Monday, December 31, 2007

THE BROOKE



I know sometimes people wish to donate to a worthy cause, but hesitate because they want to make sure their gift is used wisely.

The Brooke has been in operation over 70 years & operates in some of the poorest countries in the world. They work to educate the owners & also provide whatever is necessary to bring the animals back to good health.


Sunday, December 30, 2007

EDUCATION DAY FOR ME & FRED

We had a couple out yesterday that work on sheep, goats & pigs, trimming feet or tusks or whatever has gotten too long. This is poor Fred getting his tusks cut off. They flipped him on his back, Donna stuck a hoof pick behind his tusk, to protect his mouth. Justin used a wire cutter that looked like a wire pruner, wrapped it around the tusk & started pulling it back & forth quickly. Sure didn't take long, although I'm sure Fred thought it took a "lifetime". He was not a happy camper. As soon as they flipped him on his back, he started squealing. The sheep started running, the dogs were barking & running, the donkeys all started braying & Molly the mule came up to the fence to get a bird's eye view of what was going on. Everyone else ran the other way, braying, but not her..........!!! It sounded like a zoo gone wild around here for a few minutes until he gave up on squealing, & resorted to squirming.

Then they did the sheep feet, which were pretty long. In fact Annie had a dew claw (that's what they are in dogs anyway) growing into her leg. She also has a growth on her chest with a piece of hoof growing out of it. We thought maybe she had a twin that absorbed back into her body before she was born. It's a good thing Justin can rope, or we would probably still be out there trying to catch sheep, they weren't interested in having their feet or anything else trimmed. While we had them "captured" we cut the old fleece off them. Boy that was a job, since we didn't have shears we used scissors. Barbie had a large mat that covered her whole back. Justin managed to hack it off, but it wasn't easy.

Every morning John has to break ice on the water buckets & it's cold enough that by the time we get everyone fed we have to break ice again.

This is what the well dressed old guys are wearing this time of year. Pepper on the right has a "real" horse blanket & shipping boots to help keep his bony old body warm. I only had one "real" blanket, so Sha'ba is wearing one of those microfiber blankets, that are lightweight & clingy. It stays on thru the night & I'm sure helps keeps him a little warmer, these cold nights. I have 2 new blankets ordered, but don't know when they will get here. It seems like this time every year is bitter cold. As long as it isn't rainy, & they can stay dry, the others do just fine. Much better than their caretakers, we have to keep taking breaks to come in & warm up, until the sun gets up high enough to start putting off some heat.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

MISS MOLLY ISN'T SHE CUTE........!!!!!!

Yes, she is adorable..................BUT...........this morning she threw an absolute fit, complete with temper tantrum. What caused this behavior? Today was worming day & we had the audacity to ruin her breakfast by putting wormer in it. She bucked & kicked & banged against the corral panels. Gave out dirty looks, & began the process all over again. I tried to make amends by adding a large portion of Omelene 300, which seems to be yummy by equine standards, but she wasn't having any of it. So I guess she will get wormed the old fashioned way, with a tube in the mouth. We've wormed her before, but thought putting the granules in her feed would be easier...............NOT....!!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Been kinda quiet around here the last few days, with the animals. They've been enjoying the afternoon sun, either by laying in the wash or standing with their sides to the sun, soaking up all the warmth they can for the cold nights. It was 17 degrees here this morning, although so far it's warmed up to 60 today with lots of great sunshine.

I'm still giving Chester an antibiotic shot every day. His leg isn't as swollen, but he's still limping pretty bad. It doesn't stop him from going wherever the others go though.

Other than some of them getting daily medication for ongoing health problems, the only other one I doctor on a regular basis is Cisco. He has some sort of skin condition that usually disappears when the weather cools off. This year it didn't go away. It's in one of his underarm areas, & gets raw & itchy. If I keep it coated with thunja zinc oxide it will dry up, but after a few days of not treating, it will break out again. I might have a culture ran on it the next time a Vet comes out, to see exactly what we're dealing with.

The sheep & Fred seem to be settling in to their new life & getting use to the routine around here. Fred really seems to enjoy the sunshine, I would imagine it makes his creaky joints feel better.


Saturday, December 22, 2007

AGED WISDOM OVER YOUTH


This Budweiser commercial from a couple of years ago, is one of my favorites.

The next few days are going to be worse than hectic, so in case I don't get back before Christmas, I wish everyone a very MERRY CHRISTMAS & may 2008 be your best year ever.........!!!!

Friday, December 21, 2007


As someone that knows nothing about pot bellied pigs, Fred is giving me quite an education. The words uncooperative & stubborn come to mind. He is gentle & likes to be scratched, but he's really not been socialized. He will not eat pig chow, he prefers eating hay with the sheep. He will not let us cover him up with a blanket, he would rather lay on the bare ground at temperatures in the 20's. Today I tried putting a small towel across his body to get him use to having something on him. He didn't seem to mind, but Annie the white sheep was fascinated. Every time I put it on him, & walked away, she would go over, grab the towel & start chewing on it. The sheep are also a problem when I feed him his fruit everyday. I've ended up bribing them with 1 grape each. Unfortunately they seem to be able to count, & realize they are getting cheated.

The home for the sheep fell thru. The woman that was going to take them, had to have surgery & doesn't know when she will be able to care for them. So we're still looking for them a good home.

Chester's leg has swelled up, which is what we didn't want to happen. We changed his antibiotics, so hopefully it will make a difference. We knew when we had the surgery, that it was a long shot to get rid of the infection. But he deserves a chance, & we'll do whatever we can to make it happen.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

THE OLD ONE.........!!!

This is a picture of Blue Hill Jassper taken by his owner John Lavoie & a winner on Equusite's voting a few days ago. Looks like one of Jenny's relatives, although I think he's quite a bit bigger than she is.

At Christmas time most of us receive lots of links to holiday stories. If you are like me you read them & pass them on, depending on whether they touched you or not.
The Old One

Christmas Story 1881


Monday, December 17, 2007

JOHN WAS RIGHT................!!!


This morning John backed the stock trailer up to the sheep pen & the sheep started talking to Fred, & he started grunting. We put a ramp up to the back of the trailer, he tottled down into the pen, & promptly pooed & peed.............!!! It takes so little to amuse us sometimes...........!!! Ha! He grunted, rooted around in the dirt a little bit & is now taking a nap in the sun. So I guess he missed his sheep & probably missed being on dirt. The dogs, Anubis & Nikki are absolutely enthralled with this new neighbor that's now sharing their fence. John is going to have to put some plywood up, so they can't see him, I guess or he will never be able to walk around without them lunging at the fence & barking their silly heads off.

I did borrow a crate this morning in case we had to take him to the Vet, but as of now it looks like he's a happy camper. Hopefully he will start eating on his own without me having to delicately cram fruit into his mouth in between his tusks. When it's about 25 degrees or less, feeding fruit really makes your hands cold, believe me..........!!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

UPDATE ON FRED & OTHER NEWS.............!!!!

We took Fred to a Vet Clinic in Tucson yesterday to see what we are dealing with as far as his health is concerned. They did blood work & checked him over, said he was in pretty good health, except for his legs being crippled. She said that is very normal for pot bellied pigs over the age of 2. They develop arthritis & joint problems if they live long enough. We hauled him in the stock trailer, which was a surprise to the Vet clinic. They graciously told us how "most" people haul pigs, in a big dog crate.......!!!! Not loose in a 6 foot wide, 16 foot long, 7 foot high stock trailer.......!!!! But he is not eating or drinking, pooing or peeing & hasn't since we picked him up Friday. He will eat if I hand feed him, & I know he hasn't been being hand fed, so I don't know what's going on. John thinks he doesn't like staying in the trailer, & maybe misses his 3 sheep. We are thinking about putting him in with the sheep in the morning & see if that makes a difference. We're also borrowing a big crate from some friends, in case we have to haul him back to the vet. If he doesn't perk up by being in with his sheep tomorrow morning, we'll probably haul him as soon as we can get an appointment.

