Sunday, April 29, 2007


This little guy is so new he doesn't even have a name yet. I deliberately stay away from auctions, because I would try to buy everything & take it home.

Today I went with a friend to the BLM Wild Horse & Burro Adoption in Tucson. She was looking for a guard donkey for her sheep & goats. The auction for them was yesterday, & today all the "leftovers" were available for a set price.

We got there & they had 1 jenny that looked like a 2 for 1 deal, but she had already been adopted. They also had 3 young jacks left. My friend was actually looking for a jenny, but thought one of the jacks was cute, so decided to take him. As she was filling out the papers, one of the BLM guys, said she needed to take the other one, because they had come in together & were bonded. So she decided to take both of them. Then she turned to me & said, "the other one is going to be by himself, so you need to take him".......!!!!! I would imagine that was the last BLM auction John will let me attend............!!! Ha!

He actually seems pretty mellow, so hopefully he will gentle easy. We will get him gelded as soon as possible. John is in Tucson today, so maybe I will see how long it takes for him to notice the new addition, when he gets home.

I haven't thought of a name yet. I've been holding the name Fonzie for just the right one, but I don't think that name is going to fit this little guy.

Friday, April 27, 2007


John & I headed for Eloy this morning to exchange bad hay for good. On the way we stopped in Tucson to visit a friend that is stuck in a rehab hospital. He's already been in the "system" for 3 months & no end in sight, so he's always glad to see visitors.

We got to the hay farm a little later than usual, & everyone was out planting trees. John thought he'd start unloading hay, while we waited for someone to show up. You know, just about the time he unloaded the last bale, here come the help. I wonder if they were hiding around a corner somewhere..............!!!! Unfortunately it was the owner, & one guy. The owner doesn't "do" hay, so John & the guy loaded the hay.

We got home late, as we could tell from the fly masks missing, poo piles on the walkway & cranky equines. They sweeten up as soon as they see food preparations, but until that time, they are not happy, & let us know it. By the time we fed, it was getting dark. There's a light in the hay barn, which helped since we didn't get done unloading hay until about 8:30pm. Poor John, I think he's probably sick of hay by now..............!!!!! We talked to the owner again about bringing hay down here about 250 bales at a time. He still says he's willing to try to get in our driveway, so we're anxiously awaiting the new cutting of hay, which should be late May, early June.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


This morning we decided that it was time to put fly masks on everyone. Yesterday afternoon when everyone came in for supper, I noticed quite a few wet eyes. Everyone seemed happy to have them on except for Tula & Justin. Tula had to be trapped behind a corral panel & even then threw her head around quite a bit. Since we plan on taking it off every night, I hope she decides it isn't worth the battle & will settle down.

Justin just absolutely wouldn't have it. I've about decided it isn't shots or fly masks or anything specific like that............... it's just being messed with & made to do something that he doesn't like. So everyone has on a fly mask except for Justin. I went out to check on everyone this afternoon, & everyone looked very chic with their masks on. Justin had a couple of flies buzzing around his face. I told him, it served him right.

We let Sugar out this morning. She ran around a little bit, but not crazy like some of them have. She did try to eat some cholla, & got a piece stuck in her lower lip. I watched her to make sure she could get it off. I figured the lesson needed to be learned, rather than me removing it for her.

John & I loaded that nasty dirty hay & will take it back to the farm tomorrow. I swear those bales get heavier every time we move them.............!!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Yesterday was vaccination day for everyone except, Tula & Jack the mule. Tula probably wouldn't want to do training after I had stabbed her with a needle, so I decided to wait on vaccinating her until later.

The last time we tried to vaccinate Jack, I decided then that we would never vaccinate him again. I think the only way you could safely vaccinate him, would be to use a chute. To say he is uncooperative, is definately an understatement.

