'"He's a lovely donkey'' is not a phrase one expects to hear at the vetting gate of the Royal Dublin Society during horse show week. A reply of ''he's an even lovelier mule'' raised a few eyebrows swiftly followed by a raft of mule/hinny related questions from the vets. This seems to set the tone for the rest of the day as myself and the mule maestro Eugene Butler displayed Sanctuary mules Bohea Lad and Kendon on a showery Sunday at the prestigious venue.
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The Irish Donkey Society (IDS) will stage a spectacular display of donkeys and donkey farming equipment and carriages at work and at play in Ring 1 of the RDS showgrounds on the final day of the Dublin Horse Show on Sunday 24th July from 3.40pm to 4.10pm this year.
The RDS Horse Show is being held 2 weeks earlier than normal this year because of the Olympics in Rio, Brazil in August. The parade of donkey carriages will be in front of the President of Ireland and his special guests.
A very successful, well attended North West Veterinary Clinical Society meeting was held recently at one of The Donkey Sanctuary's holding bases in Strabane Co Tyrone. Twenty two vets from practices throughout Co Tyrone, Derry, Donegal and Fermanagh attended the evening which was led by Karen Rickards, Principal Veterinary Surgeon for The Donkey Sanctuary.
What comes to people’s minds when they hear the word mule: stubborn, aggressive or even dangerous? Mules can be perceived as all of these things but it is in fact our perception and how we work with and respect these animals for what they are. When treated with kindness, patience and understanding they learn to trust and obey. If they are treated with force they are most likely not going to obey as they can sense danger. This is where people’s perception of mules as being aggressive comes into play. But it is a defence mechanism for them, to protect themselves.
Education is without doubt a key part of the answer to improving the lives of donkeys and mules in Ireland and running donkey care courses in new venues throughout Leinster is something high on the priority list. We have held successful courses in Wexford and Dublin in established guardian homes and at My Lovely Horse welfare organisation in Kildare. Courses have been well attended and the feedback has been positive and encouraging.
Phoenix (age 5) and Baxten (age 6) are two ordinary donkeys that came to me a year ago from the Donkey Sanctuary. They are two lively young donkeys with an inquisitive attitude to life. At the weekend they went back 100 years in time to 1916. The occasion was the “Country and Rural Life” re-enactment hosted by Teagasc on their farm in Athenry, Co Galway and over 20,000 people were expected. Three months ago both the donkeys and I were totally unprepared for this journey.
We are in full preparation for our annual Teddy Bear's Picnic on July 7th in our Open Farm in Knockardbane, Liscarroll.
This will be the fourth time holding this event and every year it keeps getting better. This year we have an array of activities from face-painting, bouncy castle, treasure hunt, coloring corner, great music, donkey walking and grooming and a special teddy bear hospital. There is a competition for the best teddy and owner look alike and the best dressed teddy bear on the day. Our stunning mares and foals will also be there to meet you on the day.
We have an excellent opportunity for a Laboratory Technician to join our Veterinary team at The Donkey Sanctuary (Ireland) Limited
Possessing previous biological laboratory experience and knowledge of laboratory principles you will assist with the general running of the Pathological Laboratory and research projects and provide in-house services to the clinical/veterinary team. Equine knowledge and good customer service skills are essential.
This is a full-time, fixed term role starting as soon as possible until 20 June 2017, working 39 hours per week, 5 days over 7.