In Loving Memory

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A Tribute to our beloved Butter Cup -  2. Sept. 1995 – 20. March 2004

Above: Butter Cup with her last baby girl "Jasmine" (2003).

Below: Butter Cup and her second baby girl "Angelina" (2001)

Below: Butter Cup's first baby girl: "Camilla"

 

    When we first saw you we fell in love with your beautiful, big expressive eyes…. You kept your distance and had a worried look…. You acted really shy. How shy you really were we didn’t get to find out until we brought you home along with Tinkerbell a sweet little girl. Soon you became best and inseparable friends. We tried to gain your trust through your best friend but you just couldn’t get yourself to trust anyone. You looked as you yearned for attention but you didn’t let yourself – you were simply too afraid. We never pushed ourselves on you because we were confident that in time you would “come around”. Nothing that the books suggested worked to gain your trust. You were especially “terrified” of men. When you were almost 2 years old you got gravely ill with pneumonia. All of the donkeys we had at that time contracted the illness (we were new to donkeys and followed our veterinarian’s instructions to the T). We lost two of our 9 donkeys and we were devastated. We almost lost your best friend Tinkerbell but with a lot of care and a miracle both of you survived. Going through all of this we had a special bond… you were still terrified of men but you began to accept me at least being close to you – though you still wouldn’t let me touch you after you were better. But you were always there, close to me with the other girls. I don’t know what happened in your young life to be so terrified of people (especially men) but I vowed I would never give you away nor would I ever take your best friend from you. You would have a home for life – along with Tinkerbell. There were people who didn’t understand why we didn’t just “get rid” of you! I would have NEVER given up on you.

     When you had your first baby girl – you were scared to be locked in a stall – too scared to let your milk down… Your baby needed a transfusion at 24 hours to save her life…. I don’t know if you felt that we saved your baby but you became a lot more accepting of me. You had so much love for that little girl – your big brown eyes showed it all. You gave us two other beautiful baby girls. All were very people loving. When you had your second baby you finally let me touch you and you seemed to enjoy it. With your third baby you were just like all the other girls around me. I had finally gained your trust and I could pet you all over. You would even seek me out in the pasture. Your big brown eyes didn’t look scared anymore. It was a different story around men. You never got to trust any men – though you “accepted” Freddie (my husband). You figured out that he would just trim your hooves, or give the yearly vaccines and let you go. You knew he wouldn’t “mistreat or hurt” you but you never felt really comfortable around him. You liked him from the distance.

     You were 8 months pregnant with your fourth baby when you contracted pneumonia again. You were treated and expected to fully recover but we were told that your baby may be lost. The baby was secondary – you were all that counted. You seemed to get well quickly and we thought fully recovered. You finally got to go back out into the pasture with your best friend that had been lost without you. Tinkerbell was soooo happy to see you when we first let you back out. Today, when I looked out of the window I saw Tinkerbell laying next to the water trough with her ears down…None of the other donkeys were laying down.  She had come up with the other girls but you were not with her. I ran out to see if you were maybe licking the mineral block which view was obstructed. You were not there and my heart just sank. Tinkerbell did get up and wanted me to pet her but she was not her usual self. I ran to see if I could find you – maybe you were still munching hay and didn’t realize that everybody else had left to get some water. But I knew that was unlikely… It didn’t take me long to find you “sleeping” in the pasture under a cedar tree – the tree you liked to lay under or close by to soak up the sun in the spring. You looked so peaceful….I even called your name but you wouldn’t get up.  I don’t know what happened, I blame myself for not having been more watchful. I had checked on you twice a day since you had been sick – you were fine. Yesterday I didn’t get to check on you – the day before I saw you just briefly and you talked to me as you usually do when you see me. I was consumed by a baby that was born to a mother that was lacking milk that day - and this morning you are gone. I am sooo sorry…Your friend is lost without you – she is lonely and smells of the other donkeys hoping that it’s you. After all, you came back the last time… To see her like that just tears me up…. I hope she will be able to adjust without you and make friends with another jenny. She was your shadow for the past 7 years. She was the younger one and more dependent on you than you on her.  I had promised to keep you together – ALWAYS. You had your foals together – always foaled within a few days of each other. You always had a little girl and Tinkerbell always had a little boy. Your first two babies even looked alike and were best friends. You were sick together – you healed together except for this time.

     The one thing we will never forget about you and that was sooo special and unique about you were your beautiful, expressive eyes. They said it all: they let us know when you felt scared, curious, pain, worried and they showed your love you had for your babies. We will also never forget you “talking” to us every time you saw us. First we thought you were just waiting for your feed – since you loved to eat soooo much! Then we realized you would do it every time you saw us – your nostrils would widen and you would start to talk to us – it was never a bray – just a sweet talk. I miss you soooo very much!!! My heart is bleeding and I have shed many tears over you. There are no words to describe the pain of loosing you... You were part of our family! You will always have that very special place in my heart that no other donkey will ever fill. We buried you close to the cedar tree that you loved so much. Sleep tight….we will never forget you!

  

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The Little Friends Ranch

Nadia Attia-O'Bryan

1034 Carl Crisp Rd.

Almo, KY 42020

270-753-9270

 

 

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