Friday, July 23, 2010

Catching up: Gabby

Right after we got Skipper, we started looking for a donkey to act as a guardian for the sheep we were soon to get. Greg found one on Craig's list that sounded perfect for us. I called about him and the lady and I chatted for quite some time. She seemed very excited to have her donkey come to a farm like ours. I told her I would talk to Greg and get back to her. Well, he thought she wanted too much for him, so I called and told her, and that was that. I told Greg he needed to find me another donkey!
A few days later, the phone rang and the lady with the donkey was on the other end of the line. She said she REALLY believed our farm was the right place for her donkey. She wondered what we would pay for him. I talked to Greg and we made her an offer, which she accepted. We made arrangements over the next few days and several conversations to pick Gabby up.
On June 9th, my friend, Kristin, and I took off for Kansas (just outside St. Joseph, MO) in her pick-up truck with the livestock rails in place. We arrived there around 9 in the morning and started the process of getting Gabby loaded onto the truck. Well, he wasn't having any of it! He had never loaded on a ramp before, and he had no intention of doing it that day either! We tried bribery, we tried pulling, we tried pushing, we tried pulling and pushing...nothing! We would get him half way up the ramp, then he would jump off the side. We even got him half-way into the truck and he backed out before he could be tied in.
I say "we", but I mostly stood off to the side and let the owner and my horse-expert friend, Kristin, do all the work. I would run for bits of hay, or try to stand to the side and keep him from jumping off, but they were the ones actually handling the donkey. Kristin had the best luck of any of us, getting him in there. I really think, left to her own devices, she could have got him in there quicker. But, as it was, it took aver two hous to get him loaded...we did FINALLY get him loaded. And boy was he mad!
But, once we got moving, he settled right down and was fine. We even stopped at McDonalds for a little lunch on the way home. We sure got a lot of interested looks!
When we got home, Greg helped Kristin un-load him. He came off the truck a whole lot easier than he went on!
Gabby is just the sweetest donkey ever. He is 5 years old, broke to ride, and we just love him. He had a bit of experience around goats when he was younger, but it had been a long time. At first he wanted to chase the sheep a bit, but now he is pretty good with them. They don't pay him much mind, but he doesn't like to be separated from them. And don't dare give them a treat without giving him one! He will let you know.
When new people come to see him, he gives them a big old smile, and shows them all his teeth! It is so funny to watch. It's the only time he does it. And, once he has met you, he never does it again.
His bray is not overly loud, but he will really carry on if Greg doesn't get outside in the morning quick enough!
Our little granddaughter, Abbygail, is the only one so far to get to sit on him. I can't wait for the older grandkids to get to ride him.

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