Tuesday, September 29, 2015

OFF AGAIN, ON AGAIN.........!!!

We're leaving as early tomorrow as we can to pick Jake the jack up and bring him back to Amy's.  She will board him for a couple of months, while the babies get stronger and not quite as attached to momma, hopefully.  Who knows, maybe being away from the herd will dim his memory of what his job use to be.  

Last night Jim called and although I had talked to Amy and she was willing to "babysit", Jim want to see if Jake would behave himself.  Didn't take long for him to fall off the wagon, so to speak.  Jim called this morning and I guess Jake went after one of the babies.  Thankfully Jim was right there and managed to make a loud noise to distract him.  He has Jake in a small pen for now, but of course that isn't a good long term answer.  

Amy has 2 of our alumni.  Gus and Beau both have strong personalities, so she is use to dealing with "asses" shall we say.........LOL  And if he wants to act like an overbearing jerk, Beau for sure will give him something to think about.  Gus has Poitou in him and is more mellow, but big enough not to be pushed around.  We're hoping Jake will settle down if there aren't any jennies around.   

I'll try to get pictures of the little ones.  Jim said both of them have black noses, so they are NLPs, Non Light Points.  About 10% of donkeys have dark noses and bellies, rather than the light tan or cream, we are use to.  Lynn, one of the minis is the only NLP we have ever had. 

Monday, September 28, 2015


Life is never boring around here, that's for sure.  This morning when I came in from chores, 3 of the cats were on alert by the eating table.  It was Nigel, Moogee and Sunny, which isn't exactly a normal grouping.  The boys hate her and she hates them and usually when they are in a pattern like this, the boys have had enough of her high handed ways and are going to make her pay.  

I chased the reluctant boys away and Moogee was holding down her spot.  I noticed something under the end of the bench (we don't have chairs we have benches) and it looked like it might be a lizard, except there was a lot of it and it looked like it was wadded up under the end of the bench.  On 2nd look, I went out and yelled at John up in the hay barn that, "we have a snake in the house".  Snakes don't bother me, but I didn't want it to take off and find a better place to hide.  Believe me, this house has LOTS of hiding places for a small snake.  

In the time it took him to get down here, I had found what I hoped was a good "catcher", a large plastic container out of the kitchen.  It actually went really well.  Moogee held her position, John raised the end of the bench and before the snake noticed his ceiling had disappeared, I put the container down without getting any of his body outside.  You talk about one really P.Oed snake, he was NOT happy.  He also was about 2 feet long and only about as big around as a sturdy ball point pen.  In other words a very thin snake.  We looked him over with a flashlight, which went over really well......NOT.......!!!  John came in and check his snake book and we think it is a Lyre Snake.  We've seen them before, but I don't think this big and long. 

We put him out in the area north of the house that is an overgrown jungle.  It's fenced, so the donkeys can't eat everything like the rest of the property and also Saddik the dog can't get to the snake.  There's also some grasshoppers in there, which judging from his size, is probably something he would eat.  

We also got a phone call a little after 6am, from a man with the news that baby # 2 had hit the ground.  Earlier this year he and his wife came out and were interested in adopting a couple of donkeys.  They are about our age and were interested in Wister and Ruger, who are pretty young.  When I asked what they had planned for the donkeys when they died, I caught them by surprise and they had no answer.  So they went home and ended up with 7 unhandled burros, 4 jennies and 3 males, one an older gelding and 2 young jacks about a year old.  As a rescue I would not do that to inexperienced people, but this is the 2nd time this particular rescue has done something like this.  

I must say they are having fun and are really working with the donkeys.  One of the jennies got her head caught in a tree fork and had to be euthanized.  I got to inform them that the other jennies were probably PG.  I also started harping on the jacks needing to be gelded, but unfortunately we were going into the hot season and no Vet would geld them.  

Friday they called when the 1st baby arrived, healthy and a boy of course.  I reminded him that the 2 little jacks are viable and he has 7-10 days to get them gelded.  Poor guy is going crazy trying to keep all this up in the air with another baby on the way. Belle hasn't had hers yet......!!! 

The older jack was a herd sire, probably the daddy of the 2 new babies.  But just because he is gelded doesn't mean he has forgotten his old job and he will try to breed the girls 7-10 days after the babies are born.  The problem is, a lot of times the babies will get in the way and get hurt or killed.  So we are trying to figure out somewhere to keep him for a couple of months until the babies get a little bigger.  I know a place that comes to mind....!!!!!!   So I'm working real hard to try to find someplace else instead.  LOL  He's suppose to call me tonight, so I better have an answer by then. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

MONSOON IS OVER..........!!!


