56 year old Tootsie the mule finally succumbed to old age this week, here The Donkey Sanctuary remembers him and shares his story:
"Due to Tootsie’s age, his liver had started to fail over the past few weeks. Although he was put on liver support medications and supplements, he unfortunately did not respond to the treatment. Considering his old age, and the fact that Tootsie's chances of recovery were low, the difficult decision was made to put him to sleep.
Tootsie arrived at The Donkey Sanctuary in 1992 after his owner in Wicklow, Ireland, became concerned that she could no longer care for him. From the moment he arrived, Tootsie made his fun-loving character quite clear. Up until recently, he loved nothing more than a buck and a good gallop around his paddock. Tootsie was always first to the feeding trough, and he took no nonsense from the other donkeys and mules. During his last years, Tootsie lived with a group of elderly donkeys - affectionately known among staff as the 'Super Granny' group - at Hannigan’s Farm in Liscarroll.
Our older donkeys receive a high level of care from our staff and volunteers, with specialist diets and attention. They sport warm rugs and are kept extra cosy with infrared heat lamps and warm bedding during winter. They particularly enjoy their regular grooming sessions, and find a place in the hearts of all those who get to know them.
Just as in his day-to-day life at our sanctuary, in his last moments, Tootsie was surrounded by vet and farm staff who had loved and cared for him. Tootsie will always be remembered here as a small, independently minded mule who was adored by staff and supporters alike."
If you'd like to make a donation in Tootsie's memory to help other aged donkeys and mules you can do here
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