There's a woman interested in the sheep that is suppose to come out tomorrow to see them. All 3 of them are what they call hair sheep, they don't have wool that has to be sheared. You just pull the hair off them when they shed. Or do like the navajo do, pick it off the bushes where it gets caught & pulls out.

We took 5 of the roosters to their new home today. Talk about chicken heaven, the woman has all sorts of chickens, but also has guineas, turkeys, peacocks, geese & I don't know what all running all over the place. There was too many to even count. The Turken found out that turkeys can be pretty tough, even the girls. I don't think he's going to be the big bully they said he was in this group of poultry. One of the little banties was also trying to act like a tough guy. Liz finally picked him up to keep him from getting hurt. Hopefully he'll learn to get along before someone bigger stomps him into the ground..........!!! Ha!

Terry took a little rooster they had been calling Popcorn Chicken the other day to go with the hens she took. She changed his name to Orville, for Orville Redenbacher.........!!! She said she hoped the name Orville didn't give him the idea that he could fly..........!!!! Cute huh? One of the remaining 6 roosters, is a Polish type, with a bunch of feathers on his head, that looks like he's having a bad hair day. She decided she'd like him too, so we kept him today, & she'll pick him up this week sometime. She's already named him Hali Salassie, after the leader of Ethiopia a few decades ago. He always wore interesting military hats with a bunch of feathers, flying in the breeze.

Talked to Sugar's Mom today & she said Sugar is settling in & Jacque still hasn't quite figured out what she is. She's feigned a couple of kicks in his direction so far, so she's not going to put up with any nonsense from him I guess.

Now we need to find a good home for The Unsinkable Molly Brown. It will have to be a special home, with people that have had mules before & knows how to train her the right way.

Everyone seems to be getting along OK right now. Chester's surgery area is still draining a little bit, which should be a good thing, I hope. Dr. Taylor said it needed to drain at least 2 weeks, it will be 3 weeks this Tuesday. There is some swelling, hopefully from the surgery, not from residual joint infection.

It was 23* here last night, which makes morning chores so much fun. Some of the donkeys even had frost on their backs.

Friday, December 14, 2007

SOME DAYS ARE QUITE AN ADVENTURE..!!!

And I think today would qualify..........!!!! You will notice this is NOT a donkey. This is Fred the pig. A few days ago a friend & I went to see him. He was so crippled up, we made the decision to euthanize him, rather than put him thru moving, castration, tusk trimming, feet trimming & anything else we could think to do to the poor guy. We talked to his caretakers & they wanted him shot, rather than using a Vet. We found someone willing to do it & today was to be the day. We also were going to move the 3 sheep this morning. When John & I went down to get the sheep, Fred was moving around pretty good. We wrangled sheep for about an hour. Talk about suspicious......... John finally managed to rope each one. Pretty good considering he isn't even close to being able to use a rope effectively. In the process Fred was moving around trying to stay out of the battle. So we decided to give him a chance. Wrangling a pig isn't the same as wrangling a sheep. At one time we managed to get him all the way to the trailer. John tried to pick him up, & you never heard such a sound in your life, he sounded like we were killing him. Then he would only back up. We finally decided to put him back in the pen & try later. By this time he was NOT going to cooperate with us for any reason. It is almost impossible to move a large pot bellied pig if he doesn't want to move. He spraddled his legs & laid on the ground . John finally pulled on the front, while I pull the bristles on his tush, which would make him pull away from me, & move a few inches forward. It took a LONG time to get back to the pen. Too bad someone wasn't standing by with a camera, even we were laughing.

We brought the sheep home & Sugar's new Mom & Dad were waiting for us. We left the sheep in the trailer, loaded Sugar up & said our good-byes. She was sticking her nose over the top of the trailer as they left, like she didn't want to leave. It's worse than sending your child to the 1st day of school, even though we know she will have a wonderful home. Georgette called after they got home, & said she made the trip just fine, & already has poor Jacque & the horses terrorized, they don't know what to think about this new "thing" in their lives.

Speaking of terrorized, try dropping 3 sheep in the middle of a bunch of horses, mules & donkeys. I don't who is more terrorized, the equines or the poor sheep. Not to mention the sheep have to contend with the dogs sharing a fence with them. Nikki seems to think it's jolly good fun to lunge at the fence & watch them scurry to the other side.

One of the neighbor's showed up, he looked strong enough to be of some assistance for our pig problem, so we told him how much fun it was going to be. Silly man, agreed to help. We were gathering ropes & anything else that might help with this process, when Joe, who was to be the executioner showed up. Joe's a big guy & his grandparents had a farm with pigs & other assorted large animals. Yippee! As you can tell from the picture, Joe is walking Fred without our incompetent assistance, with a rope around his rather rotund neck & using his tail as a "joy stick". Got him to the trailer in record time, picked him up & plopped him in. That's better than what John had planned. He was going to take the tractor down & scoop poor Fred up in the bucket & drive home, not a long distance, but might be interesting, with a pig in the bucket, trying to get out. John's theory was..........the bucket would be too slick for him to get any traction..........!!!!! Boy am I glad Joe showed up...........!!!!

He's still in the trailer. John built him a little house out of hay bales, & it's really quite comfortable, I would think. We'll keep him there for a few days until we figure out what we want to do next, since we hadn't planned on having a pot bellied pig here.

A few weeks ago I loaned a donkey book to some neighbors that live north of us. They adopted a BLM jenny which of course was pregnant & wanted to learn as much as they could about "birthing" a donkey baby. They came by this afternoon, with a picture of their little 5 day old girl. She looks like a little fuzzy toy. They said she is very friendly & the Mom doesn't seem to mind them interacting with the baby. Mom also did the dirty deed while they were sleeping, they came out in the morning & had 2 donkeys instead of 1. They are going to have so much fun spoiling that little girl I bet.

Sunday we will move the roosters to a home down by Elfrieda. A woman down there has free ranging chickens & offered to give the roosters a home, which is great. I was afraid we would never find anyone to take them. Of course we will be looking for homes for the sheep. And we don't know what will happen with Fred long term, we'll try to get some weight off him, & maybe build up his strength. Actually he seems to be strong enough, but prefers to sit around rather than walk around.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

WHERE DID THE WORD JACKASS COME FROM?

Found on the Internet, don't know who wrote it.

How did the word jackass come to describe someone behaving in a
negative or idiotic manner?

First we have to tell you how jackass came to describe what we today
call a donkey. Ass is a very old word, of even much older roots. In
late Old English it was assa, thought to have come from one of the
Celtic languages (Old Irish has asal). Many other Indo-European
languages had versions of the word which derived from Latin asinus,
but the record seems to indicate that the Celtic version(s) lent
themselves not only to Old English, but to Teutonic and Slavonic as
well. From this etymologists speculate that the Celtic form has as
its ultimate roots a Sumerian or Semitic word, which might explain
also where the Greek form onos (source of English onager) came from.
Hebrew has the word athon "ass".

Jack, used to identify the male form of a species, goes back to at
least the late 16th or early 17th century. In the case of the ass,
Jenny was used to refer to mares. There was a feminine form of ass
in Old English, assen (formed like the feminine form of fox, vixen),
but Jack and Jenny replaced the need for a feminine form.

Jackass used to describe a "fool" comes from the age-old association
of clumsiness and unintelligence with asses (that's what happens when
you've been domesticated for millenia!); this goes back at least to
the ancient Greeks and was perpetuated in the Bible. The purely
metaphorical use, calling a man an ass, arose in the 17th century.

Also, relatives of ass (and Irish asal) may be found in the German
ezel and Dutch esel. It is from this latter word that we derive
easel, the wooden ass which carries an artist's canvas.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

This is the "horsey" group, although Max the horse is outnumbered 2 to 1............!!!! Jack is in the foreground & "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" is laying down resting in the afternoon sun. She's lucky to have sun, the last few days have been pretty cool & dreary around here.

