Milking donkeys was never one of the goals for our life, but sometimes God throws a wrench in our best laid plans. And in the end, it all works out for the good. For our family, that wrench came June 6, 2014. The day our 6 year old woke up with strep throat that caused her immune system to mistakenly attack her brain. She didn't have a fever, or a sore throat, or any of the typical symptoms of strep throat, and her symptoms presented themselves in behaviors that stumped her doctors. We were one of the few who got a correct diagnosis early, PANDAS disease (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disease Associated with Strep Throat). The top doctors in the nation said their "best guess was antibiotics every day for the next 13 years." We stubbornly refused to accept this as the answer.
We cried a lot, and prayed a lot, and cried some more. God ended up answering our prayer in an unlikely way, through an unlikely source...donkey milk. In other countries, donkey milk is well known for it's health benefits, but in America it was practically unheard of, made even more difficult to find since the donkey only gives a few ounces of milk a day, and only with a healthy baby to share the milk with. So we did what any desperate parent would do for their child. We bought donkeys.
Our little herd began with 3 American Mammoth Donkeys. These critically endangered donkeys are the descendants of President George Washington's first imported French Donkeys, royal gifts from the King of France. It was our first President's dream to create a breed of mule that would be strong enough to work this new land, and for this, he needed a large, strong breed of donkey to sire these mules. When the mule fell out of favor with the advent of the tractor and the plow, the need for Mammoth Donkeys declined, and so did their numbers.
Our soaps and moisturizer are made with the donkey milk that our daughter and other sick children don't need for their health. It's an extremely limited supply, and the children come first, so our soaps often sell out before they are finished curing (a 4-6 week process), and our moisturizer is made to order, with each jar spoken for before it is created (once every month.) For more about our family, our story, our mission, and our beloved donkeys, follow us on Instagram and Facebook @dulcededonke and join the conversation on Facebook at "Donkey Milk for Health" and you can watch the other News stories on our News page. Blessings from our family to yours! Walt, Saundra, the girls and the Donkeys.