Hey, triple-D friends! Welcome back to the mini ranch! Today I’m sharing a part of my life that I don’t talk about much. As you know, I rescue furniture, but you may not know that I am equally passionate about rescuing animals and giving them a forever home where they are loved unconditionally. Today’s post is about a team of mini mules that were in a not-so-good place when I found them. Don’t worry; I promise the ending of this story is like a Hallmark movie.
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Name Reveal | Mini Mules
Meet Jack and Diane… two American mules living in the heartland (of Texas). They were named after the 80s song by John Mellencamp’s hit, Jack and Diane. I bet you have that song stuck in your head now. You are welcome! * cheesy grin
There was no way I could say no. Let me explain.
But I’m Horse Girl
Horses (equines) have been a part of my life since I was a small child. The love between a horse and a girl creates a bond that can never be broken. I have great memories!
Last year we decided to make a big move. We purchased a Ranch Style Home in the country with a small amount of acreage. My senior horse Buddy, who is 38 years old (100+ in human years) is living his best life free to roam on my father in laws ranch in central Texas. My plan after the move was to bring him home with me. I’ve had him for more than half of my life and try to visit as much as I can. But he is too old now to make the long trip in a trailer. I have come to the realization that he will more than likely pass over the rainbow bridge without me living his best life. I’m happy for my friend but miss him terribly. Horse girl for life until now.
I like to call it fate when my dreams come true. I never dreamed that my golden years would look like this.
We gained an amazing old barn when we purchased the property that has a lot of history that dates back to 1939 when the previous owner’s Grandmother used it. It was her homestead.
I can’t stand the thought of leaving it empty, and you know me. I already have plans to restore it. Where there’s a will there’s a way. The barn is usable for now but needs a lot of work to be safe.
I started my initial search for another horse and maybe a donkey. That would be fun, right? And then I discovered rescue ranches. Why did I not know these places existed? I’ve always rescued dogs and cats but never an animal of this size.
The search for my rescue went on and on daily. I found a lot of no-kill ranches, but the adoption fees and requirements seemed ridiculous, in my honest opinion. I would have to go through an inspection. Hey, I get it, they want the animals to be in a safe place, and I applaud them for that, but I think I got this.
The search leads me to good ole Facebook, of all places. Fine-tuning the search in Texas took me to many pages within driving distance, but there was one that stood out. It was a ranch that would take in equines on consignment. People would bring their animals (for whatever reasons) to them to sell, and if they didn’t sell within a specific time frame, well, I can’t even say it out loud.
This is where I found my minis and knew I had to go and get them immediately. After an overnight discussion with my hubby, we loaded up (as we say in Texas) the next day and hit the road. I couldn’t get there fast enough. I had already adopted them both in my mind, no matter what. The minis were coming home.
A Sad Sight
It was a 3-hour drive, one way to get there. Once we arrived, my heart sank. So many animals (horses, donkeys, mules, and even a mini long horn) stuffed in pens together. Some were sick and lying down, with matted eyes, coughing… how does this happen??? I wished I had taken pictures.
There were several more people with trailers there picking up animals that same day. I spoke to one man that was there with his wife. He said she comes here often for rescues. She buys them, gives them medical care, and tries to find them good homes. There are many good people out there but not enough to provide them with all the love and respect they deserve.
A kind lady met me at the kill shelter ranch when I arrived. After showing me the mini mules, she led me into a large barn and into a stall that was a makeshift office. The desk was made of two boards over some bails of hay. We both laughed when a few chickens ran across my feet. Farm life at its best.
I signed some papers without guarantees (you get what you get) and paid the fees. Loaded them up and headed home. I had no problem whatsoever getting them into the trailer. I think they knew they were headed to a safe place.
Meet Jack And Diane
A little about Jack… he’s curious and is warming up to me quickly, especially when I carry snacks in my pockets. HA! I know a way to a man’s heart. He is a four-year-old Bay Mini Mule. Three days after I got him home, he managed to unlatch the gate and escape to the yard. Oh, brother! The chase was on with him and my dogs. I could tell he wasn’t afraid of the dogs as he kicked up his meals and squealed as if to say, “I’m Free!”. I called him by name and held out my hand with his favorite snack, and he followed me right back to the pen like a lost puppy dog. He is sure sweet when he wants to be.
A little about Diane… she’s an eight-year-old Bay Mini Mule that is a bit browner in color. Her head is longer and more horse-like. She is definitely the BOSS. Every morning she demands to be fed first, and Jack learned quickly that she’s a kicker with good aim.
Both mules have had a check-up from our wonderful new Veterinarian with a clean bill of health.
These two are keeping me on my toes! I’m learning a lot about what “stubborn as a mule” means.
Stubborn As A Mule
Mules are a cross between horses and donkeys, with a donkey father and a horse mother which gives the mule the best traits of both. So, I’ve been told. But one trait that they are known for is being stubborn. They get it from their donkey father. Let’s blame it on the males. LOL
When mules are unsure of anything, they will not put themselves in harm’s way. This can be quite a challenge when training them. They are strong and often more intelligent than their parents. Smart thinkers.
Their bray is more of a high-pitched yodel, unlike their donkey father. Somewhere between a horse’s neigh and a donkey’s bray.
Working with them is like working with a headstrong child. I’ve always heard that a stubborn child is an intelligent child. I’m taking that to mean I’m super intelligent. LOL, momma said it.
However, once you have established a trust and bond with these incredible animals, they will be more than happy to be your best friend.
They follow me around like puppy dogs, especially when I have a pocket full of snacks. I’m learning.
Faith And Hope
Jack and Diane were headed to a scary place with a grim outcome, like many unwanted animals. It breaks my heart to know these animals can sense death. Secretly, I like animals more than people. It’s hard not to feel this way in these circumstances.
I grew up on a farm, and I had to learn and accept the death of animals early in life. My faith and hope for all discarded and unwanted animals are that someone will step up and do the right thing. We are all God’s creations.
That also means spaying and neutering animals so that they don’t reproduce. Do the right thing.
I promise this won’t be the last you’ll hear about Jack and Diane or the cool projects I have planned for the barn. We can’t wait to share more with you.
A huge thanks to everyone that gave me suggestions for names. I carefully considered them all. There were so many great combinations. Y’all are so creative!