John brought Zorro, the black cat home yesterday. So far he's spent most of his time on top of the cabinet in the pantry, although he will come down if we call him. He's very mellow & people friendly, loves to be petted. Unfortunately Midas hasn't been a very good welcoming committee. I'm really surprised, he's also very mellow. It might take a couple of days, but I'm sure they will become "buds". He sneaked up on John's lap, while Midas was outside this morning............!!!!!

Chester's leg is swollen, but it's still draining. Dr. Taylor said it needed to drain for 2 weeks, which will be Tuesday. I so want him to be OK, even if the odds are against him. He deserves to have a good healthy life, & we'll do all we can to make that happen.

Tula, our wild child has upped the ante' in her relationship with us & the other donkeys again. She's decided that she isn't going to come in to eat. Unfortunately, some of the others think she's in charge & stay out with her. I spent over an hour yesterday "late" afternoon, rounding up her & her cohart, Molly, the mule. Don't know how far I walked & ran, but am beginning to think, I'm too old for this...........!!!! Ha! It wouldn't have been so bad, but Sugar was walking & running with me, which added another dimension to the whole situation. Nothing like stumbling over one, while trying to chase two......!!!

This morning she was over in Burroland, with her little herd of......... Sugar, Chester, & geriatric Pepper. I don't know how he keeps up with her, but he does. John put a halter on Pepper & I herded the other three. After last night I guess she decided I probably wouldn't give up, so she headed for her pen with Sugar & Chester in tow. With her, we never know what's going to happen.




Thursday, December 06, 2007

GOOD DAY, BAD DAY............!!!

Today is one of those days. In the rescue "business" people come to you even if it is a different species. One of our neighbors is in hospice & had quite a few animals. Her family asked if we could find homes for them. Today we delivered 14 hens, 3 ducks & 3 geese to a wonderful long term home, with other ducks & a turkey. There are also 3 sheep needing a home, & Fred the pot bellied pig. Actually he will be going to the same home as the poultry, BUT 1st he has to have "brain" surgery. He's a big boy & has never been castrated. So we offered to haul him to one of the only 2 Vets in Tucson that "do" pigs. Hopefully we can get that accomplished next week, & he can get on with his life style change. That leaves 7 roosters, which are going to be tough. Talk about an animal no one wants, I think roosters are at the top of the list. One of them is a turken & doesn't like people or other animals. He's REALLY going to be hard to find a home, I'm afraid.

That was the good news, the bad news is when we came home from delivering the poultry there was a message on our machine. A couple of days ago, we took Gato one of our cats to the Vet. They did a biopsy on a lump on his hip, one of many that had popped up in the last few weeks. We knew from an x-ray taken Tuesday, when they did the biopsy, that he had one lung that was either filled with fluid or tumor. Today they said he had some sort of fast moving cancer probably started in the lungs & caused skin tumors all over his body. He hadn't eaten or drank anything for 2 days, so I called the Vet & we took him in this afternoon. We'll bury him beside the others, under the big mesquite tree by the driveway.

As they say one door doesn't shut without another door opening. A week or so ago, our son had a black cat show up at his home in Tucson. I haven't seen him, but Rod said he is a real nice cat & keeps trying to get in the house, so he's probably been a house cat. But they have 2 housecats already, so he can't go in their house. John is going to Rod's Saturday, & will probably bring the cat home. Hopefully Midas won't mind a new friend.

Below is a link to an interesting article. This is being done by your government & does not reflect well on the people that are in a position to make such a horrible decision. I've always wondered at the type of people that could pull the trigger in these situations & then go home to their families.

http://www.marfatx.com/uploadedfiles/questions120607.html


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

This is Chester's surgical area. Look's pretty nasty doesn't it? It was done 8 days ago, & needs to be kept open & draining for as long as possible. He's running around with the group, all over the place & seems to be doing good. Doesn't even seem to be particularly uncomfortable, he's still favoring his leg a little bit, but doesn't seem to be lame.

I will be giving him antibiotics for at least 6 weeks & the test will be after the wound heals over. Dr. Taylor said if the infection was in the joint the chances of recovery would be very slim. During surgery he couldn't tell for sure if the joint was involved or not. He said if there is infection in there once it's healed, it will swell up like it was again, & he will be lame.

Sugar will be going to her new home the 14th of this month. We will really miss her, she's such a little cutie with lots of personality.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

OPEN HOUSE THIS WEEK-END

Yesterday was not a very pleasant day. It was cold, windy & rainy all day. I was surprised we had anyone show up to see the donkeys, but there were a few hardy folks, & they seemed to enjoy the donkeys in spite of the weather. Of course the donkeys appreciated them having cups of timothy pellets to feed them.

Today was a beautiful day, the type of day people come to Arizona for. Sugar's new Mom came out to help show people around. Sugar acted like a little brat most of the day. She tried to "hog" the people away from Belle & Shiloh that were in the pen with her. She brayed every chance she got if she thought someone wasn't giving her the attention she deserved. She will be going to her new home later on this month with her new best friend, Jacque.

Everyone else really got into the idea of, people & treats. Late in the afternoon Tula actually took a pellet from a visitor's hand. The woman looked a lot like Terry, who took Tula for a couple of months to see if she could "tame" her. I don't know if that was what drew her to the woman or not. Once she took the pellet she wouldn't come back for another one. That's why I thought she figured out it wasn't Terry. But it was quite a break thru for our little Wild Child.

Molly the mule had no problem working the people for pellets. She spent the day running back & forth along the fence, making sure they knew she was there. Old Jack the mule, usually has a quid of chewed up hay in his mouth, because of his poor, & lack of teeth. He has learned that when people come to visit, he needs to spit the quid out, so they can give him pellets. When he sees the people come up to the fence........PLOP!!!!!, the quid hits the ground, he comes over to the fence & delicately takes the pellets from their hands. Usually his mouth is pretty slobbery, which is a real shock to the people that have never fed an equine before.

It's great for the gang to have a lot of people come out to visit like that. It makes them more comfortable around strangers, especially the ones that are already suspicious of people. Seeing the more precocious ones getting goodies, makes being standoffish seem kinda silly.

Friday, November 30, 2007

OPEN HOUSE TOMORROW.........!!!!


Tomorrow is the big day. Hopefully the weather will be nice. It's been rainy & cloudy the last 2 days, & the weatherman says it will be that way until Sunday. Wet donkeys are grumpy donkeys & really don't like to be sociable, which won't be much fun for the people.

Chester is doing good. He's going out & roaming around with the gang. There is a lot of swelling around the incision area, hopefully from the trama of surgery. It's still draining, & Dr. Taylor wants it to drain as long as possible, 2 weeks is what we are shooting for.

Jenny is still going out except at feeding time, & really is walking good. It is hard to believe this is the same donkey that came here last spring, & was laying down 23 1/2 hours a day, & could only walk a few yards without stopping & trying to take weight off her feet. I doubt if she will ever be sound to ride, but who knows with proper trimming, if the bones in her feet realign, she may be.

No problems with the rest of the gang. Now that the weather has cooled off, even the allergies & fly problems are over. Sure makes life easier for their caretakers, aka, John & I.............!!!


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

CHESTER IS COMING HOME TODAY

As soon as we get chores done this morning, we will get on the road to Gilbert. Dr. Taylor said the surgery went well, they cleaned all the infection they could find. Unfortunately he is pretty sure the infection is in the joint, which is a very poor prognosis, long term. It seems the "bugs" can hide, no matter what kind of antibiotics you give, or for how long. But we'll give it our best shot. I'm sure he will be much more comfortable without dragging all that infection around with him. He never had a broken shoulder, which is what we were told when we got him. He had been kicked on the side of his elbow. In the x-rays we could see wild bone growth right below the elbow joint, which is probably where he was kicked. It was porous & there were also a couple of other porous looking areas, closer to the joint. The infection probably started in the wild bone growth area & then branched out to the bone itself & then into the joint. This is a simplistic explanation, but that's the only way I can understand it.

