Last night at bedtime he was down in his pen with just John and I to try to get him up. We tried pulling him up with the halter and John helping his back end, but weren't accomplishing much. John went to get the tractor so we could move him on a 4x8 piece of plywood dragging behind the tractor. Went to all that trouble and I guess he decided no ride for him. He managed to flop around and get on his feet. We had to steady him for awhile until he got his legs organized. We encouraged him to go down into the wash with animal crackers, which was fine with him. The ground was so much softer in the wash and was a good place for him to lay down or just stand. So what does he do..........follows us back up the side of the wash, thought we should have some more animal crackers, which of course we did.
This morning he was in his pen waiting for breakfast, I of course made sure he had extras and many more Fruit Loops than he normally got with his pergolide. We were trying to watch for when he got done eating, but he managed to lay down before we could stop him. We wanted to get him out of the pen, where it would be easier for John to use the tractor to move him, but as usual, Pepper did his own thing.
Dr. Nancy and Tanya got here on time and for the most part it was an easy transition. She had to find the vein thru his old tough hide and he got tired of being poked and fussed a little, wouldn't have expected anything else from him. He never was one to "go along to get along".
Pepper came here in 1997 or 1998. He had been a family roping donkey. I think that means they didn't dally the rope when they roped him. You can see thru the years he got much greyer. He actually was black in his hey day according to the owner.
We have no idea how old he was, but he was here 16-17 years and was with that family till the kids were grown. On tours we usually told the people he was on the wrong side of 35, which was probably pretty close.
If determination and enjoying life counted for anything he would have lived forever. But between the cracked hip, blown knee and 2 feet that were a jumbled mess inside, not to mention Cushings disease, even though the ears were up (never saw them any other way) and the eyes bright as diamonds, it was time to let him rest.
I hope he is running on strong legs as he was many years ago, with those ears up and finding all the mesquite beans he can hold. We always said, he could always hear a bean pod hit the ground at 100 yards. They are all special, but some are just really special.