On Tuesday, Tom and I made a ten hour round-trip trek to Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue in San Angelo, TX to pick up our newest family member. His name is Henry - short for Henderson #10, which is how he was logged into the rescue system when he was received from the Henderson county sheriff's department.
He is ADORABLE.
Henry, (sometimes I call him Mr. Henderson) is only about 33 inches tall at the shoulder, which means he can just about fit underneath Flash's belly. He was chosen for us by David (Doc) Duncan, who works with the donkeys at PVDR, because of his gentle disposition and cooperative attitude. David took him to a "Mule Days" event last weekend and had him walk in the parade and be part of the "show donkeys" group that the public could pet and handle. Henry did great! For a rescue donkey with an unknown background, it is remarkable that he isn't spooked by anything or anybody. I knew he'd be perfect. I'd love for him to become a therapy donkey one day. (I can dream!)
It was a long day of driving, which ended with an overnight stay in one of our pens for Henry, separated from Flash. In the morning, they were introduced with a fence between them, which was a good way to size each other up and get those first sniffs in.
Now, the first couple of days have been a little bit rocky. but that's to be expected. Once Henry was let out of the pen, the posturing and equine bravado took over.... for Flash, that is. Henry could care less about having another donkey around, he's so chill. Flash is the one who will have to adjust! Ears back, pretending to charge, bucking, he's making sure Henry knows who's the boss of this place. None of it has been too serious, except the solid bite Henry gave Flash to tell him to back off. Flash and Henry just need to figure out their respective roles and they'll be best buds in no time.
Flash also needs reassurance that everything's going to be okay. Trust us, Flashy. You'll be friends in no time. And don't worry, you're still our favorite, no matter how cute and widdo he is.
Flash is going to be so happy to have a companion again. Already, I can tell there is a spring in his step and a spark in his eye. Everyone needs a friend, and donkeys are no exception. If he will just give the new guy some time to fit in, it will work out beautifully.
If you are interested in adopting a donkey, check out Peacful Valley Donkey Rescue. With satellite facilities in 21 states, you can find a perfect long-eared friend who needs a permanent home. Donkeys are wonderful companion pets who are entertaining, gentle and soulful. And maybe even a bit contemplative. You can decide for yourself, when you bring one home.
Have you ever brought home a new pet and found that your "old" pet had opinions about the new guy? How did you resolve it? Do your animals get along? How long does it take for animals to accept each other? I'd love to hear your story.