Famous burro dies in Virginia City

VIRGINIA CITY -- John Buie's burro, Ginny, an ambassador for the town and a fixture on C Street for years, died Monday.

She was being treated for an abscess and will be missed, according to Denise Hughes of the Virginia City Convention and Tourism Authority.

"It's a tremendous loss for John and this community," Hughes said. "She was our baby. There wasn't a dry eye in this town last night. John is totally devastated."

Buie said he found the burro at a friend's ranch south of Austin in central Nevada.

"I've had her since 1992," he said. "She came wandering in with some others, ran over to me, and started eating grain out of my hand. We'd been together ever since. It's kind of hard, thinking about going on without her."

Ginny was a celebrity of sorts, traveling from Kanab, Utah, to the Calaveras County frog-jumping contest and back, and stumping for Virginia City with Buie.

"She was Virginia City's ambassador to the world. Her picture was known in about 24 countries," Buie said. "We even did a Japanese movie, but I have no idea what it was called. They didn't speak any English, and I don't speak Japanese."

In addition to their travels, the duo was a regular fixture during any special event in Virginia City. During her travels up and down the street Ginny developed a taste for Coke and hard candy.

"In the summer, John would bring her up to the bar," said Lee Busby, bartender at the Bucket of Blood. "I'd pour her a glass of Coke, and she would drink it without spilling a drop. It was the cutest thing I've ever seen. The kids loved her."

Buie said she also liked to go the store for a piece of hard candy.

"She really liked that," he said. "And when I went into the Firehouse BBQ, she'd go to the big picture window, stand there, and look at me -- I probably won't ever have another one like her."


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