Well, that's what the weatherman says.  Not sure Mother Nature agrees, but we'll see.  So far we've still got high humidity, fog in the early morning (what is that about, in the desert?), but the temperature is climbing every day, which means the high humidity won't be around long.  The nights are cooling off in the high 50's, which makes for great sleeping weather.  

It was raining at feeding time the other night and was suppose to rain most of the night, so the donkeys got to have their fly masks off for the night.  It's been awhile since I got to see their pretty faces.  But the next morning as soon as it started to warm up, here come the flies.  Another month or so, and we can get rid of the masks till spring.  The lost masks are getting easier to find, most of them lately have been caught in the barbed wire fence around the property.  WHY you might ask?  Because they are sticking their heads thru the fence to get to "food" on the other side.  They've eaten everything on the 10 acres and aren't over on Burroland but a couple of hours a day.  John is still feeding short rations, so they have to feed themselves I guess.  LOL  Yesterday Amy was picking up poo and told John Rosie was hiking one of her hind legs up when she walked.  John asked if it wasn't Frijolita, since she has string halt and damp weather makes it worse.  She insisted it was Rosie until they saw Frijolita walk.  Seems like Frijolita has put on a few pounds lately and her body shape is looking more and more like Rosie these days.......!!  

Heard from Benny and Nina, alumni from years ago that live in Arrivaca.  Their mom sent a picture and I thought they looked pretty good.  Guess the lighting was good, because she wrote back, and said she can't legally call them fluffy anymore.  She has about 20 acres of grasslands, 4 equine, and my complete sympathy..........LOL

Saturday, September 19, 2015


I didn't realize it had been so long since I updated the blog.  You'd think I'd been staying busy doing lots of important stuff, but "I don't think so".......!!!  Just taking care of donkeys and watching John and our friend Larry dismantle, our son's Super Stock Car.  

This is what it looked like when John brought it home from Rod's in Tucson.  It still looks the same, well except they took the rear wheels off.  Inside is gutted and it is "retired" to the old hay barn.  All the stripped parts will be divided between Larry's new pro-stock camaro for next year, at Tucson Speedway, and our grandson's super stock, he will race at Central Arizona Raceway (dirt)  at Eloy, if he gets busy and rebuilds his car before Feb or whenever the season starts.  He has a little bit of "I'll do it later" attitude.  That isn't what gets race cars built.  Larry and John have done all they can for Larry's car, until it comes back from Rod's.  He's doing the roll cage and all the safety welding and then turn it over to Larry to finish.  

This car's claim to fame was it won the last main event at the dirt track, before they closed the track to everything except open wheel, sprint car races.  Rod won by being the last car on the track to blow the engine.....!!!  He had to be pushed to the front straight away to be presented his trophy.  Very weird race to say the least.  LOL

We are still fighting the battle of the beans with the donkeys.  They've been "trapped" on the 10 acres for quite sometime and have just about eaten everything edible.  We haven't heard any cows over in Burroland for awhile, so John went over to check and there are no new tracks and piles and piles of beans........SIGH!  There's no sense in leaving it open for the cows if the cows aren't going in, so our latest plan of attack is to let them over there for a couple of hours late in the afternoon before feeding.  

Getting them back over here is somewhat of a challenge, in fact they aren't the least bit interested in cooperating.  It's like trying to catch grasshoppers.  They do know why we're over there and they do know where they are suppose to go.  So if you are firm and scream loud enough they usually get the message.  John has found out that if he carries a halter they take him more seriously.  Boaz especially takes it as a suggestion to head for the pens, and takes off as fast as he can.  Last night when he came in he was still at warp speed when he got to the pens and was yelling at the top of his lungs for some reason.

Still keeping a covering on Falena's foot, where Tyler opened up an abscess.  He removed quite a bit of the side wall and got into the white line area, which could be a direct route to more trouble.  Keeping a covering on her foot is a lot of fun.  I tried using gorilla tape to make a boot, which works good, except the tape causes the hoof to sweat, which causes moisture, which softens the hoof.  So I've been trying to use some of the hoof wraps we used for Jenny after her hoof resection.  Unfortunately Jenny was a mammoth and Falena isn't.  I've figured out how to get them to fit pretty good, but they are only suppose to be used in stalls or for light exercise.  Needless to say our rocks and gravel are hard on them, and she obviously moves around a lot.  It only takes about 3 days for her to completely wear thru one.  So far she's worn out 3 and I'm about out of wraps.  I tried using a boot on her, but it rubbed on her fetlock.  I think I'll measure her hoof today and see if I can find a boot to actually fit her, since it will probably be at least a couple of trims before the gouge grows out enough to protect the white line.  

