An ancient Christmas story it is with shepherds guiding a blessed donkey under the heavenly stars to bear witness to an epic event for humanity- the birth of a child in a manger. We have just experienced our own Christmas story with a donkey fortuitously guided to the safe haven of Calan Horse Sanctuary this December. It was not without a fair amount of drama as this poor fella we named ‘Francis’ had been left behind on a 150-acre lot with 4 horses as a real estate deal was being negotiated for the land on which they stood. Contrary to the agreement the buyer made with the sellers of the lot to take these animals with them, one month after the deal, these 5 lives were still on the property, leaving the buyers in a quandary.
Phone calls were placed and this chunky, furry and adorable chocolate brown chap with gigantic ears and a unique honking voice received the best present of his life. Alan Gent, the shepherd of Calan Horse Sanctuary, was able to say ‘Yes, we’ll take him’ to the caller and only because we had, just a few weeks before, said goodbye to our dear old equine matriarch, Mae Lee. Mae Lee died in Alan’s arms leaving one stable available for a situation just like this. Because space, time and resources at the sanctuary are planned out precisely, we have to turn away nearly every inquiry to take an animal in unless and until the unfortunate happenstance of one of our equine residents passing on.
Our sorrow over Mae’s death was deep and true as she was the softest, most graceful and kind mate one could have. Little old pony Brodie is heartbroken. After having lost several close equine mates he feels the loss of Mae ever more deeply. In fact, we are not sure his tender heart will recover. We are hoping with the arrival of Francis we will have our own Christmas story-where Brodie will stick with us a bit longer and allow his new friend to care for him the way he cared for old Topaz, Mercury, and Mae Lee.
Francis has his own challenges too as does every new entrant to CHS. He is around 15 years of age and has never been gelded. He has been wormed for ‘Lung Worms’ and soon his hooves will have to be tackled. Upon arrival, Alan had to clean out his privates, which was embedded with grass seeds and a terrible mess.
After about three days on solid ground -now his home, Francis heralded his first little HEE HAW! And as time went by this commotion increased in volume and length. As Alan is now feeding him around 4.15 AM he must set his alarm clock for 4.00 AM because the HEE HAWING commences with great joy and abandon!
With our own wise man (and hero) Alan caring for our animals and upholding the high CHS standards and duty of care by brushing Francis twice every day so he will eventually feel how he should, we thank you for your infinite LOVE and SUPPORT no matter what size or shape, and WISH EACH AND ALL A VERY HAPPY HOLIDAY AND BLESSED NEW YEAR.
On behalf of Francis, Brodie and the animals,
Alan Gent, Founder, Calan Horse Sanctuary
Mae Lee Sun