My niece Wendy – who has many times tried to help me fix computer problems – even to the extent of using her iPad camera connected to my iPad to watch what I was doing on my desktop computer – may regret those training sessions as I am about to break into her blog that features her FOUR donkeys.
My cousin recently asked me ‘“but why donkey’s” – I answered “why not”? From the very beginning, my first niece, she had some strange pets. Her mother, my sister Vivian, not particularly prone to love their existence in her household was always supportive. I am not sure if Sputnik or Johnny Huma was first to come on the scene. I think there was also another dog called Struby. Sputnik, named for the dog that Russia sent into space was a yappy black dog of mixed breed but Johnny Huma was an orphaned baby racoon! I remember him on a leash thinking he was a part of the family. He was raised by Wendy and Cindy (her sister) – 4 and 5 years old at the time – and fed from a bottle. (Cindy, a Marine Biologist, now is the caregiver to a bearded Dragon called Sweetie Pie. She feeds him live worms purchased from a supplier. Cindy once added a dog to her family but forget to tell her husband who arrived after dark to an animal that wasn’t going to let him in.)
Cheeki arrived and had a good long life with Wendy. He was a monkey – he liked to wrap his tail around your neck – twice – and sit on your shoulder. I avoided contact but that seemed to make him want to antagonise me. Once, we were enjoying a steak dinner in the back yard, Cheeki reached under my arm and swiftly stole the steak of the person next to me. He also enjoyed a good feed under the “electric bug zapper” by their pool. Wendy and Cheeki had many years together. She became a teacher and her “pets” came to the classrooms.
She was then into “animal rescues’. Many a racoon was captured and relocated to a safer location! Many other species were also “relocated”. Eventually she settled in an extremely rural area of Ontario and various animals visited with her including a buck (deer) in heat that had mistaken her for a deer! On her way to teach school, she would chase the deer away from the roads during hunting season to keep them safely away from the hunters.
Wendy was bound to be a teacher, with two aunts already teaching. She is now surrounded by nieces and in-laws who are teachers and two of her own children are entitled to add a “doctorate” to their credentials. She was an excellent teacher winning many certificates and awards and retired last year.
Now on to the donkeys… We were having a discussion on how she was trying to work with Paco who she adopted because he was failing at his farm job. Each day she was out for a walk, she took carrots with her for Paco. He learned to trust her more each day until one day his owner agreed she could take him home. He followed her home and became her first donkey pet. Soon he had a new barn, fresh hay, and A LOT OF ATTENTION! He is still cautious with strangers but he has come a long way in trust. Then Wendy wanted to get another donkey for company. Along came Darby from a wonderful donkey farm and we thought that would be it. Not yet – along came Rosie who fit right in … then not too long ago a miniature donkey called Bella who is furry black and sometimes mistaken for a sheep. Up went another shed for the three girls and Paco. The “bully” has now made trails to several paddocks, cleared snow and transported tons of ???? (animal waste) to the compost bins.
Wendy is happy beyond ecstatic in her retirement. In -40 Celsius, she can be found in the donkey paddocks for hours. She has web cams in the sheds to make sure they are safe and comfy. She is working with Paco and making big strides from when he wouldn’t even have a rope around his head – she is hoping the next time the farrier arrives, he actually can touch his legs and hooves.
Wendy has not stopped teaching – she just has new students and a new classroom and she is very, very happy! Wendy also a fascination for birds and those who frequent her many feeders BUT THAT IS ANOTHER STORY! Can’t wait until spring, so I can meet the two latest arrivals.
Kathy (Wendy’s Aunt)
(who was afraid of my father’s cow and ran into the house when he brought it home)(who was afraid to walk to school because there was a goose at one house that chased me, a dog on another street that barked at me, and a boy that threw worms at the girls)