One Sweet Old Man

Bobby the donkey
Photo: Janet Holmes

Three years ago, 47-year-old Bobby was surrendered by an elderly couple who’d rescued him from neglect. He could barely walk. “At least he’ll enjoy some comfort and peace for his final weeks,” we thought.

But Bobby had other plans.

With the help of supplements, expert farrier work, and a custom-molded plastic insert for one of his hooves, Bobby thrived. As the lone donkey in our Underfoot family, he hobbled around the Sanctuary, visiting horses, cows, sheep, and humans. He made many friends including the mares who vied for his attention.

Part of the joy of visiting the Sanctuary was never knowing where you would find him. Would he be in the barn? Visiting the cows in the back fields? Standing behind one of the coops? Visitors were always delighted to discover where he was hanging out for the day. Bobby adored attention and would happily bend his head for a loving rub. And when he grew tired, he rested under one of the willow trees.

Bobby with his tongue sticking out
Photo: Janet Holmes

But time finally caught up with Bobby.

In the last months, his appetite diminished dramatically, and it was more challenging to keep him comfortable and healthy. A few days ago, Bobby lay down, and it was clear from the look in his eyes that he was done. He died peacefully, among his friends. Thank you for being one of them.

Goodbye, old man. We miss you.

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All Beings Considered, Saying Goodbye

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16 Comments

  1. Bobby, thank you for teaching me so much about love. I once had the privilege of drying you off after we brought you in when it started to rain. You stood there so sweet and gentle and accepting. You trusted me, as a fellow animal. In that moment I realized we are all the same.

  2. So glad that I was able to meet Bobby this past summer. He was a sweet old man. Thank you for all you do!

  3. I had the joy of meeting Booby when we spent some time at the Sanctuary. What a kind old soul he was. He lived his life with a thankfulness, wisdom and joy that few of us will ever know. Rest peacefully sweet one…till we meet again………

    Joyce

  4. My daughter and I visited with Bobby last year, and just a couple of weeks ago. We had sponsored Nadine, the lovely pig,and were visiting with her last year when we came across Bobby. My then 10 year old daughter fell in love with him. I have a very sweet picture of them together. I am so glad that we were able to see him a few weeks ago. He made a lasting impression upon us. RIP sweet boy. You were loved.

    1. Bobby touched many hearts, Jodi. Glad yours was one of them, and glad your daughter got to meet him as well…

  5. My daughter Grace was Bobby’s buddy in camp there last year. She still talks about him today – what a sweet old boy. RIP Bobby.

  6. Kristen and I were honored to have met Bobby back in May, a sweet and gentle soul. RIP Bobby!

  7. So sorry to learn about Bobby, especially so soon after Stencil passed away… My wife & I were among the many lucky people who got to meet, & spend a little time w/ both of them. As sad as this is, it’s also a wonderful event when an animal lives in the loving environment that is CAS, & eventually when it dies as well. Think of what lives & deaths farm animals have to suffer when they’re out in the real world. So take your bow people who work @ CAS, & those of us who sponsor the good work you do. You provided another 2 sweet animals w/ a good life, & delivered them to a painless end.

    1. What beautiful words, Charis! You make a wonderful point — what a privilege it is to love and honor and serve these animals: to help them heal when they arrive, to help them thrive, often for many, many years, and ultimately, to say goodbye when their quality of life is gone… to do for them what we would want done for ourselves. Knowing when to let go is our final act of love… just as important as all the rest.

  8. My condolences on Bobby’s passing. I’m so glad that I got to meet him and give him some love … and to have him open my heart just a little wider. Thank you for all you did for Bobby and, in turn, all he did for us. <3

  9. “Lucky”

    Thanks to CAS
    For the opportunities
    I had, and advantaged
    To throw an admiring
    And privileged arm
    Around Old Bobby

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