U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Sammy and Elvis on the farm
Sammy, the adopted BLM burro, has got it made. He resides as the Big Guy on a farm filled with miniature donkeys, spending his days soaking up rays and human affection in the rolling coastal hillsides near San Miguel.
"We saw him at an adoption in Paso Robles two years ago," said Gloria Walter, who, along with husband Lynn, runs Luv Me Tender Farm, where registered mini donkeys are bred and sold to carefully selected people. "He was the only gelding in a pen full of stud burros and he was standing his ground. We adopted him and called him "Samson" because the name just seemed to fit. Now he's just our Sammy."
Sammy shares the farm with "Elvis," a miniature donkey who has won national, regional and state awards in mini donkey shows sanctioned by the National Miniature Donkey Association. But while Elvis trains arduously for showing and jumping, Sammy has the role of farm pet.
"We don't ask a lot of him," says Lynn. "We just give him lots of love."
Sammy and Elvis, while living in separate pastures, have become playmates.
"They love to race each other along the fence. They get to the end and Elvis makes a tight turn and heads the other way. Sammy is so much bigger and has to make a wide turn before he races to catch Elvis," Gloria explains. "It's really fun to watch."
While the Walters' main focus is on mini donkeys, they have been happy to provide advice and guidance for adopters of BLM burros. They regularly take phone calls from adopters who need help with feeding and nutrition questions, or suggestions on how to gentle and train their new burro.
"We are always happy to provide advice about veterinarians or farrier care, and we provide literature about nutrition. We've invited people out to the farm to demonstrate some training methods. We love to do what we can to be sure these burros have good homes. They're such special animals," Gloria says.
Below: Sammy with
Lynn Walter, a day after he was adopted in Paso Robles in 2002.
Below: Sammy and Lynn
share a moment a year after his arrival at Luv Me Tender Farm. Sammy is still
sporting his winter coat.
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