Pet of the Day

March 24, 2002

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Bailey, the Pet of the Day
Name: Bailey
Age: Four years old
Gender: Female
Kind: Standard Donkey
Home: Davis, California, USA
   Bailey's mother was a feral donkey. She was captured by the Bureau of Land Management in 1997, and adopted by a family who did not realize she was pregnant. So Bailey was born in captivity and has no idea that she could have been a wild donkey! I bought Bailey seven months ago. She was friendly and trained to be led with a halter and tied up for grooming. It took me about three months of daily work to train her for riding. Sometimes it takes a long time to explain something to a donkey, but once it understands what you want it will try to please you (if it likes you!).

    I board Bailey at a barn full of horses. At first they were afraid of her, but now they all think she's cute. We go trail riding almost every day that it isn't raining. She wears rubber boots to protect her feet from rocks. Bailey is very brave - she crosses railroad tracks and bridges, and walks through freeway underpasses, and sometimes has to pass very scary-looking farm machinery. One day I strapped sandwich board signs on her, and tied two teddy bears on her back, and we went to cheer for a friend of mine in a running race. All the runners waved and clapped to see a donkey on the sidelines!

    People think that donkeys are stubborn, but they are just cautious. They are too smart to go somewhere they think is dangerous just because a person tells them to. It takes time to get a donkey to trust you. The most important thing you need to train a donkey is a good sense of humor, so you can laugh instead of getting mad.

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