Local rescue takes in blind horse, its donkey best friend from Florence flood zone
Animals relocated from a Florence flood zone are now in greener pastures. Sunday night, STAR Ranch rescue took in two friends with a special bond -- a blind horse and a donkey.
Their special bond has already helped them adjust quickly to life on the ranch.
"So we give them a dignity of life here," said Karen Owens, owner of STAR Ranch.
Weeks after Florence pounded the Carolinas, there's a sense of calm after the storm.
"You're a good girl, lucky girl, yes you are," Owens said to Wonder, a white horse.
"She's a blind mare,"Owens explained.
"Hi Wonder. You're a wonder!" she said to the horse. "And it is a wonder how these things work out, you know?"
She can't see her surroundings, but Wonder seems to feel at ease.
"And we expect them to be a little more apprehensive, and she just immediately started grazing, and I think it's because Bo is with her," she said.
Wherever Wonder goes, Bo goes. Let's just say hee-haw is in heavy rotation.
"I'm sure the neighbors know we have a donkey!" Owens joked,
Wonder and her devoted sidekick were transported by a volunteer after their farm near Wilmington flooded.
Three pigs were also taken from that location and have been placed at a site in Sylva.
"Her 2-year old seeing eye donkey is with her, and she felt comfortable and secure," Owens said, pointing out the buddy system at work. "Those two haven't been more than about three feet from each other all night. "
They news arrivals came at sad time. Two weeks ago, the ranch's blind miniature horse named Jellybean died.
Losing the beloved horse left Owens heartbroken.
"She was just our little mascot of STAR Ranch," she said. "Two days after we buried Jellybean, the phone rang. And this voice says, 'I've checked everywhere. Is there any chance you can take in a blind horse. The lump in my throat was so big I didn't even think I could answer them."
Naturally, the answer was yes.
After a devastating death in her equine family, Owens has been uplifted by the miracle of life.
"Yeah, the timing is enough to make a believer out of anybody, I think," she said.
As long as they're together, Haywood County feels like home.
"But see how she follows him, she just tags him," she said. "And they're so content."
With Bo by her side, the wonders never cease.
"I think if we took the donkey away, she wouldn't be the horse she is. She would be terrified," Owens said.
Then there were signs the duo will be just fine.
"Did she just lay down? She's rolling oh my God get that!" Owens told a News 13 photographer as Wonder rolled on her back on the ground.
"Rolling, rolling, rolling. Keep those horses rolling!" Owens sang. "What a good sign that is. She's rolling, she's making her spot. Alright, Wonder!"
Far from the flooding but still in great company.
"There she goes again, look at her," Owens said, watching them frolic. "She's loving it!"