We celebrated Nigel’s birthday on Tuesday afternoon. It was a madhouse.

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A fun one, but a madhouse nonetheless. You see, compared to everyone else, Nigel is incredibly shy.

Look at Ellsworth, for example. He has no shame:

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Neither does Patrick:

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You probably know by now that the birthday boy or girl here always gets the first bite of cake.

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In the midst of the mayhem, sweet Nigel was ever the timid one:

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Don finally managed to serve Nigel his first bite:

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Nigel thoroughly enjoyed his cake:

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And so did everyone else. Here are the lovebirds; Mr. and Mrs. Worthington J. Worth:

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Ellsworth most definitely has no shame:

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Neither does Harriet, really:

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And Patrick licked the spoon. Madhouse. The end.

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♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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gracie

We’re so proud of you, Nigel!

Nigel wore a fly mask for the first time (ever) on Tuesday evening and took it all in stride. He must have felt instantly better with the flies away from his eyes, and it was funny seeing him act like a goofball:

On Wednesday, Don went out and bought Nigel his very own blue fly mask. (Blue is Nigel’s color; he inherited it from Fergus.) 

Nigel wore his new fly mask for the first time yesterday morning:

He was so unaffected by it, he couldn’t be bothered to pose for pictures during breakfast.

We are so proud of you, Nigel! You’re moving forward by leaps and bounds now, sweet boy! ♥ ♥ ♥

Gracie Belle is doing remarkably well at Morning Bray Farm.

It’s her second week here, and she’s been inducted as a full-fledged member of the herd. 

Gracie is beautiful, she’s smart and she’s gaining confidence by the day.

Now that she’s settling in, I figured I’d share a bit of her history with you.

Here’s her BLM capture data:

Date: January 17, 2011

Location: AZ0021 Double A

State: Arizona

This means Gracie was captured in the Double A Wild and Free-Roaming Burro Territory in Kaibab National Forest, Arizona. The BLM maintains a wild burro herd there of between 22 and 35 animals.

Wild burros have been known to occupy the territory since the late 1800s. A wild burro is a free-roaming, unclaimed, unbranded burro that descended from pack animals that wandered off or were released by prospectors and miners. 

We’ll never forget or replace the herd that Gracie left behind. What we will do is make sure she knows she’s now with another herd that loves her just the same. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Yesterday was a wonderful day. The Boyz have a new sister. She’s a BLM beauty and we’ve named her Gracie. ♥

Because I’m still weirdly emotional over Fergus’s death and 7MSN’s Carson was there with us, I asked her to tell the story. I hope you don’t mind.

It was one year ago on April 16 that we brought Fergus and Nigel home from the BLM holding facility in Canon City, Colorado.

And it was last week that we received Certificates of Title for them and their adoption became official.

A wild horse or burro actually belongs to the Federal government until the BLM issues a Certificate of Title.  After you’ve had the animal for one year, the BLM sends you a Title Eligibility Letter, which you must have signed by a qualified person (such as a veterinarian, county extension agent, or humane official) verifying that you have provided humane care and treatment for your adopted animal. Once you sign and return the Title Eligibility Letter, the BLM mails a Certificate of Title to you. After you receive the Certificate of Title, the animal becomes your private property.

There was a lot of excitement here at Morning Bray Farm the afternoon the big brown envelope from the BLM arrived in our mailbox. Don showed Fergus his certificate, and Fergus rejoiced at the news of his adoption being official.

Patrick was very excited about all the commotion and wanted to know where his certificate was.

Don’t you worry, sweet boy. You’re not going anywhere and you’re officially a part of this herd, okay?

Then Don showed Nigel his certificate.

And Nigel gave his lip of approval.

Both Fergus and Nigel have come so far in the past year. We’re so thankful that they’re here with us and part of the amazing herd at Morning Bray Farm. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Fergus’s eyes are so soft and fluid.

So doe-like, so beautiful.

Fergus’s BLM freeze mark. Also tattooed on my left shoulder, along with Nigel’s freeze mark. ♥

Fergus’s leg stripes.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

We’re on our way today to Canon City, Colorado to adopt a BLM burro. If all goes well, our plan is for Bernard and Ellsworth to have a burro brother tomorrow.  

We’ve been planning this adoption for several months and had to be sure that we could safely cross the Raton Pass along the New Mexico-Colorado border before confirming our trip. As recently as a week or two ago, snow made the route impassable.  

Canon City is about 40 miles west of Pueblo, Colorado and is the same facility where Carson adopted George and Alan (of 7MSN fame). We’ll spend the night in Pueblo tonight and will be at the East Canon Correctional Complex at 9 a.m. on Friday morning.

The BLM folks there currently have 15 jacks (14 of them gelded) and 15 jennies ranging in age from one to ten. The burros have been there since March 25th… we’ve been counting the days! 

BLM holds adoptions at Canon City two Fridays per month and tomorrow is the first time this group is up for adoption. There isn’t much more we know about the burros until we get there to see them. How in the world will we be able to choose just one from thirty?

Carson, thank you for your advice, your help and your friendship.