Friday, April 30, 2010


Remington has gotten too rough for Honcho his running buddy for the last 3 years or so.  It use to be the other way around, but I guess Remy got tired of being  the fall guy.  He won't leave a fly mask on Honcho & Honcho needs to wear one or he gets eye infections.  

We are already over our quota, but I knew of an empty corral, owned by friends of a friend.  Remy has never really been taught what he needs to know, nor has he learned to rely on people.  So with that in mind he really needs to be isolated from other animals for awhile, & learn some ground manners.  I floated the idea of him being fostered for awhile & being worked with.  Georgette jumped on the idea like a duck on a Junebug, although it isn't her corral............!!  (G)  It's her neighbor, but they agreed & the teenage girl next door wants to get involved too.  
So it sounds like he is going to have all sorts of human companionship.  He's a good boy, I don't think he has any bad habits, except evasiveness, because he's been allowed to get away with it.  Georgette is a go-getter, so I think his evasive days might be over. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


This is what Quilla's legs looked like when he arrived last August.  Although I couldn't get them healed before winter I managed to control them & even got them to be less "angry".  Over the winter with less sunshine & cooler temperatures, they healed up although no hair grows on the scarred areas. 

I started gathering up my "toys", 2 different kinds of leg covers, & assorted ideas on different potions to try.  We've been doing pretty good using the Vetericyn, although if I was late putting it on in the afternoon he would have a couple of round bloody spots show up, & it isn't even hot on a regular basis yet.  Since it seemed like the afternoon sun made them worse, I thought I'd try using sunblock, it moisturizes, blocks sun rays & hopefully smells bad to flies.  I got children's sunblock, thinking it might be easier on fragile skin.  Tried it today & he didn't have one spot this afternoon.  I know there aren't any miracles, but I'm hoping this will work for him.  And for me, a couple of swipes with sunblock twice a day is much easier than having to cover his legs with a covering, that as we get hotter, would probably make his legs sweat.  That would probably exacerbate the problem. 

Pepper's walking pretty good, Jenny not so good.  It seems like it's impossible to get everyone mobile & unhurt.  Pepsi came in this morning with a poked weepy eye.  He might be little, but he is determined that we will NOT stick anything in his eye.  Had to halter him & finally had to cram him in a corner, he still wasn't easy.  Later on I thought it would be a good idea to put a fly mask on in case the eye was sensitive to light.  The little pill, threw a short kick in my direction.  It wasn't anywhere near me, but we both knew what he was doing.  I threatened to kill him for about 3 seconds & he decided maybe getting a fly mask put on wasn't so bad after all. 

Looks like Remington might be coming back. 

Saturday, April 24, 2010


One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a
well. The animal cried piteously for hours as
the farmer tried to figure out what to do.

Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the
well needed to be covered up anyway;
it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbors to come over and
help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began
to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the
donkey realized what was happening and cried
horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement he
quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally
looked down the well. He was astonished at what
he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his
back, the donkey was doing something amazing.
He would shake it off and take a step up.

As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel
dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it
off and take a step up.

Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey
stepped up over the edge of the well and
happily trotted off!

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds
of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well
is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of
our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out
of the deepest wells just by not stopping,
never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

Free your heart from hatred - Forgive.

Free your mind from worries - Most never happen.

Live simply and appreciate what you have.

Give more.

Expect less

NOW .......

Enough of that crap. The donkey later came back,
and bit the farmer who had  tried to bury him.
The gash from the bite got infected and
the farmer eventually died in agony from septic shock.


When you do something wrong, and try to cover
your ass, it always comes back to bite you.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

DENTAL DAY..........!!!

Not what most of them had planned for the day.  We usually haul 2 or 3 out to an equestrian center a few miles away every 6 months, when Bert comes thru on his "route".  He lives in Idaho, but spends most of his time on the road in the western states.  He said he had been home 2 days in the last month or so.  

