Marcus is an elderly donkey who has found his forever home at a wonderful sanctuary in Ontario, Canada. He came from a life where he was neglected and sad, existing from day to day in a small barn, rarely seeing the green grass or the light of day. Cared for by an elderly farmer who was not able to give his animals what they needed, the man eventually faced the fact that he needed to find better homes for his animals. Marcus found his way to a sanctuary where horses, goats, and pigs graze happily in big pastures and enjoy freedom and the sunshine on their faces. The meadow where they spend most of their day joins a paddock and a few small barns. The animals eat grain and vegetables here and find shelter and hay, as well as straw to rest on.
The animals are very social and they enjoy the company of the others as they graze or explore. Each morning, they all gather in the paddock for some treats, such as corn or oats. It is at this time of day that they receive a visit from a special friend. The paddock is very close to a forested area that is the home for a small population of wild deer. The fence between the paddock and the forest is high enough to keep the rescued animals in, but it is not high enough to keep the deer out.
One of the more friendly deer, affectionately known as Louise, has been coming right to the fence and staring curiously at the horses and the donkey for over a year. Deer are also social animals and it seems that Louise enjoys sniffing around and even resting in the long grass beside the fence. She had been seen watching the animals in the sanctuary curiously, but when the caregivers came near, she walked back to the edge of the forest to watch from a distance. What they discovered at this farm though, was that Louise had figured out what was in the buckets that they brought out each morning.
After the corn and oats were spread out for the horses and the donkey, Louise returned to the edge of the fence to watch them eat. It was a surprise to all to see that Louise began doing more than just watching. She nimbly hopped the fence and shared the treats with the other animals. Incredibly, these animals rarely seemed to mind.
Louise began hopping the fence every morning as soon as the people with the food moved away. She could be seen at the edge of the forest, or in the grass, waiting patiently for the right moment. Then she would munch away happily with the other animals, even lying down in the paddock occasionally to enjoy some companionship. Sometimes Marcus will sniff at Louise and greet her happily. Of all the rescued creatures at this farm, it is Marcus who is particularly interested in Louise. Sometimes he follows her around and on other days, he seems more concerned about making sure he gets his share of the food. It seems that even happy animals have their moods.
A small camera was posted on the fence at the edge of the paddock where Louise usually made her approach. Sure enough, she appeared a few minutes after snack time and made a very graceful and easy leap into the yard. She wandered around, ate her fill of the grain and then made another graceful leap to return to the forest.
Marcus will continue to live on this beautiful farm with the other animals until the end of his days. He is living the good life with very little stress and getting all the love and affection that an old donkey can handle. Hopefully, Louise will continue to visit him here for a long time to come.