We're also getting ready for the Open House this week-end. Thank goodness there isn't a whole lot of "getting ready", although I'm sure the next couple of days, will be pretty hectic. There's pens to build, signs to put out, & stuff to be done, I probably haven't even thought about. Even if we aren't ready, I'm sure the donkeys will be, once they see lots of people with cups of timothy pellets............!!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

CHESTER UPDATE

Chester has infection in his elbow joint, which is automatic euthanasia for horses usually. Dr. Taylor is operating on him this morning to give him a chance at life. They will call after the surgery.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

FIRST FIRE OF THE SEASON........!!!

It was in the 20's here this morning, good thing John brought in wood & we built a fire last night. Broke ice on the water buckets & of course had to wear heavy coats, & gloves. Doing chores bundled up is sooooooo much fun......!!!! The sun is already up & shining, so it should be a nice day.

Isn't Chester just about the prettiest thing you ever saw? When I see this picture taken yesterday, the first thing I notice is the lack of swelling in his right leg from the shoulder, down to about halfway to the knee. It's like a miracle at how well he is walking. He's still limping, but seems very comfortable. This morning I thought I saw a raw opening where the white hard "thing" was, so I'm hoping, it fell out. Maybe he never had a broken shoulder, just a piece of bone broke off when he was kicked that's been working it's way out for months. We'll find out tomorrow when we haul him to Gilbert.

Since Jenny was trotting yesterday, we thought she would be able to take care of herself if the neighbor's dogs tried to chase her. So she got to go out overnight for the first time. This morning when the "herd" showed up at breakfast time, about 6 of them came in at a trot or canter. John said she was even moving faster than yesterday. Unfortunately she didn't want to go in her pen, she wanted to stay part of the herd. John had to "encourage" her with the quirt. She wanted to stay with Chester. When he first came here, she had a "thing" for him, guess she hasn't forgotten............!!!!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

JENNY IS REALLY IMPROVING.!!!

This is John & Jenny this morning after her RUN..........!!!! Well actually it was a fast trot. I was on the computer & John yelled from the bedroom, "there she goes, she's running". I couldn't imagine what he was talking about. I ran to see what all the excitement was about & he was watching her out the window. She had stopped & I could tell by her body language she was trying to decide whether to roll in the sand or take off. She finally took off at a very pretty fast trot.

I think it was in July that the Vet wanted to put her down after seeing the x-rays of her feet. Her feet still look horrible, but obviously the regular trimming & exercise is making a difference in her comfort level. The new growth, especially on the rear feet is growing in nicely. The front feet aren't very pretty but obviously are becoming more functional. YIPPEE! This is what makes all the effort worthwhile............!!!

Friday, November 23, 2007

AND SO IT GOES..............!!!

Chester's leg is doing real good, although it looks like a science project. It's drained down his leg & of course he's laid down in the dirt & gravel, which makes for a messy leg. He's a little more agreeable to allowing us to touch his leg on the outside, BUT, not anywhere close to the open spot. There's too much crud on it now, so I can't tell if the white "thing" is gone or not. He's walking good, abeit, still with a limp, but not like before. The swelling has gone down considerably, & he isn't standing with the foot turned backwards like he was. I tried spraying the leg, with a spray bottle.......not even close to the wound. That's not going to happen.......!!!! He let me know his good nature, will only go so far........!!!

Everyone else seems to be doing good right now. Hopefully they will all continue in good health for the Cascabel Christmas Fair, next week-end. This morning Sha'ba actually brayed at us twice. Then when I went in to put his "mush" in his feed bucket, he wanted to push me out of the way. I reminded him, that without me there to put it in the bucket, there wouldn't be anything to eat...........!!! I got the distinct impression, he wasn't the least bit impressed............!!! (G) When I think back to what he was like just a little over 4 years ago, it's amazing how far he has come. We didn't think he would make the trip from Tucson, he was in horrible shape & so painfully thin. Donkeys are such survivors, & one of the most forgiving animals on the planet.

Except for Tula, I don't think she will ever forgive humans for what has been done to her in the past. She is NOT going to give up her independence to any mere human being, no matter how "honest" they are with her........!!!!


Thursday, November 22, 2007

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO EVERYONE.........!!

We got a little sprinkling of moisture again this morning. It sure stirs Molly Mule up, I can't imagine how she will act if we ever get a "real" rain.

When Chester "finally" came in with control freak Tula this morning, he was actually walking pretty good. His arm isn't as swollen & I managed to clean enough of the ichthammol off to see a hard white spot. I still think it's a piece of bone. If we get a chance today we'll tie him up & try to look at it, & maybe clean it up a little. He's so protective though, it might be better to just watch it & let him work it out. I hope if it is a piece of bone it isn't still attached somewhere.

Actually John came in a few minutes ago, & said "Chester doesn't even want you LOOKING at his leg" & was adament enough about it to graze John's leg with a quick moving back foot. John said he thought Chester kicked a moment before, but thought he was kicking at a fly or something............. Yeh he was kicking at something alright, the nosy person that was trying to look at his leg. So he got smacked on the tush & told not to do that again. John thinks it looks like a piece of bone also. So that's two people that don't know what they are doing, in agreement.......!!!! (G)

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving................!!!
Tish

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

MY WILD C HILD, TULA


I guess Tula has decided that she will be as wild as she can be without giving up her "domestic" feed pan & hay. The last couple of days she has waited to come in, until we start putting the pans out for everyone else. In fact she waits until I've put her feed in her pen, & manages to come in without us seeing her. Although this morning I did catch a glimpse of her, without her knowing it. I'm not sure what the game is, but she's certainly playing it by her rules. Chester came in without her yesterday, but this morning he stayed out until she "decided" to come in. I keep telling him, she isn't the best one to hang out with, she'll lead him astray........!!!!

I noticed yesterday that Chester had a lump on the inside of the swollen part of his leg. It's been swollen ever since we picked him up, but I never noticed the lump before. This morning the lump is open & wet & he doesn't want it touched at all, so I assume it's very sore. I wonder if a piece of the broken bone has worked it's way to the surface & is coming out? I tried to put some Ichthammol, which is a drawing salve on it. It was a rather hit & miss operation, as I said he doesn't want it touched & was rather adept at keeping me away from it.

I called this morning up to the Equine Clinic at Gilbert, but of course with the holiday, they are behind. We have an appointment for Monday of next week. The last time we were up there, one of the Vets said, they always like for us to come up, because we bring such interesting problems...........!!! We've been wanting to get an x-ray of his shoulder to see just exactly what is broken & where. We should have had one taken, the day we picked him up, we were right at the clinic. But we were busy with Molly & Buddy Brat's surgery, & didn't even think about what a perfect opportunity to find out for sure what his shoulder looks like.

Monday, November 19, 2007

SUGAR HAS A NEW HOME...........!!!!

The home study was great, & Jacque is absolutely adorable. He's smaller than Sugar, but they will make a cute couple. I'm sure she will be in charge, the jennets usually are.........!!!! Sorry guys, that's just the way it is.........!!!! LOL

Talked to Lynda tonight to see how Gus is doing in his new home. She thinks he is wonderful, he loves to be groomed, & is developing a taste for exotic foods, such as honeydew melon & cantalope. He's also trying to figure out how to get to the duck feed. Chili already had been trying to figure out how to snag that particular treat & Lynda says she has to stand guard till the ducks finish eating, with 2 donkeys now instead of just one.

We were feeding late tonight, & I opened Burroland without checking to see if John had gotten everyone in their pens. He stuck his head in the feed room while I was fixing feed pans, & said Tula & Chester had taken advantage of the open gate & went over there instead of in their pens. I finished the pans, grabbed a halter & went over to see if I could find them. I stumbled around in the dusk, trying to find a path thru the mesquite & finally Tula brayed, so I knew where they were. I headed that direction but couldn't find them. I headed back for the gate & noticed a pair of legs in the general vicinity thru the trees. I yelled & acted mean & lost track of them. Thought I saw one of them on the other side of the gate & sure enough, they headed for their pens. I guess I needed all that extra exercise..........!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

HOME STUDY FOR SUGAR...!!!