This time I asked him if he would come out & check everyone's mouth, just to make sure we were getting everyone that might have a problem.  So he & his brother Rick, came out this morning & started going thru the herd.  I'm sure most of the donkeys have never had their teeth checked, but they really did pretty good.  Out of 21 animals, 3 of them have no back teeth, so they didn't need to be checked.  Out of the remaining 18, only 5 had to have something done, which really surprised me, I figured there would be more.  Poor old Quilla, had a wolf tooth growing out the side of his gum, so it got pulled.  Jenny & Daisy both had lots of hooks & waves.  Buddy Brat had a real nasty hook, John said about 2 inches long.  I think that might be an exaggeration, but it was pretty long. 

Found out Rusty the mule is missing 2 front teeth, one on either side.  Bert said it looked like they had been knocked out from the scarring on his gums.  When John took him out of the pen, he took off like a race horse, halter, lead & all.  Do you think he would let us catch him to take it off?  Some of that was Jack's fault, every time we'd get close to them, Jack would take off, & Rusty too.  Finally we ignored him, so he came over & hung around where we were doing teeth, John walked right by him & didn't even look at him.  A few minutes later I walked over & took the halter off.  He doesn't like to be ignored I guess........!!! 

Some neighbor's brought in their 3 horses, so we all had a full day, especially Bert & Rick.  We left the 4 minis until last.  Thank goodness they didn't need any work, even if the guys get on their knees it's still hard on their backs to work on the little guys especially if they've already worked on a dozen or so.  

We even checked Tula out.  I told Bert her story & how she is so afraid of being touch, but we could put her in the squeeze & see what happened.  She really didn't want to go in there, it took 3 of us to get her ran in & then she tried leaning on the corral panel that we were using to squeeze her with.  Bert finally tied a lead rope around the panel & pulled from his side, while John, Rick & I pushed from our side.  Finally got her "squeezed" & Rick checked her mouth.  She's not mean or anything, she is just untrusting & afraid.  Once she realizes she can't get away, she will just stand & take whatever is happening.  She let him put his hands in her mouth & never moved.  Thank goodness she didn't need any work done, we all decided that putting arms thru the corral panels & trying to work with tools might be a good way to get an arm broke, if she did decide to panic.  But she was a good girl. 

Monday, April 19, 2010

This is a picture of a survivor.  This little desert daisy (I use that generic ID, because there are dozens of little yellow desert flowers that to me look the same) managed to nestle down under some Desert Christmas Cactus, & escape being devoured by a sharp eyed donkey.  At least so far, I would imagine now that it's gotten tall enough to show up, someone will take care of it.  They usually stay away from the Christmas Cactus, so I assume it protects it's little guests, effectively. 

Jenny is coming in almost every morning with prickly pear spines in her face.  Yesterday she had one in her lip, that was so deep I almost couldn't get it out, poor girl. 

It's about time for fly masks for all.  We've been putting masks on as eyes start running.  So far the flies aren't too bad.  I started putting out fly predator wasps a couple of months ago, & even though we've had hot weather, the flies aren't really being a problem. .......yet!!! So far just the old guys, & Rusty with his pink skin have masks.  I'm putting off the masks as long as possible, so they can continue to go over to Burroland during the day.  

I've been keeping Cisco's sheath covered with thunja zinc oxide, which the flies hate, so hopefully we can keep ahead of the habronema larvae this year.  So far so good.  He's always had a problem with a massive breakout in his armpit that really gets to be a mess.  I checked him a couple of days ago, & his armpits were literally dripping with sweat.  I assume this has something to do with his immune system problems, but have no idea how.  I started putting cornstarch on him, & last night I clipped one armpit, to see if less hair will make a difference.  I spend a lot of time trying to outsmart their health problems, it seems. 
Since Sha'ba has a problem with habronema on his sheath too, I checked him this morning.  Although he doesn't have any open areas, he was so itchy I thought he was going to fall over when I scratched him.  He ended up chewing on his leg, I guess he was helping me scratch, poor little guy.  I wormed him this morning, & put some Ivermectrin on his sheath.  I will check him daily, to hopefully keep ahead of the problem.
 The picture is one I took last year, when the season started.  The white spots are habronema larvae. There's at least five of them showing.  The one in the top sore, is about the size of a grain of rice.  The little white dots are still growing.

