago Frankie Lee was barely able to walk. Recovery takes time on all levels (physical, emotional, spiritual) but he has all the time in the world now and we believe he understands that he is now safe and in his forever home.


Frankie Lee - Day 5

Sunday, April 12th, 2009


Frankie has been with us for 5 days now. Each day he walks a little better, holds his head a little higher and is more interested in interacting with us. He has been kept separated from the other donkeys as they grow accustomed to each other but just by a gate, so they are still able to sniff each other and be close, while Frankie can still fee safe. They sleep in the same barn - we just keep a light fence panel between them at night. Frankie sleeps in a big mound of straw and seems content although he must miss his horse friends terribly. He does not seem to be socially adept with people or animals and I don’t think he has had much interaction with anyone over his lifetime.  Today we let Frankie Lee out into the fenced area with the other donkeys. He walked right out and joined them. Such a brave little donkey. Our donkeys seem to sense that something is not right with Frankie and have been gentle and calm around him. Frankie is still a little standoffish but it takes time to adjust. We have done this many times and are sure they will all be great friends one day soon.   We weren’t sure how Joey, our biggest male, would be with such a small, obviously neglected and sad donkey but he has really made us proud the way he is behaving.  It is just about supper time and Frankie is letting us know with big, loud hee-haws so I better get outside….Frankie is learning about hugs

Day 3 - Frankie Lee Adjusts to Life Here

Friday, April 10th, 2009

donkey-day-092.jpgFriday - Frankie is doing very well as he heads into his third day with us. You can tell just how happy he is to be able to walk instead of shuffling along. Each step is still painful for him but he no longer has to roll his hoof forward and then lift it into place for each step. Last night he nestled into his straw bed and slept thru the night. We checked on him many times but he was in donkey dreamland. This morning Frankie was up very early and let out a huge BRAY! We had not heard him hee haw yet and he makes his own very distinctive sound, like each of our donkeys do. He was hungry and ready to eat and wanted to let us know. Frankie has had quite a few heavenly rolls in the dirt and has inspected every inch of the corral. Angelina was in with him for 2 hours today and they did just fine. Frankie has nipped at some of the other donkeys but he is just asserting himself. In a few more days they will all be able to be together. The vet wants him to lose 30-35 pounds but it should not be too difficult as he will just be eating just grass hay. He was gorging himself on fresh, green grass 24/7, the worst possible situation for a donkey. Frankie already recognizes the sound of the door that opens into the hay area and is always right there at mealtime. He is slowly relaxing into his new life and learning the routine here. He looks at us when we approach instead of hanging his head and looking down and often comes up to us on his own which is truly amazing in such a short period of time.

Day 1 - Saving Donkeys One at a Time

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

At 7am Wednesday morning our ‘new’ donkey stepped out of the transport trailer and into his new life. What a surprise to find that he is a small donkey – almost the size of a miniature. He is very, very cute and I was instantly in love. The poor guy can barely walk his feet are so bad. He is in a lot of pain and it takes a long time for him to shuffle his way forward. The transport people told us that the woman had literally drug this donkey by a rope tied to a car to get him up to where they were to meet. They were horrified when they realized what had happened to this gentle animal with these horribly neglected feet. donkey-day-012.jpg

We made it up to the corral in slow motion where he just stood in one place, swaying gently side to side to change the weight on his feet. It is obvious the distress he is in. Upon his arrival I gave him flower essences to help with the uncertainty, trauma and stress and again an hour later. We brushed him and talked with him, introduced him to the other donkeys and stayed with him throughout the morning. The ducks came thru to see who is was and the dogs both sat close to him, sensing he needed to be protected. We named him Frankie Lee. When we rescue and abused and neglected animal we give them a whole new life including a name to begin that life with. He seems to like his name and already looks up when we call ‘Frankie Lee’!.


We have an amazing farrier who made the time to come out immediately to begin work on his feet. Many farriers do not understand the donkey hoof which is quite different than that of a horse and takes a different trim. At first Frankie kicked and panicked when his foot was lifted, but Matt (the farrier) talked and worked with him until Frankie let his feet be handled. It was amazing how much hoof he took off. When he was done, Frankie took a few steps, using the old rocking motion he was used to but soon he discovered that he could walk much better. It was a beautiful thing to watch. Because his feet were so bad this donkey has really not been able to lay down as he could not get himself back up. We watched as he carefully lowered himself to the ground and then had a good, long roll. Who knows how long it has been since he rolled and that is a donkey’s number one favorite thing in the world. A roll in the dirt. We have Frankie Lee on a Hawthorne berry supplement to help with hoof recovery and blood flow along with vitamins and minerals.


Frankie had a restful night and woke up refreshed. He was one tired boy. This morning he walked right out of the barn like he had never shuffled along with those agonizing baby steps and headed out into the sun. Where he was standoffish and depressed yesterday, today he is eager for love and attention. He rolled this morning (a great sign of donkey happiness) and is now taking a late morning siesta.


Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Milton Burro Joins Us

I received an email from a man about 10 days ago. He was out hiking when he saw this donkey. He included this jpeg photo and a note asking if I thought something might be wrong with the hooves on this donkey. He took the photo with his phone and then researched on the internet until he found us. He is truly an angel on earth to have cared so much about this helpless animal and done something about it.

These are absolutely the worst feet I have ever seen other than in books and altho we had not planned on taking in any more donkeys right now due to the economy and lack of donations we set to work to get this donkey here ASAP. We spent hours on the phone and internet trying to work out a plan to get htis donkey to us. Because of the situation of where he is located (7 hrs west) and because he would have a difficult time being transported in our small horse trailer, we hired a transport to bring him here. This way he will be able to lay down as he would not be able stand the entire journey as most equines would. Many thanks to Kit Jagoda of for finding the transport company for us.

His feet have twisted out at an angle away from the leg from the growth of the hoof and he has foundered at least once. The sheer length of hoof and the way he is walking on leg breaks my heart. We won’t know more until he arrives early tomorrow. The Farrier will be here Saturday to begin working on Milton’s feet. We should  will be able to let everyone know how is and what can be done to save him by the first of next week. Please keep this sweet, deserving longear in your thoughts and prayers.

For more information on our donkey rescue and how you can help support us, please click on this link: