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What’s Lying Around Your Farm?

By Jesse Jorgensen, 17, Maple Ridge, BC

Growing up, my Grandma’s farm has been my favourite place to be. On the long summer days, when the bluest skies and the greenest grass meet under the sunset, I would relax on the balcony and watch the miniature donkeys graze. When they aren’t meandering through the fields, they are being brushed and pampered by somebody.

I

mean, what’s not to like about donkeys? They are cute, scruffy and like to cuddle, even though they can be a bit dusty sometimes! I like to call them the “little ragamuffins.” But, after being brushed in the springtime, shedding enough hair to make another donkey and enough dust to fill the Grand Canyon, with my adornment of little braids in their manes, I think they are worthy of a first-place prize! My mom recently received a phone call from my grandma. I could tell by the tone that something wasn’t right. It turned out that something was terribly wrong with one of the donkeys. She was refusing to eat and drink. We all know of that panic when something like this happens. My grandma immediately called the veterinarian (Dr. Stefanie Jeanneret), who checked the donkey and performed a rectal examination. To our surprise, the vet pulled out small pieces of chewed-up plastic. And even worse, she could feel a larger obstruction. They immediately put the donkey on intravenous fluids, antibiotics and painkillers. The vet pumped oil into her stomach through her nose, and my grandma monitored the intravenous fluids throughout the night. To our astonishment, the little donkey passed a huge, twisted plastic bag with blocked manure. It was about 13 by 16 inches. The vet was actually amazed that the donkey had not choked. This was a complete shock. How could this have happened? My grandparent’s farm is immaculate, and that is being modest. There is a place for everything and everything has a place. I think this has imprinted on me very high standards for the conditions of farms. I have been witness to many farms that do not provide a healthy environment for people or for animals. How could this have happened at a place where it should be least likely to? Well, I guess donkeys will eat anything, given the chance. Was the plastic in the baled hay? Or was it blown in by the wind from a neighbour’s yard? We will never know. I wanted to share this with you in hopes of highlighting the danger of having debris lying around. Something like this can happen at the most unlikely of times and places. Donkeys eat anything, so it is important to take the time to check that nothing on the property poses any sort of threat This is the piece of plastic. It measures to humans or animals, approximately 13 by 16 inches. HCBC 2010 Business of tHe Year

The donkeys enjoying a snack as it can have dire consequences. The vet did an amazing job of dealing with the situation, and we are all very thankful for her expertise. As of now, the donkey is on the mend, and we are very glad that she is okay.

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Saddle Up May 2015  
Saddle Up May 2015  

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