Thursday, May 28, 2009

I'm A Victim Of Technical Tyranny

The male human has lent us his electronic writing device during the evenings until my own is repaired. Good thing because mine has "fried it's Mother Board". I have heard of Mother Hubbard, Mother Nature, Mother Goose and Mother Earth but I have no idea who this Mother Board is. In any case, the writing device had a massive colic attack and fell into a comatose state. We are waiting to hear if medical/technical intervention may help.

Now, where was I. I think it best if I jot down random pictures of what I can remember of the day itself. Things really began to move at a frantic pace on Saturday when the woman went to pick up my cakes. The head baker came out and asked her if Sheaffer was her son because the staff had all been wondering about the unusual name. Unusual? I think not. She told them I was a miniture donkey who was celebrating a birthday and the baker bellowed to the others "It's not her kid, it's a DONKEY!" What extraordinary behaviour - I would never be so rude as to bellow at a group of fellow donkeys. "It's not her donkey it's a BAKER!" The cakes themselves were quite magnificent, one having a series of confectionery carrots on top and the other saying "Happy Birthday Sheaffer" and having a theme of musical notes and bars. She told them the Balloon, Noah's Ark and Alphabet Block themes were unacceptable. She baked a third cake herself that looked like two paving stones covered in mud - I'm sure she meant well. The coloured beads on top couldn't disguise the inherent architectural flaws, I'm afraid.

Saturday dawned sunny and fair and we left in a bustle of packing and last minute rushing about. On their part, not mine. Jack cried piteously and herself was so distraught she was only dissuaded with difficulty that he would settle once we were out of sight. She was ready to unload me and stay home. Jack's sitter checked on him shortly thereafter and he was grazing calmly with the horses. We rolled into the party site around 10am.

Such bustle I've never seen! People organizing baked goods, numbering items for auction and setting up tables and canopies and I don't know what else. I was escorted around the entire premises by two delightful young human ladies named Stephanie and Emily. Whenever I would politely suggest another avenue of exploration they would immediately turn in that direction. I met young Ben and Jerry and they were in prime party form - Jerry had put some sort of red glue in his hair as a festive note. Ben is more conservative and stuck with his grey flannel suit. I also met young Nacho and he is a fine lad who is in the process of becoming a large and imposing donkey. It was his first time away from home and he was exemplary. The humans behaved like an ant colony that has gotten into the coffee grounds - made my head spin.

Just after noon Sheila's metal box on wheels hove into view. Out stepped the venerable but undeniably attractive PrimRose, followed by Russel the mule who has gained a good three hundred pounds since arriving at Sheila's disguised as a skeleton. He looks wonderful, as you can see by the pictures. I confess, I was quite smitten by PrimRose and made gentlemanly overtures but alas I was spurned each time. These affairs of the heart are an emotional minefield.

I was then taken to my dressing room where the woman installed my crown (I say it's a tiara) - she says it's platinum with precious stones but I say it's a petroleum by-product, ie.plastic. She made me a purple velvet sash - she said it was velvet but I believe it to be velveteen - I know my fabrics. It was fastened at the front with my birthday award ribbon. All in all quite satisfactory.

The guests began arriving, refreshments appeared and from then on it was a social whirl. All of my guests were charming, witty and impeccably behaved. They brought me gifts of carrots and apples and stud muffins - most of which I have yet to see again. We donkeys (and Russel) mixed and mingled and tried to spend time with each guest. I was talking with CompleteCare, who posts on here, when it was announced the cakes were about to be cut. A chorus of "Happy Birthday" rose to the skies and Winsome Wendy escorted me over to the table where I inspected the three creations. I'll say no more about the third, smaller, mud slab. In deference to my fear of fire, the candles remained unlit. Winsome Wendy slipped me a taste of icing and it was much appreciated.

The hats in attendance were spectacular and the judges, Jacks senior and junior had their work cut out picking the winners. The human who posts for Bouncy Dog took first prize with a dazzling creation that featured not only a fruit motif but a picture of self on the front. CompleteCare took runner-up prize with an equally brilliant piece of hatmaking. It had all sorts of hay-like material stuck on it and also a garland of fresh cedar. It looked delicious.

