For Patricia Beck of Astoria, Oregon, two donkeys are better than one-especially when the critters in question are brown-and-white Hope and a gray fellow named Jack who is believed to be Hope's son.
Beck has owned horses before, and still has a lovely "family girl" called Feather. But the donkeys, who'd ended up Harmony New Beginnings Animal Rescue after their owner's death from cancer, simply stole her heart. "I followed their story from the day they were brought to the rescue," she says. "I totally fell in love with them both. And through the months I knew that I had to give them their ?forever' home."
Finally, on August 11, 2012, she adopted both donkeys. The new additions proved an instant hit. "Right now they are being loved and doted on and [we 're] making sure they stay healthy," Beck says. "My daughter spends a lot of time with them showing them off to all the neighbor kids. And of course we have kids coming over all the time wanting to lead and brush them. Or even hug or feed them cookies, apples and carrots. Hope and Jack have become the neighborhood pet therapy for kids; that is for sure."
There have been unexpected benefits, as well. "No one can come into our property without these two letting me know; they are my alarm system," Beck confides. "They let me know when I'm late for dinner and Jack actually sings so pretty for it, it melts your heart." Along the way, Beck's daughter has also discovered that the donkeys are rideable.
As most rescue organizations will tell you, it's difficult enough to find homes for individual animals in need, let alone related animals who ideally shouldn't be separated. But thanks to Beck, the "Home for Every Horse" program and Harmony New Beginnings Animal Rescue, Hope and Jack did not have to part ways.
"These two would be lost without one another, and I am so glad that they are both here with us together," Beck says. "And forever it will be."