Monday, January 31, 2005


A quick note to her last owner says she was a BLM baby and that her white blaze is her freeze brand. Weird though that it's not healed and it doesn't look like anything at all to me. Hopefully I'll be able to read it if it is and track her back to when she was rounded up. It would be nice to know how much tiem she's really spent with humans and under what conditions if at all possible.

The last two days I haven't been able to get out with ehr and do anything, which I feel really bad about. She brays and calls when she sees me, which makes me feel worse. Yesterday I was at my Psychology class partner's house so we could work on our paper and didn't get home until well after dark. By then Libby was eating dinner, and then she was ready to settle in for the night.

Tomorrow I have no plans, so hopefully I can introduce brushes to Libby and show her how good they really do feel. I think a curry comb will be just right!

Friday, January 28, 2005

Wet Donkey = Cranky Donkey

Yesterday Libby refused to come in from the back field, and Drifter shoved through so he could go back out when the gate was opened for Libby to come in, once she decided she might get some dropped hay if she did. So thye were both out all night. First thing this morning, Libby was braying her heart out, wanting to come in.

It started sprinkling here at about 8am, and while she's not even what you can call damp, she's not happy about being wet to any degree. If it continues sprinkling, I'll turn her out tongiht so she can get under the shelter if she wants to.

Even though it's wet, I still had to do something with her because she's been out for the last two days without being handled. She decided to be a brat and for the most part pretend I hadn't asked for anything. At one point when I asked her to move forward, she stuck one foreleg out all the way in front of her, waving it in the air at her chest level. She was waggling her ears, and I swear laughing at me while she did it! Then she took one step back, and did it with the other foreleg when I asked her to move foreward. I chose another direction to walk in, and we did a few figure 8's instead.

Overall she was okay, but it'd be better if I had more room to work her in without taking her out back.

I also rubbed her under her neck, and almost made it down to her chest before she got uncomfortable, and did a little scratching on her left side where her cut/scar is on her neck. Maybe by the end of February I'll be able to handle her forelegs. I hope so.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

The Great Escape!

We decided that since it would be getting dark soon, and it was time to make sinner that Libby would come in a bit earlier then planned. Unfortunately, Libby decided otherwise. After narrowly missing getting kicked several times because I actually expected her to come back in, we gave up that tactic and turned Drifter out with her.

This was the first time they had been out together, without a fence between them. Amazingly, no one got bitten or kicked, but they did do a lot of running and chasing- for the most part, he would shake his head at her, then take off, and she'd chase after him. They did this for a half hour or so, running, kicking, bucking, and chasing.

She also had an introduction to two of our large outside dogs, and that went very well. I had noticed that while she does pay attention when they bark, she doesn't have anywhere near the same reaction to them as she does to dogs that are not ours. It made me nervous though because Libby and Nana being nose to nose at the lowest and weakest part of the fence could have been disasterous, but Libby didn't even flick an ear her way when she barked at first Drifter, then Libby. Nana gave up and went off to find somethng else to do.

Finaly Libby followed me into the smaller area, and went into her pen- so she did make it back in without too much stress and bother. She was pretty stirred up though so I didn't get to rub her any afterwards- just carress her nose with one finger for a few minutes. Tomorrow maybe I can brush her out some and get rid of some of that fluff and hair that's shedidng out in sheets everytime I touch I thikn she'll be okay with that so long as she can check the brushes out and give them a good sniff or ten.

So even though it didn't quite go the way I wanted, it did turn out pretty well. I think tomorrow she will have settled down and will be back to where we were, and maybe over the weekend they can both run and play all day- and of course, stuff their faces.

New Expiriences.

Today Libby went out back on her lead, and had a walking tour of most of the back field. I mainly wanted to take her around the perimeter fencing to show her her boundries, but a few things made the tour a bit shorter then all that. We did have some positive outcomes, and she is out back now cropping grass and weeds- she seems to be enjoying being on that side of the fence instead of being bored in her pen.

I made a concious choice to stay about 40 feet from the fenceline where she has seen the big dogs next door, especially since it makes her a little nervous, and really puts her on guard, dogs or no dogs. Walking from there almost to the rear fence, and down it halfway went fine. Once she was out of Drifter's obvious range of influence, she was much calmer, and was willing to show me the complient posture, as shown on Vicki Abbott's website. At this point she calmly followed me, a lot like a puppy, but unless she stepped on ground that gave a little or had a different texture, she did not hesitate at all.

