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Couple Keeps Donkey As A Household Pet
Mules and donkeys make great pets say Paul and Betsy Hutchins, Denton, Tex., who let their pet donkey, Platero, wander in and out of their house at will.
The Hutchins may be the foremost experts on mules and donkeys in the U.S. They founded and run the American Donkey and Mule Society which has grown from 11 members in 1967 to more than 1,000 members and 21 affiliated clubs in all 50 states and 9 foreign countries.
"Donkeys and mules are much easier to keep than horses. They're smarter and they don't eat as much," says Betsy, noting that there's a big difference in attitude between horses and mules and donkeys. "Horses can be made to do any thing you want them to do but you have to convince a donkey or mule that it is in his best interest to go along with you. Mules won't do anything until they're absolutely sure it's not going to hurt them."
The Hutchins' house is a virtual museum of mule and donkey paraphernalia. It's filled with books (more than 800 volumes on mules and donkeys), figurines, saddles, drawings, posters, photographs, ribbons, articles, and untold other related items.
Betsy, who also sells mule and donkey books by mail order, says the pet donkey Platero wanders in and out of the house like a dog but, when outside, carries the Hutchins' children around on his back. "He thinks he's a member of the family," she says.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Betsy Hutchins, American Donkey & Mule Society, Rt. 5, Box 65, Denton, Tex. 76201 (ph 817 382-6845).

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1987 - Volume #11, Issue #1