Monday, December 31, 2007


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


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


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


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


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


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.

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


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.