For the Love of Donkeys


For the Love of Donkeys

In my newsletter on Friday I wrote about how donkeys are dancing in my head this holiday season (opposed to sugar plums!). I’m sharing what I wrote below, in case you aren’t a subscriber to my newsletter. If you wish to be, I give away a different book each month, one that I’ve read and enjoyed, if you’d like a chance to enter and win. You can subscribe here.

On Saturday I shopped local at one of my favorite shops in Elkhart Lake – Two Fish Gallery, with fine art and craft and most recently added, Fair Trade. I just needed to finish up a little Christmas shopping.

It never fails when I shop Two Fish that I find something for myself. But one certainly deserves a little Christmas gift for oneself, right? When I spotted this colorful donkey with the perky pink ears, well, I giggled out loud and I just knew she had to go home with me. I was smitten on the spot! She was made in Peru under the Fair Trade Act, which is something I feel good about supporting, along with small local businesses.

And that makes four donkey totems I now have residing in my Zen writing cottage. Donkeys and Dachshunds are starting to really take over this place!  But I’m totally happy with that.

So without further ado — the reason for my donkey excitement of late– read on…

Donkeys Dancing in My Head

I am just busting at the seams in anticipation of a dream that is coming true!

How long I’ve had this dream?  Well, quite honestly, it feels like forever.

I thought it would never come true. But yet, I held onto hope that somehow, someway it could happen.

That’s the thing with dreams. You may envision it one way, but being open to unexpected ways in which it can come true, just might prove to be better.

I believe my dream originally began when I first started reading some of Jon Katz’s books about life on Bedlam Farm of which he had a donkey named Carol.

He then acquired Lulu and Fanny. Several years later he would rescue Simon, a donkey that could barley walk, and when he did, was in much pain due to the cramped conditions he lived in.

For a time being, I was also friends with a woman who had four miniature donkeys. Many groups of special needs adults and children visited the donkeys. I was able to witness the magical and heart warming connection one sunny afternoon, writing a story about it for our local paper.

My love of donkeys has just continued to expand. Whenever I get a chance to see one, I have to contain myself because I just want to squeal out loud. Well, truth be told, I usually do squeal!

As much as I’d love to have donkeys of my own, it just isn’t feasible. We’d have to have the land to do so and of course, there is the cost.

But I never gave up hope.

I’ve known Rachel (who I’m teaching an upcoming workshop with) for a quite a few years. 

Two years ago she established LaValley Sanctuary, which takes in geriatric and special needs equine. The location of her sanctuary? Only five minutes from my home!

While Rachel currently has four horses, she also wants to bring donkeys to the sanctuary. The challenge?  Funds to build the shelter they require.

But along came someone who wanted to help financially and offered the funds for the lean-to to be built. Thank you, special lady for supporting this dream!

Now it’s just a matter of time. Rachel’s significant other, Jeremy, is a carpenter who has provided the skill and labor for the sanctuary’s current buildings.

So this spring, the lean-to will be built for the donkeys!  And the fences will be put up. And guess who has already been solicited to help?  How did you guess?!

It’s true!  I’m going to be a ranch hand and help with installing the fencing for the donkeys before they arrive.

Dreaming of donkeys all these years and wishing to be involved with them in some shape or form is finally coming true.

Perhaps not in a way I could have ever guessed, but it sure does feel right.

So you never know how a dream can come true! And so this holiday season instead of sugar plums dancing in my head, well, yes… yes, indeed…donkeys are dancing (and prancing) in my head!

Thank you for sharing and subscribing to my blog updates.

Book Signing at Book Heads with Barbara Techel During Plymouth Downtown Merchant Holiday Open House, Dec. 2nd. Fun for the Whole Family.

Book Signing at Book Heads with Barbara Techel During Plymouth Downtown Merchant Holiday Open House, Dec. 2nd. Fun for the Whole Family.

This Friday evening, December 2nd, from 5-8pm I’ll be signing copies of my new memoir, Wisdom Found in the Pause – Joie’s Gift at my local independent book store, Book Heads. They are located in downtown, Plymouth, Wisconsin.

During this, the official launch of my new book, with every purchase your name will be entered in a drawing for a chance to win one of two copies of a book that my writing cottage is featured in – the writing cottage where I’ve written most all my books to date!  I will personally sign the copies to winners. Currently, copies of this book are not available in the US due to the publisher being based in Australia, so it’s a great opportunity to enter for a chance to win this charming, inspiring book full of women’s creative spaces.


This is going to be a great evening for whole family as you can see by this list of fun activities!


If you are in the area, I’d love to meet you!

Thank you for sharing and subscribing to my blog updates.

Gidget’s Report Card

Gidget's Report Card
Gidget and Dr. Andrea Lanphear

The photo is of Dr. Andrea and Gidget from last year. I wanted to get a photo today, but completely forgot!

At any rate, going to see Dr. Andrea is a joy. Just like the few times we sent to see her last year, I left today with a nugget or two of new information. It always proves to add to my education of life with dogs and their wellness, which I really appreciate. I only wish Dr. Andrea wasn’t two hours from where I live! But the good news is I can keep her updated via email, which I also very much appreciate.

Gidget’s report was good. And Gidget really does get a report card, which I should receive via email in the next day or two. Another reason I love taking Gidget to Dr. Andrea. Today we talked about food, supplements, weening her off one of her herbs, and chiropractic care — all things that are typed up and sent to me in a report card for consideration. 

As I mentioned last year, what I like about seeing Dr. Andrea is that she looks at Gidget as a whole dog – her breed, her environment, her personality, etc. in determining what she feels will benefit Gidget and her special needs. Just like people and what works for one person, may not work for another, the same is true for dogs.

If you live in, or near the Madison, Wisconsin area and are looking for a veterinarian that practices holistic and western medicine, I can’t say enough good about Dr. Andrea. You can check her out on her website here.

Thank you for sharing and subscribing to my blog updates.