He's a Donkey Doodle Dan-dy,
A Don-key Doodle, do or die.
A real live burro who's a fan of lambs,
He's got two Donkey Doodle sweethearts,
They're his Donkey Doodle joy.
Donkey Doodle came to Susan's just to be Bear's buddy,
He is our Donkey Doodle Boy!
"I can't remember what year we got Dan," I said to Joe this morning.
"It was when you were supposed to be finding us a couple of steers and bought a donkey instead."
"Oh, right. That would be the first part of 2004." (And I did eventually find us two 500-pound Angus steers, which we grass fed on our organic pastures for a year until they weighed over 1,000 pounds each, and then filled our freezer and a customer's with tender and flavorful beef.)
Before Donkey Doodle Dandy came to live with us (you can read about how that happened in The Tail of a Donkey and His Ratty Blue Halter), I didn't know anything about donkeys, so I had no idea if bonding with a stock dog was something a donkey would normally do. Then I learned that Dan had grown up with 13 hounds. He was constantly trying to get Bear to play with him, and my first Donkey Doodle Dandy photo file is actually called 'Dan and dogs' because so many pictures of him also included one of the dogs. He loved dog food, which of course is very bad for him since he's a vegetarian, but the guy will still go to amazing lengths to try and get some.
Dan didn't really come to our farm just to be Bear's buddy, and after a few years I decided he needed a girlfriend. Eventually I found him two girlfriends (that's a story that still needs to be written down). My fears that Dan might not realize he was actually a donkey and not a dog—and therefore not know exactly what to do with his new girlfriends—vanished about three seconds after Dolores and Daphne were unloaded from the trailer.
Dan knows he is a donkey, and his biggest goal in life is to increase the world's population of donkeys. Our current donkey count here on the farm is five, with at least one more on the way, and since that's pretty much our limit, Dan has spent the past year living separately (except when he jumps over fences) from The Donkettes, keeping busy hanging out with the sheep, letting out lovesick brays, and reprising his role as Uncle Dan.
Plans are in the works to get Dan fixed soon, so that he can be permanently reunited with the girls. Once that ordeal is over, we will all be a whole lot happier (and calmer).
Dan doesn't pay much attention to Bear anymore (and he's never shared his treats with another lamb since Cary, as evidenced here), but these pictures, taken back during the glory days of the ratty blue halter, will always make me smile.
I never imagined having donkeys before Donkey Doodle Dandy, but now I can't imagine life without them.
Want to get to know Dan better? You'll find links to lots more photos of him here.
© FarmgirlFare.com, the red white and woolly foodie farm blog where we may be a day late, but we're definitely not a donkey short. And as for what purpose our donkeys serve here on the farm (which is one of my most frequently asked farmgirl questions), they're pretty much just loving, cute pets with priceless entertainment value. I highly recommend getting yourself one—or several.