Monday, August 18, 2008


Yesterday afternoon, being the gracious humans we are, we thought it would be fun to let the donkeys out of their pens for an hour or so, right before feeding time. Of course they were all thrilled, their heads went down to the ground immediately as they went thru the gate as a herd, eating beans as fast as they could. I thought it might be a good idea to keep Chili in his pens, knowing his behavior in the past when we wanted him to go someplace, & he didn't want to. I figured an hour of freedom probably wouldn't be enough to warrant his cooperation. But John wanted to be "fair & equable" to "one & all", so out he went.

Not only was I right about Chili, you can't imagine how uncooperative the rest of them were also. We finally managed to corral most of them, by some frantic running thru the mesquite & accidently being in the right place at the right time, to make them think we were in charge & they had no option except to go where we wanted them to go............!!!! Finally we were down to one...................... anybody want to guess who? At one time John had Chili all the way to the gate into his pen, when he spun & took off as far from the pen as he could get. We tried funneling him to the pen, but finally decided we really needed another person to be effective. It was getting dark, the chickens still hadn't been fed & we aren't really getting any closer to getting Chili penned. Unfortunately with donkeys, once you start "herding" them it isn't good to stop & let them think they have won. John said he was going to try leading him in with his feed bucket. He is a big chow hound, but after all the chasing I figured he'd look at John like John wasn't very bright. John came out of the feed room with the bucket & Chili fell into line & followed him right in the pen................!!!! Don't know if he would have earlier, I do know he wouldn't follow a carrot.

Chili has a lot of holes in his training, haltering & leading are two of them. He caught on to clicker training in about 5 minutes, when we found out he had never had a fly mask on. I keep saying I need to work with him, but it seems like I run out of time before I run out of things to do these days. And training gets lost in the process.

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