Bernard and I have been going out on walks together as often as we can lately.

His confidence level is already high, but If he’s going to walk in parades, become a therapy donkey and be an all around ambassador for donkeydom, he needs to be okay with anything and everything.

On Sunday morning, anything included his brothers calling for him from the farm. He was okay with that when I told him that we’d be back.

It also included walking past a tempting hay barn. He was okay with that too.

And going around a blind corner to yet unexplored trails …

… to see a new donkey, horse and bull. Check.

As we were visiting with Bernard’s new friends, something else caught his eye. It was a woman walking her dog.

I wish I had more pictures to share with you, but I don’t. The dog wasn’t on a leash and I didn’t know how Bernard would react. I wanted to be ready for anything, which meant not having a camera in my hands.

Bernard was a star. He couldn’t have cared less about the dog, and he was a sweetheart while our neighbor cooed over how handsome he was.

He loved every minute of it.  ♥ ♥ ♥

We try to take Bernard and Ellsworth on as many walks as possible to acclimate them to new sights, smells and sounds.

We’re very fortunate to live right next to the Rio Grande and its network of irrigation ditches and paths.

The boys are very observant and rarely miss anything new. Just as he is at home, Ellsworth is a remarkable sentinel out on our walks.

Every now and then, we catch a lovely sight on the trail. Yesterday, it was a new bird. A very blue bird.

A blue grosbeak. Stunning, isn’t he? He was as blue as the sky.

Like life, the trail is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get. ♥