Donkey needs his trailer |

Donkey needs his trailer

Linda Hiller

It’s bad enough that his barn was washed away, and losing nearly two acres of his pasture next to the Carson River smarted a bit, but Oscar the donkey really needs his horse trailer back.

Last January, Oscar’s owner Maryann Johnson watched as almost one-third of her property next to TCI Cable on Centerville Road was washed away in the New Year’s flood. On that property was the yellow horse trailer.

“It was so sad to sit and watch our property go down the river,” Johnson said. “The scary thing was, we think that my 19-year-old donkey, Oscar, was also washed into the river some time during the flood because when we went to look for him, he was in the back pasture, where he hadn’t been before. If only he could talk.”

In addition to the trailer, Johnson lost all the tools in her barn, a 1950 Pontiac sedan that now sits on Fred Stodieck’s property downstream, a tractor that was found upside-down in the river and returned, a corral and the nearly two acres of land that is now dispersed downstream.

When Johnson moved here with her husband and daughter in June, 1977, Oscar came with them after being adopted from a Berkeley, Calif. dog pound.

“He had been found wandering the streets there and the dog pound officials decided to have a drawing to see who got him,” Johnson said. “I think that when they found out we were going to be taking him out of the state to Nevada, they rigged it so we would get him,” she said with a laugh. “As soon as we hit Nevada we changed his name from Maharishi to Oscar.”

For nearly 20 years, Oscar has had the pleasure of grazing under the tall cottonwoods in his ample pasture next to the Carson River. He even had a donkey companion named Susie for some time until she died a few years ago. Life was good.

But the January flood changed his life, like so many other Carson Valley flood victims, and when his yellow horse trailer with the lattice top and wooden door washed into the river, the old guy found himself stranded.

“He’s not as young as he used to be and needs to be moved in the trailer if we want to go any distance from home,” Johnson said.

Johnson said she needs the trailer to eventually move Oscar to his new home. She has decided to sell her home and property after two decades because of the precariousness of the river that has moved so close to the house.

“We feel like we’re playing a waiting game with this river,” she said. “It is so much closer now and they don’t seem to be doing much upstream to prevent future flooding.”

One of the things that gives her hope in the quest to find this elusive equine mover is the memory of a man she talked to at a January post-flood meeting at the CVIC hall.

“I went to the meeting at the CVIC after the flood – the one that Sen. Jacobsen called,” she said. “There was a man sitting behind me who said he had seen my yellow horse trailer in the river, and when I was about to turn around and ask him where it was, Sen. Jacobsen called the meeting to order. By the time I got around to talking to the man, he was gone,” she said. “I hope he reads this and remembers me.”

Anyone with information about the horse trailer can call Johnson at 782-3989.