A donkey who walks on a leash?

This donkey walks on a leash so nicely you might mistake her for a dog. Meet Sweetheart, an adoptable donkey at Best Friends.
By Elizabeth Doyle

Sweetheart is a friendly girl who is so well-behaved that when she arrived at Best Friends, we decided to take her for a little stroll around the sanctuary to meet people and be welcomed. And when we say "we took her for a little stroll," we don’t mean the trained large-animal experts at Horse Haven. We mean know-nothings like the person writing this article, who was wearing a dress, hat, and jewelry, and wanted to walk a donkey without getting dirty. "She seems so friendly. May I take her on a walk?" No problem! Walking Sweetheart is easier than walking most dogs.

A donkey who walks on a leash

Of course, Sweetheart’s "leash" is more like a rope. And interestingly, donkeys are always supposed to walk on the right, as opposed to dogs, who usually walk on the left when they’re heeling. A Horse Haven professional followed along, just to make sure there was no bolting! But there wasn’t any. Sweetheart walked at exactly the right pace, stopping every time her walkers did, and starting every time they moved forward. Sheesh – she could pass the Canine Good Citizen exam! Except for the "canine" part, of course.

Making the rounds to meet new people

She popped in on some folks working in offices. It’s something you get used to if you work at Best Friends. There’s always a possibility a donkey might knock on the door and say, "Hi, I’m new to the sanctuary. Just trying to make friends." Corporate America, this is not!

Since many folks keep animals in their offices – cats and dogs, for the most part – Sweetheart offered herself as an office pet. But no takers! It was nothing personal, probably just the fact that her head nearly hit the ceiling in some of the rooms.

It was nice for her to get to meet the staff up close and personal!

Donkey with feet abscesses

But why is such a nice donkey homeless in the first place? Well, Sweetheart was having recurring abscesses on her feet. And the home where she lived didn’t have soft enough earth. The condition was always getting aggravated. So she was given up, which is sad, but she’s hoping to find a great new home soon.

Adopt a donkey

Would anyone like an unusually large, quiet "pooch" with magnificently long ears? Come visit her at Best Friends' Horse Haven and see for yourself what a joy she is to take on a morning stroll!

Explore Horse Haven at the Sanctuary

Photo by Troy Snow