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Tuesday, November 18, 2014


jenny and jack

Jack and Jenny are in orbit right now. She's gone into heat. The last three days they have been honeymooning. About any time I look out the window Jack is standing almost straight up on his back feet behind Jenny, his front legs hugging her sides, his chin on her back, him looking like a happy donkey. Jenny stands still with her head down and her mouth opening and closing automatically like she's talking to herself. This is Jenny in love. Last year, Jenny was not in love. This year she is with her man she sleeps side-by-side with nightly and grazes with all day. They have learned each other's temperaments and flow very well together after a year, in love the second half of the year. It's funny when Jack jumps onto Jenny's back and she starts walking, Jack attached to her and walking fast on his back feet, hanging on with his front legs. Early this morning I went out to take them carrots and saw Jack on Jenny's back. He saw me with carrots and started braying with his chin on Jenny's back. Hanging on and braying, donkey multi-tasking. Later, back in the house, I saw out the window Jack on Jenny's back again and Jenny liking her part in this time of making love several times a day. After Jack hopped down, Jenny went to their nearby pile of droppings. Her feet either side of the pile, she peed a trickle and dropped some donkey biscuits. Done, she walked away. Jack had been standing nearby watching. He walked to the pile, sniffed Jenny's scent on the fresh droppings. He positioned himself astraddle the pile, contributed his biscuits, walked to the fresh hay nearby and grazed. I put their hay down separately due to their jealousy over food. Jenny grazed on her hay for awhile and Jack grazed on his. Time out for breakfast. 

jenny and jack

I'd have been interested in the sex part when I was ten, though by now, the sex part is about the same as eating hay or rolling on a dust circle. The part of it that I like seeing in this time of the life is my two donkey friends, friends I brought together, lovers, donkeys who have taught me appreciation for donkey, whose lives I know as close friends. The donkeys I love equally, happy that my donkey pets have fallen in love and live together as lovers who would rather be with each other than with anyone else. I think they are both four years old. It makes me feel good to see Jack and Jenny so close, knowing they are mated for life, will love each other all their lives. I love that. I love that I have given a couple of donkeys a chance to live their lives in love. Even when I put Jenny in the meadow with Jack I never gave a thought to donkeys falling in love. Growing up in the Western world under Christendom, I was taught early that animals had no feelings. It didn't matter what you did to a dumb animal. They didn't feel anything. Definitely did not have a soul, the life force itself. None of that computed to me, but I accepted it. It was the world everywhere around me; home, school, church, neighbors, relatives. It was the unanimous belief in my world, like white superiority. It appeared to me that dogs and cats had eyes, ears, mouth, nose, etc. They breathed and they had heartbeats. Just like us. They had head, spine, ribs, legs. They consumed in front and evacuated behind, just like us. I couldn't talk to anyone about my observation I took for obvious. But it wasn't obvious to anyone else. I continued to believe that old way about animals until I came to the mountains. My first dog here taught me animals can love, they can think, they can communicate without spoken words, Sadie was her name. She was three years old when she came to me. We were bonded after two weeks together. 


She taught me a great deal about dog nature. I learned dogs have hearts full of love in them. All they need for it to surface is to be loved. Then their love surfaces. It was the same with the donkeys. I love them and they love me. I've raised all my pets since living here with love, five cats and five dogs. Raising them with a loving heart, I never trained any of them. I would not know how to train a dog or a cat. I've looked at training books and would not do any of the training methods on a dog of mine. I love them too much to make robots of them. I want them to live by their own dog nature to fulfillment, not be objects for me to command. My next dog, Aster, won my heart the day I threw a stick for her and she just stood and looked at me like to say, What was that about? I never did it again, glad to see she wasn't interested in chasing a ball or a stick. They were always at my side, rode on the seat beside me in the pickup. They flowed with me, attentive to pleasing the one they love. And I was attentive to please them. Never scolded any of them. I scolded Sadie some at first, because I didn't know better. Once I caught on, she never heard me scold again. Caterpillar is the last of three cats that were born here. I've never scolded any of them in their whole lives. We lived together in harmony, attentive both ways to the well-being of the other. Every one of their graves represents a very sorrowful heart when whichever one left the body. Sadie left the body thirty years ago and I'm still like the song about Mr Bojangles, His dog up and died. After twenty years he still grieves. I continue to love every one of them so much it still hurts that they're gone. 


Love is wonderful, but oh it hurts when a loved one leaves the body. I've known several people who won't have any more pets after one died. The pain was too hard to bear and they don't want to go through it again. I tend to think of the years of joy they gave me, the happiness they gave me, the love they gave me, day after day. Sometimes the pain is rugged. It has never stopped me from wanting another for a home companion. Caterpillar is so jealous, I can't bring another cat or dog into the house. The donkeys will outlive me by several years. A day will come that the Ice Cream man will bring them carrots and sweet grain no more. Somebody else will take care of them. I'm remembering a French film I started to watch, Balthazar, the story of a donkey's life in rural France. The donkey was bought and sold and used as a beast of burden, regarded as though it had no soul. I couldn't watch after maybe ten minutes into it, could not stand to see a donkey mistreated and regarded unconscious. I'm grateful that I've had a chance to know donkeys, to learn donkey ways, to know two donkeys as individuals, as friends, as people I care about. Knowing donkeys is one of the treasures of my life. I'm grateful I came to know dogs and cats, too, as individual beings, sentient life forms. I won't argue with anybody over whether or not a four-legged has a soul. Somebody who will not allow the essence of life in a dog is somebody I'm wary of. It tells me they would learn a whole lot more having a dog to live with than listening to a preacher who doesn't know, just studied how to sound like he knows what he's talking about. I'm glad I had no preconceptions about donkeys when I met Jack. I didn't even know donkeys were bad to kick until somebody warned me. Jack and Jenny don't kick each other anymore and don't kick me. I'm grateful that in this lifetime I have learned that the four-leggeds love too. Now I know when I see a documentary about wild animals in Africa, the lion and lioness are in love, and they love their kittens like we love our babies. 

jenny and jack


1 comment:

  1. Beautiful post TJ - I love the pictures and I'm glad Jack and Jenny are doing well. Yay for love :) two-leggeds and four-leggeds - it's what makes the world go round!