Saturday, August 18, 2012

Saturday encore ~ No Burro Left Behind

One year ago today, the Bureau of Land Management came to Albuquerque with a truckload of mustangs and a handful of burros in hopes of finding willing adopters to give all these animals a new home. I wrote about what happened, and it remains one of 
my favorite feel-good happy-ending stories of all time. Happy one-year anniversary, Gracie Belle.


The Bureau of Land Management came to Albuquerque yesterday with 44 mustangs and 5 burros available for adoption. 
Did I go? Hell yes. Did I take the horse trailer? Hell no. I know myself too well.

So I took only my camera and a devious plan. 
If I saw anyone remotely interested, I would extol the benefits of BLM burro adoption 
and try to convince them that they must take one or two home.

Three of the five burros were geldings, aged 2, 4 and 7. 
This guy with the fluffy ears and black muzzle is the 7-year-old. 
All three geldings had been passed by at several previous adoptions, so the opening bid for them was a token $25 instead of the usual $125. That sounded like an invitation to trouble if I've ever heard one. If anyone showed up who looked like they might 
take one home for roping practice, I was prepared to drop my resolve and outbid them.

The other two burros were jennys. This sweet girl is 10.

Would anyone be interested in adopting a 10-year-old burro? I could only hope.

She mothered and comforted the whole herd. Here she is with the 4-year-old gelding, who is blind in his left eye. 
Swell. Now I'm worried that nobody will adopt him either.

I needn't have been.

The auction began with the BLM man asking if anyone was interested in a burro. Hands were raised! 
One woman was quick to adopt a pair - the little half-blind gelding and another gelding to keep him company. 
A gentleman from Los Alamos adopted the 5-year old jenny. 
Another woman adopted the 7-year-old gelding with the black muzzle and fluffy ears. 
And the fifth and final burro, the 10-year-old jenny, was going home to burro heaven on earth...

...Morning Bray Farm. Here is Justina receiving the tag that the BLM man had just removed from the jenny's neck.

Me: Hon', if you knew where you were going, you'd be racing down that alley and into the trailer.

Me: Get used to the camera, sweetheart, this is just the beginning...

Guy in truck next to me: Look at that crazy lady taking pictures. 
Must be some kind of celebrity horse in that trailer up there.

Me: Welcome home, darlin'. I wonder what your name will be?

Justina: Boyz, meet your new sister...Gracie.

Of course they were all smitten. Gracie spent less than five minutes checking them out from her side of the corral 
when she decided enough with the solitary confinement. She calmly climbed between the two pipe rails to be with the boyz 
as Justina and I stood there dumbstruck. I was so stunned, I didn't even take a picture.

She walked around introducing herself and letting each and every one of them know she was in charge.

Nigel was in awe over her beauty.

Gracie: I think I'm going to like it here.

Nigel: I think this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Hearts that are broken by the passing of a beloved animal are not easy to mend, 
but getting them pumping again with another animal to love is a place to start.

A few have you have contacted me about the pendant above. It came from here.


  1. Thanks for reposting; I think I enjoyed it even more this time. Have a great weekend!

  2. Over the last six months, I've read this post at least ten times. I never get tired of the story.

  3. IMO I really think this world needs more "and they lived happily ever after stories"!!!!!

  4. Yes, thank you for reposting this story! It brought me a chuckle this morning!

  5. Dumb question here from a dog person who knows nothing about equines... I'm interested in the black stripes on the gray burros. It looks like the stripe from the mane runs down the back and into the tail. Can burros raise their "hackles" like a dog, and does the black stripe serve to intensify the message? What about the lines running vertically down from the main stripe in the shoulder area? I'm curious if that serves some natural purpose like some markings on animals do. Love this post with the happy ending!

  6. This has to be my favorite post. I love "burro heaven on earth...", it brings tears to my eyes every time. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Estella from Co.8/18/12, 9:32 AM

    With smile on my face the tears flow, AGAIN. LOVE HAPPY ENDINGS Hugs to all

  8. Thank you for rerunning it for those us too lazy to start from the beginning.

  9. This post is such a sweet one. I always shed tears and smile til it hurts.
    Thanks for this lovely stroll down memory lane. Loved it. Oma Linda

  10. crap, now I'm crying.
    but thank you for this story.