Pumpkin the donkey

  • Died: February 4, 2016
  • Location: Gardnerville, Nevada

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Tribute & Message From The Family

Foothill road in summer 1999

Message From The Family

Thank you for your support during this difficult time. Please enhance this tribute to Pumpkin by adding your memories and photos.

Pumpkin was a donkey freebie that came together with horses. We found her on our round trips from Gardnerville to Genoa in summer of 1999. There was something about her that immediately took our attention -- her unique personality. It was love at first sight. We kept coming daily for a visit and to bring her a treat.

Nobody really wanted her and she was treated according to that. Horses were safe on dirt and Pumpkin was on grass whole year round. From sugar in grass she ended up with laminitis and founder. From rain and snow with arthritic fetlocks. Donkeys are susceptible to pneumonia and bronchitis when chilled. They don't have waterproof coat like horses. Pumpkin was always outside, no matter how bad the weather was, because she didn't have a shelter until year 2003. She used to stand every night under a tree in both good and bad weather... All of this negatively affected her health and shortened her lifespan.

Pumpkin was given to me on December 21st, 2002. My best christmas gift ever! I didn't have my own house with a room for a donkey, so I found her new home with a shelter, for the first time in her life, at New Paradigm Ranch in Fish Springs. Wonderful place with Jeannette, lots of mud on rainy days and a million dollar view all around. We came to the ranch every day to see our Pumpkin. Countless miles and hours.... She spent about eight and half years there, and then NPR closed for business.

Pumpkin's veterinarian, Dr. Brian Peck, DVM, found for her a new home with a shelter at private Canuck Ranch owned by his friends, retired Canadian hockey star Dr. Clint Malarchuk and his wife Joanie. My deepest thanks go to them for everything they have done for Pumpkin and me.

Pumpkin's health slowly deteriorated (laminitis, founder, uveitis, insulin resistance, arthritis), she was spending more and more time laying down instead of standing and walking around, like it was when I brought her to the ranch in summer 2011. She past away on February 4th, 2016, just shortly before I came to visit her.

I miss Pumpkin terribly but I'm glad that her pain from fetlock joints and hooves is over, and I didn't have to call a vet to put her in sleep. I wouldn't be able to do it... I'm so glad that God has decided for me. She is buried on the ranch. She was about 30 years old.


Condolence & Memory Journal


Pumpkin the donkey

Posted by Lisa Kelsay - Las Vegas, NV - friend   November 10, 2019

Every soul needs love. So glad you gave Pumpkin some of your love
I love my pets and hope to see them all again.

Posted by Elizabeth Kelsay - Las Vegas, NV   November 10, 2019

Your story about Pumpkin touched my heart so deeply. I am so saddened every day when I hear of animal abuse; it has become so rampant. I wish you could have had Pumpkin on your own property so you could love and care for her EVERY day.

My sincere condolences.

Laurie Nieting

Posted by Laurie Nieting - Poynette, WI - Friend   February 02, 2017


I found this site by mistake, and since I recently lost my dearest pet Pumpkin's story just touched my heart. Thank you for making her life happier!

Posted by Leslie Campau - Westland, MI   April 13, 2016


We will miss you Pumpkin

Posted by Joanie and Clint Malarchuk - Gardnerville, NV - Family   March 29, 2016

Pumpkin's Album

Foothill road in summer 1999

Pumpkin's Album

Pumpkin's Album

Pumpkin's Album

Pumpkin's Album

Pumpkin's Album

Pumpkin's Album

Pumpkin's grave
A beautiful tombstone by Joanie.

Life Stories

This is a story about a donkey called Pumpkin who has found so much needed love and care. The real story that sounds like a fairy tale:

"Once upon a time there was a neglected donkey Pumpkin, living on a grassy place all year round with only occasional hay, no regular hoof care and no shelter. All of this and a discovery of her insulin resistance condition, has resulted for Pumpkin in painful laminitis (inflammation of the hooves caused by sugar from grass containing fructans, polymers of sugar fructose), founder (rotation of coffin bone caused by separation of coffin bone and hoof wall because of inflamed laminae) and later in arthritic fetlock joints. Equine insulin resistance is considered #1 cause of laminitis.

Even after several years of trying to do almost everything possible to help Pumpkin, her hooves were still faraway from being perfect and with time they became even worse, accompanied with sore fetlock joints.

There was always a hope that despite all Pumpkin's serious health problems - founder, laminitis, uveitis, arthritis and insulin resistance - there might be a positive change in her conditions with devoted care and treatment, so she could live happily ever after."

There was nobody, except my mom and me, who had ever been interested in Pumpkin. She was a freebie. Four legs somewhere in a backyard nobody cared for. Everybody just wanted those horses she came with but not her. And she was treated according to that: horses had hay and a shelter, Pumpkin grass and a tree to stay under in any kind of weather...

I guess it was all meant to happen like this. At least I was able to help Pumpkin with her problems as much as I could, and to tell the whole world about this wonderful donkey with a true personality that I love and miss so much...

Bo, the owner of Pumpkin