We will be doing a home study for Sugar tomorrow. When someone is interested in adopting one of the donkeys, we always go visit the home before it's a done deal. If this home works out she will have 3 horses & Jacque the donkey to hang out with. We will keep her here until after the Open House, so she doesn't miss all the petting & treats given out by dozens of people.........!!!

Friday, November 16, 2007

RAIN..........????

We woke up to a sprinkle this morning. It wasn't much, but enough to get the "herd" going. Molly the mule was in the lead. She had quite a following, Shiloh, Belle, Tula, & Sugar were in hot pursuit, trying to catch her. Max the horse, was chortling & trying to figure out if something was chasing them. Jack the mule was just trying to stay out of the line of fire. Lucy, Buster & Chester were standing in the wash, as spectators, watching the show. What fun it is to watch them run & able to enjoy being free, without humans, telling them what to do, & where to do it. Of course right after the "races", we told them to go in their pens if they wanted breakfast, so it isn't a perfect world after all.......!!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

CHESTER'S THE MAN......!!!

Well I guess Chester is getting settled into his new home OK. In fact he & Tula have become quite the "item" & stay together when they are out. Not sure that's a good idea, she usually leads whoever runs with her astray & tries to get them to run WILD.....or at least to stay over on the 20 acres we call Burroland, rather than come over to be fed, like a TAME donkey. They've stayed over there 2 mornings rather than come over with everyone else. John & I had to go over & round them up, or at least head them in the right direction & hope they went thru the gate. What's really odd is old Pepper is hanging with them also. Not sure what that is about, Tula has never paid any attention to him before. It's always interesting to what the dynamics of the "herd" are on a daily basis.

Chester of course is still crippled on his broken shoulder, but it doesn't slow him down much. When he runs, (yes he does run) he runs almost without a limp, which is really pretty to see. He doesn't seem to be in pain & I told John when he's running he probably doesn't have to think about his leg. I've been massaging the enlarged part of his leg between the shoulder & the knee every morning, & he really likes it. He will lower his head almost to the ground, & stand as long as I'll massage.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

CASCABEL CHRISTMAS FAIR....!!!!

HEY! LET'S ALL HEAD TO THE CASCABEL CHRISTMAS FAIR..!!

The 27th annual Fair will be December 1 & 2 this year from 10-4 each day. Last year was the first time we had participated & everyone had a great time. So we're going to do it again this year. The donkeys will be thrilled, they always enjoy having people come to visit. And if there are LOTS of them, with cups of timothy pellets, that just makes it better from their point of view........!!!!

If anyone would like to volunteer to help during the Open House, we could sure use the help. Basically you would walk around, answer questions if asked, & make sure no gates get opened by mistake, or fingers get too far into eager donkey mouths.


Monday, November 12, 2007

GUS, WE HARDLY KNEW YE...............!!!

We picked Gus up yesterday at Arivaca & delivered him to Elfrieda today. For a donkey that has been running loose on a ranch the last few years, I must say, he has a wonderful personality & is a gentleman. Not thrilled about being in a trailer, but no one is perfect..........!!!!! Chili was so excited to see another donkey, he's been alone for almost a year. Neither one showed any aggression at all, started off exploring together, ignoring Lynda, her neighbors a friend from Bisbee, & us, like we didn't exist. Chili did come in right before we left, to get some apples from Lynda, but Gus continued to ignore us. I'm sure he'll catch onto the routine quickly, & will line up for his share of the apples & anything else offered, probably by tomorrow. Thanks to Susan & Tom for getting involved, when they found out Gus was thought of as a pest & was no longer welcome where he lived. He now has a friend & a Mom that will make sure he is loved & taken care of for the rest of his life. Gus on the left, Chili on the right surveying their domain.....!!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

MIRAGE WENT HOME TODAY

After having 5 months of doing nothing but what he wanted to do, going into a small 2 horse trailer wasn't what he had planned for the day. He wasn't mean or anything, just didn't see a need to go in there. He finally did after Delford showed him it was the only place he could rest. If he was outside the trailer, his feet had to be moving. After awhile, that got old & he made the decision to hop in.

Delford is a mule trainer & of course we had to show him Molly. He worked with her a little bit, & she thought that was great. She's just like a piece of clay, everything is fun & interesting. Hope she keeps that attitude, she'll make someone a great saddle mule someday.

We had a tour group this afternoon, & also John's cousin Gene & a friend came by on a road trip. They will leave in the morning, & we'll probably leave about the same time to go pick up Gus in Arivaca.

We kept the equines in their pens, because of the tour. Then we decided to leave them in the pens, so we could feed early, & then go into Benson to eat supper. It has not been quiet around here, they have yelled & screamed & generally let us know we forgot to let them out & need to fix this problem. They like to get fed early, so that should soothe them a little bit.......!!!!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

GETTING READY FOR GUS

Cisco is checking out the temporary pen we're setting up for Gus. We actually might not need it, we pick him up Sunday. But Mirage's Mom called today & is suppose to pick him up Saturday. If she does, then Gus could go in Mirage's pen overnight. We'll be taking him to his new home in Elfrieda Monday. He won't hardly be here long enough to meet everybody.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

JACK & TIO

THANKS, LAURA FOR THE PICTURE OF YOUR BOYS....!

This is a picture of Jack in his new home, with his new best friend Tio. Obviously there is something of interest to the left. I guess he's went thru a few name changes, all revolving around Jack in some way, & has settled right into his new life. I love it when they get a great new home........!!!!

This Sunday we will pick up Gus, & deliver him to his new home Monday. Susan sent this picture, taken when she & Tom went out to visit Gus a few months ago. He's a good sized boy & should make a good friend for Chili. He's had no donkeys around him for a few years, but both of them have pretty mellow personalities, as far as I know, so they should get along just fine. Linda doesn't have a extra pen to separate them till they get to know each other, so we will stick around for a couple of hours & make sure Chili doesn't think he has to protect his "turf".

Monday, November 05, 2007

WALKABOUT TOUR....BUCKEYE ARIZONA...........!!!!

Got back from the Clinton Anderson Walkabout Tour last night. Really had a great time, didn't even mind sleeping in the van, which actually turned out very comfortable. I've never seen such a place as Empty Acres. I guess I need to get out in the "real" world more.............!!!!! Next week they are having a Horse Festival up there, & are expecting over 20,000 people for the 3 day event.

The clinic started at 8am sharp on Saturday. There was around 3,000 people there to watch. You can tell from the round pen, that the covered arena is pretty big. By 6pm the bleachers were getting hard. Sunday morning 8am, we started again & the bleachers hadn't gotten any softer overnight. I left at 4pm to get home at a decent hour & the clinic was still going on.

I'm really glad I got to go, & will try to go again, if he comes back to Arizona. Unfortunately most of the training he does, probably wouldn't work with donkeys, but it was really interesting anyway. To watch him take an unbroke 2 year old, like the one in the picture & have a saddle & rider on him in less than 2 hours, is amazing to me.

John did great while I was gone, everyone got along just fine. In fact they didn't even acknowledge I'd been gone, when I went out this morning. But he did tell me the same thing I always tell him when he comes home, "chores sure go faster with two than it does with one".................!!!!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Did a home study today. Chili has been by himself, since his friend Hillary died from colic a few months ago. He has been very lonely & depressed. His Mom got in touch with us a few weeks ago, & I knew of a big black donkey running on a ranch that had been getting into the flower gardens & had basically worn out his welcome. So we will be moving Gus from the ranch in a week or so. We'll bring him here for a few days, & then take him to his new home, which is 33 acres & a pond...!!!! Lucky boy!

