Sadly, we have had to say goodbye to our matriarch Mercedes, our longest resident. She arrived at ARCH in 2012, having been at a trekking centre where she had been overworked. She has been an integral part of the Centre since then, often spending summers with Jill in her finca together with her friends – first Dottie, then Spotti, Rosie and Eeyore. Jill remembers that “she was always the leader of the group and well into her twenties led her friends in evening gallops round the paddock, bucking and snorting like a teenager.”
We were never certain exactly what age Mercedes was. Elly used to say, “her passport was rather optimistic compared to her teeth”. She had long suffered from arthritis and was very stiff, so was not known for being very active, but she could surprise volunteers with speed and agility when she spotted her feed bucket! We had to cosset her in winter with her “designer” rug, monogrammed appropriately by Manuela, and in summer we tried her with many different kinds of leggings to guard against the flies. She demanded cuddles and bum scratches and would happily share a paddock with other rescues.
R.I.P. Mercedes, you were one of a kind and will be missed by all our volunteers.