Everyone is doing pretty good, they are still getting in the cactus, so we pet faces at our own peril.  Cisco is particularly dangerous and he loves to rub his face on you.  The "fatties" are probably going to be on a diet thru out the winter this year.  Right now Buddy, Coquette, and Rosy the 3 worst ones are only getting 1 pound of hay twice a day.  That's 3 pounds less than they should be getting a day and none of them have lost an ounce.  Obviously they are self feeding very well.  We kept them in the pens for awhile at night, and Rosy started dismantling the shelters again.  She did that when she first came here and was coming down off her steady diet of,  all she could, eat alfalfa.  But she hasn't done it since those first few weeks. 

All three have cresty necks and the vet is having me try some Equine Metabolic Support by Standard Process.  Since the main ingredients are buckwheat powder, carrot powder and cinnamon I don't have high hopes for any change and haven't seen any so far. These 3 are perfect examples of "air ferns", they seem to glean every calorie out of whatever they eat and they will eat anything. 


Sunday, September 13, 2015



This is Jenny, Mike and Tony, working, looks like John is "supervising".....!!  LOL  They came out again this morning and went right to work, adding on to an existing shelter, so Falena and Selena's bunk (in the background) will be out of the weather.  We've got some other pens that need shelters too.  If they keep coming out maybe we can get some more built.  John keeps saying 2 of the pens are just temporary, but they've been in use for years and the temporary shelters aren't very effective.   

 Thanks again, Doug

Last night we went to the races to watch Rod, our son race his new modified.  It isn't actually new, but it's new to him.  He finished his races and stayed out of trouble.  It's got a lot more motor than his old car had, and it's got some type of fancy clutch he has to get use to.  But not bad for his first night out. 

When Doug went out to let the donkeys out of their pens, he saw this little guy on the wall of the feed room porch.  We usually just have the Mexican Freetail Bats here, the same ones that are in Kartchner Caverns.  They are tiny little things, weighing less than a quarter.  But this time of year we get the migrating nectar bats that are quite a bit larger.  We know when they are migrating, they hit up the hummingbird feeders.  We see them in the back yard, hitting the feeders to make the juice fall out and they catch the drops before they hit the ground.  It's really interesting to watch.  Unfortunately our windows are close to the battle and by the time they move on, you can't hardly see out of them, for all the sugar water juice.  I'm a real big fan of bats, amazing animals.  The Freetails can eat their weight in mosquitoes every night.  Since this has been such a wet monsoon this year, we are having a problem with mosquitoes, which is unusual, so the welcome met is out here for all bats that would like to visit.  

I only have 2 more race nights for points.  They will have 2 more nights for the Hornets but they won't be point races..........soooo.........I have talked John into racing my car those 2 nights.  He's come up with a lot of excuses, but decided I wasn't going to give up.  I just hope he doesn't wreck it.......!!!  But if he does it will give him something to do, over the winter, I guess.............LOL

This is some of the work of the Gazelle Dung Beetle, Tony told us about the last time they were out to volunteer.  The shredded poo is where they have been working overnight.  They can break down a huge pile of poo, by sun-up and do on a regular basis.  The road apples are from someone that came along later and added to the pile.  When you disturb a pile, you never see more than a dozen of the little devils.  I don't know if a few can do that much work or if the others are already underground, or wherever they go when they get thru with their night's work.  Very interesting little critters. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Sacred Datura

This is a patch of jimpson weed on our property.  We actually have quite a few patches of it.  It's a member of the nightshade family, consequently it is poisonous and also is an hallucinogenic.  The Indians called it Sacred Datura, used it in their religious ceremonies and unfortunately it has been discovered by people that like to get high.  I guess it is quite dangerous, but that isn't always a deterrent.  It's dangerous to animals too, but the donkeys stay away from it.  If they were hungry they might try it, but believe me this bunch are not hungry. 

 The "fatties" are still staying in the pens at night, much to their disgust.  The beans are just about gone on the 10 acres, we haven't went over to Burroland to see how things are going over there.  We haven't really heard that many cows over there, hopefully they have been sneaking over there quietly.......LOL

The weather cooling off is helping with the skin problems, I'm down to Boaz, Rosie and Coquette needing to be doctored.  The salve Dr. Lindsey sent is still working.  I asked and she said I could use it on Rosie, so I'm trying it on her belly, so far, so good.  

I've got my fingers crossed the fly masks last till the season is over.  We only have one new mask left and some of the ones they are wearing are getting rather ragged.  

