Type: Standard Donkey
Color: Grey Dun; No White Point
On February 23, 2017, two extremely pregnant jennies had the misfortune of ending up in the Bowie, TX kill pen. Celine Myers of the Ark Watch Foundation immediately purchased them and sent them to the Reata Equine Hospital in Weatherford, TX for evaluation and treatment. Celine named the two Moms-to-be Louise and Charlene. They were large standard jennies, probably related to each other and both appeared to be heavy-bred. The girls settled into a daily routine at Reata while we waited for their foals to be born. Sadly, it turned out that Louise’s foal had died in utero and the poor girl didn’t survive the surgery to remove the fetus. This was a very sad time for Charlene. She had lost her long-time friend and was now left along in her stall awaiting the birth of her foal. About either weeks later, Charlene went into labor in the middle of the night. The vet who lived onsite came running to assist Charlene with the birth. The foal was so large that his shoulder got stuck in the birth canal. The vet had to free the enormous foal and then help to guide him through the remainder of the birth process. Had Charlene not been in a vet clinic where she could receive immediate medical attention, we most certainly would have lost both Charlene and her foal!
Celine named Charlene’s foal “Charlie”. As Charlie grew, it became apparent that his sire had been a Mammoth jack donkey. By the time he was just four months old, Charlie was enormous! After he was castrated and had made a full recovery from his surgery, Charlie and Charlene boarded the Equine Express trailer and headed for their new home at The Sanctuary at Red Bell Run. The pair integrated into the Sanctuary’s “donkey herd” right away. They knew many of the other donkeys from their stay at the Reata Clinic. Beverly, Bettina, Eleanor, Ellis, Phinneas, Amanda and Tigger had all been housed at the Reata Clinic. This made the transition from clinic to sanctuary much easier on the entire group. Sadly, several months later, Charlene exhibited signs of colic. The vets at Tryon Equine tried to save her but, unfortunately, Charlene went into shock and we had to say a painful “good-bye” to her. Poor Charlie was brought back home to Red Bell Run and stood in the middle of his pasture, calling out for his Mom, who, sadly, could not answer…
However, there was one jenny in the herd who did not have a foal. Amanda was an Ark Watch rescue who came in as a single jenny. She knew Charlie from Reata Clinic and in less than one day Amanda was standing with Charlie, comforting him over the loss of his mother. Amanda was partnered with an older male donkey, Phinneas, (who had lost his mate, Phoebe) while the pair was at the Reata Clinic, and now Charlie was part of their little family group. In time, Charlie’s heart seemed to heal and he remained quite attached to Amanda and Phinneas for several years. Amanda and Phinneas have now crossed the Rainbow Bridge, but it was wonderful to see the strong bonds that formed out of such tragedy in the lives of these three feedlot refugees. Today Charlie is known as “Charlie the Hugger” because he loves to lay his head on your shoulder and press his cheek to yours. He’s very well-adjusted and has many friends in the Longears Lodge Herd at Red Bell Run.