Nancy Question- How did you get started rescuing Donkies?
Answer Darci- In 2005 my family moved out to a 6 acre place in Castle Rock (from Denver). I had always dreamed of having horse property, so we made the move. My grandpa had a donkey named Thistle living on his ranch in Silverthorne, CO, so my whole family grew up loving donkeys and all animals!! We all grew up spending our summers in Montana riding horses and being around all kinds of animals. A few months after we moved to Castle Rock, my mom, Jody, wanted my kids and I (Parker 9, Logan 6) to go and check out a donkey shelter in Bennett, CO with her. We all went just to visit and see all the donkeys, and of course, my kids fell in love.
My daughter Logan, who had been horseback riding since she was 4, was especially in love haha. Each of my kids found a baby donkey that they just kind of bonded with, and those two (Tater and Stormy) ended up being best friends and could only be sold together. For weeks after going my kids begged and begged and somehow (my husband was unaware and NOT happy about it haha) we ended up rescuing those two donkeys. The kids and my husband, K.C., spent the summer building a fence so the donkeys could have a pasture, and fixed up the barn.
In September the two arrived and they settled in perfectly, and we all absolutely loved them!!! About two years later, we got a call from a lady who got our name from the rescue, that a trailer full of miniature donkeys had just been rescued from going to slaughter. We went out to see them .. Again not having any intentions of actually getting any.. And ended up rescuing a polka dotted mini named Sparkey and a little white mini named Moe Moe. I, of course, wanted to rescue them and give them the best life possible but I was worried. These two were extremely shy and had been very abused in the past and I want sure if they'd get along with our other two. The day they were suppose to come in February I walked outside and there was two perfect hearts in the snow on my drive way. I still have no idea where they came from.. It was early in the morning and no one had been outside yet, but I took this as a sign that I had made the right decision, and I sure did. It took years for these donkeys to trust us and to accept our trust, but they finally did and it's been the absolute most rewarding feeling and they are all of our best friends now.
Nancy--Question What have you learned from donkies and how are they different from other rescues?
Answer- Darci - These donkeys have been the greatest friends and teachers to both of my kids and have helped them get through some challenging times. They have taught them to be caring, humble, passionate kids, and have taught my husband and I the same things. They saved our relationship, have given me the best companionship I could ever have, and have given all four of us a purpose. To see them all improve and to know that we saved them and gave them a life they deserve is an incredibly special feeling too.
Caring for donkeys is definitely a little different than caring for horses. They are similar, but donkeys do have much different personalities... They definitely require a lot of patience haha!!! They are also pretty picky, and that's not just because mine are spoiled ha! They won't drink dirty water, unless necessary, they have specific taste and won't eat certain hay. It's a bit of a guessing game trying to figure out what they like and what they'll eat. They definitely let you know if they don't like something.
Question Nancy- What is the best thing about being a donkie owner and tell me about their personaities?
Answer Darci-- Best thing about being a donkey owner is being a donkey owner!!! They are the absolute funniest animals, and every moment of being around them is special. They love being in the spot light and are ridiculously smart so they do everything they can to make you laugh and smile. They bring each of us so much happiness everyday. Just watching them and being around them in entertaining!!!
Stormy: Standard size donkey that we got when he was 9 months old. His mom was wild, but he was born at the shelter. He is the leader of our little herd. He is confident and funny and looooves having the attention on him. He can be a little aggressive at times, but I think he gets that way when he feels insecure. He feels and acts best around someone assertive who can help him feel safe and know where he stands. He also can be the sweetest loviest little thing in the whole world!!
Tater: Standard size. Stormy's "brother". He was rounded up on the BLM and was going to be taken to slaughter.. He even has a freeze brand on his neck. He is calm, the sweetest thing in the world, and a little goofy. He always has his tongue sticking out after he gets a treat, and is truly just the sweetest thing you could possibly imagine. He is best friends with all of our donkeys and our dog too!
Sparkey: brown and white polka dotted mini.. We got him when he was 9. Sparkey was one who was on his way to the slaughter house before he was saved. His hooves were so long that they curled all the way up, and he was in terrible shape. He had scars all over him and had been terribly abused in the past. He took the longest to gain trust, but is the sweetest thing in the world. He is a completely independent soul and likes to stick to himself and find a nice sunny spot to just sit in. He still can be a little shy at times but has gotten sooo much better! He has a mind of his own and makes us laugh so hard sometimes. He looooves his treats and used to love to escape and rummage around our house before we got chicken wire on the fences haha!
Moe Moe: got him with Sparkey when he was 6.. Little white mini. He was also being sent to slaughter, and had also been severely abused. He was a breeding stallion before he was rescued and definitely had a chip on his shoulder when we got him. He was a tough boy, but now that he trusts us he's the funniest and sweetest little thing in the world. Whenever you come up to him he sticks his pink nose in your face and loves every moment of the attention!!! He gives Stormy a run for his money sometimes too.. He likes to think he's the real boss underneath it all ha!
Question- Nancy- where did you rescue your donkies and how could others get involved?
Answer Darci- We rescued our donkeys from Longhopes Donkey Shelter in Bennett, CO. The owner, Kathy, is an amazing lady and runs a truly amazing rescue. You can donate to or rescue a donkey from there!!!! Other than that, there are lots of other shelters and rescues and organizations that help to rescue abused and neglected donkeys, and rescue from slaughter as well!!! If you look it up there's lots of places that help donkeys as well as other animals. It's so important that we help them, just as they help us in so many ways!!!! It would be amazing if people donated to Longhopes.. They could use the help and do some really incredible things!!!!!
Question Nancy-- How have these donkies changed your life?
Answer Nancy-- They have so much character and personality and are truly the greatest things that have ever happened to my family. We owe them so much and will give them the best possible life we can for as long as they live.. It's what they deserve. They are such wonderful, funny animals!!!!!! We LOVE them!!!!