Monday, August 10, 2009

Pokey Donkey

Pokey's story!
He was purchased at an auction by a man who wanted Pokey to protect his goats. I don't know which he put in the pasture first but Pokey didn't want the goats in his pasture and he did kill a goat, so they say. I don't know the whole story. It makes me question it though. Donkeys do protect area but usually from dogs, coyotes, fox and I have seen them chase cats.

Pokey's owner was taking him to that auction and was really angry at him. A caring neighbor, Carol, found out and bought Pokey from the man but had nowhere to put him so she called around and put some ads out thinking it would take a day or two to find him a new home but it didn't bring any takers. A week went by, now the previous owner again was going to give the nice neighbor, Carol, her money back, since Pokey was still in his possession, and take Pokey to the auction. Carol frantically made phone calls and happened upon Save The Horses. I said I would take him but couldn't move him that quickly. She found someone who was going to pick him up and take him that evening and keep him for a few days until I could make arrangements. We all breathed a sign of relief. Well, during this time, the trailer man moving Pokey had a heart attack. Pokey was still with his owner who didn't want him but he missed the auction that night, waiting for the man who never showed up. Carol persuaded him to keep Pokey until Saturday, the latest. I told Carol we will get him, I promised. I posted for help on our volunteer group. Abby, a wonderful volunteer who has adopted horses from Save The Horses, came to the rescue. She generously agreed to drive 2-3 hours to transport Pokey to the rescue farm on Saturday after working all day. She got to Carol's that evening but it was too late to pick up Pokey because the owner was a drunken condition. Abby, along with her traveling companion Great Dane, spent the night at Carols. In the morning they went to get Pokey.

The owners never haltered him and were proud they managed to get a halter on him themselves. They didn't know if he lead or not. I presume they moved him around like cattle with a prod to move him into or out of a pasture. The owner took a bucket of grain and made a trail of grain from Pokey's feet to the inside of the trailer. Pokey got right in following the tasty trail and the shut the door and brought him here. How would we get him out and did he lead was the next challenge who faced. Abby and I opened the door, she attached a lead rope to the halter already on him. Out came Pokey just cooperating all the while. He looked around curiously as we walked into the big barn and put him in a stall.

He lived here a few years without any problem so I didn't have him gelded. I don't breed animals but I had a bad experience gelding a 7 year old Donkey named Don Juan a few years back. The vet did the procedure here at the farm under an injected anesthetic. I have had many horses gelded and it didn't seem much different. He did have to use more than usual dose for a donkey to get down enough to be sedated. It went well until he tried to wake Don Juan up. It took a good 90 minutes of yelling, pulling, slapping and more. It was hard to watch and all I could do was pray he would wake up. He ended up fine and was adopted. I have put off gelding Pokey because of that. He was never interested in mares but I recently acquired 2 mules and Cupid has struck his arrow in their hearts. Kit and Roady, the mules, love Pokey and he would love to love them but...It isn't happening at this farm! So I found a foster home for Pokey near by. He was fine until he grabbed their old dog. No one was hurt but we don't need the foster homes old dog hurt. I went and brought Pokey back to the farm and I am keeping him away from the 'girls'. It is not an idea situation for him because he likes to be out in a pasture, now he goes from stall to small paddock.

I just spoke to Dr Wayne Waguespack at Auburn University. He said they can geld Pokey with an inhaled anesthetic and in a sterile environment very safely. The usual geldings cost about $160 but Pokey will be an estimate of $500-700. Pokey is worth it for sure. Maybe to some people, they think it is crazy but to me and all here at the rescue, we think it is a small price to pay for Pokey, for his life, his safety and his future.

Pokey is home and happy. he is settling in to his now live as a gelding. Hopefully we can soon put him out with other geldings. His surgery came up to over $800. because they had to use more anesthetic than they originally thought. I am glad he had surgery at a hospital instead of here at the farm. No more worries!