Monday, December 27, 2010

This, That and A Happy Donkey Story

I have been somewhat incommunicado, owing to the revolting and ongoing illness of Herself. She has been in the grips of a plague-like flu for over a week and we have had the great pleasure of seeing much more of the male human. He is a very liberal hand with the foodstuffs and of course presented us with a large container of Stud Muffins on Christmas day.

We saw nothing of the Woman for three days and when she appeared it was not a sight for sore eyes but a sight to make eyes sore. She looks overcooked, underwashed and even worse dressed than usual. Her breathing sounds like a wooden sailing ship in full flight before the storm. She crackles and pops and wheezes, often far too close for a donkey's comfort. I am trying to remain civil but the strain is beginning to tell.

Meanwhile, we have heard that Gazelle, who is my assistant here on the blog, has officially become Simon Donkey's sponsor at the sanctuary. Simon is very pleased to have his own person to see to all his needs and his first move was to acquire a tartan blanket. He and O'Sullivan have been honoured with the gift of Tabi's stall for shelter on cold winter nights and they appear to be suitably awed. O'Sullivan has his own tartan blanket and they look like two old Scottish gentlemen imbibing their bowls of haggis when they go in at feed time. Hard to believe where their lives are now compared to a year ago...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sharing Some Christmas Spirit

Presenting some videos to get you into the Christmas Spirit:

First from our good fren Buddy, three equines frolicing in the snow. Why they'd want to do that I do NOT know ... and yet it does look like they're enjoying themselves. How extraordinary !

Next, Sally asked that this one be shared with all her friends.

And finally, not to be accused of speciesism, here's how some other friends celebrate the season:


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Alternative Mouse Catching

Herself is adhament that whatever the weather we must go out to receive the benefits of fresh air and exercise. Yes, I know we have a run-in, but nevertheless the temperatures are such that our breath nearly freezes mid-air and falls to the ground before we have taken the next breath. If Dante's Inferno can be frozen, then we are living in it.

We were lined up at the door this afternoon, listening carefully to the sounds of our dinners being cooked within, when a terrible thumping and crashing burst forth. The woman seemed to be moving large pieces of furniture and exhorting Sally on to greater efforts in...well in what undertaking we didn't exactly know. Finally the woman appeared at the door, out of breath and blotchy of visage. Sally was sitting in the doorway of the tack room, doing some heavy breathing herself.

We filed in in the usual order and got down to the serious business of calorie intake. The woman was busy allocating our hay pittance when she suddenly rose straight up in the air and said "Wahhhh yerrrrgh waugggh"! I assumed she had suddenly begun speaking in tongues - something entirely possible around here - and carried on with ferreting out the peppermint and apple bits in my dinner (more molecular size than actual bits, you understand).

Sally was in the process of standing up and this revealed a rather plump mouse, upon which she had been sitting. It was said rodent's tail that the woman had observed moving as it stuck out of Sally's fur on one side. The mouse took a deep breath, shook himself and stalked off in an offended manner, no doubt to continue his predations on whatever he had been working over when he was rudely interrupted by a gigantic, furry posterior squashing him to the floor.

The woman became even more animated, imploring Sally to chase the escaping criminal but Sally merely watched her with great interest, waiting to see what new gyrations might be forthcoming. Sally then yawned, stretched, and went to the shelf where her Kitty Temptation Treats are stored. "Mmmmmm mmmmmeow?" she said. Which means, treats, please, in feline.

This caused the woman to become quite indignant and to trot out her old lecture about her being the only one doing any work around here. Completely unfair, of course, as Sally had caught the mouse just as the woman had demanded. Surely it was up to Herself to take over once he had been released from Sally's ingenius holding technique.

There's simply no pleasing some people. I speak from experience.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

And So Begins The Seasonal Insanity

Picture this. A small grey donkey, on an icy grey day, staring into the grey distance, chewing thoughtfully on some insufficient forage. The snow is accumulating, the winter looming long and cold before him. He sighs and retreats to warm thoughts of spring fund raisers and days of lying on the hot sand, baking himself to perfection.

