Cayman’s oldest donkey is settling in to his new home at Cayman Riding School.
This February, 37-year-old Jack the donkey’s physical appearance led some to question whether he was getting proper care at Pedro’s Castle, where he had roamed the grounds for years.
“As you can see now, his ears are forward which is a sign of him happy, you know he’s just a real cool guy, loving the attention,” said owner and riding instructor Tracey Surrey.
She said Jack arrived four or five weeks ago in pretty rough shape, now, his spirit is coming back, but he still has many challenges ahead.
“Our biggest concern with Jack, long-term, is the state of his feet, they haven’t been trimmed for, my goodness, the longest time,” she said. “This has just grown completely, completely out of shape.”
Compare Jack’s misshapen hooves with those of Little Miss Long Ears, one of Jack’s new companions. Ms. Surrey said Jack is due to see a visiting veterinarian next week. She told Cayman 27 the x-ray results can inform the farrier on how to proceed.
“Whilst he is on pain killers, we’ve got to solve the underlying problem,” said Ms. Surrey.
Jack’s health problems, she said, won’t go away overnight, but she says his emotional demeanor has taken a drastic turn for the better.
“I would probably go as far as to say he was depressed,” said Ms. Surrey.
She told Cayman 27 while love is important, it alone is not enough to care for a donkey.
“I don’t think for one moment that Jack wasn’t loved,” said Ms. Surrey. “But whether it be a dog, a horse, a cow, I don’t care, whatever the animal is, you have to know how to look after the property and put the needs of the animals first, rather than your emotions, and that’s a very difficult thing to do.”
Ms. Surrey said a nagging sore on Jack’s face will soon be removed, and he’s re-adjusting to eating grass after years on an improper diet.
Perhaps most importantly, she believes Jack has a lot of good years left in him.