Mariah with her buddy Winston

Mariah’s story really begins with Maddie. Maddie was near 30 years old and was discovered with her sister in extremely poor condition, without shelter, completely exposed to the elements at a kill pen. They both were emaciated and had severe pneumonia. Soon after their arrival at the vet clinic, Millie went down. It did not look good for Millie and perhaps because Maddie knew her sister was dying … Maddie went down as well. It became apparent that it was up to Maddie to decide whether or not she was going to join Millie or if she wanted to live.

Although realizing that another animal could not replace the bond she had with her sister, in order to provide some company and hopefully provide some distraction and curiosity while she grieved the loss of her sister a search brought a grey mule, Mariah to the attention of Ark Watch. Though in a deplorable state (she looked literally black the insects clinging to her were so thick) and barely a “2” on the Henneke Body Condition Scale it was obvious that Mariah needed care too. Skittish and unfriendly she was difficult to handle for veterinary care.

Mariah and Maddie were placed in side-by-side pens under cover at Reata Clinic. Three weeks passed with no apparent interest between them when to the relief of all suddenly, things seemed to shift. Ups and downs with their care could not dissolve the need each had of the other and three months later Maddie and Mariah boarded the trailer for the Sanctuary at Red Bell Run.

Later, she was diagnosed and treated for the neurological condition, EPM. As Mariah became more comfortable in her surroundings and began to develop trust in the humans caring for her, she also began to heal emotionally. Gone was the frightened, untouchable Mariah and in her place appeared an affectionate “pocket pony”.

Several months after the two arrived, Mariah was introduced to another Mammoth donkey named Winston. The two were instantly smitten and along with Maddie this threesome enjoyed their time together while being doted on by sanctuary staff. When Maddie passed away Mariah had Winston at her side as she grieved the loss of her friend.

Always one of the first to greet Red Bell Run Sanctuary guests, at Mammoth Hill, Mariah has truly blossomed in her new home. Probably she had been loved and cared for properly early in her life and it is so gratifying to see her return to that state of being.

credit: rescued by ark watch foundation, ca
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