The Little White Donkey that Could did well overnight, and is becoming quite adept at letting me know when HE wants to eat (never mind the ALARM CLOCK . . . . )

He was totally exhausted from his first day in the limelight, having held court to THREE different TV crews during his second full day on Earth;  speaking for us both, it was certainly a harrowing experience!

Today, when things outside DRY OUT a bit, he will have another lesson in leading and experiencing the great outdoors . . . he wants to kick up his heels a bit, and will get the opportunity when weather permits.

He’s still not out of the woods health-wise, as his “synthetic” immune system has not yet been tested.  Hopefully by Day 7, we will know with more certainty that he will be OK.

We really appreciate all the calls, emails, and concern for JB . . . and we will keep you posted on his days ahead!

FOREWORD

This is/was the first in a series of daily “JB Reports”.  I was sending them out by email to friends, family, Panhandle Equine Rescue’s many contacts, and the media.  Soon after my email reports began, however, a dear friend convinced me to set up a blog instead . . . a very tall order for someone so technologically challenged!  But here it is: raisingthedonkeyjb,  an account of the daily progress and exploits of JB, the orphan foal.  In time, I’m sure that it will become a forum for my thoughts on all things “animals” .  .  . their welfare, their place in society, the love we feel for them, and theirs for US.

The first installment of the JB Report was a mere portent of the posts to come:

This adorable little fellow is in my back hallway with me, on many blankets and a hospital bed . . . I’m feeding him every hour for the first three days.  His mother’s killer(s) have been caught, and have confessed.  He won’t be out of the woods for about seven days–his mother was killed so soon after his birth that he didn’t get to nurse.  That means that he didn’t get her natural, antibody-rich colostrum, although PER’s equine vet DID give him synthetic serum colostrum intravenously.  Please keep him in your prayers.

In a quiet pasture, in the final minutes of May 2, 2009, JB was born.  The little donkey foal was white, like his mother.  She licked him dry and severed his umbilical cord . . . but before JB could nurse, his mother was shot and killed.

The multiple gunshots woke the neighbors, who ran out to find a white truck turning around in their driveway.  They noted which way the truck went, and called the Sheriff.  It was only then that they found JB standing next to his dead mother, his legs covered in her blood.

JB’s owners were called, and the deputies came.  JB was taken to an empty stall up the hill; no one wanted him there while the deputies did their investigation and his mother was buried.  The little foal’s owners bottle-fed him with goat’s milk through the rest of the night, until he could be turned over to Panhandle Equine Rescue.  The rescue group could provide the critical care and hourly feedings that he would long need— care that would be too taxing for his owners to take on.

The PER ladies took the little foal on a long, bumpy ride to the vet . . . without his mother’s colostrum, his chance of survival would be slim.  The vet had a special serum colostrum, which would be administered to JB intravenously; JB would have to be anesthetized for two hours for the procedure.

He woke up in the truck again, headed to a foster home.  His new living area was nothing like the one he was taken from . . . this was a hallway in a home, with a hospital mattress and many blankets on the floor.  The PER lady, who he’d soon come to know as his Mom, fed him from a baby bottle and slept with him on the bed.  She rubbed and caressed him often that first night, and told him softly that everything would be all right.