Tomorrow I will be leaving John with chores over the week-end while I go to the Clinton Anderson Clinic up at Buckeye. Should be very interesting & hopefully I'll learn something I can use with the long ears. Hope John survives the experience, it's been a long time since I left him with the whole mess.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

TRIM DAY

Katie is teaching her granddaughter how to trim at a young age..!!! Actually once the baby had a bottle she slept thru what we were doing.

Sugar was fascinated, when the baby made a noise. She tried to get in Katie's truck to see what "it" was. Finally had to run her off.

Jenny's feet are still improving, although it's going to be a long time before they look "normal", if ever. She is still walking good, so Katie was pretty conservative in her trim. Lucy, Pepper & Mirage also got pedicures..............!!!! The others are real good about keeping their feet worn off. Some of them haven't been touched in years.

We barnstormed ideas on how to trim Chester's feet. He can't stand on his bad shoulder at all. Our best idea is to get a large animal sling to put him in, to trim his feet. They also make a tilt table you can strap them on, but they are quite expensive. Katie said we might try cutting grooves in the long part of his feet, to encourage them to break off on their own. We will probably try cutting the grooves, if we can get him to stand still for such an insult. He seems to have definite ideas on how he should be treated. But eventually I'm sure we'll have to try a sling.

Friday, October 26, 2007

BUSY BUT BORING.....!!!!

Doesn't seem to be much going on around here right now. Everyone is fairly healthy, the only one I'm doctoring every day is Jenny. Chester had to stay in all day yesterday, we left for Tucson before he got thru eating. This morning he was 3 legged lame. So being able to move around is going to be very important to his comfort level. I've been trying him on different herbs to see if one helps more than another. So far nothing seems to work very well. But we'll keep trying. He moves pretty good once he takes a few steps & is willing to move around, so I don't think he is in pain, so much as the nerve damage & muscle atrophy causes, use of that leg to be awkward. It's sad to see such a beautiful sweet natured animal, crippled for life because he wasn't taken care of when his shoulder was originally broken.

This morning when I let everyone out, he went thru Sha'ba's pen before Sha'ba got out. The next thing I know they are standing almost side by side eating Sha'ba's leftover hay. I don't think Sha'ba has ever allowed another donkey to get that close without him taking off. He must realize Chester isn't a threat to him.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Yesterday at Donkey Dinner time, John was rounding everyone up & heard someone moving quickly in the wash. Turned around & it was Jenny, walking fast. He was quite excited considering it hasn't been that long since she had her back legs up under her to keep weight off her front legs as much as she could. I wish I had seen it, hopefully it wasn't just a fluke & she will continue to improve.

I worked with Miss Tula this morning. I've found out if I don't work with her on a regular basis, she reverts to being wild & stand offish. Molly mule was in her pen next door & had a fit, because she wasn't getting to play. So after I finished with Tula, I let Molly out of her pen, asked her to walk next to me, which she did. Asked her to stop, she did & thought I'd try having her back up. She also did that. I don't know how much Anita worked with her, I wouldn't think very much. She was either sick, or recuperating almost the whole time Anita had her. I've never been around a young mule before, but she seems to be smart as a whip, & catch on to new things very quick. I hope we can find a good home for her.

Friday, October 19, 2007

FALL IS THE BEST TIME OF YEAR..............!!!!

The days are warm & sunny, the nights are cool enough to make great sleeping weather.........!!!! This is the type of weather that brings people to the desert.

This is Justin, one of the 3 minis snacking on greasewood aka creosote bush. I don't know how they eat it, I wouldn't be able to get past the smell. I love the smell after a rain, but eating it...............hmmmm........don't think so.

Everyone seems to be doing pretty good right now. I wish I knew if Chester is in pain with his broken shoulder or not. He moves around abeit limping. But he also lays down quite a bit. I don't know if he is giving the leg a rest or if he's just lazy. His owner said he has always laid down a lot. I am trying different inflammation supplements, to see if anything makes him more comfortable. He's alert & active, but without x-rays we really don't know where or what the problem is.

Jenny is still walking good, I haven't seen her shifting weight from one front foot to the other in quite sometime. I'm still doctoring the proud flesh on one hoof, but it seems to be under control.

In a couple of weeks I am going up to Buckeye, AZ to a horse clinic put on by Clinton Anderson. We watch his program on TV & I don't think much of it pertains to donkeys, but it will be fun. I'll be camping out in the Van for a couple of nights. John will be doing chores by himself, hopefully by that time fly season will be winding down, & he won't have to put masks on. He'll have plenty to do, feeding & picking up poo.

I'll also get a chance to meet a woman I've known for a couple of years, via the internet. She runs a private sanctuary for mini horses & donkeys not far from where the clinic will be held. We've exchanged phone numbers & what shirts we'll be wearing, so we can find each other. I, of course will be wearing a donkey shirt, so I shouldn't be too hard to locate, in a sea of "horsey" people............!!!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

TOUR SEASON IS HERE!


Now that the weather has cooled off, we can expect more tours. The last couple of days Alan Kruse has brought 2 different groups out from Tucson. The donkeys really enjoy tours, we give the people cups of timothy pellets, & it doesn't take even the new ones long to catch on. Molly Mule was absolutely silly today, pawing & running back & forth on the fence. I told the people that's the reason we have them in pens when people come out. Molly would have been a real brat if she had access to all the people at the same time. We use to let them out when people were here, but decided someone might get hurt. Most of the people have never been that close to a large animal, & wouldn't know how to read the body language. Besides if the animals had unfettered access to the cups, I can imagine what would happen. Let's just say, possession of the cups would probably move from people to donkeys.........!!



Sunday, October 14, 2007

CATCH UP NEWS........!!!!

This is Molly Brown with her big brother, Mirage. It's hard to get a picture of her, as you can see she was walking towards me. Anytime she notices you, she always comes to see what you are doing.

Yesterday morning, when I opened the pens up, Chester went into Sha'ba's pen to clean up the hay. All of a sudden I heard a loud commotion in that pen. Molly had come in to also clean up hay, & had poor crippled Chester trapped in the shelter. She is very quick with her feet, & was kicking him just as fast as she could. I ran to break it up, & he came out not putting any weight on his bad leg. I don't know if she kicked him on that leg, or if he hurt it, trying to protect himself. He's still not putting much weight on it this morning. He only eats hay & hay cubes, so it is really hard to give him anything like bute or yucca, which is good for inflammation. I've tried all the tricks I know, next time I go to town I'll get some baby food strained carrots. He likes carrots, but he doesn't seem to like wet mushy food. Applesauce was a definite NO-NO, he acted like I was trying to poison him. Most of the others, will do just about anything for apples or applesauce.

I think the next time we have a Vet out here, I'll have him x-rayed to see exactly where the damage is. It's too late to do anything about it probably, but you never know. He's such a good natured guy, & we want to make sure he is as comfortable as possible.

Terry came to groom yesterday. Sugar is such a squirmy girl, she couldn't stand still long enough to get groomed. Rather than tie them up, Terry walks around & if they stand still they get groomed. After Belle got groomed, she kept getting back in line to get groomed again. She is such a sweet gentle girl, I'd like to find a good home for her & Shiloh, so they could have a family of their own.

It was 39 degrees this morning, hopefully it won't be too long before we can forgo the fly masks.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I'M BACK...........!!!!!

I've been gone for awhile, my computer decided to finally, permanently quit. It took a week to find out it couldn't be fixed & find a replacement. Hopefully this won't happen again, I'm not good with having to find & redo everything..........!!!!!! In fact I'm not even sure of what's missing......!!!! I guess if I don't miss it, it probably wasn't important.

I don't know who wrote this, I found it on the internet. But they certainly know what they are talking about.


Rules of the Barn

1. I am human. You are donkey. What I say goes.
Please take that into consideration when you are
standing on my foot.

2. Spilled grain is not "fair game", especially when it is spilled
in another stall. It still belongs to that
particular animal. You have no reason to go in and
eat it.

