Archive for June 23rd, 2010

Gratuitous Donkey Pictures

June 23, 2010

Thank you to Leo, the Old Curmudgeon, who asks the following question: “I guess I don’t understand. Just what was it that the donkey got rescued from?”

Little donkey looked okay in the pictures, right?  Here’s more about the donkey situation.

He was living in a pasture that was approximately 50′ x 100′.  Donkeys need at least an acre of grazing property.  An acre and a half is better.  The pasture was shady, and had a limited grazing area.  He had a bale of hay when we met him.  It was the large rolled kind so it looked like it would last a while, but by the time we were there on Sunday past, it was all gone except for the leavings on the ground.  The first man that had him, Rabbit by name, had given him to Jesse, the collector.  Jesse’s the one with the dying chicken in his backyard.  He has various other animals, namely an assorted allotment of dogs and puppies that are not vaccinated, not on parasite prevention, not on heartworm prevention, not on flea prevention, and never get veterinary care.  I got Pluff from Jesse – he decided he didn’t want the Pluffy anymore – Pluff didn’t even have a name when he lived there.  I’ve lost count of the dogs that Jesse has gotten tired of and turned over to me and Sugar. 

Donkeys have a different coat from horses.  A donkey’s coat will hold water from a rainstorm, and will remain sodden.  Donkey Ho-tey had no shelter, inadequate food, and a poor water source.  It is against the law to contain an animal without shelter, food, and water.  However, in this particular county, a donkey’s welfare is not of high concern. 

Donkey Ho-tey had open sores on his legs from the biting flies that are so prevalent in this area, especially during the summer months.  His hooves were grown so long that they were chipped and splitting.  He had no recent brushing, no grooming, no veterinary care, no vaccinations, no Coggins, and no farrier’s care. 

About two months ago, Rabbit, the party of the first part, decided that he was going to train the donkey, even though he had turned the donkey over the Jesse the collector.  They chained him to the back of a four-wheeler and dragged him up and down the dirt road.  There was a huge commotion, people were gathering to watch, a school bus full of school children stopped to watch, and Richard was getting distressed over it.  Rabbit told Richard that if Richard called the authorities, then he’d better never come out of his house.  (Some people carry guns and know how to use them.)

Chipped hooves and open sores.

The left front hoof is splitting. This is the leg with the most sores.

This shot shows the difference in his coat. The area on his rump is slick and flat, which is how it should be during the summer months. That fluffy stuff needs to be brushed out.

 

Jesse had mentioned that Mr. Donkey would be headed for the dog food factory.  Jesse doesn’t have a job, and the donkey was now becoming a liability and a drain on his financial resources.  I suppose you could say that Donkey Ho-tey was rescued from ignorance.

Good question, curmudgeon.  Thanks for asking.

The Great Donkey Rescue of 2010

June 23, 2010

When I was in third grade, our teacher would have music time if it was raining outside during recess.  One of the songs was “Sweetly Sings the Donkey.”  Imagine 30 third graders starting the song with their sweet, angelic voices, and then ripping into the chorus at full bellow.

“Sweetly sings the donkey,

At the break of day.

If you do not feed him,

This is what he’ll say,

(Rousing chorus)

Hee Haw!  Hee Haw!

Heehaw!  Heehaw!  Heehaw!

**********

Sometimes a plan just comes together.

Mr. Donkey Ho-tey is a biter.  At least, we thought he was because he always attempted to bite us, operative word being attempted.  We had a potential home for him at an exclusive, gated, equine community with horse barns and luxury homes.  But.  They changed their mind when they were told that Mr. Donkey might bite.  It was too exclusive a community with doctors and lawyers who just didn’t want their little darlings getting bitten.

Suddenly, one day, all the pieces fell into place.  A foster home was found, transportation was arranged, and a deal was struck with the collectors.  On Father’s Day, the Sugar and I met up with the new foster family who towed a horse trailer behind their minivan, and we set out to rescue Donkey Ho-tey.

When we arrived, the dog from across the road strolled over to watch the action.  He ambled over to the collector’s front yard and sent a pee-mail message.

Mongo mails a message.

We all got out of our vehicles and surveyed the scene.  The collector’s wife came to the door, baby on hip, and said she’d “go git Jesse”, and she disappeared into the house. 

It looked like we were not going to be able to back up the trailer to get right to the donkey, because the gate to his pasture was on the far side of the back yard which was surrounded by chain link.  The collector and his wife appeared in the back yard.  The guys decided that they would ask Mr. Donkey to just walk right out across the back yard and get in the horse trailer, so we headed across the back yard, dodging the chickens and the foul smell.  A dying chicken lay by the back steps.  I stared at it, its legs up in the air, and debated whether to take a picture. 

I had the trusty camera, but did not take pictures of Sugar and Richard leading the donkey from the gate to the horse trailer.  I was more interested in closing the deal with the collector.  I had a donkey “bill of sale” that I wanted him to sign so that I could hand over the money.  The last thing I wanted was for the collector to say, “Hmm, I don’t like this.  I’m not signing.  No deal.”

Signed bill of sale in hand, I headed to the trailer where Mr. Donkey was putting up a struggle.  With some encouragement in the form of a rope on his halter leading him forward and a rope around his behind pulling him forward, he went into the trailer and munched some hay. 

In the trailer! Fly spray being applied.

We headed to the donkey’s new foster home, where he would share a pasture with a blind horse.  We made a raggedy little caravan, the van full of people towing a trailer with one donkey, and Sugar and I in Ole Yeller.

Heading across town.

Through the windshield of Ole Yeller.

Going over the speed bump in front of the post office.

We're here!

In the trailer on arrival at his new home.

His roommate, Mare the blind horse, waits for him.

He slid backwards out of the trailer with some difficulty, like a newborn breech baby.

Donkey Ho-tey meets Mare thru the fence.

Donkey Ho-tey: "Wait, darlin', come back!"

What's this green growing stuff?

Inside the pasture now.

Handsomest donkey ever.

The two boys next door eye their competition. The two cows, Angus and T-Bone, hide behind the horses.

Sugar gives an apple chunk to a road-weary donkey.

Mare plays hard to get.

He can't forget her face, and he calls out to her, "My beloved, wait! Come back!"

Sweetly sings the donkey.

White horse: "We'll return to our story after this word from our sponsors."

Sweetly sings the donkey.  Awesome day.

*****

(Fast forward 1 week: DonkeyFest)