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Steer and Donkey in Perfect Harmony

Posted on Friday, June 28, 2013 by Heather Dodd

Cariad and Hopeless story for Central Horse News
Cariad Bach – a two-year-old trainee ‘therapy’ donkey belonging to Ann Slater of Bryndafydd Animal Assisted Therapy which owns six working donkeys who play a groundbreaking role in animal assisted therapy (AAT) – has an unusual friend.

A young steer (castrated bull) named Hopeless was orphaned at just one day old and in order to save him, he had to be stomach tubed and then bottle fed and his outlook wasn’t great. However he was ‘adopted’ into Ann’s family of donkeys and with lots of love and care plus the companionship from his new donkey family, he grew stronger and Ann believes he now thinks he is also a donkey like them!

He is scared of cattle and will only be with his little band of donkeys and has formed a special attachment to one particular donkey named ‘Cariad Bach’ (which means ‘Little Darling’ in Welsh). The pair share everything, including Mollichaff Donkey – a complete fibre feed that is fed to all the donkeys at Bryndafydd… and Hopeless loves it too!

Mollichaff Donkey contains a balanced blend of fibre pellets, oat straw and soya oil, with camomile, lemon balm and mint. It also contains a broad spectrum vitamin and mineral supplement which includes limestone and magnesium. It is low in sugar, starch and energy and carries the HoofKind logo to denote it is safe to feed to laminitic donkeys, mules, horses or ponies.

Said Ann: “Because Hopeless has bonded so strongly to Cariad and only wants to be with the donkeys, it would be detrimental to separate them now and we all love him so much that he could never go for beef! He has so much personality and is very gentle and friendly, so I am aiming to give him a purpose within our Animal Assisted Therapy group as he already plays a big part by letting people get close to him to stroke and groom him.

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