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JB  showing  his  a(ttitude)

JB showing his a(ttitude)

Two weeks old, and what a difference a week makes! 

JB has passed his second-week birthday, and is finally out of the woods. . . at least as far as his health is concerned.  His attitude may be another story.  The young orphaned donkey foal is beginning to show some of the disposition that his ancestors are famous for, and at times we are literally butting heads!  But a learned donkey owner contacted me shortly after JB came to be, with wisdom for handling the “troubled” times to come.  Without her advice I might have thrown in the towel by now, and JB would most certainly rule the world!

One of the antics tried by the adorable but sneaky little donkey is the “come up for love, then look down and bite” game . . . if you fall for this affection-shrouded mischief, your knees will suffer.  Or the “run up to Mom while she’s sitting down and just forget to stop” maneuver; this would only work if  I didn’t know that HE knows how to stop!  (Logic isn’t yet his strong-suit.)  Anyway, you get the picture–my guard must be up at all times for incoming physical insults, but I also have to interpret and accept JB’s real moments of sincerity.  Those are what really keep me going at the end of the day.

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 a little more newsworthy . . .

JB spent the first part of the morning outside; he galloped around for about 15 minutes!  When he started getting a little far away I would call him, and he immediately changed direction every time.  He also worked on his sliding stop:  the first one was great, the second one . . . . NOT so great!  Suffice it to say that (a) that’s what practice is for, and (b) white donkeys CAN be cleaned!

When he was tired of running, he came to me for praise:  “How was that, Mom?  Did you SEE me!?”  I assured him of his extreme cuteness (although he already knew it), and started to walk back toward the house.  JB followed me in lock-step, just like a heeling dog–I would change direction, stop, start, move slow, then fast–he never left my side.

But he still needs major work on the house-training thing!

We were also re-interviewed by the WKRG-TV5 news team; once again, JB strutted his stuff! 

We did have a little cause for concern last night, however.  As I’ve mentioned before, JB’s days 5-7 are the most likely time for him to get sick from lack of his mother’s colostrum–even though he got the synthetic stuff, he still might get sick.  And last night (that was Day 5), he started having diarrhea.  It wasn’t really bad, and he was still frisky, eating well, and acting healthy.  But I DID call his vet first thing this morning to make sure!  According to his doctor, he may experience this periodically due to the formula he takes, variable exercise, changes, stress, etc.  But I know now WHEN to worry, and fortunately now is NOT the time!

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.

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.