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Happy Tail - Eeyore
A Happy Tail which would make a Tv serial, definitely a series of children's books: "Eeyore." - CM. Eeyore will continue to be our main donkey. There is a pasture of cattle across the street from us and there are two donkeys protecting them. Eeyore has an escape route from his pasture and goes into our hay field to talk across the road to the neighboring donkeys. Maybe they're conversing about the coyotes they are protecting their wards from or maybe Eeyore is bragging that he has Delilah and they don't have a girl. Who knows? But you can be sure they're doing their job - protecting the animals they've been assigned to care for. - PEG SCHAEFFER.
The next earlier Happy Tail: Happy Tails: You can make a difference . . . Posted October 6, 2013
By Peg Schaeffer
Eeyore is our donkey.
He's been a member of the Sugarfoot Farm family for 20 years - longer than anyone else. I got him at an auction. Two donkeys came into the ring - one was black, the other white.
I got in on the bidding and then it ended up being me and one other person. As the bid got higher I got out and the higher bidder got choice of the donkeys. He chose the white one. Since I was the next bidder I was offered the black donkey but I declined.
So the bidding began again and this time I was the highest bidder and bought the black donkey for a lower price. Who knows how old Eeyore was when I brought him home in 1993 but he's 20 years older now.
People make offers, but Eeyore is not for sale
People have made offers on Eeyore but he's a member of the family and there's no price on him.
Once I got him home from the auction it was apparent why this donkey had been sold. He wanted no part of people. Everyone was a threat to him. Luckily I kept his halter on because without that there was no way I would have ever touched him again.
After 20 years he still has on the same halter. Since he was obviously in charge he was given free range on the farm. If he wanted to go in the pasture with the horses - he did. If he wanted to just wander on the farm - he did. He was almost impossible to handle.
If I could get a lead rope on him it had to be a chain lead rope and the chain went over his nose to control him. He was never mean - he was just very suspicious of people.
Once you had him you could pet him. His long ears would go back and forth like radar. Once a year we would have his feet trimmed. This would have to be coordinated with the veterinarian. We would make the blacksmith appointment and the vet would come to tranquilize him.
Vet had to send Eeyore to LA LA land to trim his feet
While he was in LA LA land the blacksmith would trim his feet. After several years we were able to trim his front feet but he still had to be tranquilized for the back. Then we could trim all four feet as long as he had a chain over his nose. But of course - first you had to catch him.
He knew when something was up. If he saw you coming towards him with a bucket and a lead rope forget about it. He was smarter than that. So catching him for the blacksmith had to be done at least a day in advance.
Obnoxious as Eeyore was, he was a valuable asset
So you're thinking - why keep this obnoxious donkey? He was a valuable asset. He was great when we had to wean foals. They would nicker and call to their mothers and Eeyore would console them. He had an uncanny ability to soothe them and after a few days he became their best friend. Once they got over the loss of their mother Eeyore became their playmate. They could rough house with him and he would tolerate their antics.
When we sold a foal and had to deliver it Eeyore would ride in the trailer with them. They would lean against him and he would support their wobbly legs. One time we had to deliver a filly to Pennsylvania and Eeyore rode the trip with her, supporting her the whole way.
Eeyore came to anticipate his escort duties
Once we got there he walked off the trailer and walked around the barn as if to survey her new surroundings. It got his approval and he marched back up the tailgate to go home. It got to the point that whenever Eeyore saw us hooking up the trailer he would march up to the tailgate, ready to help.
Eeyore was always the only donkey. I'm sure he thought he was the only donkey in the world.
Then our neighbors got two miniature Jennies. I was in the house and heard the weirdest noise in the world. I thought something was being killed. I raced outside and it was Eeyore. He was braying and braying, calling to the girls next door. He fell in love with them. Every chance he got he would climb the stone wall between our properties and Google at them.
The owners would shoo him back home and he would stay in the yard for a few days. But then the call of the girls would get the best of him and he would climb the stone wall and go visit them again.
I got a call one day from the neighbors that Eeyore was again in their yard. My nieces, Amanda and Sierra, were visiting so I gave them a bucket with grain and told them to go over and entice Eeyore back with the feed. A few minutes later they came back shaking their heads.
"We told him not to" they said. A few minutes later Eeyore leaped the wall with a lead rope attached to his halter. A few minutes later our neighbor, Charlie, came with a scowl on his face.
Turns out Amanda and Sierra went with the grain to reclaim Eeyore. He was in the neighbors' barn, talking to the Jennies. The owner came out with a lead rope, prepared to snap it on Eeyore's halter and bring him home. Amanda and Sierra told him that wasn't a good idea but he didn't listen to them. Once he hitched the lead rope to the halter, Eeyore proceeded to leave and dragged Charlie with him. After several feet Charlie released the lead rope and Eeyore came home.
Eeyore rose to stardom - once a year - in Christmas plays
Eeyore was a celebrity once a year. He would be in a live nativity scene. The first year I took him they had a stable built and a stall for him. He did okay at first. He kept his eye on me to make sure I wasn't going to abandon him. He kept his other eye on the activity but when the three wise men came out he decided this wasn't for him. He tore down the stable and raced down Main Street.
Once we caught him we had to tie him to a post. He managed to stay through the rest of the ceremony but only as long as he could see me. After a few years he became a pro. He would march off the horse trailer and let everyone know that their star donkey was there. He would stand in his stall; they now bolted it in securely, and participate in the activities. He would actually wear a blanket and was very concerned whenever the baby Jesus would cry.
He seamlessly resumed duties after immigrating to Kentucky
He made the move to Kentucky without a hitch. He resumed his duties of caring for the weanlings and was added a new responsibility. We purchased some miniature horses and they became his wards. His job was to protect them from the coyotes and other predators. Again he is great at this job. We now have five minis and he keeps them safe. But there's always been one thing missing in Eeyore's life - another donkey.
I got a call about a jenny whose owner had died. So I went to get her. She was a white donkey and very lame. She had foundered, a severe disease to equines' feet, and could hardly walk. But she was so friendly. So I brought her home to Eeyore. I named her "Delilah" and it was love at first sight.
Eeyore finds romance with his current main squeeze, Delilah
She is Eeyore's main squeeze and they are always together. They eat out of the same tub and are never far apart. She has taught Eeyore that people aren't all that bad and he actually will let you pet him. The blacksmith comes and Eeyore will stand to have all four feet trimmed. I can scratch him and he even enjoys it. Isn't it funny what love will do to a man?
He has bragging rights in the neighborhood
Eeyore will continue to be our main donkey. There is a pasture of cattle across the street from us and there are two donkeys protecting them. Eeyore has an escape route from his pasture and goes into our hay field to talk across the road to the neighboring donkeys. Maybe they're conversing about the coyotes they are protecting their wards from or maybe Eeyore is bragging that he has Delilah and they don't have a girl. Who knows? But you can be sure they're doing their job - protecting the animals they've been assigned to care for. Peg Schaeffer, president and founder.- Peg Schaeffer, President and Founder, Sugarfoot Farm Rescue
Contact us if you would like to help.
Peg Schaeffer, Sugarfoot Farm Rescue,
860 Sparksville Road
Columbia, KY 42728
Home telephone: 270-378-4521
Cell phone: 270-634-4675 Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. - ROGER CARAS
This story was posted on 2013-10-13 02:12:54
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