By the time the festivities wound down, we had amassed a total of $1550.17 for the PrimRose Donkey Sanctuary. Staggering, considering our goal was $700.00! We were all elated, no one more so than Sheila, who can now replace the badly leaking roof on the implement shed. The afternoon ended with everyone feeling tired but exilharated.

I returned home to a warm welcome from all, especially Jack, who tried desperately to get the gate open when I was still halfway down the driveway. He checked me all over for damage and Doc and Molly inexplicably felt the need to wash me thoroughly. Somewhat unnerving but nice to know they care.

There were many humans involved in making this event happen, key amongst them Emi and Rob the humans who worked tirelessly organizing things, buying items and then running my party. Brenda and Jill who baked so many cookies and cupcakes and wrapped so many items. Cindy who used her professional skills to make the silent auction a roaring success and also ran the 50/50 draw. June, who managed to partition baked things in pans with the use of only a plastic knife. Margaret and Lauren who served birthday cake tirelessly and of course Shayla, who helped everyone with everything throughout. Vartkes was my official lensman and will be forwarding an album of photos any time now. And of course many heartfelt thanks to those near and far who donated monies and baking and items for the silent auction.

I know I am forgetting some names but herself has a limited attention span and her brain is beginning to emit a buzzing sound. And so I will sign off for now but the memory of that day will live on. There is already talk of doing it again next year. My sash is neatly folded and my crown polished.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My Parchment Blew Up!

Just a hasty note from the repair shop -the dreaded electronic device has blown up or thrown a shoe or something. It's fairly dead. My apologies - if she listened to me and wrote by hand like a civilized person this wouldn't have happened. It's going to the electronics hospital and heaven knows when it will return...soon I hope, I have much to tell you.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Now THAT Was a Party!

I'm late getting my preliminary report out because the woman is still in what she calls "recovery mode". Odd, as I was the one doing all the work. She says the nervous tics will go away eventually and the overall tendency of the landscape to oscillate slightly will fade. Honestly, she needs to be made of sterner stuff, like a donkey.

The weather couldn't have been better, my outfit was dignified (purple sash, crown- I still say it was a tiara but we won't quibble -and low-key blue ribbon). We had a large turnout and the donations for the silent auction and bake sale tables were staggering. Cake was consumed, lemon squash drunk, tea served in styrofoam cups (I had ordered bone china), and the music was classical.

I met long-time blog friends who had come from afar and they were even more wonderful in person (if that's possible). CompleteCare, human to Willy donkey and his mother Roberta, Uncle Ed, Winsome Wendy and the kind human who is caretaker to the equine crew. I spent a lot of time visiting with them and they are donkey supporters to their very core. Not a word about cellulite or bad haircuts. Just sheer graciousness and civility.

There were sixty items in the silent auction and Tuffy ruled triumphant at the centre of the table. Human Brenda did up a very fine box and wrapping for Tuffy and his egg and he peered out regally from his throne. Bidding was furious and he's gone home with a very nice lady to run her life.

I have so much to tell you and I will write more later but my main news is that we raised $1,550.17 for PrimRose so far with some cheques still to come. Sheila was so happy she was nearly speechless. It's so much more than we expected that she can now get a new roof on the shed at the end of the barn that houses all sorts of important things. I think she needs one as it snowed two feet worth on the inside last winter.

Thank you everyone. This was such an outpouring of donations and goodwill that it helps to redress the balance for donkeys like Theodore. As Jack said "Yuh done good. Now jest stop tarryhootin all over and stay home where ya belong."

Pics to follow.

Friday, May 22, 2009

PrimRose Address

Here is the link for Sheila's sanctuary if you would care to visit.