3. Poop does not need to be hidden. I clean your stall every day.
I will
find it. Do not hide it.

4. I do not need your help when I clean the barn, nor do I
need your supervision, or even your presence. I
have been cleaning the barn and stalls ever since
you lived here. I know what I am doing. Standing
at the door staring at me, will not make me clean
faster.

5. There is no need to go into the barn and help yourself to the
feed. Meals
are given at specific times of the day. There is
a feed schedule. You know the schedule. I know
you know the schedule. You know that I know that
you know the schedule. There is no need to
help yourself.

6. Water buckets are not toys. Neither is the gate, pitchfork, wheel
barrow, whatever is in the wheel barrow, fence,
or the occasional dog.

7. The wheel barrow is there for a reason. Please do not try
to move it while I am cleaning your stall.

8. Just because I go into the
barn doesn't mean you automatically get food.
There is other stuff in the barn. Stuff you don't
want. Like dewormer and fly spray , shots, medicine.

9. Sheath cleaning will NOT be enjoyed...by anyone.

10. Water travels through the hose.
If you are thirsty, do not stand on the hose. The
water buckets will fill much faster.

11. Not everything has to be high drama. None of the
following things will kill you: fly spray,
plastic bags, balloons, hoses, chipmunks and
other small rodents, or bright blue
tarps.

12. Although I understand the
need for you to go to the bathroom, it is not
necessary to hold it in all day until
the moment I finish cleaning your stall and
put away the wheel barrow.

13. Accidents happen. However, I'm not altogether sure you're
not trying to kill yourself. Next time you decide
to impale yourself on some sort of object, please
try to do it when it's not hailing, midnight, the
weekend, or Christmas.

14. While I appreciate your need to be clean, pooping in your
water bucket does not make my job easier, and it
deprives you of water. Please find a new
spot.