Everyone did good, except for little Justin. You would have thought we were trying to throw acid on him. And that was while we were trying to catch him. He saw us catch Cheyenne & Lynn, & decided we weren't catching him. Finally John threw a rope around his neck, we thought he would quit when he knew the game was over. NOT SO....!!! He ran, bucked, snorted, tried to choke himself by straining against the rope. John had to be careful to keep it loose enough, so the silly little boy didn't choke or hurt himself. I finally dove into the fray, & managed to get a halter on him. Even then he wasn't willing to give up, but at least with a halter it was safer for him. He's only about 33 inches tall, weighs probably less than 250 pounds & pound for pound is extremely strong. Sure sent John & I running & flying around the pen. Thank goodness there was a post in the middle to dally to. He got his shot, & then got to stand tied to the post till he relaxed & quit acting silly.

Once I let him loose, he wouldn't have anything to do with us the rest of the day, wouldn't even take a carrot from John. This morning he's back to his usual loveable little self. I hope his Momma comes & takes him home before it's time to vaccinate again.........!!!!!

Yesterday some people that want to be Sugar's new family came to visit. They have a 10 year old donkey that is lonely. They did have 2 horses they had rescued, but they went to new homes, so Jack is by himself. We will do a home study probably in the next week or two, & if everything is OK, Sugar will have a new home. We will probably let her out of her pen tomorrow, so she can meet everyone. I'm sure she will run & buck like crazy when she goes out, they all do. She was trying to run & buck in her pen this morning, but there wasn't enough room for her to get up to speed.

Monday, April 23, 2007


In almost 10 years we have had to put 3 animals down. Cisco I our 2nd donkey in 1999, Muriel in 2005 & now Snowy both mules. Considering the condition some have been in when they got here, I guess we've been lucky. But it doesn't feel like it when you have to say good-bye.

We never thought about taking in mules, until we were offered Jack. Since then we have had 3 others, & I can't imagine not having them.

Speaking of Jack, we had an appointment for him to see the equine dentist Saturday. Of course that was cancelled to take care of Snowy. Joyce at J-6 Equestrian Center where the dental clinic was to be held, graciously rescheduled Jack for Sunday afternoon.

The last time Jack went to the dentist, he had to have 2 teeth pulled. So a couple of months ago when he started acting like he had problems with his mouth, we assumed it was more tooth problems. Jack & Bert are old friends. Well actually Bert seems to have a way with Jack, which is amazing, since Jack can really be a handful if he wants to be.

Bert opened Jack's mouth with a speculum looked around & told us his teeth were fine. But he had 3 cactus spines stuck in his gums, that had been there long enough to be infected. Talk about feeling like a bad Mom............ I feel terrible to think he probably had those spines all that time. There's no way we could have gotten them out, even if we had known about them. But we could have had a Vet look at him, if we hadn't just assumed it was teeth. His mouth must feel a lot better, he wasn't mouthing & chewing today like he has been lately.

Saturday, April 21, 2007


This morning when John went out, Snowy was down & had been for quite sometime, judging from the thrashing she had done. We knew this day would come, but haven't looked forward to it. It's hard to know you are the one, that has to make the decision....... is it too soon, would she rally if we just could get her on her feet? She's alert, begged for her evening snack as usual last night, but the legs just aren't willing. We're waiting for the Vet to get here.

Friday, April 20, 2007

NAME CHANGE.......!!!

She isn't much bigger than the minis...!
After being around "Tootsie", grooming on her & having her all but try to climb in my lap, I have decided she isn't really a Tootsie. She is as sweet as she can be, so I thought the name Brown Sugar, (Sugar for short) would be apropos. Her feet need to be trimmed, so this morning when I was brushing her, I asked her to give me her feet. She wasn't really sure what was going on, but she willingly picked them up. I'll work with her for a few days, before we try to trim her. As young as she is, & as long as her feet are, I doubt if she has ever had them trimmed.

She still has her baby fur, so it's hard to tell what color she is. She isn't really spotted, but seems to be at least 2 different colors of brown, with a pretty white blaze on her face.

