A Dog Is Not a Donkey

So, today I went to visit my dear horse and donkey, who I hadn’t seen in a whole week! They’d already been fed, and Sara had ridden Apache in the morning. But I just had to say hi.

I brought Apache and Fiona out for some loving, and it became clear she had to be groomed, big time. She was almost all bur.

I look as good as Apache the giant horse!

To remedy the situation, Sara and I chatted and groomed. Fiona was in heaven. She leaned on us and practically sighed with joy at the attention. After 15 minutes or so, she had a lot less hair and burs.

She happily showed us her feet, so we could check her progress. Eek! All sorts of cracking and ugliness. However, she seems happy and able to run and trot. We will see what the farrier says.

Is Fiona a Dog?

No, she is not. She’s a donkey. They love attention, any attention. Guess who’s a dog? Alfred. Not only that, he is a huge guardian breed dog.

We don’t get burs. So we will sleep.

Is Alfred a Donkey?

Most emphatically not. Unlike Fiona, Alfred does not crave attention unless it’s his idea. And while Fiona will happily let you pull burs off her coat for hours, Alfred gives you about ten seconds, even though he is like a fluffy white pincushion right now.

Don’t come near me with a brush!

Last week, I walked up to him with a tissue in my hand and he heaved himself off the ground and trotted off. Scissors send him out of the house. Luckily, he lets Carlton chew some of his stickers off. They’re a local delicacy.

Sigh. While we realize he looks awfully unkempt, there is not much we can do about it, since he’s stronger than us. We wish he was a relatively compliant donkey. But, no. He’s a dog. A big, independent and strong dog. Pet me on my terms!

What to do?

This isn’t a great solution, but since we tried giving him sedatives and he didn’t calm down enough, we’re going to have to do the vet thing again and really knock him out. We are worried he has spear grass in his skin again, so we need to trim him.

I’m prickly but lovable. Also I stink.

So, any of you who are concerned about our big man, rest assured he’s on the schedule. We didn’t ask for a huge friend who needs pain and joint medicine already, at just age 2, but he’s our guy and we’re gonna take care of him. Who could resist his face?

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

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