Halfway across the rear fence, I could hear the neighbor's dogs behind us (which we share that fence with) starting to bark and Libby and I, so we began a walk back up towards the front of the property. This time when passing over things Libby stopped at the first time, she just stepped right over them. All she needed was a quick glance to see what they were.

After some more walking, frequently stopepd for rubs and scratches, I brought her back up front close to where she is familiar with, and unclipped her lead. I kept rubbing her, and then walked away. She started to follow, then realized she wasn't on the lead, and stopped. When I got about 10 feet away, she just dropped her head and started eating. I'm hoping if we can have her out one day, and Drifter out the next, they will get plenty of "out time" and hopefully be a little less excitable when one or the other is handled.

We'll se ehow things go tonight when we go to bring her back in- I'm counting on her fearless love of buckets to work here!

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Rest & What?

Generally you see R & R and think rest and relaxation, but that's not what Libby had in mind today. Today was supposed to be a simple day, where all she did was louge about, get scratched if she wanted, and take abreak. Mom will be home from work all this week, so I will have plenty of time to work with her and have her keep Drifter out of the way.

So as planned, I made sure I had plenty of excuses to just walk by her, maybe lean up on the fence while talking to someone else, play with one of the barn cats near her, (she watches the cats, but it's a curious watch, not like with the dogs) and once or twice gave her chin a little scratch.

Later on at feeding time, when Drifter was running in from the field at a canter, I yelled for Chip to get out of the way- Chip and Brett were both in his path, and while Brett was paying attention, Chip is our 13 year old toy poodle, and mostly deaf. She moved, and at the same time, Mom yelled "Holy shit Libby!". I missed what happened, but she said Libby suddenly jumped into and then out of her water- half of one of those big plastic drums. She knocked her head on the corral panel too when she did this...

I think it might have been due to the dogs next door running the fence again, and our dogs running with them, barking, but she wasn't worked up like yesterday. She just.. jumped.

Tomorrow I'm hoping to bring her out for a while, and maybe take her out back to nibble weeds and grass for a while. Either way, I want to spend at least an hour handling her if at all possible- hoping it will go well.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

New Girl in Town.

Last Saturday Libby arrived here on our farm. The first few days all I did was go out, hang out with her, offer her a small handful of grain, and try to make friends. A little nose scratching too.

She is almost two years old, and has had at least four homes, including ours, in her short life. Having never had a chance to really bond with anone, I can understand her being hesitant to be very friendly towards anyone.

Today was a bit of a breakthrough for us, I think. My Mom has a large Arab gelding, and he is constantly picking on Libby through the fence. Libby, on the other hand, teases him and eggs him on with the intent of getting a few good kicks in. We put Drifter out back, and clipping the lead on Libby, brought her out to walk around, and explore some of her other surroundings a bit more. She was very curious, and only balked a few times. When she did, I waited, and talked to her, and eventually she came on where I asked her to.

She also allowed me to rub one side of her neck, and shoulder, down to her elbow. Big thing for me because before it was her head or nothing. The side with the large scar on her neck is still completely off limits, but time will fix that, I imagine. Whatever did that to her had to be scary, so I understand her not wanting to be touched there. It's also still healing, so it may be sore.

Overall she is being very good, but after talking with several donkey people, I'm a bit frustrated at how little I really know and how many misconceptions I have about them. As I told one of these kind souls, I'm going to be chanting to myself "She's not a horse!" over and over again to remind myself that horse techniques are not for her.

Today she also exhibited a very intense attitude towards a neighbor's dog, though he was some 150 feet away. Within seconds, she was so worked up she was shaking like a leaf, and trotting back and forth, eyes glued on the dog. When I approacher her area, she trotted to me, and shoved her muzzle into my hand, blew a little, and went back to her attentive watch. According to one of my informants (hehe funny word to use) she was ensuring I was out of harms way. I halfway guessed she was checking on me, so I'm glad to know that I'm not totally misreading her.

Anyway, tomorrow is another day, and will add more then. All I have planned is to sit with her and just hang out for a litle while.