Friday, April 16, 2010

PALADIN UPDATE........!!!!!

Linda called this morning & said Paladin is doing just fine.  She said the beginning was a little rocky, because he likes to play rough.  I guess Mr. Hershey didn't know how to handle this new critter, & was ending up with bloody marks all over his neck.  But she said it's getting better & they play a lot with a jolly ball.  He also likes to hang out with the horse, although she said when the donkeys start to play the horse tries to play too.  I guess it's a closed boy's club, because he isn't allowed. If he tries she said they just quit playing.  Poor guy, he's the odd man out now I guess.  I don't really know how much he & Mr. Hershey interacted before.  She wanted Mr. Hershey & Comet to get more exercise, & I would imagine Paladin is making sure they get it. 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

This is a picture of a work in progress, Claire is one of the most dedicated people I have ever known.   She took on this special girl a couple of years ago.  X-rays show Ruthie's front feet internally are probably as bad as they could be & her to still be able to stand & walk.  A horse wouldn't or couldn't do it.  A couple of rasps or a slight nip with the nippers can cripple her to where she has to lay down most of the time, until everything settles.  

But you can look into her eyes & see she isn't anywhere ready to go.  Her ears are up & she moves around when she feels like it.  There is no way of knowing how much time, & effort Claire has devoted to making Ruthie as comfortable as she can be.  It's a labor of love, there is no way anyone would ever invest as much of themselves in such a project without love.  Well, stubborness probably helps too.  Claire is quite a lady.  I've put a link to a wonderful slideshow she has put together of her & Ruthie, on the right under New Stuff. 

This morning was chicken toe nail day.  As the girls get older they don't move around enough to keep their toenails short.  I noticed yesterday one of them had a nail about 2 inches long.  So I told John last night to keep this morning open.  When chores were done, I got my dog nail clippers & off we went.  Thanks goodness there are only 6 hens & 1 rooster left.  There is also a female guinea, but guineas don't ever sit unless they are asleep, I can't even get close enough to see if her nails need to be trimmed.  And if they did, need trimming I couldn't catch her.  

We started out with Rowdy the Rooster.  That way he has plenty of time to squawk & complain his displeasure while we did the girls.  I did find out one thing, I'm not as agile as I use to be, even as recent as the last time we trimmed nails.  I caught him easy, of course he was the first one, & wasn't expecting me to reach down & grab him.  After that it got a little more difficult with the girls.  I use to be able to corner, & catch no problem.  Either they are getting faster or I'm getting slower.  Since they are getting older too, I think we're all getting slower., but they are still faster than I am.  John never really learned how to catch them, so I usually do it, but he had to step in & help or we'd probably still be running around in circles.

Everyone is doing pretty good right now.  I'd rather Quilla's legs didn't have red bloody spots on them, but the Vetericyn seems to be keeping it at bay.  So far it's just been a few spots at a time, rather than the whole area covered with them.  Don't know what will happen when it gets hotter & the flies come out more, but for right now I'm quite pleased with how he's doing.  

I've been feeling sorry for Pepper, because he was so stoved up until yesterday.  We had a visitor & were sitting at the table talking.  Georgette adopted Sugar a few years ago, & comes out to visit with the others whenever she can.  I was sitting looking out the window & saw a donkey that looked like Pepper,  "assuming the position " with one of the girls.  Couldn't even tell which one it was, obviously one that stopped trying to get away, or has actually made his day & decided that he is pretty cute.  Number one I don't even know how he managed to rear up, since his hind legs aren't much better than his front legs.  And number 2, I figured when he came down to earth, he'd probably be even more crippled up.  Last night he was about as crippled as usual, so I can only assume the old buzzard has been having more fun than I thought.  

