Sunday, June 22, 2008

Mule Terrorist Update

We have news of TJ, and as expected, it's quite alarming. He is one of the youngest residents at the sanctuary, and the smallest by far, but he is creating a tidal wave of chaos and unrest.

He is now a member of the uneasy herd, and although he has accepted that he cannot terrorize everyone else all the time, he has worked out a cunning strategy that lets him launch random attacks on the herd members. He has appointed Wilson (very much without Wilson's consent) as the replacement for Doc in his life. He uses him as playground equipment, mimics his every move and generally invades Wilson's personal space and his every waking moment. Now he uses Wilson as a screen to conceal himself as he ambushes unwary donkeys. Said donkey is left stunned and bewildered by the guerrila attack and then TJ quickly ducks back behind Wilson. Predictably, Wilson is being treated as a beligerant stalker and is developping a collection of nervous tics. Poor Wilson is only two and TJ has turned him into a poster child for mental health.


Even dinner hour, the high point of the day for a donkey, has been sabotaged by TJ. There is a long barn with open doors at either end and in it is a tall table where the donkeys' dinners are prepared. The donkeys wait patiently, including Goliath who has his own flock of sheep that he guards. Now Tj has discovered that if he works himself up to overdrive, he can zoom into the barn, scattering sheep and donkeys before him. Then the tips of his ears appear at the edge of the table as he tries to work out how to abscond with all the dinners while avoiding contact with the humans doing the "cooking".

Meanwhile, Jack and I are letting our friendship develop slowly and carefully. It turns out Jack's lifelong friend, a miniature donkey called Huleo, died a few years ago in their paddock and Jack stood and guarded him till the humans arrived. Owing to this and a variety of other reasons, he has been in a state of decline ever since. He picked up considerably at Sheila's sanctuary but was left out of herd activities. When he met me he was so pleased to see what he took to be a copy of his old friend that he wouldn't let me out of his sight. We are settling into a comfortable routine and he is finally starting to believe that he can stay here as long as he likes. And I am enjoying the new and rewarding role of fearless leader and stalwart companion.

7 comments:

billie said...

Oh, dear. TJ, TJ. Do they have more ideas on how to socialize the young terrorist?

Sheaffer, I am SO touched by Jack's story of loyalty to his friend and the sadness he must have felt. What a blessing for him to have found a home with you, where he can live out his remaining years, and you can enjoy his calm companionship.

This is the main reason we decided to find another donkey to join Rafer Johnson. We met Redford this weekend (have "known" him since he was born via photos and emails) and are so excited that he will be joining us in the fall.

robert5721 said...

Hey Sheaffer, I'M BACK !! It was o k , but cows are so boring after Donkeys are considered..have missed you a lot. Great posts..TJ is TJ I guess..better there than with you. Jack sounds like a real friend and buddy, I am so glad you found him..smile..you are good for each other, and that is how it is supposed to work, right? Billie, that is GREAT..now rafer can have a buddy too, and that ALWAYS is for the better with Donkeys !!
Sheaffer, be a good buddy, and stick with Jack through it ALL..you will never replace Hulio, but you can beat him at his own game..take care of Jack whenever you can, loyalty is a gift given forever, and Jack has plenty to give. Love him for that alone, but I bet you that there is a lot more to him.
Have a great day and don't forget dinner!!
Mr Gale

Vanessa said...

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Thanks,
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montanasmama said...

My feelings on TJ are that he needs to go to a place where there are no other animals for him to hurt/upset. He needs to live in a small corral getting all his needs supplied by a caring and patient person. With no distractions and becoming very lonely, TJ must depend on his human caretaker for every physical and emotional need until he becomes people orientated and has some manners. I think it is just horrible that he was allowed to upset and hurt Sheaffer for so long. Now it seems he is upsetting and hurting a whole shelter full of animals. You write about TJ's exploits with a humorous turn but I can assure you the animals subjected to a rank nasty animal like TJ don't think it's funny at all. TJ needs to be got in hand ASAP or be PTS before he savages a human. I do hope people are sensible enough to keep small children away from him. I speak from experience and bearing the scars from trying to rehabilitate animals like him. Some animals just can't be salvaged.

