When John went out this morning, Jack had crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. John had checked on him around 3am. He was laying down, sitting up on his breastbone, got up & came to John. That in itself was unusual behavior for him, interaction with people was always on his terms.
Without a necropsy we'll never know for sure what happened, but I feel it was something that had been going on for awhile. He was as usual until yesterday afternoon, so whatever it was, hadn't been a burden to him, which is good.
When Jack first came here with John
In April of 2004 Jack's owner called & said if we didn't take him he would shoot him, because Jack had recently gone blind in one eye & was too spooky. I think even then he didn't hear well, which was probably part of the spooky part, especially if you came up on his blind side. That never changed, you come up on his blind side without yelling, & there were going to be fireworks, hopefully away & not towards you.
We called him "WooWoo" Jack, that's the sound he made when he was anxiously waiting for his mush. And if you forgot & headed towards the 4 pens below him without feeding him first, he really let you know it.
Over the years he mellowed although he was always a mule because of being used as a tool, rather than being treated as a team member, probably all of his life. He was born on a ranch May 5, 1982 & I doubt that he ever established a relationship with anyone. But he learned to mug people that came out on tours for treats. We always warned them that he would "slime" their hand because of lacking many teeth. He was always chewing a quid of hay or weeds, & would work it down to the front of his mouth, & delicately "hack" it out, so he could accept their offer. We'd tell them the story & they all would stand to watch him work it out & spit & most were more than willing to get "slimed"
I hope in some way we helped to make his retirement years good. He roamed the property with his buddy Rusty the white mule, & could do just what he wanted to do. I hope it was enough.
Now Rusty doesn't have a buddy, he doesn't care for the donkeys & they don't want to be around him. Who knows maybe a little mini horse or mule will need a new buddy soon.