Following on from my earlier blog about my first foster mules, I visited again recently to see how things were progressing. It was apparent that both were very settled and obviously happy with Ian, their foster owner. As you will see from the attached photos we did a little agility with them.
Chestnut set the ball rolling by displaying his perfect stand in the hoop but Paris, clearly not impressed, was insistent that we should be paying her all the attention - see the second photo which should just have been of Chestnut! She managed to push her way in front of the camera lens on numerous occasions, ruining many a good shot.
Walking over a little jump was easy for Chestnut, who has in fact done this sort of thing before, but Paris tried knocking it off, then eating it until finally she deigned to walk over it, albeit in a very offhand manner trailing a lazy back leg. Very intelligent, lovely natured but with a hint of attitude - 'Should I be bothered'?
Paris is much younger than Chestnut and has had very little work done with her in the past so needs to know her boundaries but all this needs to be done in the correct manner. At the Sanctuary we are lucky to have Ben Hart our animal behaviourist, who probably understands mules better than anybody, so Ian will be seeking some advice on how to get the best out of our prima donna!
We then took the two of them out for a walk with Paris and I having a bit of a spat about her tendency to dive into the hedgerow for something to eat! On the way back Ian took charge of Paris and I walked with Chestnut at a leisurely gentleman pace. The mules clearly love going out and are interested in everything.
As I was leaving, I asked Ian to summarise how he felt about the last two and half months since the mules arrived. 'I just love them' he answered. What more can we ask of foster owners?