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And then there is Wendall



His story is much the same as his friend Wally. But poor Wendall is really afraid of just about everything and everyone with the exception of his smaller buddy Wally.


I am very sure that Wendall has been tackled and grabbed for anything that needed to be done with him from catching to haltering to even being touched.  He constantly hides behind Wally when we go in the stall with them. We must reach over Wally to pet Wendall.  Yes, he was difficult for the farrier. This guy is also under one year of age and it is very clear that no one has ever done anything positive with him. He is really frightened when we halter him, and is ear shy as well. I suspect that someone has restrained this baby by grabbing and holding him down by his ears. Donkey youngsters do NOT normally respond to people the way Wendall does. He is NOT aggressive in any way but avoids us if possible. Even though Wally and Wendall were consigned by the same trader I doubt that they both originated at the same place. Their confidence level is so very different.


Oh how much less difficult it would be for us in the business of rescuing donkeys that their previous owners did NOTHING with them at all instead of using brute force on them! And how I wish there 10 of me.


***Update January 30, 2012***
Well, Wendell has been with us now for about four weeks and has made great progress. When Wendell first came to stay with us he had to drag a 10 foot lead with him everywhere he went so that I had something to get hold of first and then work my way up to him whenever I wanted to work with him. Now he has attached to his halter a 2 foot "handle", just enough so that I can reach under his chin and have something to get hold of, he will still take a step or two backward or start to turn away when approached but is coming along nicely in that respect.


 My saving grace has been the fact that Wendell absolutely loves his grain and cannot resist it which has been a huge blessing for me to get him to start coming up to me instead of me going to him. I started holding his grain pan and making him come to me to eat his grain on about his third or fourth day with us, this took all the courage he could muster and any movement of even my little finger would send him backward 3 or 4 steps, but after about 3 days of that twice a day it became old hat to Wendell. The next step was asking Wendell to eat grain from my hand which again took alot of courage on his part but again, he just couldn't resist his grain. Wendell now will walk up to me when he sees the grain scoop and eats grain faster out of my hand than I can pour it into my hand.


Wendell carrying around his inner tube



Wendell has discovered how much fun toys can be and plays with just about anything I give him, however an old inner tube from our lawn tractor and an old sweatshirt seem to be his absolute favorites he tosses them into the air, and plays tug of war with Tom.



About a week after Wendell came to us my husband had finished chores ( everyone was belly up to the salad bar), and my husband walked past Wendell with his head in the hay feeder and said, " hey Wendell how's it goin?", he said Wendell jumped back so quickly he thought he might go right through the barn roof! Last week, after all the rain and thunder we had (in January) we had some standing water in the pasture which had frozen and when Wendell tried to walk across to get his yellow toy tub the ice is started making a horrible cracking noise under him and up went the tail and the front feet, he spun around on his back feet and didn't quit running till he was back in the barn! Only after he figured he was safe did he poke his head out to assess the situation and try to figure out what just happened.


Tom and Wendell are beginning to play together more and more, Tom and Jane seem to love bright colored anything that they can carry around so I have bought from the local farm store two kind of floppy plastic tubs that have handles sticking up from the top of them that I use to put all their toys in and they all love to carry those around after they have taken all the toys out and scattered them around the pasture, (it's alot like picking up after the children, I pick them up they scatter them around). Well, Tom was carrying the very bright yellow tub around the other day and decided he wanted Wendell to join in, well Wendell wasn't quite sure about the whole being chased and beaten about the head by that bright yellow tub, but he did so want to play with Tom so once again he mustered up all the courage he could and hung in their running with Tom in the pasture and at least tried to have a good time until Tom finally dropped the tub. Wendell is really a very sweet donkey who wants to be brave and have fun but has a few issues from his past we have to help him through.


**UPDATE 6-29-12*** 


A good news update for our cowardly Wendall !!!
 Patience and persistence pays off.

Great job foster mom Marcy!



Mark the day!!!!  June 29, 2012,  to be the day that Wendell found his courage!!!  Hooray!!!   I think someone kidnapped my old Wendell and left me this Wendell that likes people, and likes to be touched and brushed!!!  WOW!!!  Totally different donkey!  The new and improved Wendell will now let me walk right up to him give him peppermint and reach out and take hold of his handle, (which by the way I think we will be losing very soon),  I just want to make sure he isn't just
having a heat stroke or something first.  LOL!!  I'm so happy for Wendell.




****UPDATE OCT 12, 2012****

From Marcy Smoker.....




Well, our little bundle of nerves, Wendell,  has been with us now for 10 months and has come along a lot further than I thought he would.  When Wendell first came to us he was dragging a 10 foot lead rope every where he went and if we were lucky enough to step on the very end of the rope before he turned and went the other way we could catch him.  Wendell didn't care  to be touched at all and would flinch and move away if you attempted to touch him,  I was sure he would only ever be a pasture companion for another equine as that is who he stuck closest to and was most comfortable with and would do his best to keep the other donkeys between him and anyone trying to get close to him.   


Well, Wendell began to prove me wrong,  I  made Wendell eat his grain for the first few weeks from a dish that I held in my hands and any movement of my fingers would cause him to leave his dish of grain and stand back and watch me for a minute, but Wendell loves his grain and would always muster up enough courage to give it one more try.   As the months went on, he was able to lose his 10 foot lead and had only a 10-12inch long "handle" because by this time he has learned what treats were and decided in order to get those he had to let me get close to him, at this time he still didn't really want to be touched but would allow his head and neck to be scratched. 


On April 28th Wendell witnessed the birth of a new cousin Sidney whom had apparently adopted Wendell as her Mommy, by the time I discovered the new arrival, and Wendell seemed Okay with that, they were trotting around the pasture together early that Saturday morning,  maybe Sidneys' arrival helped Wendell turn the corner. 


Wendell  is extremely curious and if the other donkeys are gathered around me he can't help but wiggle his way through them to see what's going on, and when I am working with one donkey Wendell is always right there being very observant as to what is happening. 


Then on June 28,  Wendell apparently woke up and decided this would be the day he was going to allow me to walk right up to him and scratch him!  Not just on the head and neck, but anywhere I wanted, still quite tense, but standing still and allowing me to scratch until I decided to stop!  That was amazing and the breakthrough we had been waiting for.  Then on August 1, the farrier came to do Wendell's second hoof trimming since he came to the rescue, the front feet were perfect and the back feet just took a couple minutes of practice picking them up and putting them down with a lead rope and they were also done with very little fuss, great job Wendell! 


 Now, Wendell still is not crazy about people approaching him, he likes to have control over that, however if you go slow and reassure him with your voice he now will stand still while you approach and absolutely loves to be scratched!  About 2 weeks ago I was out with the donkeys taking some pictures when I felt something on my right shoulder,  when I turned my head all I could see was Wendells' big nose resting on my shoulder, my you have come a long way buddy!



Wendell is in foster care with Marcy Smoker. You can contact her at
517-673-5509 or





Wendall enjoying a much needed rest upon
arriving at the rescue!






***UPDATED PHOTOS 2-23-12***


TPDR Wendall in foreground and his best friend Tom in the background



TPDR Wendall in foreground and his best friend Tom in the background




***UPDATED PHOTOS 10-12-2012***











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