Suddenly, a hideous visage appears not two inches from his and a terrible screeching assaults his sensitive ears: "I WANT A HIPPOPOTAMUS FOR CHRISTMAS...ONLY A HIPPOPOTAMUS WILL DOOOOOOOO..." After the initial shock, I fled into the trees, the odious lyrics and caterwauling still ringing through hill and dale. "I DON'T WANT RHINOCEROSES, ALL I WANT'S A HIPPOPOTAMUS". Why? Why would she want a large, river-dwelling denizen of darkest Africa to appear under the festive tree? Why? And why the prejudice against the perfectly inoffensive rhinoceros? It made absolutely no sense, even by her standards.

"That's it",I said to Jack, "the apocalypse is upon us, the harpies are announcing it's immenent arrival. Save yourself if you can." He gave me a strange look and carried on eating. The Woman herself looked somewhat surprised and had the good grace to wonder out loud how the frightful verses had become lodged in her tiny brain. I can only conclude that it is a result of listening to the all-Christmas-all-the-time station on the radio box. She promised not do it again but no more than five minutes later was warbling "Saaaaaanta Claus is comin ta townnnnn"along with some faceless entity called "The Boss". She is posessed. I recommend her immediate removal to what Jack calls "the loony bin". They have the training and skills to deal with this sort of thing.

I don't know. The season is just beginning and my nerves are already in tatters. Next comes the seasonal headgear and red bows everywhere. Then there is the terrible fight with the tree that they insist on dragging into the house. My only faint hope is that the male human remembers our bucket of Stud Muffins. These are hard times indeed, my friends, hard times.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Good News/Bad News Report

It's windy and snowing - that is always bad news. Apart from that I have information on the Foot Sore Five who were rescued and as is often the case, the reports are mixed.

Juliette, the quite charming pony, had her first foot trim and was discovered to have one very twisted back foot and leg. It was thought that with time this could be, if not fixed, at least made to be comfortable. Shortly afterwards, the vet performed a complete physical on her and the news was uniformly both bad and sad. Over the eleven years she had been incarcerated in the weedy paddock, her health had been severely compromised. She suffered from such extreme malnutrition that her teeth had rotted away and, in spite of a misshapen round belly, her health had been damaged beyond repair.

The vet felt that given the coming winter, coupled with Juliette's failing health, the kindest thing to do would be to help her slip off to be with Tabi and the others who reside on the other side. And so, because of one human's arrogance and ignorance, Juliette left us long before her time. I hope she has found peace and comfort. She knew unending love at the sanctuary for a short while and that must count for something...

Now, some good news. Lillian Llama has been adopted into a home that already houses a llama named Cinnamon and the two lady llamas have become inseperable. Lillian had her coat of burrs clipped off and the halter that was growing into her face removed. She is being pampered and cossetted and is loving every minute of her new life. There are some horses and an alpaca there as well and the two ladies can survey the scene and tut-tut to their heart's content while ingesting the best of everything.

Simon and O'Sullivan Donkey have both had dental care and the raw wounds on their tongues and the insides of their mouths (from years of pointy teeth rubbing) have begun to heal. They are both, after some fairly heated discussions, now wearing cozy winter blankets. They reluctantly agree it's much more comfortable than shivering away the calories they need to grow healthy. Simon arrived with a broken tail and spine damage but the vet feels that as he is young it will probably heal within the year. O'Sullivan's shocking feet are beginning to come around and may even approach a reasonable state of normal some day. He is standing and moving about much more these days. And now neither is dropping wads of food as they try to eat. In fact, Simon is doing his best to frolic, in spite of his handicap, and is being soundly told off by the much senior O'Sullivan.

Peter Donkey was found to have two abcesses and a huge crack across his bad foot. The farrier cleaned out the abcesses and allowed them to drain and packed the crevice with some medicinal material. Peter is feeling much more comfortable. Once again, his situation was completely preventable and was due solely to the shocking lack of care at the inhuman human's. I join the llama ladies in tut-tutting at the insanity of parts of the human race. And thank Sheila for trying to balance the damage they do.