This is a true story. I had long searched for a young, white mule to raise and train and was expecting to find one around six months old. When I did finally find one he was a newborn and being sold along with his mother. They were consigned to a Fox Trotter sale that was coming up in a couple weeks. I was not interested in the mare and did not attend the sale.
Little did I know, the owner had decided her baby was a worthless, white mule and may hinder her sale. He left the little, three week old mule to fend for himself, alone on pasture, and sold the mare. As soon as I found out his plight I raced over there and paid a steep price to rescue a weak and starving, six week old, orphan mule.
Years later, wanting SaMule to get the best in training, I thought I had found a top notch trainer in Kentucky. I had even taken a trip there to see his facility and meet his staff. I was so excited about the prospect of finally being able to ride my dream mule. I had done all his ground work and knew he was ready for a real education. I was thrilled the day they picked him up and he was headed for Mule School.
Five months later he was returned to me nearly starved to death and covered with welts and wounds. Once again I had paid a steep price… and so had SaMule. Is he worthless? I think not! SaMule has proven himself to be kind, brave, determined and forgiving.
Looking into her family leaves you to wonder, where did she come from? Her brothers and sister are all business minded, modern day people. Her parents and grandparents were city dwellers. Diana on the other hand seems to have been born 150 years too late. Surrounded with dogs, chickens, cows, goats, horses, donkeys and mules, she raised her son five miles off the power grid in Northern Nevada and would much rather drive a buggy than a car.
Her Great Great Grandfather patented the first hand held camera in the world, called the Schmid’s Detective Camera, in 1883. Photography has always been a big part of their family life. And over the 13 years she was a Veterinary Technician, she also became a Veterinary Radiologist… taking the family photography to a new level.
Her brothers wanted motorcycles. Her sister wore make up, and curlers in her hair. But Diana? She bottle raised goats, rescued orphan and injured wildlife and groomed dogs. Her parents would not allow her to have a horse so she put up a fence in their one acre clearing and boarded horses. All along she dreamed of owning a white mule.
Looking beyond her parents and grandparents she found her roots. Her Great Grandfather, Samuel Cooley had a farm and teams of white mules. A fact she did not even know until she was 35 years old. Over the years she raised orphans of all kinds, swallows, opossum, owls, raccoons, puppies, mustangs, lambs and calves but her crowning glory was in 2003 when she acquired a white, orphan mule. It seemed like destiny and without hesitation he was named SaMule Cooley.
Whether feeding, cleaning, riding, building fence or taking photographs, Diana’s focus in life is Mules!