Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Brand New Year

The woman has been flagging at her keyboard duties (she claims it is a busy season for humans) but today I have shamed her into action. I don't care for having my communication with my friends at the mercy of her social life. I have spoken to her sternly and she says it won't happen again, at least for another year. I will accept that for now - with reservations.

Today began as usual but around noon Molly was taken inside and cleaned up - as much as a wooly mammoth can be said to be cleaned in any way. Her mane was slicked down and her tail poofed out and the longest of her leg hair removed. Hmm, I thought, something is afoot. Sure enough, around three o'clock the tall woman showed up with her box on wheels and off went Molly. It seems she has gone to something called "winter boarding" not far from here. There is a large room called an arena and Molly will haul the woman around in there while they both try to get in shape for the upcoming trail season. Oh to be a fly on the wall. The grunting and groaning will be heard as far south as the border and I expect they will churn up clouds of dust in the process. Much like a buffalo stampede but without the majestic prarie backdrop. Doc is bereft.

Yesterday we received a surprise New Year's present from our aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. Gale. A brown box on wheels rushed up the driveway and the human inside jumped out and inserted a box between the house doors. The blasted woman won't show us what it is. There is to be some installation by the male human and until then it's a "surprise". Hah! Semantics is what it is - witholding our personal present for her own devious reasons is more like it. She promises photos sometime soon and says we will be thrilled. Attilla the Hen isn't happy unless she's calling all the tunes around here.

We have news from the PrimRose Donkey Sanctuary, where all is busy as usual and TJ has learnt his place in the herd. Now he's actually being bullied by some of the others - and what better way to start my New Year's than to hear that! He is slowly letting Sheila touch him on his flanks but likes to control the amount of "hands on" time and simply leaves when he decides he's had enough. Sheila has the patience of Job and needs it, given the treatment many of the donkeys have endured before they reach her. Her oldest resident, Brennan, died shortly before Christmas and she is missing him sorely. He was well into his forties and she ensured his that last years were spent in comfort, surrounded by worshipping humans and donkey companions.

Sheila is not one to blow her own horn so I will do that for her. She was awarded the very prestigious Animal Action Award, given by the International Fund for Animal Welfare. Six hundred nominees were narrowed down to ten and then Sheila was chosen as the winner. I can't think of anyone more deserving. Of course, just letting TJ into her life should earn her a medal for extreme valour and bravery. Or a lifetime supply of nerve tonic.


billie said...

Oh, that is too cruel for the woman to have a box for you and Jack and keep it hidden away in the house!

I hope she gets it to you both soon, along with photos for all of us.

TJ being bossed around - now THAT is some way to start the new year! Wow. It sounds like he is making progress and the saint who is working with him sounds like a wonderful friend to donkeys.

We have had two nights now of cold cold temps. I rang in the new year in the barn with horses and donkeys, just in case anyone in the neighborhood decided to set off fireworks. There were two short bursts, in the distance, and that was it. To my surprise, when I went out, the geldings had hoovered through their entire night's worth of hay already - it was quite a large amount - and I came in and stayed up even later looking online for hay bags that will slow them down a bit.

All hoses were frozen solid this morning which necessitated the carrying out of hot water in buckets to address the situation. Salina was marching from trough to trough shoving at the ice with her nose.

Cody (the young QH) had a lesson today and Rafer Johnson inserted his head into the arena and audited. He has quite won over the trainer, who kept coming over the side to rub his ears.

Tonight I decided it was time to try Salina's new leg warmers. They are beautiful blue ones, and although a bit tedious to get on, looked very spiffy and she immediately took to them. I hope they keep her arthritic knees nice and cozy through the night.

And I hope both you and Jack (and Doc too) enjoy the new year. Molly is quite the traveler, isn't she? I'm sure she misses you all - hopefully Buddy's correspondences can keep her from getting homesick.

Dougie Donk said...

Has your woman divulged the surprise yet? I have found my strategy of repulsing friendly approaches to be highly productive - my woman has now met my desires in providing new blankets & desisting with the awful"feed ball". When I threw the said article out of the stable, she finally seemed to realise that I did not perceive working for my vittles as a "game"! Hahaha.

Billie - you are most kind in allowing Rafer Johnson to supervise your youngsters schooling. I have been advised that my running commentary is "most distracting" and am now confined to base while Dennis communes with the trainer. However, I do get additional apples to deter me from further comment, so it may be a fair trade....

Happy New Year to all !

Buddy said...

Hay Sheaffer - WHAT - you got a present and you can't have it? How mean is your woman? And whats this - she shaved Molly's beautiful legs - how dare she! The more hair the warmer the legs - geesh! Sending love to my Sweet Floozie.


Buddy said...

Changed my photo - please make sure Molly gets a copy for her stall.


billie said...

Dougie, it would be hard to keep him away!

This afternoon Redford went in and jumped the combination cross-rail and then vertical that Cody had been working on yesterday. The vertical was over 2 feet high. I never knew miniature donkeys were such superstars. :)

(but of course we all know it here, don't we?)

ponymaid said...

Billie, you are being too kind in referring to her as simply "cruel". She does promise photos...We donkeys very much enjoy critiquing any sort of lesson - we were born to instruct. I am frequently chased out of our sand ring because I stand in the middle of an imaginary figure eight or decide to have a nap on the track. Please keep us updated on the leg warmers.

Dougie, excellent work! Violent expulsion of the hated feed ball thingy was your only course of action. It seems your help in educating young Dennis is not appreciated - pity, we donkeys have much to say on any subject and are especially good at giving advice.

Buddy, I hope you got my email address in my last comment on the last post? Don't worry about the wooly mammoth's legs - they still look like knee-high mukluks. The woman merely removed the hairs that were long enough to be braided. Molly is settling in at her winter digs and has been put in a paddock with a bossy young mare. Molly is an eater, not a fighter and the young mare is quickly figuring that out. Molly is also very proud of being the hairiest equine by far in the entire place. She is also playing the "cute pony" factor to the hilt and is inhaling all sorts of edibles from people who have only known her three minutes.