My friend Judy came to visit yesterday. Judy and I worked at UCLA for many years and have been friends for a long time. As often happens when things change, we haven't seen each other much since I moved up here. Judy brought the lovely flowers and the book of photos I put in my sidebar. Thank you, Judy, I love your gifts.
Let me tell you about the first part of our day. We started with a hike on our land.
Judy loved the desert landscape, the rock formations and the big sky.
My husband lent her a hat to protect her from the sun. It has been very hot here for November.
Judy has talked about visiting the donkeys at the rescue next door for a long, long time. And we were finally able to make it happen.
The ranch manager let us in the enclosure with the senior and disabled donkeys. Donkeys can live into their 40s and even 50s. Unfortunately, they often sustain severe damage to their hooves because owners don’t have them trimmed. (They will of course be treated after they are rescued, but the damage is sometimes severe. You can see that the light-grey donkey here is walking with difficulty as a result.) They also develop fat deposits from eating too rich a diet and they suffer many other kinds of abuse. My favorite donkey suffered from an eating disorder because she had been starved. It is horrible to imagine how cruel people can be to defenseless animals.
Donkeys are very social animals and they and Judy were soon getting acquainted and having a ball. Look out for that camera, Judy, someone's very interested in it.
I had fun too until this guy gave me a serious tummy butt with his head. I almost went flying. All he wanted was to be petted, but I, feeling a bit fragile, stayed out of his way after that.
Instead, I focused on this gentler donkey. I didn't check to see if a he or a she and it didn't matter, this donkey was so sweet and gentle. Oh, how I love them! These often misunderstood animals are among the best, the brightest, and most loving animals in the world.
Judy soon found this to be true and
the ranch manager surely agrees, as he has perfected the DONKEY HUG! He showed Judy how it's done.
Before we left, I wanted to visit with some of the other animals I knew.
This little pig has grown a bit, I think, since I last saw her. There are several rescued potbellied pigs here.
Last, but not least, here is Julio, my absolute favorite goat. He is such a goat's goat, so personable, always trying to snatch something, if not food, anything goes. He is such a star -- he never met a camera he didn't like. I love him a lot and it was great to see him again.
I am glad we were able to visit the rescue so Judy could meet the donkeys and I could see some of my old friends again.
After our visit to the donkey rescue, we went to town for lunch at a Mexican country restaurant that has really, really good food. And after lunch, we took a spectacular drive up the mountain to visit a very special place. More about that in Part 2, which will follow in a day or two.