Her address, should you wish to visit her sanctuary personally (or perhaps wish to send a donation) is:

PrimRose Donkey Sanctuary
1296 Bowmanton Road - RR 4
Roseneath, ON

Phone number is: 905 352 2772

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Pre-Party Frenzy

The woman is the one in the frenzy, not myself. In fact, I keep trying to waylay her with questions about my party and she keeps saying "Not now, Sheaffer, I'm too busy." She's certainly moving fast but I'm not sure how effectively. She has bits of glitter and icing stuck to her person and moves all sorts of thing from her vehicle into the house and back again. Even worse, I'm still not sure what I will be wearing but the things she's been suggesting do not auger well. A hat with candles on the top? A fake tail of purple vinyl hair? Not if I can help it.

I promised to find out about the PrimRose residents who are greatly in need of homes and I have finally extracted the information. Blue and Lollipop are two standard jennys in their twenties who came from a very loving home and have no issues, emotional or physical. Their former owner is a long-distance driver of one of those very long truck things. He arranged for other humans to care for his two donkey friends when he was away and unfortunately it didn't work out. Rather than return home to empty feed bowls, scummy water troughs and distraught, hungry donkeys, he placed them with Sheila.

Finnegan and Cheyenne are the next pair in need of a home. Finnegan is a small standard mule who was rescued from a meat auction. His humans had allowed his halter to grow into the bones of his face and as a result he is a tad head-shy. He is only eight years old and has a full life ahead of him. His close friend Cheyenne, a ten year old mini-horse, must wear one of those dreadful grazing muzzles when on grass, otherwise he develops podiatry problems. The boys are looking for a home together where they can take their own humans under their wings, so to speak.

There was a third resident looking for a home but he seems to have chosen a person himself. His name is Theodore and he is a fifteen year old small standard donkey. Sheila received a call last winter that a donkey had been found tied to a dumpster and beaten nearly to a pulp. He was still alive, barely, and Sheila rushed to his assistance. He has come a very long way but still has worries about any implement with a long handle. Recently the sanctuary had a mother and daughter drop by and the woman told Sheila a story of how she had stopped a cattle conveyance on it's way to the slaughter house. This woman had seen horse hoofs on the top deck and asked the driver to stop and sell her the horse. She increased her offer until he pulled over, unloaded the cows and gave her the horse. That much-loved horse still lives with them. Theodore, who is normally quite reserved, decided he wanted the woman's daughter as his own human. He glued himself to her on the first and subsequent visits. Obviously he could tell that compassion for animals runs in their blood. He will go to live with them shortly. I do love happy endings.

We've been asked if Sheila's place is a recognized charity and the answer is yes. The number is 866707706RR0001 just in case that's of use to anyone. She will bring a book of receipts to the party for those who should require them. I plan to eat the rest, as there is virtually no donkey food from the sounds of it. I will do my best to update you on the proceedings but am currently hostage to the growing atmosphere of pre-party hysteria. I know how the Queen must feel.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Hustle, The Bustle, The Calamitously Bad Haircut

She has officially gone off the rails, round the twist, lost her marbles and just generally ventured into the land of the loony. As "P" day draws nearer, she has been inspecting my person and finding it wanting. "Sheaffer", she said this week, "you look like an old hearth rug with burn marks." "OH? Have you looked in the mirror lately?" was what I wanted to say but it's best to keep silent when she is in one of her states.

Our donkey-loving friend Mary Jane the human was visiting and assured her I looked fine but she would have none of it. Out came the gigantic clippers and she set to work. It took them forever because donkey hair is highly resistant to assault but eventually they had removed approximately two wheelbarrow loads of my winter coat. Jack initially had a complete meltdown because he thought it was somehow related to "vitinaries" but he finally realized the attack was levelled strictly at me. My new, improved appearance (please insert dripping sarcasm here) is so freakishly horrendous that I refuse to go out in public. She keeps trying to correct her mistakes and it keeps getting worse. I may have to wear a mumu or tent or at least a blanket to my own party.

My ears are throbbing so I will move on to a happier subject. My friend BumbleVee who reads my blog heard of the party/fundraiser and has sent us one of her handmade bears for the silent auction. He is an imposing and spectacular bear and stands a full two and one half inches tall. His name is Tuffy and he travelled here all the way from Calgary in a padded envelope, emerging with nary a sign of travel sickness and ready to do his bit. The woman has placed him in his own "Fauxbearge" egg and there he sits like a small, benevolent despot. His siblings have won many awards and his extended family can be seen at I have included a photo of him although it doesn't do him justice. At least the woman didn't cut his head off. I hope she doesn't get any ideas about using the clippers on him...

