It wasn’t love at first sight, not even close.
FFAS rescued Rico from an Oklahoma kill pen in May 2020. For the next 18 months his best friends were humans, lots and lots of them! But donkeys are social animals so in November 2021 FFAS decided to rescue another one to be a companion for Rico.
It wasn’t long before JD (Jack) was on a transport truck, rescued from a kill pen in Texas. 5 days later he arrived in NY. He was quarantined for 30 days, separated from Rico by a mesh gate. He was treated a few times by both the vet and farrier, all under Rico’s watchful eye. They were curious about each other, but Rico’s ears were pinned back more than we had ever seen.
After quarantine we slowly let Jack in the paddock with Rico. It was scary! Rico chased Jack around the paddock, biting his back and generally terrifying him. It was hard to watch. We were told that they needed to establish which would be the dominant donkey. The whole scene was both frightening and sad. We just didn’t know where the line was between normal and dangerous.
Each encounter would last about 10 minutes, which was all we could stand. This daily ritual lasted 4 weeks.
Then one day, the donkeys just started to graze together.
And they grazed and grazed! They’ve been inseparable ever since. They eat together, sleep together, lay in the sun together, investigate together and do a lot of nothing together! That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
This Valentine’s Day we celebrate Rico and Jack, from a place of hopelessness to a place of love and a bond for life!