Sunday, December 07, 2008


We had a real good Open House. Saturday was almost perfect, weather wise. Lots of sun, no wind & lots of people came to see the donkeys. Once the donkeys figured out what was going on, they really got into making sure the people found them entertaining. Gus started wearing thin, from my point of view. We knew we couldn't put a sign on his pen, or he would tear it down. So we got the brillant idea of stapling the sign to the wooden side of the shelter in the pen. I don't know how he knew it was there & also don't know how he managed to reach around the side & rip the sign off. John & I spent the day, retrieving & restapling the sign. I kept moving the sign farther down the side of the shelter, & figured eventually it would be closer to Tula & Chester than to Gus. When he wasn't doing that, he was beating on the corral panels, or digging a trench with his foot. I think he was trying to tell us, he doesn't like being in a pen. He would stop all the shenanigans when the people came by, so he could put his head over the top of the gate, or bray to make sure they saw him.

Tula actually took some timothy pellets from a woman's hand. Two years ago she took pellets from another woman. I don't know what triggers her to "take a chance". Most animals if they took the chance & nothing happened, would be inclined to try it again. Not her...........!!! She actually spent most of Sunday, walking a few steps towards people, but didn't get close to anyone again. Chester was in the pen with her, & he was at the front of the pen to make sure he got all the pellets he could wheedle from the people. So she could see him getting all the goodies. But that wasn't enough to make her give up her independence.

Today was cloudy, cooler & we didn't have near as many people. But the ones that were here, seemed to enjoy the adventure. Of course by today, all the equines knew the drill. There was a lot more braying, & positioning themselves, to make it easy for the people to give them pellets. Buster, Lucy & Rocky, learned to work the people at their gate, & then follow the people around to the other side to beg some more. They seemed to think the people wouldn't notice that they were the same donkeys, that had been begging at the gate. It didn't seem to matter the people fed them anyway. Jenny really learned quickly how to work the people for treats. Last year at this time, her feet were still pretty sore. I don't remember her interacting that much with the people. This year she brayed & stuck her nose thru the corral panels, wiggled her nose & tried all sorts of tricks to get their attention.

We left Pepsi in his pen, so he wouldn't have to compete with the other 3 minis for attention. Cheyenne got tired of competing with Lynn & Justin yesterday. So instead of standing where the people came down the fence, she would stand by the gate. Lynn & Justin would mug the people for pellets, but once the people turned the corner, Cheyenne seemed to know she was next. I'm surprised Lynn & Justin didn't simply follow along the fence with the people. They seemed to have staked out their place & weren't interested in horning in on Cheyenne's spot, so it worked out pretty good. I've seen Cheyenne back up Gus or BlackJack when she feels like it, so I was suprised that she was so docile about the whole situation.

All in all I think the Open House was a rousing success. Yesterday we had volunteers from Kartchner Caverns come out for the day. They were great, I don't know what we would have done without them. Today it was just John & I, but with less people we could handle it. Tonight they will be able to go over on Burroland for the 1st time since Friday. After 2 days of being in their pens, & 2 nights of having to stay on the plain old "boring" 10 acres, I'm sure they will be excited to get back over there.

It might be a few days before I have anymore pictures. Do you know what a digital camera looks like, in it's plastic & nylon case & someone (read that John) starts a fire in a wood stove without noticing the camera case on top? Let me put it this way, once the smell & the smoke cleared the house, & the plastic quit dripping off the stove I got a chance to look at the camera. I think it might pass for a decent piece of modern art..............but I don't think it will take another picture. I've been promised that Santa Claus is going to put in a rush order, so the getting a new one probably won't take but a day or two. Unfortunately this old dog will probably have to learn new skills, which will take a lot longer. I always hate to replace my old stuff with new stuff. The new stuff always has more buttons for me to learn. I try to only learn the minimum amount I need to know, that way my brain doesn't have to get overloaded........!!! (G)

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