Just two months ago, Bella, a large, scared, sick mare, was rescued from neglect. She was under-nourished, nervous, nearly blind and lacking care in her sad, sick, state. Good fortune finally found Bella, when she was taken in by Marleen to sanctuary at Donkey Paradise where love and care awaited. She was given her own stable, clean water, nourishing food, good grazing, veterinary care and the human kindness she deserved. Although she remained aloof to other animals, preferring to graze alone, slowly she built her trust back in humans to allow the care she desperately needed. Simone devotedly treated her hoofs and suppurating wounds: regularly and lovingly cleaning, treating, dressing and binding. Her big brown eyes, clouded with cataracts and weepy, were gently washed.
This week the hard decision came as she lay down unable to rise one morning: Bella’s once strong body now so frail. The time was now due to relieve her from anymore suffering. She was put to sleep with Simone by her side, and slipped away peacefully at Donkey Paradise.
Animals are amongst life’s great teachers – Bella’s lessons included courage, gentleness and the willingness to trust again. Whilst here in sanctuary at Donkey Paradise, we trust Bella felt compassion and unconditional love in return, if only for a brief period, in the last chapter of her life. RIP ‘Brave Bella’