Thursday, January 12, 2012

Adventures in animal handling.

This was like one of those SAT questions about the fox, the goose, the snake, and the river, and you have to get them all across. Or whatever.

Jethro the big donkey and Julius the dog both needed a walk. Hector the small donkey did not need a walk, he hasn't learned that he should go forward when he's wearing his haltar and a lead line. So I thought I'd take Jethro and Julius on a walk, they do ok together, and I'd leave Hector home.

I put Jethro into his halter and walked him down to my son's house; I hitched him to a tree and started up the stairs to get my son's dog Julius.

In less than a minute, Hector the small donkey had (somehow) slipped out of his paddock, run up and down the straightaway a couple times at top speed.

By the time I came out of my son's house with the dog, Hector had come down the hill to join Jethro. Hector hasn't been separated from Jethro since he arrived a few weeks ago, and evidently wasn't going to put up with it.

Hence I learn that Hector could have gotten out of the paddock at any time over these past weeks, he just didn't choose to, because he wanted to be with Jethro.

Now I have a dog on a lead, VERY eager for a walk, I have a large donkey tied to a tree, and I have a small donkey hanging out next to the big donkey. What to do.

I tied the dog to a different tree and went to get Hector's halter and lead line. Hector and Julius the dog do NOT get along because Julius has been herding the donkeys at night when we let him out - he runs them in huge circles over and over, barking and nipping at them. Even when Jethro got tired of it and landed a solid hoof-thunk on the dog's head, he wasn't discouraged.

So I leave the dog tied to the tree, whimpering in dismay and astonishment, and take the two donkeys off for a walk. How horrible! Hector doesn't want to walk, so he lags behind, which annoys Jethro, who circles around me to bite Hector. If he gets behind Hector, things go better - then he nips at Hector, who then hustles along. When they're next to each other, Hector stops, and if he gets bitten from the front, he goes 0 mph.

I hauled them around the block, hauled them back into the pen, and then took the dog for a walk. I wonder if there might have been a better way to do this?



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