I may discontinue giving him any bute when he's particularly gimpy if this is what he does when he gets the chance.  (G)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010



With springtime, warm weather, & lots of sunshine, I have to start doctoring some of the fur kids daily.  At least Jenny's eye is just fine now, although I had to pluck a cactus spine out of her cheek this morning, very close to her eye.  I would imagine the cloudy eye crisis was, she poked her eye with a cactus, trying to snarf up some delicious little green plant, trying to survive by hiding under a cactus.  

I will be glad when the rites of spring are over & the boys  & girls stop acting like........well........boys & girls.  I don't mind all the boy & girl stuff, but the jenny, jenny stuff is wearing thin, not only for me but I think Tula is getting rather tired of it.  The other jennies take turns having to be right with her, touching her if at all possible.  Tonight it was Hanna, Tula kept trying to get away from Hanna & go to her pen.  When the jennies are staying with her like that, she won't go in her pen, she doesn't want them in there with her.  So she's running all over the place & Hanna is staying so close to her I couldn't separate them.  GRRRRRRR.......!!!  Finally Tula managed to go on one side of the pens & Hanna went the other.  Tula immediately went to her pen, so I could shut the gate.   Then it was just a matter of getting Hanna into her pen.  Lynn is the silliest one, she won't leave Tula's gate, so you have to sometimes put a halter on her & literally drag her to her pen.  I guess it has something to do with her being the alpha jenny, but I've never found anyone to explain it to me. 

Friday, April 09, 2010

MUST BE SPRING.........!!

Today was the first day John has worn shorts, so I assume it must be spring.........!!!!  Boy he needs to work on his tan, his legs look rather anemic, it won't take long I'm sure it was in the 80's today & bright sunshine.  

Jenny's eye is doing real good, no more cloudiness, although we're still doctoring just in case.  John will be going to Phoenix tomorrow to watch a NASCAR race, so I'll be "chief cook & bottle washer" for the day.  Haven't figured out how I'm going to put ointment in her eyes by myself, but guess I'll give it a try.  She's been holding still, so maybe she'll cooperate without John holding her head.  

Seems like this is the week for our summer sores to start being a problem I guess.  Unfortunately once they start it will be a constant battle until next winter.  Cisco has been scooting on his sheath, so I'm keeping zinc oxide on it.  Flies don't seem to be a problem yet, so I assume it's spring allergies, the sun, heat or something.  Whatever it is, Quilla's legs are also breaking out as of today.  Sigh!  I have 3 or 4 different types of coverings for his legs, but if they fit too close I'm afraid they will irritate the sores.  I have one called Ouch Socks that probably will be my best covering.  I'll try it tomorrow & see what happens.  
Here's a picture I took this afternoon of Pepper, our Lounge Lizard.  This morning he came in from Burroland with the herd, ears up & trying to keep up with the "ladies", especially Jenny, he really likes her.  He stopped in the pen area & wouldn't move, I would imagine his legs hurt him.  He's got 3 out of 4 that don't work very good.  But you couldn't hardly tell when he was with the girls.  John put everyone in their pens, & finally had to get the halter, you don't have to put it on him, you just have to carry it.  By that time I guess his adrenalin had wore off, because it took him a long time to get to his pen, poor old guy.  The mind is willing, but many years as a roping donkey has taken it's toll on him.  But he'll be ready to go tonight when John lets them out. 

Tuesday, April 06, 2010


We took Lupe & Chico home this afternoon.  They actually loaded pretty easy, John got in the trailer with a carrot & that was all Chico needed, in he went.  Lupe wasn't quite so sure, but after a couple of abortive attempts she went in, got her carrot & hopped back out.  That's OK, we aren't of the "SHUT THE DOOR"  school of trailer loading.  We let them have a choice, of course the ground area they have is very small behind the trailer.  John backs the trailer up to the open gate & once they are close to the trailer we close the gate which means they can't get back in the pen.  So the option is to either stand in a very small area with nothing going on or hop in the trailer & get a treat & have the people make over you.  If they haven't had a bad trailer experience they usually opt for the treat route.  After a couple of minutes she hopped back in & I closed the back door.  

