Summer & Jeanette
More Than a Summer Romance Summer is the Grand Dame of the Sanctuary, at 43 our oldest resident and definitely queen of the barnyard. She greets everyone who enters, making friends with all.
Volunteer Jeanette Plant is one such friend who holds a special place in her heart for Summer. “She was the first donkey I met when I started volunteering here nearly 5 years ago. She came right up to greet me when I arrived in the barnyard, and followed me everywhere my first day.
“Now, I always reserve the last bit of my weekly time here for Summer. I never forget to stop for a visit.”
Whether Jeanette is picking up poop (a critically important job here), grooming, or helping out with the Long Ears Boutique or a committee, she says she feels like she’s the lucky one. “Coming here completes my week. It’s so peaceful. At the end of each day, I feel like I’ve done something worthwhile and made a difference.”
The difference is clear with Summer. Before she came here in 2002, she had been abandoned in a stall by her owner, along with several other animals for a year – cared for by the property owner. Her hooves were in bad shape. Her stall was filthy and cold. She had suffered terrible neglect.
Yet she blossomed right away here at the DSC and is happiest when receiving loving attention from volunteers, staff and visitors.
Jeanette sings from the same song sheet as many of our wonderful volunteers who give so freely of their time, hard work, and compassion for animals. “I get back more than I give. Here are these big animals, sometimes very badly treated before they get here, and they are so gentle and trusting.”
And speaking of singing, Jeanette sings to Summer at the end of every visit. What song? “ ‘Over the Rainbow.’ She seems to like it!”