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Catch  me  if  you  can!

Catch me if you can!

Mother’s Day was rather quiet for the two of us . . . I think JB realized that Mom needed a day of rest.  He DID do some cute things, though   . . . (duh!!)
JB has created a racetrack for himself that circles my truck and Jeep . . . it’s close enough to the pasture that my “big” horses can see him, but far enough away for his comfort.  I think he enjoys the attention that he gets from the three “railbirds”; they aren’t sure if he’s a fast sheep or a badly-trimmed poodle!  But around the track he goes– first one way, then the other, switching leads just like the REAL racehorses (but interjecting the occasional buck and kick, and stopping periodically to gnaw on the Jeep!)  I DID get some pictures of him with my trusty disposable camera, and they will be here shortly!
He didn’t get the bath he mentioned yesterday, but maybe today . . . that should make for a GREAT photo-op!  

JB here! 


Since it’s Mother’s Day, I decided to do the news report myself . . . sorry it’s so late, but typing with one finger is mighty slow-going!


Last night marked my “first” birthday:  I am officially one week old.  And so far, it has been the roughest week of my life!  I got off to a pretty bad start, as you all know . . . besides losing my Mom, I’ve had to ride in a trailer, get stuck with big needles, and drink from a stupid bottle!  But I did get a new Mom, and have been living in a nice quiet area with a really big bed.  Many people have called and written to wish me well, and I’ve even been on TV and the Internet.  Although things have really been changing fast for me, I am very happy and feel very loved. 


And I’m changing fast, too!  I’m up to 45 pounds now–that means I’ve gained a pound a day!  (Mom doesn’t seem very happy when SHE does that, but she thinks it’s great for ME!)  And my beautiful blue eyes have turned a beautiful brown.  I’m incredibly nosy, and getting braver by the day . . . I can go up and down steps, drink from a bucket, play in the dirt, and do a perfect sliding stop.  I love to jump up and down on my hospital mattress, and can snatch Mom’s blanket off of her as she’s trying to sleep!  Hmmm . . .

what should I do for my next trick?!


Well, Mom is calling me . . . she’s saying something about my first BATH . . . something about the fact that I’m supposed to be WHITE . . . (?)


Happy Mother’s Day,


Well the JB Report is early this morning, as JB decided to make it that way!

JB’s lust for Foal-Lac finally ended his bottle-feeding days . . . at his 0500 meal, he sucked the end off of his Nuk baby bottle nipple!  This led to experimentation with the calf bottle, which is much larger and has a longer, more slender (more rubbery) nipple.  JB would have none of that–“Feed me NOW!  Figure it OUT!”  (I really expected to see his head spinning around and pea soup coming out of his mouth at that point.)  Anyway, out of desperation, I poured all of his remaining formula into a Country Crock Butter Spread tub, and held it up before him.  After trying to suck the edge of the tub, looking at me in disbelief, and sucking the tub again, he accidentally stuck his nose in the milk . . . he must have correctly gasped, because before HE knew it he was drinking!  He managed to drink about 1 1/2 baby-bottle’s-worth (I’ll need to come up with a new unit of measure now!), which was his usual.

But the 0700 feeding wasn’t that easy–you know, two steps forward, one (GIANT) step back.  I prepared his formula in bulk this time, and took a butter-tub-full to him.  He sniffed all around, tried to nurse my knee, then STUCK HIS WHOLE FACE IN IT!  After taking a few gulps, he tossed his head and covered me, the floor, and the walls with formula; he then proceeded to wipe his wet beard/muzzle/nose all over me.   I was laughing so hard that I didn’t even try to stop him!

Hopefully the learning curve on this “drinking from a bucket” thing isn’t very steep; if it is, you should all go out and buy stock in Foal-Lac, because we’re going to use a lot of it!

I’ve got to go sponge-bathe a white donkey foal, wash down the walls, mop the floor, start a load of laundry, and take a shower . . . GOT MILK?

Yesterday was the first uneventful day in little JB’s short life . . . . he ate, slept, played in the yard, and was loved by his mother — his foster-mother, anyway.  And he thoroughly enjoyed it . . .  his first experience of the peace that should have been his since his birth.



All of the regular stuff is normal/progressing well:  eating (nursing the bottle), peeing, and pooping, and he’s gained 2 pounds.

This was to be a day of firsts, however!

It started with the arrival of the WKRG-TV News 5 crew from Mobile.  Since the weather was nice and the ground fairly dry, we decided to shoot the video outdoors.  JB put on quite a show trotting, bucking, and admiring trees . . . the first time he’s REALLY gotten to stretch his legs.  The fickle little fellow also took a special shine to the pretty TV reporter-lady, and really mugged for the camera   . . . the TV-bit is old hat for him now! 

After everyone left, I returned him to his hallway “bedroom”.  He promptly got on the bed, by himself, and went to sleep!

The late afternoon prompted another outing in the front yard.  He was confident enough to gallop this time, and would run about 50 feet away . . . whenever he heard a new noise, he would tear back to me-his Mother- and hide behind my legs!  But most exciting to me, he “answered the call of nature” OUTSIDE — you can see the possibilities in that!

He also started cutting his teeth last night . . . he was more fussy with his feedings, and wanted to lick/chew/suck everything he could find, ALL NIGHT!!  I actually put some of his formula in my hand and he licked it off . . . first step toward the all-important bucket-training (in about 2 weeks)!

I’m going to go start a load of baby laundry (the house-training stuff was a fluke!), and then take him back outside . . .

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!


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.