Donkeys-For-Good: Meet Moonbeam
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 our donkeys and the important role they play at Latham Centers.
Moonbeam the miniature donkey is a rugged Vermonter. Like many who hail from The Green Mountain State, Moonbeam values hard work, enjoys the outdoors, and prefers real maple syrup to Aunt Jemima’s. If he drove a car it would be a Subaru. While Moonbeam is kind, friendly, and grateful for his home in Sandwich, he would like you to know that he is not a “flatlander” and that Cape Cod, while rich in history, pristine beaches and ice cream shops, cannot be compared to Vermont. The other five donkeys in the Latham herd find Moonbeam’s fixation on all things Vermont annoying (covered bridges, craft beers, skiing, and Cabot cheese), but they humor him because if you can see beyond the Vermont obsession, Moonbeam is a great guy.
Moonbeam arrived at Latham Centers in 2010, along with his longtime friend and herd mate, Angus. In a recent interview with Latham Centers’ Director of Development, Moonbeam shared the story of his journey to Latham.
“My life was simple in Vermont. I lived on Aspirin Farm (actual name) surrounded by all the usual barn animals: chickens, horses, cows, goats. We all played our various roles well – except for the goats. Goats in Vermont have a chip on their shoulder. They really are a secondary dairy producer in Vermont and cows get all the glory. It makes the goats angry and unpleasant.
One day I just woke up and realized that my life, my whole roam-around-the-farm, hay-in-the-morning, hope-for-a-carrot-from-the-kids life was meaningless. I mean, I was a pet. I was just a pet. I was longing for a more meaningful pursuit and then my buddy Angus told me that he was leaving Vermont to become a therapy donkey at Latham Centers in Massachusetts. It was like a light switched on for me. I told Angus that I would go with him and now here we are. I am a therapy donkey!
My job is to gratefully receive the care and attention of the children and adults in Latham’s Asinotherapy Program. I had to work on my patience, I am not gonna lie. I used to be a little nippy. I was not used to being brushed or petted. I was not sure how I felt about learning tricks, but I learned. And I’ll be honest, I look forward to the time that I get to spend with the individuals at Latham. It is comforting to know that someone is excited to see me. If an adult resident is having a bad day, I can make it better. I have grown to understand them, and they have learned a lot about me. There are also the hugs. I get a lot of hugs. What’s not to like? It has been almost nine years since I left Vermont and came to Latham. Latham is my home.”
In his spare time, Moonbeam is an avid leaner. He enjoys leaning against the fence in his pen whenever he gets the chance. He can lean for relaxation and he can lean into a good side scratch against a post if he needs it.
Please join us next month when we will introduce the next donkey in our “Meet the Donkeys” blog series, Jake.