Tuesday, November 29, 2011

New Family Members

Over the Thanksgiving break the Epic family added another dog, a horse and a donkey. A treadmill, too, but we won't count it. Mr. Epic and I grew up around horses, but it's been many, many, many (you get the idea) years since we had one as part of our daily lives.

Oh, my. Jerry Sheldon (Epic horse) has lived his entire life in a suburban area boarding environment, surrounded by other horses, and not a great deal of open space. When he arrived and saw all of the "outside," and no equine companionship, he had a horsey melt down. He's a big boy, and one broken lead rope and another broken halter later, I decided he was going to have to have a four-legged best friend.

Did you know there are people GIVING AWAY donkeys? Seriously-go look on craigslist. And if you get one from the West Equine Rescue (I believe they work in conjunction with the Humane Society of North Texas), a lovely lady and her two friends will deliver it to you. It's good form to give them a donation. They have horses, too.

Anyway-on Sunday Tom Leonard (Epic donkey) arrived. He's eight months old, and 350 pounds of adorable. He had never had a halter on before, and it took three of us to drag/push/pull him into the barn. Fifteen minutes, and ten horse cookies later, he was leading around the paddock like he'd been doing it his whole life. Who doesn't love cookies!

Then it was time for introductions. Much over the stall door sniffing ensued, followed by a full paddock meeting. All went well until Jerry Sheldon (16+ hands, 1300+ pounds) decided to get pushy. Tom Leonard doesn't appreciate pushy. He kicked Jerry Sheldon. Twice. Jerry Sheldon decided to be the bigger equine and act civil. For now. I'm pretty sure he's going to get kicked every time he decides to try to get bossy.

Last night second Epic dog made the mistake of running up behind Tom Leonard in the paddock. I've never heard a dog make the sounds she made while scrambling for her life. Those stories about donkeys keeping coyotes away from herd animals-they're all true. That was one little ball of four-legged grey fury. And he was going to kill himself a dog. Fortunately for her, he couldn't get under the fence.

There's a new boss on the Epic farm. His name is Tom Leonard. He can be bribed with cookies.