Uncle Ed said...

Sheaffer my friend,

Sounds like you have finally found the friend you deserved from the start. Ask Jack about the "Boer War" stories. I am sure he could regale you with stories for hours on end. The "middle aged" love nothing more than to tell you about the past. May I suggest going under a shady tree on a mild morning with some iced tea (ask your servant woman to bring it to you both) with soothing music in the background. I am sure that Jack would love this as much as you.

TJ (Terrible Joke) will someday get his just desserts. Wilson is only two but someday I can see him giving that holy terror two black eyes with a well deserved swift kick as only a donkey can deliver.

On the political front, I have failed in my quest to get you in. I feel I have let you down my boy. Hopefully we will prevail next time.

I see you have achieved yet another award. The first should have been lasting 15 rounds with TJ and coming out vindicated that he really was a demon spawn and not just some cute little furry darling as some thought he was. Winsome Wendy, although she loves to hear your tales of life, thinks TJ is just misunderstood. I on the other hand have sided with you from the get go that that little delinquent should have been thrown into a crate and shipped to Tasmania. He is more Tasmanian devil than mule.

I will try to keep up on reading your blogs but summer is just too nice to be inside on the computer. Too much gardening to do!

DONKEYS rule, mules drool!
Uncle Ed

ponymaid said...

billie, is Redford named for that cinema star of the same appelation? Rafer, I'm sure, will be thrilled to have a new sibling and will show him all the donkey "ropes" he needs to know. And will initiate him in the management of humans...


Mr. Gale, so good to see you back! The company of bovines just can't compare to that of donkeys...I enjoy every minute with Jack and we stand in the shade and flick our tails and talk about "the good old days" - even though I'm less than a third his age.None of us can imagine this place without him now.

montanasmama - You're right - this is meant to be a humourous blog, written by my donkey self, and the view I give is very much from my "donkey's eye view". TJ was a burr under my saddle and I continue to view him that way. Rest assured, the humans dealt with the escalating problem forthwith. TJ is doing very well at the sanctuary, where he is a favourite of the volunteers, who are making progress with him. I am loathe to admit it, but he has never, ever threatened a human in any way whatsoever,no matter how frightened he has been. And yes, he is still launching gleeful stealth attacks on some of the others, but he is also getting his share of discipline from them and has the scars to show for it. In short, he is learning how to conduct himself in a group setting of mixed equines. His habit of going everywhere at mach three sometimes has the effect of scattering the group when they are focussed on something riveting like dinner and don't see him coming, but he does this for the very gratifying effect it causes. not to inflict bodily harm. It pains me to write about him in this almost glowing light, but the humans feel he will eventually become a solid citizen and being horribly bright, is absorbing social skills at a great rate. Having said all this, if by PTS you mean having him bumped off by someone with a squint and a "gat", then yes! By all means, that sounds like a wonderful idea, but I hope the person in question isn't taken in by the large brown eyes and fuzzy appearance.

Uncle Ed, where have you been?? I am a bit disappointed to have lost the donkey party nomination, but simply can't compete with either the largest pant suit collection in the free world or the thousand watt smile of the male candidate. Nor do I have millions of dollars at my disposal - just a feed pan, halter and set of brushes. Wait till the next time around - I'll be ready for them. Gardening is an excellent hobby, earthy and sensibly paced and allowing for lots of iced tea breaks. Jack and I love leaning on the fence, watching the woman grub around in the flower beds, sweaty and swearing at the weeds.

billie said...

Yes - Redford is named after the cinema star - esp. apt b/c of Redford's (the donkey) red sorrel color.

Rafer has taken to horses with amazing affinity, but I still think having a donkey pal will be good for him. (not to mention more donkey hugs and shenanigans for us!!)