The three amigos are doing quite well. They stick together and every day there is more and more contact between Rosie and the newbies. We had a rainy day spell and they all laid down in their barn to ride it out. That was heartwarming.
I could sense a real sadness in Jill for a week or so. She would be missing her friends Sandy and Gracie. The four donkeys had been a family for almost ten years. I can only imagine what her thoughts must be … I know each day I still walk into a Bella memory – and have to gulp.
Jill is the gentlest donkey I have met. Her original mom mentioned that … and I’ve certainly seen it too. She has a quiet tentative way about her. She comes for hugs and leans against my body – bit by bit – testing me to make sure it is okay. When I was giving her buddy, Joker, a rub down she came up behind me and rested her head on my back. If Rosie gives her the ‘stink eye’ she literally squeaks and scoots away.
Jill seems to enjoy watching the chicken and duck antics. I’ve seen her become intrigued by a bird and follow it with her nose … while the chicken tries to scoot away.
Somehow Joker’s transition has been easier. Right from day one he had his ears up – was curious about his new digs – and was making friendly with Rosie. He has trotted up and down the hillside pathway, soaked up the sunshine in the paddocks and jockeyed for position when I was in brushing mode.
Jill enjoys cozying into the sand on the hillock in the front paddock. While she is there Joker and Rosie will sometimes venture off into the woods together. He can still keep an eye on Jill from there.
It is so nice to see Rosie gentling up to both Jill and Joker. Initially … in the first week … I think she hit points where she felt like “Okay, this play date can be over now.” But after the rainy day spent hanging out in the barn with her two new roomies things really shifted. Nothing like close quarters to bring a group together.
I think Rosie and I hit the jackpot. Losing Bella has been hard. But gaining Joker and Jill has been a magical fit.