The baby donkey was on the verge of death when a teenager saved it. Now they cannot be separated

Payton Dankworth might only be a high school student, but she’s already found herself as a mom.
Payton, who is from Ballinger, Texas, first came across a baby donkey in distress after her friend notified her through a phone call. The high-schooler knew immediately that she had to help, and she instantly rushed to the donkey’s aid.

“One day my friend was out riding horses when he stumbled across Jack,” Payton told Bored Panda. “His mom wasn’t taking him so he called me and asked if I’d like to try and keep him alive. He was very malnourished and wasn’t doing very good. So I told him yes, I would do my best!”

Payton named the little guy Jack, and that first night, she stayed awake all night with him. It was incredibly difficult at the beginning, as Payton struggled to get Jack to eat and use the bathroom.

It was important that he was doing these things, so that she knew that his insides weren’t at risk of shutting down.

Thankfully, after a difficult first night, Jack began to drink from a bottle and go to the bathroom by himself. He had a long journey ahead of him, but things were starting to look up.

As time passed, Jack began to get stronger and stronger – and so did his relationship with Payton. She treated him like he was her own child, and in return, he began to see her as a mom. The pair would play together during the day, and snuggle up with each other in the evenings.

It was the beginning of a very special bond.

As Jack became stronger, his personality began to transform- and before Payton knew it, he was the life and soul of the party.

“He became really playful and now loves playing with my dogs,” Payton said. “Right now he sleeps inside with me since he’s still so little and I give him a bottle about every two hours and then take him outside to use the bathroom. Jack also will not go to sleep unless my dog is with him. He will cry all night instead.”

Surprisingly, despite Payton being an amazing mama, her family doesn’t actually live on a farm. She credits her skills in animal care to the large number of pets that her family has had over the years.

“I grew up showing steers and I’ve had my fair share of what you would call life on the farm,” Payton explained. “I don’t actually live on a farm but we do have property with other livestock animals on it.”

As Jack is still a baby, there’s plenty of room for him to run around the house with his doggy brothers and sisters.
While Payton is at school, he misses her lots. But Payton always makes sure to find time out of her day to come and see Jack, often visiting on her lunch break to give him a bottle or two. And Jack is never lonely, as he’s always busy playing with Payton’s dogs!

It’s all thanks to Payton that Jack is now happy and healthy- and the process has been truly rewarding for her too. In fact, so much so, that Payton is now determined to make a career out of helping animals. We think she’d be brilliant!

“Jack’s transformation has been the greatest thing ever to watch,” Payton said. “It’s been so heart touching watching him thrive. From watching him barely have enough strength to stand up to watching him run around and play with my dogs has been the greatest thing ever!”

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