Mae was happy to have them home, & Lupe knew she was home.  As soon as we got there, she started fussing to get out of the trailer.  Opened it up, & out they came, as you can see they weren't too tramatized.  They hung around with us for a few minutes until they figured out no more treats & then wandered off, heads down chomping on some of the greenery our late winter rains are responsible for.

Mae will check Chico out frequently & hopefully it won't be too long before he drops & we can bring him back & have him gelded.  

We split the jennies up.  Hanna & Katie stayed in the jenny pen, Daisy & Frijolita moved over to the pen Lupe & Chico had been using.  Daisy & Frijolita were a little confused until they figured out there was food in that pen too, then it was OK.  

We've been doctoring Jenny's eye for a probable ulcerated cornea.  We were going to take her to the vet Friday, when I noticed it was cloudy, but Nancy wasn't available. So John went in & picked up the ointments (2) & we have been putting them in her eye as prescribed.  It seems to be getting better or we would have made an appointment & taken her in.  We're keeping a fly mask on her to keep the sun from irritating it.  She's keeping it open & it only weeps when we put the ointment in, & it looks like it's less cloudy, so hopefully we won't have to take her in.  When we first started Friday it took a halter, lead & a LOT of patience.  Jenny can be a real formidable opponent.  She's strong & determined.  She's stopped jumping around like a grasshopper, & now we can doctor her without the halter & lead & she doesn't wiggle TOO much.  Of course treats are expected & this morning John forgot.  I noticed her body language & although she already had her fly mask on I can well imagine the look on her face.  I told John he better come up with a treat real quick, or her level of cooperation probably wasn't going to continue.  

Sunday, April 04, 2010


Today was worming day.  I don't enjoy worming, the donkeys have many different ideas of how to react.  You have the bored attitude, "just do it & get it over with", you have the "wow, that is really yummy", & you can't extricate the tube from their clenched teeth.  I almost lost a finger with Frijolita this morning.  Then there is the "if this is really necessary you can chase me around until I decide to stop"..........but I don't have to like it.  How about "there is no way you are going to come close to me, since I can tell that you are up to something."  And then the real fun one, " have acid in that thing in your hand & you are trying to kill me aren't you"?  It's not like they have never done this before, we use to give them a cookie afterwards, but the lack of cooperation has taken the fun out of that, so NO COOKIES......!!!!  Ha!  

Then there is Rusty & Jack the mules, & Tula.  No, no, no in no uncertain terms, they will not let you stick a worming tube in their mouths without someone getting hurt.  I've used "wormer" sandwiches in the past with limited results.  Tula's pretty good about eating anything in her hay bunk, but the mules seem to have the attitude of, "you don't usually give me bread, so I "ain't" touching it.  

This year my brilliant idea was the worming pellets, a few ounces of pellets with their regular feed & voile' they are wormed.  Jack no problem, Tula no problem, Rusty is turning into a big problem.  I guess they smell funny or something at least to him.    I tried mixing the dust off horse treats with his feed & the pellets.  He ate a little, so I tried some more.  Then I tried ground up animal crackers.  Thru out the morning I managed to get him to eat all but about a cup of his feed with the pellets.   John put his feeder in the feed room, so guess what he is going to get tonight?  I'd like to think I"m more stubborn than he is, but I'm  not sure if I'm going to win the battle or not.  

