Donkeys-For-Good: Meet Angus

January 30, 2019

 

To raise awareness about Latham Centers’ Asinotherapy Program, we’ve launched this entertaining and informative blog series featuring our six miniature donkeys: Esther, Esau, Moonbeam, Curley, Angus, and Jake. Be sure to check in regularly to learn about the donkeys and the important role they play at Latham Centers.

He will never be your beast of burden. Angus is a pleasure-seeking bon vivant. He has a discerning palate, and a fondness for the warmth of the sun on his withers and a good ear brushing. Angus came to Latham almost a decade ago with his good friend and fellow Vermonter, Moonbeam. While Moonbeam was drawn to life as a therapy donkey because of a desire to serve and to make a difference in the lives of those with complex special needs, Angus was lured by the promise of fresh hay delivered daily – and regular chest rubs. Angus will never leave your side if you scratch his chest. In a recent interview, Angus was asked about his interests and his thoughts on Asinotherapy.

“I am a bit of a history buff. Did you know that we donkeys have been around for 5,000 years? For 5,000 years we have been a preferred mode of transport for humans around the world. Think of the Christmas Story. It was a donkey that carried the holy family to Bethlehem. For generations, humans have piled their belongings, their crops, their goods for sale on our backs. Donkeys helped carry the stone used to build the great Egyptian pyramids. Our ancestors carried silk along the Silk Road from China to Rome in return for trade goods. You may be surprised to learn that donkeys are exceptionally surefooted. In Greece and Spain, our excellent sense of balance helped us to carry baskets of grapes on the narrow paths in vineyards.

I’d say it’s about time we took a break! Life is good here at Latham Centers. Each day I am surrounded by friends, and I am visited regularly by nice, friendly, kind people who come to see me in my cozy paddock. They scratch my ears, brush my fur, and clean my hooves. My breakfast is placed in front of me while someone tells me that I am handsome and good. The only thing placed on my back is a blanket on a chilly day. On a hot summer night, there is always someone who asks to give me a cool bath which is a rare and special treat for a donkey. Sometimes I think that we might want to keep this whole “Donkey Therapy” thing to ourselves. Once the word gets out, donkeys could be lined up on the Sagamore Bridge trying to get in on this gig.”

Angus is described by his herd-mates and caregivers as “exceptionally loving, patient and kind.” His lifelong companion Moonbeam told us, “He talks a good game. He will tell you that this is all about his own comfort and making up for the ‘relentless labor of our forefathers,’ but Angus loves Latham because of the relationships. He would carry anyone anywhere if he knew his help was needed – especially if they feed him apples and carrots along the way.”