A close friend bought one. We saw it. Then, of course, we had to have one. We bought our first miniature donkey from some people who have since become dear friends. The donkey’s name was Ellie, “Sunrise Mountain Ellie.” She was just 5-6 months old and so adorable! Our new friends had been preparing Ellie to show at the State Fair in Dallas, Texas. Since they had been getting her ready to show and had already paid the entry fees, they encouraged me to go ahead and show her. They said I had “nothing to lose.” I had never handled a mini donkey and had no idea what I was getting myself into. Ignorance is bliss. I decided to go ahead and do it. After all, I had nothing to lose!
Our friends agreed to help get the donkey and me ready to show, but their help was limited due to the distance between our homes. All this stuff was new to my husband and me so we had to “wing it” to some extent. We bought some clippers and did Ellie’s grooming ourselves. Not too bad a job, if I do say so myself. The day before we had to leave for the show, I took Ellie into my husband’s shower. (He wasn’t home at the time.) Getting the mini donkey through the door of the house and into the shower took all the energy I could muster. (Yes, it was just like the cartoons.) But, I still had to bathe her. After all, I’d come this far; I had to finish the job. It was hilarious I’m sure. Good thing nobody was watching.
When it came time to leave for the show, we loaded Ellie up in the back of our Suburban. (As I said, we weren’t really prepared for all of this.) By the time we got to Dallas with the donkey, it was starting to be difficult to breathe in the Suburban. But we made it! There we were, getting ready to show our first miniature donkey at the State Fair of Texas. It just seemed so surreal.
On the day of the show we got up early, went to the barn, cleaned all the poop out of Ellie’s freshly bathed hair, and got ready to go into the show ring. I kept repeating to myself, “you’ve got nothing to lose.” Ellie and I went into the ring. The other mini donkeys that went into the ring with us were very well behaved donkeys. Ellie, not so much. I’m sure it had nothing to do with her handler. I couldn’t keep her feet on the ground. She kept raring up. At that time I was thinking I had nothing to lose – but my dignity!
Finally, after what seemed like forever, the judge called us out of the line-up. I wasn’t sure what I had done wrong. Much to my surprise, it turns out we had won fourth place! Some people don’t look at fourth place as a “win” but they are wrong!
Breeding and raising mini donkeys in our Lil’ Bit O’ Texas since 1996.