Donkey Daze

Monday, April 15, 2019

What’s this character thinking about? She’s just finished rolling, having a good scratchback, is about to rise onto her feet, and what’s next? As it turns out, she comes to me looking for treats, but instead gets some good ear-scratching which she loves.

I’d never even seen a donkey in person before Pimmy showed up several years ago to become a companion to my horses. After my initial wondering about this pony-size, horsey-looking creature, I began recognizing her as a tough critter who quickly became devoted to her horses. Finally, with me, she became rather dog-like, loving attention and petting.

Folks driving past that part of my property with the equines sometimes stop and ask about Pimmy. They’ve not previously known donkeys and wonder about her personality and challenges in caring for her. I explain that she’s not, as she might appear, sleepy and slow. She’s incredibly intelligent, highly aware, and easy to care for.

Pimmy is a wild-bred donkey from the California BLM, adopted as a yearling by a couple in Oregon. When Pimmy was 12, that couple, with a newborn child, downsized their animal population. That’s when Pimmy came to me. Since she’d spent her first year in a wild herd, Pimmy is savvy to herd behavior. She’s integrated herself well with my two horses. One of these, Rosie, is a dominant mare who brooks little tolerance for those lesser in the herd’s hierarchy. Pimmy has become Rosie’s constant companion. She’s allowed to share Rosie’s space in the loafing shed, shares Rosie’s hay, and generally stays near the mare. Yes, Pimmy knows where her bread is buttered. At the same time, she gets along equally well with Sunni, the lesser-dominant mare.

This donkey is protective, sweet, smart, and generally undemanding. My learning has been, that among large animals, donkeys rank at the top of the heap. They can be ridden and trained to dressage levels, harnessed and driven, packed and ponied. In a nutshell, they’re easy-care, smart, protective, and like cute puppies, just plain lovable.

Dear Friends, have a delightful day. Diana

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