Tuesday, May 07, 2019
This surprise-to-me snapshot appeared recently on Facebook, posted by an on-line friend whom I met while horse-camping in 2014. This cute donkey had been shipped to me a year earlier from Eugene, Oregon. I had mixed feelings about taking her on, as I didn’t know one end of a donkey from another, and had inquired about her mostly from curiosity. But Pimmy needed a new home and that’s all a dedicated group of rescue folks needed to step up to the plate and simply transport her across the mountains to me. So, one fine day, there I stood beside a donkey, holding her lead rope and wondering what next to do with her.
Fortunately, a year later, by the time of this photo, Pimmy had become a keeper, and with me often seemed like a family dog. She had proved herself to be a completely sweet and so-smart animal, had bonded with my horses, imitated their actions (e.g., when a horse rolls in dirt, Pimmy rolls, too), and followed them everywhere. So, on a summer weekend, she came as part of the family to spend a couple of days at the Giddyup Trail Horse Camp.
I’ve written before about how cool an animal is Pimmy, but not about the general curiosity she attracts (e.g., this photo). Back here at home, sighting a donkey on my property causes some drivers to tap their brakes for a confirming look, occasionally one turns toward my barn to ask about her. She’s my first choice when deciding which animal will march with me in parades, for Pimmy generally is unflappable in a crowd, affable with curious folks wanting to touch her, and usually as the only donkey among various animals attracts extra attention.
All that said, training a donkey is different from training a horse. The burro is smart, knows what’s wanted, but doesn’t see any reason for doing. A horse on the other hand more quickly starts doing what’s asked. My dream for Pimmy is to give her a job by teaching her to pull a cart. I’m busy with horses and haven’t concentrated enough on her education. Even without formal education, she’s a kick, a pleasure to have around, and I wouldn’t trade her for anything.
Dear Friends, if you’re curious, a burro and a donkey are one and the same. Diana