Saturday, August 03, 2013

Donkey hiking

This afternoon we finally, for the very first time, took the donkeys out to the forest to see how they'd do.  They loaded right up, but Bob refused to be shut in a divider.  Okay, no biggie.

We got there and unloaded and Bob was soaked with sweat.  Poor guy did not like the trailer ride.  From then on we had a great time, except for one part where I nearly had a heart attack.

First though, we ran into a creeping carpet of ladybugs

We headed on down the trail, through the old mining area.  Same place I rode Scout last.  Then the dogs ran too far off trail and we called them back.  But Blue wasn't with them and I heard a strange distant yip.  I am SO glad he called for help.  He wasn't distant, he had fallen in a hole.  I was thinking he might have been caught in one of those horrible old wolf traps.  Thankfully it wasn't that.  I was hurrying to tie Pedro to a tree when Katia said, "Hurry up, he could die here."  He had fallen in an old well and she was afraid he was going to fall farther in.  Together it was no trouble to pull Blue out of there, but I tell you the few seconds it took me to get there aged me a few years.  I don't think he was really in danger of dying, so long as we found him.  He would have hit water and floated.  But if  he hadn't yipped and we hadn't found him we never would have known why our dog disappeared.
 Isn't it supposed to be Lassie saving Timmy from the well?

Pedro waiting patiently during the rescue operation:

 All three dogs, happy and well behaved on the trail:

Bob placed his feet very carefully around obstacles:

I wasn't sure they'd think they could cross this log, but they did great!

Huckleberry loves to lay in the water when he gets a chance:

Hard to see, but here's Pedro crossing the creek.  The first time over, on a narrower section, he leapt right into the creek, but after that he crossed in a more conventional manner.

But he's not afraid of going the unconventional way if it will keep his feet dry.

Bob was none too sure about this wide crossing at first.

He just needed time to think, and to get tired of standing there.

We had a pretty tough time getting Bob back into the trailer.  He wasn't going to do it, and he was really scared.  I tied him so he was in position to load and let him think about it, thinking he'd go in on his own, but he just stood there with a lot of tension on the rope and pretty much mentally checked out.  I tried a butt rope, and that was not a good idea.  He set back against it and was obviously very scared by it.  I tried waving a plastic bag in the air.  Not scary enough.  I finally got the lunge whip out, worried he'd be afraid of it, but he wasn't.  A rhythmic tapping on his hiney, with well timed releases for the tiniest try, and he eventually stepped in.  I gave him a jackpot of treats.  When we got home, poor Bob's whole body was shaking for a little while.  Either I need to leave Bob home next time (which is seriously tempting because he's so slow) or do a lot of positive trailer training.

Pedro enjoyed himself quite a bit though, and I think he'll have no problem keeping up with Scout on the trail. One of these days we're going to have a big adventure!


Snipe said...

Bob is such a cutie. Any idea how old he is?

Andrea -Mustang Saga said...

According to the guy I bought him from he's 20, but I think he's much older than that. My guess is 30+.

Snipe said...

He looks like a sweet old man. I love how carefully he places his feet in the photos.

American Girl said...

He IS very cute and sweet-looking.

American Girl said...

He IS very cute and sweet-looking.

arlene said...

I am so glad you saved Blue.

Cindy D. said...

Oh poor Bob, he's probably saying, "Hey lady, this trailer ride is tough on old bones like mine."

Glad you found Blue and saved him. I would have been sick with worry.