Dante and Margherita tell a story of suffering, fortunately with a happy ending. But above all they tell a love story.
Dante and Margherita arrived at the Rifugio in 2013. Their health conditions were very poor. Unfortunately, the world has not been kind to them, their bodies and souls were ailing. They arrived from the big seizure of Colleferro, a town between Rome and Frosinone. A place of horror where, in that year, hundreds of abandoned equidae had been left to die. We, at the Rifugio, recued and welcomed 52 of them. Their lives have now changed.
Donkeys and mules establish long lasting and strong bonding. It is a form of affection and solidarity that has evolutionary reasons, a mechanism of adaptation and survival in the desert, the place of origin of these extraordinary animals. Yet what binds Dante and Margherita goes beyond simple instinct. To react to the mistreatment they suffered, to react to the terrible experience of Colleferro, their union is a deep form of mutual care. They met here at the Rifugio and, since then, they are inseparable.
Dante, with his strong and somewhat grumpy character, is extremely protective of Margherita. And Margherita, with her dose of sweetness, is the one of the two who facilitates the socialization of Dante with the other mules of the Rifugio and, also, with humans. A déjà vu? But woe to those who dare to separate them, even if only for a few minutes! For example, when we have to do an operation such as the annual dental check-up, Dante and Margherita have to be treated as a couple. Alone, they feel lost and the presence of the other reassures. When our veterinarian must isolate Dante for a vaccine, Margherita follows them and we always make sure that they do not lose eye contact with each other and that they can feel close. At the end, we found out that Dante is much less gruff than he seems. Yes, in the end he is a tender guy. The wounds of the past leave traces, but love can work miracles. The love of humans, the love of animals.
Stories like Dante and Margherita are only possible because of your help. This Valentine's Day help us continue to offer care and shelter to all the other donkeys and mules in difficulty. Your gesture can make a difference.
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