A Story for Christmas: Phillip the Donkey
I recently met the most charming 11 year old chap commonly known as Phillip. His real name is a bit of a story as told by his owners Mark and Maddy .....
Phillip came to be part of the family some three years ago after the farmer who originally owned him saw their daughter Lily, clearly in love and cuddling his handsome donkey in the field. Though not many words have been exchanged on the matter it certainly sounds to me that this Majorcan farmer had a soft spot for his donkey and realised that he could be the envy of all other island donkey’s if he went to live with the family whose daughters Lily, Dora and Kitty would obviously dote on him.
Mark and Maddy, clearly lovely people and caring about animal welfare, had been visiting Phillip and feeding him carrots for some time. They had also offered to let Phillip into their fields. One day the farmer obviously decided that he would make a family’s dream come true and with no warning when returning home from an errand, they were greeted by their new friend who had been tied up in their garden and was waiting patiently for them. He has stayed with them as a very much loved family member ever since.
His name... well when they asked the farmer what his name was they were unable to properly understand the reply. It sounded like Phillip and that made sense in a country where the King is named Felipe, and so Phillip he became and it suits him perfectly...his real name it turns out is Espírit!
What is very clear is that Phillip has joined a family who all adore him. I’m told that Lily, Dora and Kitty all feel that he is their donkey and Mark and Maddy merely look after him for them when they are not there. Whatever the truth about that, this donkey is one very lucky boy to have such a fabulous family and home. Phillip does infact have a family of his own, a son(screen shot from video shown) but that’s a whole other story which I hope to tell one day. The video shows Phillip, his son and his wife before he came to live with Maddy and Mark.
Jack (male)donkeys are known for being bad tempered and not great pets but this fella is completely the opposite. He proved this by tucking himself under my arm for a chin scratch and then following us up to the terrace where he happily posed for photos and I’m sure enjoyed all our attentions.
As you can see from the photo Phillip has beautiful markings and it’s believed he is quite unique on the island. I wonder if anyone else reading has a donkey quite like him?
This donkey is one of the friendliest animals I have met and completely cheeky too! His besotted owners have recently planted a field of barley for him and trying to keep Phillip off it before it is ready to be cut is a full time job.
As we chatted on the terrace this clever lad was watching us, waiting for the moment he could sneak off towards the field for another chew before he was duly caught and put on his halter and lead. He judged his moment perfectly and when he thought our attention was not on him, he slowly snuck backwards one hoof at a time until he was far enough away from us to break into a quick trot before we could stop him.
He was off, ears up and with a joyful swishing of his tail, he stopped for a quick victory roll in the drive way and then down to the newly planted field. There is a plan to fence this but for now let the games continue.
I’m sure Maddy and Mark have many stories about Phillip.
I had to laugh when Maddy told me that far from being a working donkey he happily watched as she was recently hauling big lumps of concrete around and it seems morning coffee wouldn’t be the same without a loud good morning bray from Phillip who can hear them getting up and welcomes them through the kitchen window.
Whilst he is still the only one with 4 feet on the property, he is not really alone, it’s clear Phillip is very much loved by all the family. He has bonded with his owners and they with him, even so, Maddy and Mark are open to suggestions about a friend for him.
He has shown himself to quite protective of his property and I’m told managed to herd some escapee sheep back to their field so potentially he is now used to his own company and that of his human friends, but they don’t want him to be sad being the only animal.
Please do write in if you have good advice on a companion perhaps for a very charming donkey. Phillip won my heart and made me laugh so he is our Christmas Donkey and Pet of the month!
Christmas Collie Message
Mum is letting us say hello on her pet page and we just wanted to say ..start practising your cute poses because Christmas day is nearly here and that means treats for us too! Our Christmas wish this year is for all the uprights to stay safe and healthy so they can continue to look after and adore us. We also hope this year that lots more like us find happy homes to be safe, warm and happy. Lots of licks, Brady, Mollie Collie and Sylver.
Adopting A Dog?
Is it better to choose a puppy or a young adult?
Many times I see requests to adopt a puppy on facebook or other social media.
The reason for this is probably that the person(s) interested want to educate the dog to make sure they turn into well mannered adults and family members.
However, adopting a puppy has its advantages and disadvantages:
- The dog is a family member early on in their life and gets used to the people, animals and environment they are brought up with and in.
- Third parties had no input so did not “spoil” the dog or taught them unwanted behaviour.
- The opportunity to educate our puppy exists from day 1.
- The puppy has not yet fully developed the hereditary part (the one that is genetic and cannot be changed by education) of their personality so it is way harder to know “what one is getting into”.
- Also most hereditary physical health issues are not developed at this stage.
- Even when buying a dog from a reputable breeder that tries to ensure to sell a physically as well as mentally healthy dog there is no guarantee they actually are free from issues. The more limited the genepool of the desired breed the more likely such issues exist.
- Raising a puppy is more time and work consuming than an adult dog, it is also a little more expensive.
Adopting a young adult dog also has advantages and disadvantages:
- Physical health issues are known.
- Hereditary behavioural issues are known.
- The dog has a fully developed personality.
- There are no “puppy issues” and the dogs are generally “less work” if we choose the right one.
- The dog was probably raised in a different environment so may need time and extra work to adapt to the new situation.
- Other people raised the dog and their standards of educating them may have been different so we may have to change established behaviour.
In the end there is no golden rule, we have to decide what best suits us, our family and our lifestyle. This may even be an older dog that needs less mental and physical stimulation but still loves to cuddle on the sofa.
We offer a service (completely free of charge) helping families to adopt the right dog for them, anybody interested please feel free to call or message us!