Friday, October 31, 2014

Animals alone

On the way to Riley's farm, Bob and I pass a small barn with a solitary donkey. We often find him peering out of the walk-in shed, a little gray face against the dark. He looks adorable.

He looks adorable, but Bob is always angry when he sees the donkey.

"Don't they realize that donkey needs a mate? These animals are social -- they're meant to be in a HERD! It makes me so sad to see that."

While the donkey looks well cared-for, and he is not visibly stressed, I feel is right. I imagine the donkey is in the equivalent of solitary confinement, or stranded on a desert island. And he might  live out his life this way.  I do think that interspecies socializing can be a reasonable substitute -- goats and cats are often friends with racehorses and stallions. I never see any other animal, human or otherwise, out with this donkey.

I hope that I'm anthropomorphizing the situation, and that this donkey is not lonely. But imagine if Bob is right. What a sad situation.


  1. Perhaps his "friend" passed away. I have an 18 year old OTTB who now lives alone because my aged mare passed away at 32. I will get another one eventually, but he doesn't seem too phased by his life. He is well cared for, and loved. As I am sure this donkey is (he looks it anyway). You never know someones life circumstances.

  2. Hi, That is not a picture of the actual donkey, but the actual donkey does look well cared-for and he does not appear unhappy. It's just the image of a solitary animal goes against what we know is their natural state. I agree that I have run across animals that really don't mind being alone, and may even prefer it.

  3. Maybe he does have a kittypal or something in his shelter? Hope he has a shelter....

  4. My appaloosa mare prefered to be alone. Even when turned out with a herd I would always find her off in a corner somewhere happily grazing away. She happily came into an empty barn for grooming, and we went on many solo trail riding adventures. I really appreciated that I could point her in any direction and she would go. My new mare is much more easily attached, even when trailered somewhere with a horse she has never met before she becomes instantly attached to them. If she starts out at a show alone she does fine, but even if I am in the warm up ring with one other horse and they leave she gets upset.

    Some horses love company, and some do fine alone. Also, is it possible that this donkey is a jack? Jacks can be very aggressive.


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