Sunday, September 23, 2012

Toby's Scary Early Morning Disappearance in the Dark in Coyote Land & His Joyful Return & More at the Lazy Vegan!

There's nothing like munching on hay!
I spent the week obsessing about my donkeys getting fat, but all that worrying when away when we got something to really worry about in the wee hours of the morning on Saturday...Toby disappeared into the dark and was gone for over an hour!  This has never happened before in all of his fourteen years.  The dogs always wake up between 4:30 - 5:30 a.m. (charming Bravo is usually the first to make noise!).  On this morning, Toby was still fast asleep and was even dreaming - his little paws were moving like he was running, something I've never seen him do before.  I thought it was cute, but I should have realized that he was still not quite awake and was disoriented when I took him outside without a leash.  Bravo always goes on a leash because he'll just take off if he feels like it - but Toby always does his biz right close to home and then goes back inside.  At any rate, he didn't this morning...he wandered out by the back cabin and I lost track of him, so I took Bravo back into the house first and then went back to look for Toby.  I heard a lot of rustling in leaves but couldn't see - so back indoors I went for a flashlight.  When I returned, I heard more rustling and then nothing.  NOTHING! I had a bad feeling about it - it didn't feel like Toby was there!!  So I immediately woke up the foreman and we spent the next hour frantically hiking around the big acreage next to us with flashlights, under barbed wire fences and through the woods, up the big hill, etc. - the foreman even took a few minutes to drive down our road to look for him. It obviously doesn't help that Toby is deaf - sometimes he will respond to a loud clap, so I would clap every once in a while.  The cabin backs up to what we call the "creepy coyote area" - a watershed canyon with trails that go up onto a ridge that the coyotes definitely travel on. It is an area that I don't get a good vibe from, so I've never put the critter cam there. Toby had gone by the same spot, in fact, where one of our hens was eaten years ago.  I started to get that dreaded feeling that a coyote had taken Toby, and the foreman echoed that same awful thought...but then, just as it was starting to get light, the foreman saw something white move on the ridge and heard a faint yip!  He said Toby looked really scared when he came upon him and looked confused, and like he was going to run away - so he charged after him and scooped him up.  It was such a relief to hear him yell "I got him!"  OMG!!!  I feel like we got a second chance with the little guy - and I'm not being dramatic; coyotes can and DO take small dogs!  Poor Toby was covered in burrs and I had to give him a drastic haircut to get them all out.  Then he had a bath and lots of treats and hugs.  And from now on...leashes on at dawn and dusk, no exceptions!!!!  
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO DREW THIS WEEK!!!!  Can't believe all my nephews are growing up so fast.  
I think I used this same photo for Drew's birthday last year...but I love it!  Taking a bath in Grandma Snap's sink!

Toby After His Scary Disappearance!

All cleaned up and tuckered out - napping with a heating pad!

I would have had a hard time getting over it if something horrible had happened to my little Toby!!
Buck Stops to Listen!

The foreman tackled a big project of replacing rotting boards on front of the house this weekend!

I had to cut all of Toby's eyebrows off - they were covered with tiny burrs!

He really did seem very happy to be back safe at home...with his ball!
He didn't even really mind the dreaded bath time!

With "Porker Paco" (hee, hee...but Paco is the fatter of the two donks!).
I find myself eyeballing every tiny bump and lump on the donkeys now.  Really, I need to give it a rest - the foreman pointed out that it will probably take six months to a year for the weight to come off.

Donkeys Play Before Dinner!

Hanging out waiting for hay to arrive!

The foreman cooks!
The hay muncher again!
Karina came by for a visit!
This was before Toby's big adventure.

Bravo on the look out.

Love these photos of Luigi helping himself to a butt scratch!

Paco helps clean!

So upset was I by the donkey's weight gain, I decided to pay a visit to the Honkey Donkey farm so I could check out the weight of the older donkeys there...
It is always dangerous to stop there, because I immediately want to take home a baby donkey!
The adult donkeys were definitely large, but much shorter than Paco and Luigi.  I like that our donks are actually taller.

Young baby followed her mama everywhere!

Two Short Bunny Videos, Below!

Bun on the run!
Busy creatures!

The boys still look pretty good to the untrained eye - and I love that they are active!

It is so great to see them run and play.  We want to expand their area soon - but fencing is so expensive.

Amazing butterfly shot the foreman took with his iPhone!
I read online how donkeys like hula hoops...well, our donks pretty much ignored it!

Check it out...Weegie and I have the same hair color!  In the photo above, that's his tail mixed in with my hair!

The boys spend hours with this old fallen tree.

One foggy morning the donkeys were playing when suddenly a fox ran across our driveway, followed by a coyote, followed by a fox!!

And it was the biggest coyote we have seen so far...I got a photo (above and below) of the coyote but not of the foxes.  This was before Toby went missing, so I was of course super uptight about the big coyote out there...

Weegie stayed on "coyote patrol" while Paco decided to take a dust bath!
Paco is just so silly!

I love taking photos of salads!
Dramatic roll over!

Heading upstairs!
One spoiled little rabbit!
The donkeys are happy, I think, despite being on a diet!

Finally, hay!
Aerial views of the roundness...Luigi above, Paco below...this way I can take another photo in six months and compare!

Snap and I went to the open house at Brighthaven Animal Sanctuary ( http://brighthaven.org/ ) and I was so impressed...these people have dedicated their lives (and their home) to the care of neglected and elderly/handicapped animals...tons of cats, dogs in wheelchairs, a goose, horses and a donkey and a goat! The donkey above bonded with a horse who is very protective.

I think this dog was named Bailey.
The living room - where cats were all over the place.  In fact, there were nooks and crannies everywhere for cats to lounge (Snap was amazing because she is allergic to cats - but she hung in there for the whole tour!).

In the office space where a cat lounged on the desk while a dog named Hope sat in her bed below.
This is the sanctuary we were trying to move Jennie the horse to - but of course she refused to leave her home!

Some of the other horses.  I may take a Reiki for animals workshop there some day.

And that's it for this week!