Category Archives: Norma Jean News

Consistency. Slow and Steady wins the race.






Princess Buttercup Pebbles is a very timid, young, previously wild donkey.

I received her a few months ago, shortly after she was rescued from a kill pen in Texas.

Now that she has shed a bit, I have discovered that she is a BLM donkey.  Hmmmm.  She appears to be about 2-3 years old.  So I expect she was adopted from a BLM holding facility, kept for a year, not handled, and sent to the kill pen after they received their $1000 from the BLM.

She is very sweet… and loves treats… but she is not very trusting.

This girl has not had any handling.  In fact, she was rescued from the killpen with a too small for her halter on her head with a dangling 2′ lead rope attached.  Clearly, they put that on once and used the catch rope to grab her if they needed her.

Yup.  She didn’t learn much… and what she did learn was not good.

She used to hide behind Ethel Merdonk a lot. (Ethel is in front here)

But now she will come right up to me and ask for a treat.

So, we started over when she came here.

I’d sit in the pen with her and Ethel Merdonk.  Princess Buttercup Pebbles learned to take cookies and she loved to have her face rubbed.

At this point, I can put a halter on her (sometimes) and I can rub her face and neck.  That’s it.

BUT, what I did learn is that when I went on vacation (10 days) – Princess Buttercup Pebbles has regressed – a lot.  This is frustrating for me, but I just have to go with it because there is no rushing the process.

Now that we were gone for 10 days, she has reverted a bit. Here you can see that she is tentative to come as close as previously. She’s rather stretch her neck to take her treat, instead of coming straight up to me.

I’m eager to get her gentled because I want to do her feet and I also would like to be able to read her brand.  Presently, her hair is too thick.  I need to shave her neck or get a really good photo, which is impossible because she is scared of the phone unless it is in front of her.  And, I cannot stand next to her – yet.  She wants me in front of her.

The first mark is clearly the “U” for USA.  The next mark, which should be the two number of the year of her birth.  It is either a ‘9 (which makes no sense because it should be ’09 or “19) or it is a ’38 – which also makes no sense.  I have no idea…

In any event, PBP is a very smart, young girl, and I need to be consistent and steady.  That will win this race.

As her hair is shedding, I see that she has a BLM brand! I cannot read it, yet. Too much hair still. From what I think I see, it is a very confusing brand because it looks like she was born in ‘9 – which doesn’t exist (it should be ’09 or ’19). So, I need to get clippers in there – or at least feel it, which I cannot do just yet.


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ETHEL MERDONK let us do her feet!






Ethel Merdonk came to us recently from a kill pen in Texas.  She was very afraid of people and hated HATED H.A.T.E.D. the farrier, or any idea of the farrier… or vet for that matter… anyone.  She didn’t like anyone.  No one.

So… I’ve been working with her for a while now.  She tolerates me at first, and then she lets me pet her if I have treats.  Once she forgets herself, she will lean into me and moan.   This girl has a very big wall – yet she loves and wants attention.

The problem was her feet.  They were long when she got here, and they are even longer now.  Because she is so guarded, she would not let me near her legs or feet.

To me, I knew she had had her feet done.  Ethel is older.  She’s been around a long time.  Clearly, she’s had her feet done in the past.  So I knew she knew about feet trimming.  The problem was getting her to admit it.

I figured if I petted her and then ran my hands down her legs, eventually she would let down her guard and lift a foot.  As soon as she did that, I’d know that she knew and the gig was up.

And, a few weeks ago, she flinched.  She lifted her foot when I ran my hand down her leg.

Gotcha!

So I knew.  I knew she knew, and she knew that I knew that she knew.

Finally.

I called Fernando and set up an appointment because I felt confident with treats and a halter, she would succumb and let us trim her.

And I was right.

Success.  Finally.  I am so relieved.

Ethel Merdonk Wonky Donkey can puff herself up and be very threatening.  But now we all know that she’s a softie inside.

Phew!

She’s not happy about this at all… you can see all of the grey hairs on her forehead.  She is an older gal.

She smells the cookie bribe… (note all the scars on her nose)

Here she is eating the cookie bribe… while Fernando works

Resigning herself.

Here we are praying that she doesn’t kick Fernando… and she didn’t.

A beautiful sight… the fronts done.

All done! Her feet aren’t exactly conformationally even – so we left some foot for next time because we wanted to make sure she was comfortable after this initial trim. MUCH BETTER.

Here she is this evening… looking shorter but much happier. No issues with the trim. She is a happy camper.

 


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