June 15, 2012 12:00
Prairie Brae Donkey Jumping - above
Prairie Brae Grace & Spirit - right
By Carol M. Upton of Dreams Aloud Promotions
Karl and Grace Krautt had never even heard of Miniature Donkeys when they paid their first visit to a Breeders’ farm. Their lives had been busy with agricultural work and they were looking for something to fill that void as they neared retirement, but were not actually intending to start a business. All that fell by the wayside when the donkeys captured their hearts.
“Miniature Donkeys were such fun,” Grace explains. “We purchased a couple of bred Jennets and for the next few years, the business end developed itself.”
Little did Grace and Karl know that they would go on to breed and sell these loveable creatures, enter parades, show at events like the Calgary Stampede’s World Miniature Donkey Show, and do nursing home and kindergarten visits. Prairie Brae’s mission is based on the Three C’s of Confirmation, Character and Customer Satisfaction. Their donkeys are hardy, intelligent, gentle animals that love human attention and make excellent pets. They can be taught to jump, pull carts, carry packs on hiking trips, and participate in therapeutic settings. Prairie Brae Donkeys have also competed and won Champion Awards at many shows, both at halter and in performance.
Aside from getting the donkeys into the public eye, the Krautts have found their website to be their most powerful business tool. Professional development includes involvement in events with other breeders and organizations like the Canadian Donkey and Mule Association, where ideas for marketing, care and training are exchanged.
Grace describes spending time with the animals as the fun side of the business. Miniature Donkeys are easy maintenance, but feeding, grooming, trimming, training and public visits definitely are all part of the day. Grace finds her greatest joy in the smiles of children, seniors and others with special needs when they are in the therapeutic presence of a gentle donkey. She feels that public education is key in helping people to understand these animals more accurately.
“Donkeys are not stubborn,” she says. “They don’t kick, but they are cautious and clever. They become trusting with patient handling and will attempt difficult maneuvers, both in lead line and driven.”
After nineteen years of working with Miniature Donkeys, Karl and Grace are always thrilled to share their passion for these charismatic creatures with whom they have found a life of joy, companionship and entertainment.
“They have an aura of peace,” Grace says, “that you cannot explain in a few words on paper.”
Karl and Grace Krautt and Prairie Brae Miniature Donkeys live in Stettler, Alberta. They welcome inquiries and enjoy talking “Donkey” at 403-742-1144, firstname.lastname@example.org or http://www.prairiebrae.com.