I had anticipated this day with emotional optimism-knowing the haulers are excellent, and the equines will board at a wonderful place in Maine until we get there ourselves.
Everything went well. The hauler's trailer was just a tish too big for the turn and culvert, so we walked everyone down to the road and it was just fine. In fact, it was nice, it was like a little farewell parade. No cookies needed, they all walked at a good clip. Paco and Matilda are riding in one compartment. Boone is in the middle, and last in was Lucia and Pino who share a stall. They were all well behaved. They will have five nights, with layovers providing them ample room to roll and stretch overnight. They even get a brushing.
The hauler has threatened to keep Lucia so I told the destination barn to count all donkeys when they get out. Many have said they might steal Lucia, the Teacup, she has that immediate effect on everyone.
I had talked to the donkeys about the trip, and Boone. While some pessimists might scoff at my imagination, I truly believe they understand. I just told them to remember it is temporary to be on the road, and I am following. Besides, I said, you get to see America.
How many donkeys out there get to see America?
I had many moments with Boone that were emotional this morning, but I held in the big cries. He doesn't need that. Boone is a pro, he came for Colorado and is used to long hauls. He trailers so well, and even the hauler said, "He doesn't seem to rattle." But this morning I spent extra time with him, breathing in his smell, rubbing his eye lids, just sitting with him. When I brought him out of the barn, I knew that was our last walk out of a place that had bonded us in so many ways. I don't know what my horse barn will be like there, and the comfort of knowing your surroundings are going to be shaken as we rehome ourselves. But, as the song says,
I'll be seeing you in all the familiar places.
My nearby neighbor knew it was hauling day. As she saw the trailer turn onto the main road by her yard, she snapped the photo of the trailer going east. It was so moving and symbolic in so many ways. A departure, a journey, leaving the past for the unknown, the hero's journey with donkeys and horse.
God speed my faithful friends, we will meet you in Maine.