Without a doubt, 2018 has been a tough year. Which makes the following, unlikely story about Jeffrey Dean Morgan, a donkey, and an emu so important. So get ready for your heart to defrost and warm back up with this story of one of Hollywood’s biggest stars stepping up.
Rescuing Jack And Diane
Recently, the Carolina Waterfowl Rescue, a non-profit animal rescue organization based in North Carolina, received a call regarding an abandoned farm in North Carolina, with animals still living on it.
The first part of this heartwarming tale is that rescuers were quick to take action; they got to the farm and brought the animals to their shelter. It’s unknown who the owner of the farm is (or was) and what are the circumstances to the situation were.
After they arrived at the shelter, veterinarians and specialists took a closer look at the animals. Thankfully, although a little malnourished and neglected, the creatures were in good condition. After their rescue, the farm animals responded well to their new, temporary home. However, rescuers noticed one strange thing: a donkey and emu from the abandoned farm would not separate, whatsoever. It seemed as though they were best friends, through everything.
The donkey and the emu were side by side, all day, every day – eating, sleeping, playing, resting. No one had ever seen a bond between two completely different species like this before. Soon, rescuers named the donkey and emu “Jack” and “Diane,” respectively, after the famous song by John Mellencamp.
The executive director of Carolina Waterfowl Rescue, Jennifer Gordon, told People magazine in an interview, “When we separated them trying to load Jack into the trailer, [Diane] was frantic. She was drumming for him, and that’s a way that emus call to their mates. Jack is very protective of her. It’s a donkey’s natural instinct to be a livestock guardian. We are not sure if he just feels the need to protect her or if he has the same feelings towards her. They both seemed to stick really close together, and they obviously don’t like to be separated.”
Gordon says the two somehow maintain a “communication system” that no one – no human or animal – understands. They’ve developed a strong bond; some speculate it happened due to all that time they spend alone – together – in the abandoned farm. They groom and love each other, and it’s endearing to witness this rare relationship.
The rescuers wanted to keep this odd couple together. Sadly, the organization could not keep them, and so decided to try social media for help. The news of Jack the donkey and Diane the emu looking for a forever home spread across the internet, and luckily, it worked…
Jeffrey Dean Morgan To The Rescue
The organization received multiple adoption requests, but it needed to be the right people and the right place – Gordon says they wanted to make sure they would be treated as pets, with love and dignity, and not used for entertainment or commercial purposes. It was then that actor and star of The Walking Dead, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, tweeted he was interested in adopting the donkey and the emu. The actor is a massive animal lover and owns a farm with donkeys, cows, and other animals, many also rescued.
But just because Morgan was famous, it didn’t mean he would receive a “free pass.” The organization reached out to the actor, interviewed him, and checked his New York farm, making sure Jack and Diane would have the best life possible. Thankfully, the everything was just right. So, a few days later, rescuers drove Jack and Diane to Morgan’s farm in New York, their new forever home. Gordon said about Morgan’s farm, “They have a very nice paddock with lots of green grass. Jeffrey is building them a new heated enclosure, even though the one they have now is very nice. They will be spoiled.”
The journey to their new home was a little rough for the animals – but they settled in quickly. Morgan uploaded the adorable photo above with the caption, “Doing great! Working on giving Diane more heat at night… though she seems pretty damn happy. (Still learning how to speak some emu.) Jack, however, told me they are loving their new spread. (I do speak a little donkey.)”
And so, Jack the donkey and Diane the emu live happily ever after on Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s farm. Who says fairytale endings don’t exist in real life?