My tiny, long-eared monsters have made a few appearances on the blog so far, but they don’t have their own post. They are tiny attention whores, so they would be appalled to learn this tidbit. Emma and Chloe are coming four year old jennies. Back in 2011 I thought I needed a donkey, so Jason (my then fiance) bought me a donkey for Christmas! Amazing, right? Emma is the Christmas present that just keeps on giving because after we picked up Emma, my father bought a second donkey, Chloe, to be her companion. He said that donkeys don’t do well without a friend. They are the barn welcoming committee, the dog herders, the weed eaters of our farm.
Emma was found on Oodle.com. She was over two hours north of where we live, so in order to pick her up we’d have to make a little drive, but luckily Jason’s sister lives in the area, so we stayed with her overnight on a Friday and picked Emma up on Saturday. Emma came from a lady who bred her donkeys occasionally, but I don’t think it was a breeding establishment really. Her donkeys and minis were pets, which is about all they’re good for to be honest. We went up one weekend to meet Emma and went up a couple months later once she was weaned to pick her up.
The lady who owned her had tried to convince us to just let her ride in the backseat of our car since she was so small, but we weren’t confident with that strategy. We also weren’t interested in pulling a trailer to pick up a tiny donkey, so we did a very SWVA thing. We borrowed my step-father’s truck that had a camper top and let her ride in the bed of the truck. Yes, we got numerous stares going down the road. Yes, this meant that Jason had to pick up the baby donkey to put it in the truck. For the first leg of the journey I rode in the bed of the truck with her because she thought she could climb back out of the tailgate. Once we found a Lowe’s, we stopped and bought a few bags of shavings to block her access to the tailgate to give me some piece of mind and allow me to go to the heated part of the truck. I can’t express to you the anxiety I felt about Emma in the back of the truck after seeing her so desperate to get out. My stomach was in knots to the point that I didn’t want to go get Chloe the same way, but that was our only option.
Once we got her home, we realized that my dad was right about her needing a buddy. If you ever want to experience something extremely loud and annoying, I recommend you purchase a baby donkey and wean it somewhere without ANY other donkeys. It was only partially consoling to Emma when she met Robin.
Luckily we found Chloe on Craigslist and were scheduled to pick her up the next day-four hours on the other side of where we live. Luckily I had a friend who lived two hours on the way, so after dropping Emma off and eating dinner, we hit the road again, this time to go to Kentucky to get Chloe. We stayed at A’s house overnight and left first thing the next morning to pick up Chloe, who belonged to a family with 7 children. When we arrived it was obvious that Chloe’s life had started differently than Emma’s. While Emma was a cuddling lovebug of a baby donkey, Chloe was terrified of people. Emma led and Chloe resisted. I was instantly beyond worried about our arrangements to haul her in the bed of the truck. Would she freak out going down the road? It was extremely stressful considering how much LARGER than Emma Chloe was. When we went to meet Emma the first time, we measured her, so we knew she’d fit under the camper top, but Chloe was much larger.
Now that I know the personalities of these little monsters, I think it is funny that I thought that about Chloe. Where Emma is completely sassy, Chloe is calm and reserved. Chloe hauled like a dream. I don’t think she moved a foot once we put her in the bed of the truck (which was more challenging because of her fear of people and the fact that she was much larger.) She barely fit in the bed of the truck height wise, but we made it work and arrived home safely. By the time we got home it was dark out and we needed to get Chloe out of the truck and to the barn, which was the most challenging part of retrieving her. She glued herself to the back glass of the truck and wouldn’t budge. We hadn’t anticipated this issue because as soon as we cracked the door on the camper top with Emma, she wanted to JUMP out, which we didn’t allow. Luckily Jason was stronger than Chloe and got in the bed of the truck and pushed her towards the tailgate where Dad and I were holding the lead rope to keep her from pulling back to the dark corners of the bed of the truck. Once she was in the field, she wouldn’t follow me up the hill, which meant I had to drag her to the barn. We made it about half way up the hill when Emma brayed. Suddenly Chloe changed her tune and was desperate to get to the barn. I jogged along with Chloe until we got to the barn and I let her loose with Emma. The cuteness was really too much.
It took Chloe a few weeks to warm up to people, but luckily Emma was a good ambassador and always wanted to be around us, so Chloe’s options were limited. Copper was at another barn when I brought the donkeys home, so he didn’t see them for a couple months. He was one of the reasons that I got mini donkeys. One of Copper’s only fears at that point was minis. Unfortunately for the donks, his fear was short lived. Copper made it his mission to terrify them for the first year or two of their lives.
He would push his chest against the gate to pop it off of its hinges, then I’d tie the gate to the post with baling twine and he would chew through it and push into their field. He was evil! He chased them until their sides were heaving. Of course one of his giant strides was three of theirs, so that didn’t take long. Copper always had a playful personality, so when the mares wouldn’t play with him, it only made sense to him that he should find new playmates.
One day in April of 2013 Copper let the donkeys out with the herd. I walked up, expecting him to be chasing them all over the field and needing rescue. Imagine my surprise when I found the herd calmly grazing together! Of course, once my presence became clear, Copper wouldn’t allow the donkeys anywhere near me. Now Copper shares a field with the donkeys 24/7 and they play together. 🙂 Enjoy many gifs!