We first heard about this little donkey in March of 2009. A man in Seattle contacted us through our website and said he was writing to me in reference to the photos he was sending via his phone.This man knew nothing about donkeys but instinctively felt that something was very wrong. He had been fishing along the shore of the pasture this donkey was at when he first saw him.
I was just horrified to see the length of his hooves and wrote back at once. We emailed back and forth and he agreed to ask the people (who he did not know) if they would let their donkey go to another home. They were actually delighted to let him go and it was agreed that this donkey would be placed here. We still had a lot of snow but knew we needed to get this donkey here ASAP with his hooves looking as bad as they did. We paid a transport to bring him here from the Seattle area. It was a good thing we were not able to make the trip ourselves as he was so bad he needed the professional carrier to get him here safely.
The driver told us that the woman had dragged him up to the top of the road with her car where she was to meet them because he was simply unable to walk. The cruelty that people inflict on animals never ceases to amaze me. (The driver later contacted an animal welfare organization) We had the farrier lined up for the afternoon of his arrival. In the time before he arrived I named him Frankie Lee. It was painful to watch this poor donkey trying to walk with a shuffling turtle slow slide. The farrier took about 12" of curled hoof off each foot that first day. He was kind and gentle and took his time so that Frankie Lee could rest between trimmings. The vet came a bit later and told us that it had been at least 2 years since Frankie Lee had been able to lay down as he would have not been able to get back up with hooves that bad.
Our new little donkey had serious health issues and had obviously foundered many times in the past. His coat was in terrible shape, dry, brittle and patchy. He wasn't particularly friendly but he seemed to enjoy his new hay and being brushed. He was bloated and very, very overweight. He was probably the product of a miniature donkey and a standard donkey as he has a very large head and body and little short legs. It has been 2 years now and Frankie is still rather unfriendly and irritable with us and grouchy to the other donkeys at feeding time. The donkeys all know not to get near Frankie Lee at mealtime. He will kick and bite to ensure all the hay is for him. He has had a hard life and is no longer a young donkey so we allow him to be who he is. And no matter what, we love Frankie Lee and he has his own place here at Lavender Dreams Farm.
Frankie in 2011
Frankie has a bite of watermelon - his favorite! He says it is good being loved.
Frankie came to us in terrible shape. His hooves were so long he could not walk and his overall health was very poor. It took 4 years of TLC but this video shows just how far this little donkey has come. It's been quite a jouney but this video will warm your hearts and show you just what rescue is truly all about.