Another friend, Brenda, one of my honourary human aunts and owner of Ruby Cat Creations, has designed and sewn five extraordinary fly masks that will also go in the auction. They look like they are straight off the runways of Paris (I've only seen pictures of Paris, I'm afraid). Molly wants all five and the woman is having trouble suppressing her increasing whining and pleading. Here are photos of the five, again, they are by the woman so please be warned.

Many, many other wonderful things have appeared for the auction and the bake sale is gathering momentum. I may have to check out that table in between pressing the flesh and signing autographs. They are having prints of my portrait made, which I will sign with my hoofprint. The woman is warning people to hang it in a quiet corner as the eyes follow you everywhere, making the viewer feel guilty and inadequate. Pshaw, what nonsense.

I must now trudge off to hide my humiliation behind a tree.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sartorial Decisions - This Doesn't Bode Well For Donkey Dignity

The party plans are gathering momentum and the woman's hair is defying gravity even more than usual. It doesn't help that to stimulate thought when confused she pushes her matted locks skywards with both grubby paws. She looks permanently startled these days, much like the Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. "Do we have enough tables?" she asks, "how many cups of coffee do we need? What if it rains?" Good grief, I can't be expected to know the answers to complicated questions like that.

And now we're on to "What should Sheaffer wear?" This is not something I wish to hear when I'm working on prying a dandelion out from under a stone. I have a blue ribbon that blares "Birthday Boy" in gold letters. Embarrassing but at least I can pretend it's the Legion of Honour or something acceptable. Then she appeared with the most hideous collection of tacky, garishly coloured garlands I have ever seen. They have a faintly Hawaiian overtone but are so gaudy and frankly sinister looking that I might as well wear a shirt with little palm trees and surf boards all over it. She draped these atrocities around my neck and stood back to admire her handiwork. "Yes", she said, "just the thing. You look every bit the birthday donkey." I do not. I look like an idiot.

I had the presence of mind to draw my lower jaw back against my neck, thus placing the loathesome objects in my mouth like a bit. I sawed away on them until she happened to glance over. They were removed post haste but I did manage to tone them down a bit by salivating heavily. I can't even imagine what her next brain wave will involve. White patent leather shoes, no doubt.

In the next few days I will tell you more about the silent auction and the mysterious and wonderful things that are arriving. Cheques are arriving as well so Sheila should have more funding for her rescue donkeys very soon. The PrimRose sanctuary is full to the brim so in addition to raising funds and the sanctuary profile, this event will also tell more people about the specific donkeys who are well enough to go to new homes . I will tell you what we manage to find out- though the woman won't tell us all the details for fear of upsetting us. She says I have led a very sheltered life, but I would contest that hotly. Jack knows plenty of things but refers to his life before he went to Sheila's as "that dark time" and doesn't like to talk about it. And sadly, there are stories much worse than his.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Jabbed and Stabbed

My friend Billie, human to Rafer and Redford Donkey, tells me those boys had their annual pokes in the neck today - maybe there is some sort of international plot to torment equines on this particular date Otherwise it is a bizarre coincidence that we received a visit from Dr. Kathryn, clutching a handful of shiny needles and using her falsely soothing tones.

We suspected something was up; we were haltered and put inside just after noon . The footman has just been so there was only one alternative. Jack is so incensed and angry that he asked to tell his version first hand or hoof, so to speak, and I feel it might prove therapeutic for his jangled nerves.

