Monday, January 18, 2010
Donkey making an ass out of me....now that was easy!
After dropping Pookie off at school, I stopped by at Williams to get a coffee and made my way to the Donkey Sanctuary. There is one thought that pops into my mind every single time I drive up there and that is the regret of not knowing about this place and being able to take my dad there for a visit, he would have absolutely loved it there and it would have been his heaven. I got to the DSC and was personally greeted by Uma and Spice. They came right over for a cuddle and an ear scratch. Today it was only Kate and me and as soon as I got there she put me to work, and damn we worked hard, first we cleaned out all the feeders and filled them back up, spread straw around the feeder. I picked up in the whole barnyard and barn. After spending wheeling wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow onto the trailer I got to drop bundles of straw down into the big barn and we were spreading them out as bedding, this is where you are actually having sweat run down your face even in frigid temperatures. When we started there was only one donkey in the barn, by the time we got finished we had pretty much everybody back and I was more comfortable with it this time. Being at total newbie in equine care I have learnt an awful lot already and continue to learn more every time I go. The joy of going there is as a visitor and the joy of going there as a volunteer are totally different experiences. And it is definitely the joy of being more involved with the care than just being a financial supporter, that made me a choose this new route. I also am learning fast that not all is as nice as you get to experience it as a visitor, there are very sick donkeys there, that need a lot of special care and extra love, a few weeks ago Windy, one of the senior donkeys had to be put down due to her failing health, she led a good long life and money was collected for her cremation and the ashes will be spread at the DSC in the spring. Today there was a goat with pneumonia to look after, a very sick donkey with colic, another one with chronic feet problems that make walking very painful for her, a donkey with diarrhea and some other donkeys with other minor ailments. Kate had a meeting to attend and it was only me and the donkeys, after having completed my chores I got to spend some time grooming,had to halter them and led them into the barn to tie up and groom. First one up was Ed, who thought it would be fun to lay in the biggest mud puddle he could find the day before and looked horrible, what a mess and what a smell. But I prettied him up nicely, it took some time, but he was very patient and cooperative. Then I tried the next donkey, she already had a halter on, so all I had to do was to get a rope and lead her to the spot, well she was not going anywhere with me, I tried the zig zag trick, the going in circle trick, I tried everything, I think she took one step and then got quite nippy with me. So I thought well I guess it won't be your turn and I will try you later, so next one up was Gordon, one of my favourite one, but he had attitude already all morning, so I was a little leery about him. I found the right sized halter for him, had no problem getting it on and he walked with me back into the barn without any fuzz. I was so proud of myself for getting him to where he needed to be without any problems,I tied him up but he was not having any part of getting groomed, he stomped and he kicked and he was not standing still for anything, once he started nipping I let him loose. But as soon as I turned around there was Summer, Summer is a very nosy and friendly donkey, who just loves the attention and who knows that her butting in will always get it for her. I didn't even had to halter her and tie her up, she was good as gold and enjoyed her unexpected grooming. I went back to the not moving donkey as she finally made her own way into the barn and groomed her. Sometimes you just have to take what you get. Before hopping, or should I rather call it heaving my FA back into the Jeep, I spend some time at the fence by the feeder on the field to watch some of the donkeys and have the occasional one come for a close up. Arriving back at home, I took my tired and aching bones upstairs and I don't think I was ever so happy to soak in a nice and hot tub for a while....the excitement over a hot tub also stems from being the last one in the morning that gets ready and by the time I get to shower or bath, I am lucky if I get five drops of warm water, so that was extra nice and relaxing. Can you tell I am not used to physical labor? lol.