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Today John & I attended a clinic in Sierra Vista.  There were over 100 people there to learn what to do until  the vet gets there in case of an emergency.  It was really interesting & a lot of fun.  We learned about how to test for different type of lameness, how to check for gut sounds, respiration, & how to bandage wounds.  They had about 7 or 8 "gentle" horses there for us to "practice" on.  They really were good about all this silliness.  They got legs bandaged with standing bandages & also we did knees for cuts using gauze pads & vet wrap. Found out why my leg wraps usually crawled down the leg.  I always have wrapped around & around level.  Found out you are suppose to wrap at an angle.  And use a figure 8 method, rather than just up or down the leg.  Hopefully I can remember everything I learned, when the time comes, hopefully never...........!!!   (G)

You'll notice this big guy has something purple wrapped around his head.  We were "doctoring" him for a massive heavy bleeding wound underneath his jaw.  We covered the "wound" with an unopened roll of gauze to stop the blood from gushing & used vet wrap to hold it in place.  The purple stuff is the vet wrap.  You can't hardly see the green bandage on his "cut" knee.  We'd cut off the old "bandages" & wrap him again & again.  He was resigned to his fate & put up with lots of people, doing their thing. 

A couple of friends were also there, one we hadn't seen for over 2 years, so that was nice.  The other one was Gus' new family.  They really are enjoying him, & he has a horse buddy named Chief.  From what Amy said they play a lot.  

We got home late, ran out & started slinging hash, so to speak.  Actually when we drove in they were all around the gate.  I don't know if they were waiting for us, or what.  Even Tula was there. 

After we put out the soaked feed, I noticed Daisy was choked.  Grrrrrr........!!!!   She will NOT under any circumstances eat soaked food, doesn't matter what it is, if it's wet, she looks at you with sad eyes & walks away.  So I have been giving her about 1/2 cup of timothy pellets, in a flat pan, so she gets something when the others get theirs.  For some reason tonight she managed to get them stuck.  She hadn't cleared when we came around with the hay, & I looked over & Chico was also choked.  He & Lupe have been getting a cup of timothy pellets, mixed with 2 large spoons each of soaked beet pulp & Lakin Lite, so there is a lot more volume of soaked food than dry pellets.  And the pan they are fed in is about 2 feet in diameter & we spread it out, so Lupe can't get it all.  So it should be difficult for him to gobble up a lot at one time.  John worked with Daisy & she cleared pretty quick.  But we had to work with Chico for about 15 minutes before he started licking his lips.  They are both just fine now, thank goodness, I swear these guys work at making my hair even grayer than it is.............!!!!  (G)  

We are planning to take Lupe & Chico home Tuesday.  I'm pretty sure Lupe is pregnant, so even if he dropped this summer, he could still stay with her, at least until she foals.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

The latest plan of attack is to take Lupe & Chico back home next week & wait for something to drop.  I wish we weren't going into hot & fly season for his sake.  Hopefully if he hasn't dropped by now, he won't drop for a few months.  Mae will be in charge of checking him on a regular basis.  

He is a real cute little guy with his mom & dad's personality.  He's as mellow as Paladin & Lupe is very laid back, nothing seems to phase her.  I'm always amazed when we take the golf cart into a pen with a new donkey.  So far none have thrown a fit, like I think a horse would the first few times.  

If Lupe is pregnant Mae thinks she got PG last July.  Donkeys carry their babies between 360-380 days, a little bit longer than horses, so sometime in July or August we should know.  

When their pen is empty we will probably move Katie in there to eat by herself.  She is pretty much of a food whore, & probably is getting more of the communal hay that the other 3 girls are getting.  Not that they are going to starve to death, but she really needs to be on a strict diet for awhile.  

Well tomorrow should be "interesting".  We have 3 tours & a volunteer to help John work on some of the fencing.  We also plan on worming in the morning.  I have looked & looked at donkey poo under a microscope & have not seen one thing that looks like the pictures of worms, eggs etc.  So I don't trust my findings enough to not worm them.  I've just ordered more slides & will continue seeing if I can figure out what I'm looking at.  If John & Ben get done with the fencing, they might clear the pad area for our new water tank.  We've decided to get a 2600 gallon holding tank rather than just rely on the pressure tank for water.  We've not really had a problem with water, but we don't want to either.