Summer & Jeanette

Jeanette and Summer communing.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!”


Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - 20:41
Thank you to all volunteers who visited the Sanctuary on Sunday, November 13 to help us prepare the farm for winter. Your hard work has earned you donkey love and hugs throughout our Christmas season! Because of you, the Sanctuary trails and paddocks...
Friday, November 4, 2016 - 15:13
Wow, so much great coverage in this past week - CTV in Kitchener has done a video story on the Sanctuary! You can view it here. We're so delighted with this coverage, and especially that the video focuses in particular on our volunteers. We couldn't do...
Monday, October 31, 2016 - 15:21
Photographer and writer Vanessa Tignanelli recently visited us with her camera, and got to know some of the donkeys on one of our Open Days. We are delighted to share the results of her visit – a video at the Globe and Mail (shared via their...
Friday, October 14, 2016 - 19:46
Are you making plans for your Christmas season? What? You are? That's terrific! You should include a visit to the Donkey Sanctuary in your plans - we'll be open the four Sundays before Christmas - November 27, December 4, 11 and 18 - and we'd just love...
Friday, October 14, 2016 - 19:35
When Belle, 20, was first rescued by a kind neighbour, perhaps the most distinctive thing about her was that she seemed depressed, resigned to a lonely existence of pain and deprivation. 
She was dispirited, head down, showing no real interest in the...