"I knew I sniffed a rat or somethin worse and sure nough, in strolls one of them red haired veitinary gals with her backup. Smart gal, she sends in the backup gal and i pretty soon had that one up aginst the wall so in come the vitinary, with some needles behin her back. I tossed her out too so then botha them get me in a headlock and blam! they sticks me like a pincushion. All the while they're sayin their sorry and it won't hurt but a bit and all sortsa other black lies. Dang it, in my day gals stayed home and did needlework on samplers an things. They didn't take delight in jammin needles inta unsuspectin victims or drive all over creation looking for ole donkeys to torture. Anyways so then they opens the barn door and says we won't be botherin ya til nex year Jack an I thinks ha! not if i sees ya first. Then the door starts blowin shut an they laugh an say oh no now yer stuck here with us and i jest gives that door an almighty push with my nose and I'm free. They got NO right ta keep showin up and manglin my person. Does any of ya know a good litugation lawyer so i kin sue them gals?"

You see? He didn't take it at all well. I was prepared to be stoic while they jabbed my neck but I did throw in a decent rear to let them know I wasn't pleased. Even with the added elevation I only came up to the vet's belt buckle and she just laughed. Very cavalier, these modern young women professionals. Doc and Molly don't mind needles at all and shamelessly begged for treats and just generally sold out to the enemy. Doc reacts badly to blackfly bites and the poor lad has them in the thousands so he has some powder to help with that. Jack is still brooding over the sneak attack but the woman has promised him a special dinner. He says that knowing her it will be delivered intraveinously.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

All About Avians

Our spring weather arrives in such a hurry that much of the wildlife is in the sort of frenzy not seen around here til the last time the woman discovered her timepiece had vanished into the manure pile. None are more frantic than the various avians who are building, marrying, producing eggs and foraging for all sorts of revolting food (a lot of it involves worms).

Last week the woman took Molly on one of their forest jaunts and apparently the place was a hive of activity on all fronts, including aquatic. The aquatic life attracts a bird that is nearly as tall as a human and is called, so I understand, a Great Blue Herring. It looks bluish, preoccupied and disheveled - something like an elderly professor. It finds the frog residents to be the equivalent of stud muffins and seeks them relentlessly, Meanwhile the frog chorus booms out so loudly that no one can hear a thing. And that is how it came about that Molly chugged around a corner and nearly onto one of these Herring things. It said "Awwwwpppp" and began to slowly flap it's wings, It staggered into the air, just clearing the woman's head and covering them both in shadow. Fortunately it pulled up the undercarriage enough to miss the top of the pudding basin the woman wears on her head. If she had been basin-less the poor Herring would have become permanently entangled in the shrubbery she calls hair and would have spent the rest of it's life like one of those unfortunate birds on a Victorian hat.

On Sunday, two other large avians landed in our paddock and declared they might be interested in homesteading. They had a muted grey and beige colour scheme and black points. Oddly they must both have had toothache because they looked like they were sporting white handerchiefs around their chins. They were loud and bossy and strutted around poking their beaks here and there. We studied them for awhile and then Doc had had enough and charged at them, ears pinned back. They heaved themselves airborne and departed, throwing insults over their shoulders. The humans called them Canada Geese but I don't know how they can tell - those birds had no paperwork with them whatsoever.

Also in our paddock, we have dozens of crows who hold court in the treetops, screeching and squawking like so many fish mongers. Like TJ, they are attracted by anything shiny and have littered our premises with various candy and gum wrappers. Jack calls them "trailer trash flyers". I'm afraid they're here to stay, interrupting our nap times and dropping refuse on us. The wrappers are useless to a donkey'; they make our teeth sting.

On a bright note, the religious humans came by today and were leaning on the top fence rail, thrusting a magazine at the woman when Doc noticed them. He was delighted. He bellowed his welcome and galloped over. They appeared stunned, the more so when he grabbed the magazine and tore it in half. They left in rather a hurry and poor Doc was devastated. We live in fear that he will be lured into a cult one of these days and we will then have to do an intervention or what Jack calls an "interference".

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Things She Forgot To Mention...

I knew she'd forget something crucial and sure enough, she forgot to mention the time my event starts. It starts at 1pm on Sunday, May 24th (the official Queen's birthday, I might add) and runs til 4pm. She also forgot to mention that bringing a chair is a good idea for those who are overcome by the non-stop excitement and need to "rest their barkin dogs" as Jack so quaintly puts it. Anyone needing to reach me for more information can write to and I will do my best to field your queries. Now, back to my speech.