The Irresistible Donkey Hotay

July 11, 2011  

After being adopted by his foster family, this cutie now helps foster kittens

By Linda Asa

My love of pit bulls all started when I bought my first house. Instead of buying furniture, I went to the animal shelter and adopted a dog. I picked up the first pup I saw and took him home. They said he was a pit bull/Collie/Husky mix. I named him Porkchop. He was my companion for 10 years until he passed away.

Soon after his death, I went to the shelter and instantly fell in love with Annie. She was in the front row of kennels and I looked no further. Just by coincidence she turned out to be an American Staffordshire Terrier. I found that I was drawn to these clownish, always smiling, muscular love muffins.

A year ago, I heard about the Pit Crew, a program at Salt Lake County Animal Services. I started to foster pits in need. I was having great success getting the foster dogs adopted until our fifth pup.

My partner and I had just come back from vacation, and our previous foster dog had gotten adopted while we were away. Melissa Lipani, from the Pit Crew, called and asked if I would be willing to take in another foster, named Yoda. He’d been in the shelter for a long time and was starting to get stressed. Melissa recalled meeting him, “All I could hear was this sound that was like a donkey braying, or a whale singing … it was sad and funny at the same time. I walked through the kennels to see which dog could be making such a sound, and after walking a few rows towards the sound, there was Yoda singing his siren song.”

How could I say no?

We took our dogs to meet him and brought Yoda home. He fit in pretty well at our house with our two other dogs and really wormed himself into our hearts. Our dog Annie, who was standoffish towards all the other foster dogs, fell in love with him, and they played non-stop.

Yoda’s funny ways, ridiculous noises and outrageous body shape (big ears and head, stubby bowed legs, long body) made it hard not to immediately love this guy. He is much more affectionate than our other dogs and likes to sit on your lap and snuggle in bed with his head on a pillow.

It was easy to let go of the other four foster dogs that we had before him, even an 8-week-old puppy, but when Yoda got adopted it broke my heart. The night he got adopted I cried.

The next day I received news that the adoption wasn’t going to work. I took him back into foster, and then adopted him myself! I couldn’t let him go again. My heart won out over my head. I renamed him Donkey Hotay because of his ears and the funny noises he makes. He became a part of the family.

Now that our household had three dogs I felt I couldn’t foster anymore. Four dogs would be too much to handle, but I wanted to keep helping the shelter, so when kitten season came along we decided to foster kittens that needed bottle feeding. I normally wouldn’t have taken in kittens so young, but I had my pitties to help do the clean up on both ends!

All the dogs were quite exuberant at the beginning, but with calm words they became calm too and really helped socialize the kittens. The first kitten we fostered we named Sancho Pouncy and he is Hotay’s sidekick. Another kitten, Murphy Brown, has the same coloring as Hotay, and she is always running towards him as if he were her papa.

Hotay is a wonderful friend to the kittens. He lets them walk all over him, snuggle with him, bite him, play with his tail and even share his food out of the same bowl. My best friend Tracie said this about Hotay: “To watch him care for these baby kittens is truly wondrous and amazing. It warms my heart and at that minute I believe that all is well with the world and we can truly learn to love and accept one another.”

This gentle guy seems to steal everyone’s heart. Hotay is one of a kind, but he also exhibits the character and traits of many of the bully breeds I have met: happy, expressive, sensitive, intelligent and affectionate.

We will rarely hear his sad siren song anymore. Instead, we hear Hotay’s bubbly, happy way of saying let’s play: “Wubba, wubba, wubba!”

(Photos by Melissa Lipani)

« « Spotlight on Robin Hood Animal Rescue | A Giant Cage Filled with Snacks » »


9 Responses to “The Irresistible Donkey Hotay”
  1. woofslc says:

    Awww. Hotay! Such a wonderful dog! I think we need to see a photo of Hotay with the kittens 🙂

  2. LindaAsa says:

    If you want to see all the foster kitten photos you can see them here:

  3. StubbyDog says:

    @LindaAsa Thanks Linda, we like the one where all the kittens are curled up on the couch with him the best!

  4. Look at the happy smile in the last picture! 🙂 I agree, I want to see pictures of Hotay with the kittens!

  5. StubbyDog says:

    @annedreshfield We know, he’s the cutest. Check out Linda’s facebook page below for photos of Hotay and kitties.

  6. mellonz says:

    What a wonderful story, Those photos are too precious of the kittens, for anyone who didn’t see the link below, here is it! Absolutely adorable!!

  7. StubbyDog says:

    @mellonz Thanks, yes, everyone please check out the photos.

  8. NatValCas says:

    Love it! Thanks for sharing!

  9. StubbyDog says:

    @NatValCas You’re very welcome!