We are still mourning Cristina and it's time to say goodbye to another donkey, our little, big warrior Luca. He lost his battle against an enemy too strong for him and for us who were fighting by his side: a colic with intestinal twist, impossible to operate surgically considering his age and physical conditions.
He entered our Rifugio on February 15, 2008, after a long trip from Cernavoda along with other Romanian donkeys. Among them there was Tudor: they shared story, age and attitude, and could not be any different than friends for life. Despite age and ailments, they spent hours running and playing fights; whoever was the first to start, the second did not pull back. They wandered up and down the woods a few days before mid-August, and as we watched them, we thought they would never change; that this would have been their lives forever.
Luca was found abandoned in Romania. On his passport it was marked 1992 as his year of birth, but who knows if that was true. When we are in front of a donkey left alone, we can only try to imagine his past, using every clue we have: in his case, those clues were the purulent wounds that covered the entire right side of his body, his weakness, his fear .
Over the years he had learned to trust man again. He stood next to the fence, waiting for visitors' cuddles. He was very clever, but intelligence alone would not have been enough to make it clear that human hands could give sweetness, not only slaps. He had given us the gift of his confidence, a present that means great responsibilities. Everytime we deal with a donkey in need, we try our best with drugs, patience, time. But every time it is the donkey that we are helping who makes a real change possible. It does so when it goes further, overtakes what it had gone through, understands that it can change.
Luca, tiny black donkey with short ears and magical eyes, was much loved. From all of us, our visitors and Silvia, in particular, who for four years had chosen to sponsor him, together with Tudor. Luca's little hooves have left behind very deep footprints that nothing will take away from our hearts.