Whiz Kid's Story
Felix and Whiz Kid were two of the 26 donkeys who arrived in our first big rescue on January 8th, 2021. From the moment he got off the trailer, Felix was incredibly sick. His body was slouched over, his head was down, and he could barely open his eyes. We kept a close eye on him and when he started wheezing, we called the vet. They said that he had a serious respiratory disease and needed to get to the UC Davis Veterinary Hospital (a 2.5-hour drive away) as soon as possible.
As the vet was talking to us, we heard some intense coughing from another pasture — Whiz Kid had the same problem and also needed to go to UC Davis. There was one big roadblock: we had just launched Oscar’s Place, and didn’t yet have a trailer to drive the donkeys to the hospital.
So I (Ron) got on the phone and started calling the names of people in our community who had trailers and could haul the donkeys to UC Davis. However, no one wanted to bring the donkeys in their trailer because of the risk of spreading their respiratory disease. Felix and Whiz Kid were getting sicker by the hour, and the race against the clock was on.
Finally, I found a trailer in Santa Rosa for sale, hopped in my car, drove down, and bought it on the spot. However, I didn’t have a hitch… and I didn’t know how to drive a trailer… so I bought a hitch, asked for help connecting the hitch to the car and the trailer to the hitch… and asked for some driving tips for my first-ever time pulling a trailer! I drove back to the ranch, loaded the donkeys into the trailer (another first!), and drove the 2.5 hours to UC Davis to get them the lifesaving care they needed. It was a marathon day, and I was stressed beyond belief.
Felix’s sickness had progressed to pneumonia, and the doctors said he probably wouldn’t make it. Both Felix and Whiz Kid were touch-and-go for several days. Eventually, they turned the corner and started to recover. When they were healthy enough to return to Oscar’s Place, they had to be quarantined for 3 weeks to protect the health of the rest of our herd.
Our team gave them their inhalers five times per day to clear their lungs, and Whiz Kid had to eat soaking wet hay because he wouldn’t stop coughing. Day by day, their health improved. Through it all, Felix and Whiz Kid had each other. They became absolute best friends. To this day, the two are inseparable — you’ll never see one without the other! They play together, eat together, and sleep together. They are the sweetest, friendliest donkeys on property — it feels like they know they’ve been given a second chance.
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