This is Mr. Chocolate:
And the one below is Mr. Big:
Last year, when we had to put my old horse and my dear jenny, Josie down within a month of each other, I thought my sadness would never end. We had no animals at all in our barn for several months, but soon it was winter, and when the temperature dropped to eleven degrees, I had to admit it was nice not to drag on fifteen layers of clothes to go outside and feed each morning.
But my heart was broken, and I moped around the house depressed for months. Practically my entire life has been built around the morning and evening schedule of feeding livestock. It lent a certain rhythm to my days, and gave purpose to my life. So without animals in the barn something was deeply missing.
Out of old habit, I searched through online postings for horses and donkeys needing a home, but the truth is, I'm getting almost too damned old to ride, and with health and back problems plaguing me, the responsibility of a new horse was more than I wanted. Then I heard about two donkeys looking for a new home. Just right, I thought, and so Mr. Chocolate and Mr. Big were delivered to me, and with lots of hugs and tears and smiles, became my new boys.
These donkeys were both rescues at one time - Mr. Chocolate from an auction with long slipper feet, and Mr. Big from a pasture where no one wanted him. But they have been taken care of (with a lot of love) for several years by a caring woman who now passed them on to me.
As the rain lets up and we have the occasionally sunny day here in the Pacific Northwest, we are working on training. Mr. Big is very sure of himself (named for his attitude, not his size.) Mr. Chocolate is a bit shy and extremely bonded to his little friend, Mr. Big. Mr. Chocolate still needs a lot of work on leading, but is gaining confidence daily.
The donkeys and I are bonding, and my heart is full again. They are like big furry puppy dogs in the pasture - full of love and sweet equine kisses and brays.
So I will now share my
TOP TEN REASONS FOR OWNING A DONKEY.
10) You have a little pasture, and you need something to put in it.
9) You are too old, or too stove-up to ride anymore, but you still like to feed.
8) You love horses, but you want another equine mind to figure out.
7) You need a companion, or your horse, cow, sheep, llama, or goat needs one.
6) Compared to horses, donkeys are really low maintenance.
5) Your donkey is always happy to see you.
4) Donkeys are teachers - they teach you how to be patient and kind.
3) Donkeys make you laugh, and laughter is good for the soul.
2) That wonderful sound they make, which endears you to all of your neighbors: Hee haw.
1) Those ears, those ears, have you ever see ears like that?