Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Thank You Donkeys

When its snowing, even a light snowfall, three little donkeys choose to stay sequestered in their shed. They'll tolerate a wee bit of snow on their backs, but enough is enough.

Look closely at a face peeking out.

Anyway, this allows me the pleasure of cleaning out the shed yet another time during one day. Staying in the shed all day = much pooping in one location.

Mornings are my get-the-place-spic-and-span time.  Move the bedding to find wet spots, locate as much of the manure droppings as possible, sweep the stall mats.  Adding more shavings is left for the final get-them-ready-for-bed late afternoon.

And of course, when its snowing and I need to clean out the shed yet again, they want to be crowding in with me because getting wet is totally unacceptable.  Sometimes its amusing. It wasn't this morning.

So, thank you donkeys for the privilege of cleaning up after you.  My little royal trio.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Compassion, Mercy, and Simon

Very occasionally I'll read a book that strikes a deep chord and resonates with my insides.  And I feel changed.

Such a book was Saving Simon by Jon Katz.

One of the donkey groups I belong to on Facebook brought it to my attention.  I've read many of Mr. Katz's books and thoroughly enjoy his style and stories.  So I purchased a copy just before Christmas. I was looking forward to an enjoyable tale about a donkey.

The book was that and much more.  It spoke of Simon, his abuse, rescue and rehabilitation. But it spoke of compassion and mercy.  In ways that resonated with my insides.  And so I am now connected to this book.

When I was about mid-way through the book, I read on Jon Katz's blog that Simon had died.  And I wept.  I wept for Simon and Jon and for myself having just lost my horse.  The grief poured out anew.

At the end of the book when an animal featured in the story died, I wept yet again. Sometimes its hard to let go.  And Jon talked about that too.

You might want to check at your library and see if they own a copy.  Read it for the donkey story, but you may be surprised at your perception of compassion afterwards.  I was.  

Sunday, January 11, 2015

A Joyful Day

Sunday is always a red star day on the donkey calendar because its grain day.  Oh yes, a special day indeed.  Once a week they're allowed a small portion of the tasty stuff.

This morning I removed the lid from the grain can and immediately Gabby, the voice for the group, started a heart-felt version of the song of joy.

We always keep the lid bungee'd on the can, mainly to keep raccoons or other mischief makers out.   Clearly Luigi belongs in that group.  He knows to grab the cord and shake, in hopes that lid will pop off.

During this cold spell I've been throwing mid-day hay for the gang and here's a shot of the luncheon table today.

Luigi and Gabriella enjoyed their snack while Fran was glued to my side.  She stayed glued at dinner feed too and I'm not sure if she had not received her quota of head scratching or was checking coat pockets.

I, of course, obliged with both the scratching and carrots.  Spoiled???

Friday, January 2, 2015

Hallelujah -- Worming Made Easy

Today was a banner day -- I tested out a new method of worming the donks and it worked!

I belong to a few donkey groups on Facebook so don't know which one posted this tip.  The discussion centered around worming and one person said she took a half piece of white bread, spread the paste wormer on it, folded, and then crimped the edges to make a little bread pocket filled with wormer.

Now I used to worm my horses myself before the barn started taking over that task, so I'm well aware of all the antics associated with worming.  Head throwing was Natural's favorite technique to throw paste wormer all over everything but the inside of his mouth.  The donks have been easier, but I still find by the time I reach the third victim, he/she has had time to eyeball the situation and decide no, I don't think I'll participate.

Anyway, since we don't keep white bread in the house, this morning I took a piece of pumpernickel out at morning feed and tested the beasts.  Holy Toledo.  They loved it!  Francesca paticularly.  She has never stretched out that neck and head so far to get at what was in my hand.  Not for carrots or apples.  But a piece of pumpernickel, that's another story.

This afternoon they received their wormer bread pockets and gobbled them.  Of course I used carrot pieces as chasers and everyone was happy -- especially me!


Thursday, January 1, 2015

This And That

Faithful readers will remember three cute little donkeys almost destroyed our two established lilac bushes last winter.  Well, we're outsmarting the little buggers this winter. Rick established temporary fencing around them to protect from nibbling teeth.

A local small business offered these artisan birdhouses and, after admiring them for quite some time, I finally broke down and splurged.  We placed it right outside the donkey yard.

Lucky for me I made the purchase before the store went out of business on December 30.  Yet another small business gone.

The last unprotected tree down in the donkey yard.

Speaking of nibbling teeth, the little angels destroyed all of the trees in the yard (except one with permanent fencing surrounding the trunk) and this one finally toppled.  Rick and I were just discussing how we should put a scratchin' post in there this summer.  Bee-hinds get pretty itchy sometimes.