My fat donkey is, in my view, a strange creature. When first I met him, I admit I didn't know what to make of him. Devlin found him intriguing... I found him terrifying. I mean, something had obviously gone horribly wrong with this foal. But it turns out he was in fact a different species, and they are more or less expected to look like that.
I say less, because as you may have guessed from his name, my fat donkey is... not quite normal proportions.
Donkey does run around quite a bit. He is never contained (mainly because he really, really doesn't care for it, and starts banging things... I must try this technique myself sometime). His excess plumnicity can best be attributed to the old horses. He cleans up the mush that Jeanie drops onto the feed mat as she eats and is beneath her to consume. Since she gets fed three times a day, the humans figure he is getting quite a lot of calories.
Mother had tried to get him more exercise by teaching him to drive. Donkey lacks motivation. She suggested a grazing muzzle to his owners. They were reluctant. Mother let donkey's weight problems slide away from her mind. Mother would weight tape him at his heartgirth and then around his brood gelding belly. His brood belly has him weighing 600lbs... obviously not accurate, but not at all reassuring.
Yesterday, while Mother and the Aunts were seeding the pastures, she happened to hunker down to donkey level and looked at his topline. Unlike horses, donkeys ordinarily have level toplines... my fat donkey, who had always been level in his pre-porcine prime, was developing a dip. A smidge of a sway. Mother was alarmed. Donkey isn't very old... only a year or two older than I am.
The seriousness of donkey's weight was brought to the forefront. Donkeys often live to ridiculous ages, but it seems unlikely Donkey would have half of that at the rate he was going. A grazing muzzle will be procured for him. Mother took him for a walk along a portion of my postal route, which the wee donk accepted with zeal and enthusiasm (I think he just remembered where the sheep pastures were, as he had been turned out on them many years ago.) He was enthusiastic on the route home as well, and was not really even huffing by the top of the hill. How can that be?
Mother also has a stealth driving plan. Since the donk is eager and happy to march homeward, she will put the driving lines on him for the walk back, and get more done with his driving training that way, as he will have forward momentum. This could all prove very interesting.
Mother said she was so proud of donkey's attitude on his walk, she even called him by his real name as he got some mid-walk scritchings.
"Good job, Coyote. Good boy."