I'm still working with Tula every day too. I think Sugar will make much faster progress, she hasn't been messed up by her time spent with humans like Tula has. Tula is actually doing really good, but isn't in a big hurry to give up being cautious.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


This is Justin, meeting Tootsie for the first time this afternoon. Tootsie had been bought at auction to be used as a roping donkey. The owner decided he didn't need her & offered to sell her to one of his neighbors. The neighbor got in touch with us & we picked her up today. She's very young, probably a year old this spring sometime, very friendly & probably more comfortable since I cut the cockleburrs off her stomach. I don't know where she came from we don't have cockleburrs around here I don't think. The owner had been calling her Sally, but she looks like a Tootsie to me. I have a call into a woman that called last week looking for a companion for her donkey. So she might have a new home already.

Monday, April 16, 2007


Tula & I are still in training. She's actually doing very good I think, considering her trainer has never done this before. She is getting comfortable enough to stand her ground, when I want to touch her shoulder. Her head is still off limits.........!!!!

She is very protective of her left side. If I come up to her, she will turn around, & get in a corner to protect that side.

I've been using a stick with a towel on the end to desensitize her. That way if she does panic I won't be close enough to get hurt. She isn't really scared, just very protective of herself.

I've been taking the stick, walking around behind her & trying to touch her on her left hip. She accepts that, but if I move around on the left side, where she can see me with that eye, she takes off. Equines are right & left brained, which means just because you do something on one side, doesn't mean it translates to the other side. We're not in any hurry.

In the last few days I've gotten 2 calls from people wanting companion donkeys for their donkey. They both sound like good homes, & I know of a "nuisance" donkey that could use a better home. Maybe he would work for one of these homes. We'll see what happens. I told John we might start taking more healthy donkeys that people want to give us. I think I saw a look of panic on his face.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


Lucy isn't interested in having her "toe-nails" done......!!! This was taken many trims ago. Now she could care less..........!!! (She also leads better....!)

I have been adding little tidbits to the sidebar, so when you get bored with the day to day stories, check it out.............!!!!!

Friday, April 13, 2007


I'm happy to report that everyone seems to be just fine, after their little courtyard snack the other night. I guess there were some upset digestive systems. We noticed a few "cow patties" rather than "road apples" the last couple of days, but don't know exactly who was responsible for them.

Wednesday morning, while I was cleaning pens, I looked up & there were 5 donkeys on the courtyard, looking for leftovers, I guess. I yelled from the pens, & they all took off, so they know they aren't suppose to be in there. Later I caught Buster Brown snacking on a large peppermint plant that was overlooked in the first "attack". We are now shutting the gate, every time we go in or out. What a pain that is........!!!! We're use to just leaving it open, & it hasn't been a problem before. Tuesday night, they ate my parsley that was really doing good, & ate a little ash tree I nurtured over the winter. It had put out lots of leaves & really was looking good. They jerked it out of the pot, ate everything, except for the roots. Guess I'll be making a trip to the nursery soon............!!!!!

I made a place for Snowy's special feed in the feed room. Don't want to take a chance on the gang having another picnic..........!!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Yesterday we went to a dinner in Tucson. We had to leave by 2pm, which means we would have to start evening feeding at noon. Some of the slow eaters have just finished at that time. So we decided to feed Snowy her extra daily feeding & wait to feed everyone else when we got home. We've never left without feeding them in the afternoon before.

We got home about 9pm, no animals in sight. The courtyard gate was open & the courtyard had been trashed. We had a container with Snowy's special feed in it on the courtyard. The feed room is small & this seemed like a good place to keep her feed.

The only good news is, there was probably less than 5 pounds of pellets in the container. The bad news is, we don't know if only one got most of the goodies, or if it was a shared "feast".

Max is the only one that can open the gate when it's latched. And if he got in first the others wouldn't go in with him. In that case he would probably eat it all. But, it's very difficult for him to get thru the gate because of his size, in which case BlackJack would take over & push his way thru.

This morning I heard a noise on the courtyard before I went out to feed & Buster Brown was on the courtyard, turning the container over & giving me the idea that he had been there before. So we have no idea how many or who were involved.

