This was a dreary day for more reasons that the drizzly gray weather. Amaryllis has had laminitis for years and I have tried all kinds of pain relief and interventions but this is something that just doesn’t get better. It was finally time to give her permanent relief.

Amaryllis, the donkey, with the Jacob sheep.

Amaryllis was five when I got her from a Jacob breeder in Iowa who also raised spotted donkeys. That was in 2008.

Ewes grazing with donkey

She was here to be a guardian animal for the sheep after I found that I didn’t get along well with llamas.

Donkey rolling in dirt.

Notice the green grass in these photos. That was her downfall. Amaryllis gained too much weight and developed laminitis.

Donkey and goat.

I tried a grazing muzzle. Her best friend, Stephany the goat, wasn’t thrilled with the new headgear.

Amaryllis the donkey

We built a creep gate so that the sheep could come and go to the pasture and Amaryllis had to stay behind in the corral and be fed grass hay. Still, she “grazed” on the manure pile finding all the alfalfa stems that went out with every barn cleaning.

Amaryllis the donkey.

For several years I used the grazing muzzle during the day and put her in a stall at night so she didn’t have to wear the muzzle. Stephany would accompany her until she was old and had to be euthanized.

Donkey and Jacob sheep

Amaryllis formed a bond with Jake, a Jacob wether. This was a disaster waiting to happen—I found that Jake got his horn stuck in the grazing muzzle and had torn it off, except for the strap that was still on Amaryllis. Notice the T-stake they are stuck behind.

Donkey scratching her belly on a sheep horn.
Donkey scratching belly

Amaryllis often used a convenient 4-horn sheep to scratch her belly.

Donkey in Christmas hat.
Donkey with friends.
Donkey in Christmas hat.

She was a good sport about dressing up for holiday photos.

Donkey and kids on a field trip.

She tolerated a dozen hands during the field trips here.

Donkey with soft-ride boots

About two years ago she had another acute phase of laminitis. X-rays that showed there had been some rotation of the coffin bone but not extreme. I bought Soft-Ride boots and they made her comfortable for the first time in what seemed like months.

Donkey and friends.

She eventually moved full-time into what had been a temporary donkey-diet-pen so that we could conpletely control her diet. That’s when I feel like her quality of life declined more. She had been suffering pain off and on for years, but at least she was with the sheep and I assume had a more interesting life. I kept a sheep with her most of the time in this pen but neither she or the sheep were particularly happy about it.

Donkey and goat kids.

Remembering how much she liked Stephany, last spring I got some goat kids to be her friends. They are grown up now and tonight are missing their big buddy.

Donkey and Kirby.

Amaryllis and my granddaughter.

Donkey with friends.

Lisa was one of Amaryllis’ few favorite people, willingly approaching when she visited (even if she had originally been bribed with apple slices).

Donkey view.

Donkey mom and baby.

I love this photo that the breeder sent me of Amaryllis and her mom.


OK, Amaryllis, I wish you’d had a better last part of your life. You’ll be missed.