15. Braying as loudly as you can
in my face does not make me feed you any
faster.

16. I have to wait patiently too while you are having your shoes
tacked on.
There is no need to bite me.
~~~~~~~~~~~~

All of our equines are doing pretty good right now. Jenny is getting around much easier, she's not walking on "egg shells" although her stride is still short. She seems to be very comfortable & we are quite pleased with her progress.

Chester is enjoying being out every day. I think sometimes he's having too much fun. His leg swells up, it's probably from too much moving around. I hope as he gets more exercise the leg will get stronger. I don't want to keep him in his pen all the time, because, exercise is good for him, maybe just not as much as he's getting..............!!!!


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

CHESTER'S HAVING FUN...........!!!!

In this picture he is phleming, or flehmen, depending on how you want to spell it. In the background is Mirage on one side of the bunk & Molly the mule on the other. She's brown & rather hard to see.

He's getting along with everyone, roaming around doing his own thing & seems to really be enjoying getting out. Yesterday he was laying in the wash sunbathing, like BlackJack does. He must feel safe to lay out on his side like that.

So far we are only letting him out during the day. Again, last night he let John know he wasn't interested in going back in his pen, at feeding time. I think they made about 4 laps around the pens before Chester finally gave up & went in gracefully. I'd like to make sure his leg is doing OK before we let him out all the time. If he gets along OK, & so far I see no problems, he will probably end up eating out with Buster, Lucy, Belle, Shiloh & Sugar. There's no reason for him to be in a pen to eat, unless he needs downtime to rest his leg.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

HORRIBLE CONDITIONS IN MEXICO SLAUGHTER HOUSES

This article should be required reading for every American, that thinks closing down the equine slaughter houses in the U.S. "fixes" the problem. There's nothing I can say about the article except don't read it before eating, or going to bed. But do read it.........!!! And maybe share your thoughts with your Congressmen.

Friday, September 28, 2007

CHESTER'S A NEW MAN............!!!

It is amazing to see the difference in Chester's demeanor today. He had spent a lot of time laying down, every day & I assume at night too. This morning when we went out to feed, he was on his feet, flirting with Molly mule thru the fence, & challenging poor old Sha'ba thru the fence on the other side. It's amazing what a good foot trim will do for a guy. This afternoon about an hour before feeding time, I opened the gate & let him out. I watched him for awhile & he seemed to be doing OK, very interested in eating mesquite leaves.

When John went to round everyone up, Chester really wasn't interested in going back into his pen, even though Shiloh was trying to keep him from rubbing noses with Belle. Chester has some "war" wounds, so I guess they were busy establishing their pecking order. Shiloh is a pretty good street fighter. It took him 2 years to come out of his shell, but once he did, he has definate ideas on how things should go. Even though Chester is lame he's bigger than Shiloh, so hopefully no one will get hurt. We'll let him out a couple of hours every afternoon for a few days, till he gets use to being out & having the other donkeys to interact with. He rubbed noses with Jenny & that seemed to go well.


Thursday, September 27, 2007

CHESTER GOT HIS FEET TRIMMED

Before they could be trimmed, he had to go to sleep for awhile. This is Dr. Tibbets searching for the vein. John & Katie weren't just standing there observing, they had him pinned against the fence. For some reason he wasn't the least bit interested in cooperating with all these people. Actually it went better than it could have. He's not mean & although he tried to avoid us, he gave in with a certain amount of grace.

Katie trimmed off a bunch of hoof & frog. She grabbed hold of the frog & started pulling. I thought maybe she was going to pull his frog off his foot, but it was all overgrowth from not being trimmed in a long time. His feet look good & this afternoon, he seemed to be moving better. I'll give him a couple of days to get use to his new feet, & then let him out to start roaming with the rest of them. I really think he's going to have better use of his shoulder & will be able to walk easier, once he gets out & gets some exercise.
Dr. Tibbets also removed the proud flesh off Jenny's foot. As we expected it really bled, & had to be wrapped in a pressure bandage. The worse thing was behind the proud flesh were maggots. The flies really liked that foot, now I know why. UGH!

Had to lance a large swollen area on Pepper's nose this morning, probably an infected cactus thorn. Poor old boy, it looked sore & from the way he acted it was. He doesn't like to be messed with & lets you know it. He throws his head around, & when the area of interest is on his muzzle, it's a rather hit & miss operation. This evening it looked pretty good, so hopefully he'll be OK in the morning.

Buddy's jaw is still swollen where the tumor was removed from the bone last week. Haven't heard about the biopsy yet. Dr. Taylor was really interested in finding out what kind of tumor it was, since it looked rather unusual.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

CHESTER UPDATE

No big surprises although he still isn't thrilled with a fly mask. At his old home they had fly misters, so I don't know if he's ever had many fly masks in his life. He thinks turning his butt to you will make it go away. We've found out if you pop him on the butt with the fly mask, then he will stand & let you put it on.

Yesterday Terry came to groom, whoever would like to be groomed. Chester even got to get brushed. He was a little hesitant, but Terry is so quiet & patient, that he relaxed & I'm sure will look forward to next time.

Old Pepper is still limping around & his soles are still below the hoof wall. Katie will be here Thur to trim Chester & I'm sure she'll agree that Pepper needs less sole than he has. Jenny's feet are growing out enough now that the weak & missing areas of her hoof wall have reached the ground. That means they are breaking off & leaving large chunks of hoof wall missing. So far it doesn't seem to bother her. If she starts being tender footed, I'll have to wrap her feet. I'd rather not, because if you wrap you take a chance on trapping moisture, a great environment for bacteria or fungus growth.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Our new boy is settling in just fine. The swelling in his leg is going down, & he's walking much better. Yesterday morning I walked out the door & saw a donkey I didn't recognize, under the big mesquite with Sugar trying to play. I yelled & wished I had a camera. His head jerked up, ears at attention, looking at me like, "see how smart I am, I figured out how to get out of that old pen"........!!! We were afraid he would be evasive, but John got behind him, & he went back in like gentleman.

The Vet & trimmer will be here next Thur to get his feet shortened. Once that's done & he has a couple of days to learn to walk with short feet, we'll let him out & see how it goes. I think he will get along just fine, if he doesn't try to overdue it the first few days, till he gets use to moving around over rough ground.

We're thinking of doing a name change on him. If they have a name when they come, we usually don't change it. But we think we have a perfect new name for him. If the gray males don't have a name we use gun manufacturer names for them. You know "gun barrel gray"..........!!!! We would like to name him Winchester & call him Chester, which would also have meaning. In the show Gunsmoke, one of Matt Dillon's sidekicks, was named Chester, & he was crippled. I e-mailed the former owner & asked it if would be OK with him. Haven't heard back yet. I do find it easier to remember Chester without thinking.

Molly is going great guns on this clicker training stuff. She started out confused, & I thought maybe this isn't going to work with her. But once the light bulb went off, I can't walk around carrying the target without having to almost run for my life..........!!!! Well that might be a stretch, but she definately wants to put her nose on the target.

Everyone else is doing good. I think everyone is enjoying the cooler weather, I know I am.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

BISCUIT IS HERE


We picked Biscuit up yesterday as planned & it went well. We transfered him directly from one trailer to the other, so he didn't have to step down. His feet are horribly long & one of the first things we will do, is get them trimmed. We were going to try to do it, but this morning his bad leg from elbow to knee is swollen, & after looking at his feet, they need some professional attention anyway. We'll probably have the Vet come out & put him on the ground, so the farrier can work without trying to balance Biscuit on 3 legs. Besides he's been used as roping donkey, & consequently doesn't want his legs messed with, let alone his feet picked up. He does stand around with his bad leg turned under, although when he walks he walks like he should. We might have to find some sort of brace for him to wear for awhile to retrain the nerves & muscles, we'll see what the Vet says.

He's a big boy, about the size of BlackJack, & seems to be very mellow although not a snuggly type of fellow. We use a golf cart to haul the hay buckets thru the pens. Sometimes this is a problem with a new donkey, if they've never seen such a thing before. He didn't even pay any attention to it.

The Vet checked Molly's belly & scar tissue from her surgery. He said she has a very small hernia, but other than that said she should be just fine if someone wanted to train her to ride or anything else. We've been playing around with clicker training the last few days, & I think she just wants to be a fun loving mule, with someone to play with her, rather than having to work........!!!

They x-rayed Buddy's lump on his jaw & the decision was made to remove it. This is Dr. Taylor doing his thing. Buddy's head is under the blue drape, his neck is to the left. He's laying on his back on a table. They had to use a hammer & chisel to break the lump away from his jawbone. He was a little drunk when they brought him out of recovery, but we managed to get him into the trailer, with Biscuit. Buddy preceded to try to kick the snot out of Biscuit. I had a vested interest in this process, since I was in the trailer with them at the time. Buddy was too wobbly to be accurate & finally decided he better keep all feet on the floor of the trailer.

Molly had to ride in the 2nd section of the trailer, because when we put her in with Buddy that morning, she decided she was going to kick him into next week. And she didn't give up, so we quickly moved her & shut the gate between them in the trailer.

The logistics of getting a Vet & a farrier out here at the same time, is going to be fun. Hopefully I can get them together this week, but that would be some type of miracle, probably........!!!

Monday, September 17, 2007

HEADED FOR GILBERT

As soon as we get the pens cleaned & everyone gets thru with their breakfast, we'll get on the road with Buddy Brat & Molly. It's about a 3 hour trip, if everything goes well. The owner of Biscuit will bring him to the clinic to turn him over to us. While we are at the clinic we will probably have them look at his shoulder. It was never x-rayed, although the Vet that said it was a broken shoulder has worked with race horses, & probably has seen enough lameness to know what he was talking about.

Pictures tomorrow..........!!!!!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

CINDER GOING HOME

We're picking up Biscuit the donkey with the broken shoulder Monday when we take Molly & Buddy Brat up to Gilbert to the Vet clinic. It's a good thing Cinder is going home today, or we would have to build another pen.........!!!!! I don't know how crippled he is, so we will keep him in a pen for awhile. The man said he walks normal sometimes, so hopefully he'll be able to get out & roam with the rest of them.

Tula is doing pretty good with her "training". I put a long rope on her halter & she seems to have a working knowledge of halters, ropes & things like that. That's not to say she accepts them gracefully, but she certainly knows where to put her feet to avoid stepping on a rope.

Molly the little mule is getting a little pushy, so I guess we will have to start "mule training 101". Since she's never been trained & I've never trained, this should be interesting. I've been trying to lead her by just putting my hand under her jaw & have her follow me. She thought that was fun for awhile, but she wants to move faster than I do, so I guess we'll have to revert to halter & rope for leading.

Jenny is walking pretty good right now. I'm still working on a blob of proud flesh that is growing out of her right front hoof. The Vet gave me some creme to put on it, that didn't work. In the past, I've had good results with Equaide on other types of wounds, & I think eventually it will take care of this blob. It's going to be a long process, because of the amount of tissue involved.

Donkey Rescued

Friday, September 14, 2007

When we checked Pepper last night about 10pm, he was ready to go out, & didn't feel warm, so we let him out. This morning he was back to his usual hungry pushy obnoxious self. I can't imagine 1 bute brought him back from death's door, so can only assume whatever he had wasn't serious. Seeing him stand with his ears hanging was scary.

He is still stumbling & favoring his right front foot. I picked it up this morning & noticed his sole is really thick & below the hoof wall. My first thought was he had false sole but it doesn't sound hollow if you tap on it with a hoof pick. Walking on the sole like that is probably why he is limping.

I'll get in touch with Katie & see what she thinks we need to do, if anything. His feet & sole are so hard, I know I can't trim it.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

This is what we face when we open the door & attempt to walk out of the feed room at feeding time. Belle is on the porch & always makes sure she is closest to the door. These five don't go into pens to be fed, they all eat at about the same speed.

Tonight when Pepper came in for supper, he seemed lethargic & was coughing a little bit. I took his temperature, it was 102.5, average for donkeys is 97.2 - 100 degrees. I gave him some bute, & John will check him tonight when he lets most of them out for the night. Hopefully it isn't anything serious. Although Pepper has Cushings & is Insulin Resistant, he's never been sick since he's been here, except for one episode of founder over 3 years ago.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

ENHANCEMENT MAKES A DIFFERENCE...!!


I got an e-mail this morning from a woman that reads the blog & "fixed" the picture of Queenie & me. Looks a lot better doesn't it? Thanks, Donna

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

MY FIRST HORSE......!!


This picture of Queenie & me was taken in the summer of 1951. We had a rough & rocky relationship, up to & including me doing a quick dismount on my head in the 4th of July parade. I still remember sorta sitting up as a cop ran thru the horses to grab me & watching the crowd part as she took off for parts unknown. It wasn't her fault, the small cannon being set off wasn't what she was expecting. And I wasn't expecting her to buck. Smiley Burnett was in the parade too, which I thought was exciting........!!! I think he stayed on his horse for the whole parade though, unlike me.........!!!

Yesterday we hauled an Arab stallion to Tucson for a friend. Sultan was going in for training as a Sport horse. I guess this is a new division for showing horses. I asked the trainer about it, & still don't know for sure what they do. They have a large operation, there were 3 large barns with row after row of stalls. The stalls were only about 12 x 12, & built in such a way the horses can't see into the stalls beside them. Sultan was not happy at being put in a stall & started kicking & snorting. I can't blame him, I feel bad when any of our guys have to stay in a pen & our pens are at least 24 x 26.

They also had a pretty spotted donkey named Cecil. Unfortunately Cecil is eating alfalfa & more of it than he needs. His crest is in danger of falling over & he has fat pockets all over his body. Poor little guy, people just don't realize how dangerous a high sugar - starch, diet is for donkeys. And this is people that obviously are very knowledgable about equines. In fact when Sultan came out of the trailer, they commented on his weight & probable lack of exercise. Yet they don't see a possible problem of their own.