A year ago, I was approached about helping a domestic donkey who was hit by a car in SW TX. After speaking with Uncle Johnny, we agreed that TMR Rescue Inc. was going to be the only chance this beautiful, terribly injured donkey would have a chance. When Sandra Parks saved Blue Boy from the side of the road after being hit by a car, she did not realize, at first how horrific his injuries were. The support from veterinarians was not there for her, and they gave her poor advice. So, he languished for several months before they realized he was not going to get better, and his needs were greater than vets in her area could or would provide. The Parks kindly paid to transport Blue Boy to TMR Rescue, Inc. and he has been here since.
There were several times over the year that we thought it was time to throw in the towel, but this donkey had the heart of a tiger, and a fire burning inside him like no other. Blue Boy wanted to live, and he was not giving up. So, we tried. As we progressed we met road blocks along the way. Medical personnel who did not believe. Then, they would spend just a short time with Blue Boy and they too walked away with an understanding of his desire to live. They committed to saving this remarkable brave donkey.
We had so many setbacks, and so many breakthroughs that we felt we were on a roller coaster ride. Meanwhile, Blue Boy remained cheerful, fun loving and determined. Yet, while we all recognized his powerful desire to live, the reality of what the body can endure was catching up with Blue Boy. Just as we could see the triumph of the healing truly begin, we watched in horror as his one stable leg gave out. We were told that if we did not get Blue Boy into a sling, his chances were nil. So, we did what we thought was best for Blue Boy. We wanted desperately for him to survive. Our hearts and souls were willing him to get well. We believed. We all believed we could beat the odds. So far, in many ways, we had.
Yesterday morning the unthinkable happened. Blue Boy was found non responsive in his sling by Amy when she came in to feed on Sunday morning. She was beside herself in pain and deeply affected by his loss. I arrived minutes after she called me, and the tears flowed. I cannot believe we have lost this giant hearted, good natured, brave soul. He cannot be gone... but he is. His spirit has left us. His great, beautiful, vibrant spirit has gone to comfort those who have gone before. Blue Boy is teaching Charlie and Chance how to play with boxes. He is discussing human kindness with Alpine, and he is flirting with Wendy. Blue Boy is another victim of a donkey being made to conform to the horse world. The Anderson sling is designed for horses. Although the results are not back from the necropsy we had performed yesterday, I truly believe he choked in the swing. We made many adjustments to the swing to make him comfortable. Yet, no matter what we tried the front of the sling for his chest was designed for the large chest of a horse. We could not pare it down to fit properly. We did think we had gotten it off of his neck far enough to allow him to breath. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, Blue Boy died. We don't have the answers yet. Frankly, I am too devastated to dwell on why. I can only feel his loss. Blue Boy is gone. A bright light has been extinguished.
Still, Blue Boy contributed much to understanding donkeys. Dr. Brown's Proscope 360 clearly made a difference, and Blue Boy was the poster boy for trying something new. It worked. This is why this is so devastating. He made a breakthrough that all medical personnel believed was impossible. As he improved the excitement for his recovery was palpable. We believed, because Blue Boy believed. Even with him gone, I continue to believe there is much to be learned about donkeys that will save lives. Blue Boy's experience and breakthrough will save lives. The Charlie Project will certainly include this year of records on Blue Boy.
So, my dear funny man, go with the angels, and give Charlie a good tickle for me please. Pinch little Chance's cheek and give him a hug. Tell Alpine, he mattered. He knows, but it won't hurt for him to hear it again. Blue Boy enjoy those four perfect legs that are now yours. I love you. I admire you. I will never forget your spirit brave man."