Things went well at Andrew's site for some time. Then the propensity of Sugar (who Andrew's daughter renamed Elvis) for mischief manifested itself. He delighted in spilling the contents of the trash can and became skilled at dragging it from it's (non)secure place and taking off the top. He also learned to sharpen his teeth on the trailing edge of the trunk of Andrew's Honda. We went through some alternatives (since he still had three acres of grass) and I had thought that he wanted them for the rest of the year.
Things achieved a critical mass when Elvis knocked Andrew's motorcycle over. That same day I was taking Sally to the airport for a family emergency. I dropped by the Vets Office and found that the earliest I could get Cruz in for his organ donation (gelding) was the fifteenth. That meant I couldn't really bring his mother and half sister home yet.
Since Elvis had been gelded, I knew he wouldn't become pregnant. Also, he was the one responsible for the situation. We decided to bring him home and see how the girls behaved.
I was to meet Andrew during the morning. As I was pulling from my driveway to go to his house I got a phone call. It was from a hearing impaired neighbor that I had promised a ride to the disability office. Out of the truck and into the car. I am not surprised. I knew about it before but my calendar or, at the least the person who operates it best was in Florida.
I contacted Andrew and told him I could probably handle the job alone but would he tie Elvis to something. He did.
He was a good enough donkey that I almost did not geld him. Eeyore and the girls made me realize the foolish way I was thinking as there were two more on the way while he was still nursing.
You can see my tactic here. There is no pressure on his face, just the halter. In this picture I have two ropes on him. Since I am no longer as strong as a donkey (actually never was), there is a come along (portable hand winch) on the larger rope. Still he refused to stay on the tailgate. Didn't want to break his neck so this required some thought.
I have now loaded donkeys in a trailer three times and twice was in a stock trailer with a very sturdy tailgate. They hated them all. This works well for wheelbarrows and dollies so I chose well enough.
I forgot to mention a cardinal rule when getting donkeys to do something.
The trick here was to put three ropes on and take the tailgate off. He climbed in when he realized he was being inexorably moved towards the hay. At some point he knew he liked that idea. I knew only one thing. When Andrew (who has been his human for over a year) tied him, I knew I was going to get him loaded. A second bale of hay occupied his aunt and his sister. This one was all his and he knew it. I think I have this job down pat now. Of course when you know one donkey, you know one donkey.
The other day I got upset when the newspapers called a 62 year old woman "elderly". She may qualify for a senior discount at a restaurant but I don't find it old. I do think though that by the time you hit your seventies you should be doing less strenuous stuff. My answer probably should be to buy an electric winch. I won't. The come along is paid for and strong enough to load a car onto a tow dolly.
Oops. I was wrong. Love wins out.
Home at last.
He did not understand that feathers was gelded and not interested in competing for control of his herd.
When two male donkeys fight, the one with the testosterone normally wins.
That presented as a dilemma. Cruz was slightly larger and still contained testosterone. Elvis, however, is not a miniature and inclined, to take any guff. It's really hard to overstate the damage that could be done it these two young males decided to fight for control of the yard.
Elvis is perhaps three now. For those with calendar like minds and FWB connections, he was born the first day of the state meeting at Sugarland. Therefore, the name he started with - Sugar.
Here you see Cruz smelling. He was about a year old when Elvis departed. I felt they would remember each other. Also, the girls had been gone since before Cruz was old enough to understand the birds and the bees. No real time to generate those herd sire instincts. That was my hope.
Exciting, right Cruz?
Feathers in the background thinks these youngsters are nuts. I agree but think there will be a new contestant in King of the Mountain tomorrow. That's a little game Cruz and Hershey have been playing on the mountain seen in the last two pictures.
It was three and rain was predicted at six. I had my schedule.
He barreled through the door when I got home and before I could let Elvis loose. Running dogs excite donkeys so this was not good.
I took my chances and handed out grain, loosed Elvis and liberated my truck and trailer. The very next thing was to offer Indy a ride. He never refuses.
Donkeys who are uneasy. One dog running and one dog barking. Neighbor kids in the yard who were laughing and shouting because Kelly was shoveling dirt onto a trailer and they had probably never seen someone make an actual effort to landscape before.
They followed him like he was the pied piper of Hamblin.
When I retrieved Indy and tied him outside he joined Bob barking.
They all played some and he figured out that he liked his new (old) playmates. Then he found the leavings of the grain.
I don't know what tomorrow brings but today is apparently ending well.
Edit: Tomorrow brought a show of teeth and a couple kicks. Cruz still manages food distribution with whichever pile of grain he desires coming to him. Elvis was not shy with kicking back which is a defensive position. With a strong enough defense there will be less teeth. In 2-3 weeks we will bring Red and Princess home and the transition will be complete. Then I suppose I will be faced with the hard proposition of thinning the herd a bit. Seeing their behavior I think they will make excellent pasture guards.