We will be closely watching them, especially those three for any signs of founder. An equine system operates within about a 72 hour time frame. So we should know by Friday if everyone is OK. And we will have to find a new place to store Snowy's special feed.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

TULA & I IN TRAINING..........!!!!

Tula & I had our first "lesson" this morning after she finished breakfast. We didn't make as much progress as Kathy did yesterday, but we did OK. I touched her 4 or 5 times without her trying to escape. She seems to like to have her shoulders scratched. And she took a gingersnap cookie from me, as I left the pen, so I assume she isn't holding a grudge. So I think it was a good start. Hopefully we will be able to make a little progress every day, until she gets bored with the procedure.

Saturday, April 07, 2007


This is a picture of Kathy Dean from Longhopes Donkey Shelter working with our Tula this morning. Tula has been here since last August & has never warmed up to people. Kathy offered to show us how to work with her. She accomplished more in an hour, than we have in all those months. As you can tell from the set of Tula's head, she isn't thrilled with this turn of events. Kathy did get the halter on her 3 or 4 times though. It will be up to us to continue working with her on a daily basis, so she can learn that people are not going to hurt her. Kathy said Tula acts like she is waiting for something bad to happen, even though we've never forced ourselves on her. She obviously has unpleasant memories from her past.

This is John & Lucy watching the "training". Actually Lucy was about to fall asleep, especially after John quit petting.

Thursday, April 05, 2007


More visitors today. Some of the donkeys & of course Max, the horse, have always been thrilled when people show up & have treats. Some of the others stood back & watched what was going on. Shiloh recently figured out how it works & comes right up to people. Or he will stand still if they come towards him. Either way, he's learned that visitors are a good thing. Jack the mule, is another one, that has started interacting with the people. He use to stand on the other side of his pen & ignore them. But the last few times someone has been here, he's come over to the gate & takes food from their hands. Unfortunately he's a messy eater, so the people get slobbered on, but I'm glad he's decided to join in the fun. And we always offer to let them wash their hands before they leave.

Tula is still stand offish, although today she took a couple of steps towards the people. That's progress, always before she would spook around in the corner, almost daring anyone to come towards her.

We've started letting the guineas out of their pen during the day, so they were out running around too. John's going to start dismantling the pen, so we can build more corrals. Actually we're thinking of building just one big pen. That way when the mesquite bean season gets going, we'll have a large area for all the ones that shouldn't eat the beans. Right now that should be at least 4 of ours, & the 3 little minis, if they are still here. Hopefully this won't be a good year for mesquite beans. Some years we don't have very many, for some reason. About 3 years ago, we had a bumper crop, the ground was literally covered with them. Not good for chubby donkeys, although the local rancher's cows, certainly enjoy them.............!!!!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


We unloaded hay in the dark tonight. I don't think the gang appreciates the effort we go to, so they can eat on a regular basis. In fact when we got home it was over an hour past feeding time. They really get "anxious" when it's time to eat. I think if they could put a hoof on their hip & stomp a foot, they would. The farm had some fresh cut alfalfa hay, so hopefully it won't be long before the bermuda is ready to bale. Probably in May sometime. We will find out then, if the big truck can get in our driveway. We sure hope so......!!!!

Monday, April 02, 2007


This picture was taken a few years ago, when we had just gotten a load of pretty good looking hay. The guys were "helping" unload, at least their idea of helping.................!!!

We are going tomorrow to get a load of better hay than the last load. We went to town last week & got enough hay to last thru tomorrow. I won't say they were grateful, but they are eating it better. Hay right now is about $13.00 a bale at the feed stores. It's a little cheaper on the farm, & the owner promised me he had some better hay, so we'll see.

It's still getting cool enough at night that Snowy appreciates her blanket & boots. I would imagine in the next week or so, it will be staying warm enough at night, she won't need them any longer. I've been noticing a few more flies. That means putting fly masks on everyone, & hopefully most of them staying on, rather than becoming "toys"...........!!!!