Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I Never Imagined My Life Like This

In preparation for and now with the arrival of Dixie the Donkey I have been reflecting a lot on my life and how much it has changed in the last year and a half. And while the changes are not just about the animals, they certainly play a big role.

I am spending nearly as much time at the farm supply store as I am at Wal-Mart (we're nearly on a first name basis with the owner - not quite, but nearly). I am trying to find the right hay. In fact, - the fact that I know that there are different types of hay - alfafa, fescue, ryegrass - is a reflection on how much I've changed. I talk about things like corn and sweet feed and whether to buy Goat Chow or start getting a custom blend from the farm supply. I talk about things like pellets for Dixie and what percent protein she needs. I am stacking the bed of my pick-up with bales of straw and in the meantime, debating the merits of straw vs. sawdust to use as a bed in the stalls. I can speak on the subject of rutting, goat gestation, and goat castration with a fairly high level of knowledge. I think about things like breeding.

Things I need to pick up soon? A broom for the barn (so I can sweep the goat poop off the concrete in the barn), something to muck Dixie's stall and a brush for Dixie.

Speaking of, even though Dixie is a fraction of the size of a horse, she is no less responsibility. She needs to be fed twice a day, at around the same time. She needs to be let out in the morning and put up at night. She needs to be brushed. She needs to be played with - assuming we want her to develop a sweet, loving, docile personality. If not, we can let her be and she'll be an aloof and standoffish donkey. We need to work with her to train her. That means putting her bridle on and leading her around. That means rubbing her legs and getting her comfortable lifting them so we can eventually clean out her hooves.

I used to joke that Marty and I never got a dog because the responsibility was too much. Well, we just took on a huge responsibility with the donkey, and you know what, I am looking forward to every minute of it!

I'll reflect more on the other non-animal changes in another post. But for now, one more picture of my sweet girl:

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And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...