Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Love At First Sight

Being that this is my first post of the new year, I should probably write some profound statement about all the resolutions I have made to ensure that 2008 is the best year yet. There should be resolve to be neater, to be more organized, to exercise more, to eat healthy, to be a better mother, to be a better teacher, and so on. But, I am not one to make New Year's resolutions. My philosophy is to live each day to its fullest. In doing this, none of those resolutions are necessary. Living one day to its fullest may mean a five mile jog followed by a nice green salad and cleaning the bathroom. The potential of another day may best be realized in chocolate cake for breakfast (with a diet Coke, of course) and laying on the coach all day doing crossword puzzles and reading magazines about how one could eat more healthy and be more organized if one really wanted so to do .

Part of living today, January 2, 2008, to its fullest meant considering a friend for our llama, Serena. Until recently, she shared a pasture with two sheep. Sadly, we lost the sheep during the fall. Because llamas are pack animals, she really needs to have a pasture mate. This does not have to be another llama; it just needs to be someone with whom she gets along. After doing some research, we decided that perhaps a donkey would be a good friend for Serena. As it turns out, the family of a friend of ours raises miniature donkeys. We went to look at them today. That is where the love at first sight thing come into play.

How can anyone resist this beautiful creature?

When we entered the pen, the entire herd of donkeys came to greet us, much in the same way the dogs congregate at our feet for attention. In fact, this gal was laying in the dirt possibly pretending that she was a dog.

These critters have great personalities. They each have their own identities. And, they are extremely intelligent. I wandered through the pasture for an hour in awe of the essence of life that they exhibited.

I'm sure this one was saying, "I don't want to live in the wild or anything, but how do you think I look with antlers? Perhaps I could be a deer for next Halloween??"

This one borrowed BK's cane to try his hand, or is that hoof, at a little soft shoe.

After we oohed and aahed at all of the beautiful animals, we spent some time with the one we actually came to see. He is a baby jack who was born on September 8th. Not yet weaned, he is never too far from his mama. He is being sold as "pet quality" rather than show or breeding stock because of his coloring.

See that precious little face on the left? He will soon be our baby! Notice that he has a dark nose rather than the characteristic white muzzle that you expect on a donkey. But he is sooo cute! His mama, who is looking on, agrees with me whole-heartedly.

Here is baby's front side and mama's back side. (The stripes are not their attempt to work on a zebra costume for Halloween; they are the result of bad positioning of the photographer and a barbed wire fence.)

Like llamas, donkeys are also herd animals. They are usually sold in pairs. You mean we HAVE to have more than one? What a shame. With twenty faces like these looking at us, they become like Riffles potato chips . . .Nobody can have just one.

At this point, we have only committed to purchasing the little dark nosed male. When he is ready to leave his mama in a month or two, we may have to bring another one with us. For now, I will just stare at the pictures and remember what love at first sight feels like.

As I begin 2008, we welcome a new four-legged member into our family. This year is off to a great start. In approaching each day with the intention of living it to its fullest, I trust that all shall be well.

May each day of 2008 be a day that you remember and cherish.