I would like to tell you a story about a donkey that came into our lives because his owner was closing out her herd and decided that this is where Micah and his stable friend, Justice, would come to live out their lives…much to our excitement.
Micah is a Mammoth donkey, and the heart in this guy is such that a person is drawn right into his life. You would never deny his magnetic pull. You just have to love him.
Shortly after his move to our farm, he had a huge fan club started, just walking near his stall, you are drawn. So we decided to put his training to cart into the front of his daily work. He is so broke that his previous owner tells us of many trail rides and experiences she had with this guy. We find that she did a wonderful job as he is the most confident and safe ride most people have ever had. The surprise is his willingness to keep up with the other equines, he is the one you pick to ride when you want to relax and smell the roses.
The accident............I won’t go into the details as it is so horrendous, the shafts both broke off and his harness held while he tried to run away from it. He only ran about 100 feet, and stopped, the rest will hopefully fade out of my mind as I cannot relive it. The results............both of his back tendons were severed. We were advised to put him down. Oh that is the most horrible news to anyone about one's beloved pet. And believe me, Micah was a pet of superior quality.
My daughter's fiancé at that time told of that happening to his horse and the recovery, "HOPE".... His horse became a champion for the state of Idaho after recovery. "HOPE". We grabbed onto that hope and called the vet and asked for his guidance.
Del Oeste Veterinary Clinic in Eugene Oregon must have healing in their hands as the regimen began at that point. My family is the most supportive family just because I loved this big ol' man; they wanted him to live too.
We had to put over a foot of shavings, close to two feet were put in, he had to be put into a very small trailer like space to keep him from walking on those legs. The days were hot, so we set up a fan that would blow over him, not on him just to discourage flies. That really helped. We had a routine that we used for fly control for his comfort.
Then the daily dressing changes. To watch this every day, pull off the bandages, clean the wounds and they were horrid to see, and then use his meds and the rewrap and this huge donkey not flicking an eyelash. He stood even though he hurt and never even attempted to raise his legs to get away from us. We had to sit on buckets to work on him; he had every chance to "get us". We kept him on pain killers. This routine went on for a bit over eleven months; ultra sounds spaced into his rehab to check on progress were used. Vet could not give any sound hope as it was just touch and go. Then the bed sores… Oh my Lord that was a thing I hadn’t thought of. And there were many, all over him, his eye cages, his head, his knees, legs even on his hips, body everywhere. We would get one on the mend and then a new one would show up. Those had to be kept clean and medicated at all times and they were messy. We bought gloves to keep down there for the barn people to use. Then we got the word to walk him for a couple of minutes in the barn isle. Such a celebration went up in that barn, we began to feel hope. That was every day for a month, and then it went to five minutes in straight lines and wide turns so that his legs didn't have to handle quick turns. Then it was slowly worked up to minute by minute added to his daily routine. Lori, my daughter, had double hip replacements and her therapy was soon up to a two mile walk daily and so she tied both of those together when Micah was given the ordered two mile walk. Rain, or hail, or wind, those two did their walk daily. Neighbors began to stop Lori on the road and ask about their progress, they began to call Micah her little buddy. This went on for the winter and they were, sometimes, soaked to the skin. But the progress began to improve and we were so hopeful.
The final ultrasound gave clearance for a very small rider to walk him a few minutes at a time, we have some of the world's best barn people and everyone took a turn at Micah's rehab.
It was a very long ordeal; I worried that because I wanted him to live so much that I maybe put him through too much. I worried a lot about that. I am not a believer of putting the animal through heroism on my part if the pain is soo great. So many times we went before the Lord in prayer and direction. Many times they fed him by hand as he couldn't get up to eat. That was a most low time for us. His bedsores all healed but the ones on each side, where a person's spur would sit and one on his hip, high on his hip. those have caused people to come to his defense, and I am glad that people ask as it shows that most people are interested in the well being of animals.
Micah went to several shows with us just to get him used to the travel and the activity of a show. He drew crowds as he really loves people. Then we began a whole regimen of increasing the weight on his back and few moments of walking went on for a very long time. That only started when he was most anxious to trot when walking him "in hand" down the road.