Falena is walking very good since Tyler opened up her abscess.  Unfortunately she has a big gouge missing from the side of her foot, and it is going to have to be covered for the foreseeable future, to keep it clean.  I'm pretty good at making a gorilla tape boot, but in our rocky soil, they don't last but a few days at best.  I dug thru my stash of foot covers and dragged out one of Jenny's, she wore after her hoof resection.  It's lightweight and would be perfect, BUT, Jenny was a mammoth and Falena isn't.  Even with the diaper wrap, ETC, it's still pretty big on her foot.  It does stay on, but it gets turned.  I don't know if it bothers her to be turned or not.  It's really hard to find boots that will stay on donkeys anyway, their feet is not shaped like a horse or pony, and they can just walk out of a lot of them because their foot is so upright.  

When Tyler was here last week to open up Falena's abscess, he also shod her rear foot that keeps trying to turn under.  He also put a shoe on Gigi's crooked front foot.  It's really made a difference in her ease of walking.  I'm not a fan of shoes, but have about decided that Gigi will probably have to have a shoe the rest of her life.  I'll see what Tyler says the next time he comes.  We've tried giving both of them chances to go barefooted, but after a few months their feet get wonky again. 

Sunday, September 06, 2015


The last few days have felt like fall.  In the desert you certainly can't go by the leaves changing colors, but it's beginning to get that fall feeling.  Temperatures are still in the 90's but the nights are cooling off nicely.  Had to pull the comforter up last night......!!!

No, we have not started putting lipstick on the donkeys.  But this is what Cisco looks like these days when he comes in from an afternoon of eating prickly pear fruit.  I don't mind the color, but I do mind the accompanying tiny little spines that get embedded in his lips.  We try to pick out as many as we can find, but I'm sure we miss most of them.  Obviously they don't bother him as much as they bother us, because he goes back just as soon as he can get out of the pen.  This morning we had to put a "clean" fly mask on him.  The old one is laying out by the door, while I try to figure out how to get all the little spines out of it before putting it in the washer.  I can just imagine where all those spines would end up.  I know from experience they won't soak out, and you can't wash them by themselves, so WHAT TO DO?  I'm afraid the answer is above my pay grade........!!!  

We've got 3 volunteers here today, leveling new gravel in the pens.  John is using the tractor to haul loads of gravel out of the wash.  He dumps it and they are spreading it.  The monsoon makes a mess of the pens and we end up with high and low areas.  They really are doing a good job and we appreciate them working so hard.   Must be nice to be young and strong, we've gotten to the point where we look at the pens and hope for a miracle........LOL  I guess they are our miracle this year.  

A few days ago we had another volunteer out for a couple of days, bathing donkeys.  He did the ones with the worst skin conditions with medicated shampoo and I can really tell a difference, their skin sores are much better.  Bathing might have to become a higher priority around here.  We usually don't bathe because the donkeys really aren't fans.  But actually all the ones he did just stood and let him soap them up and rinse.  I was afraid we might have fireworks.  

Finally got the medication for Boaz from Dr. Lindsey and after 2 days of putting it on his sheath it is already looking much better.  The scraping showed he had a bacterial infection.  The salve she sent is homemade and I recognized it from past experience.  I e-mailed her and asked if that was what it was and she said yes, but it also had some other stuff in it too.  Whatever, it seems to be working.

 One of the volunteers today has a degree in bug studies.  I know how to pronounce it, just not going to try to write it.  Anyway he says our little dung beetle is call a Gazelle Dung Beetle, they are from Africa and Asia and were introduced in the 1970's by cattle ranchers to help with the fly and screwworm problem.  We've always left any pile they are working on and he said they are good beetles.  The reason we never could find out what they were is because they aren't native and we never thought to look for African dung beetle info. 

Thursday, September 03, 2015


This picture was taken in 2004, when we took Anubis in to foster until she could find a good home.  Here it is 2015, and today she will be leaving us and Nicki, her companion for all these years.  She started having mobility problems earlier this year.  We have taken her in 3 or 4 times and the consensus has been probable strokes or even a brain tumor.  X-rays showed nothing, so the next test would have been an MRI at a specialty clinic.  The vet and we agreed that doing the test wouldn't really help her, with either diagnosis, so we've done wait and watch since February.  When she would have an episode we'd put her on predisone for awhile and she would rally.  She started having problems a few days ago, and we'd have to help her stand sometimes, but she was still eating, wagging her tail and able to move around.  This morning she was laying where she was last night, when John went in the feed room.  He moved her over to her bed, and she hasn't moved or shown any interest in her surroundings or in eating.  So I made the call.  Our local vet isn't in today, so we will be taking her into Tucson to Adobe, who has been treating her, because our local vet isn't usually available.  She's always been such a good gentle girl, all she ever wanted was a little attention.  I don't know if Nicki will miss her or not.  He is not the smartest dog in the world, we should have named him Goofy.  Since she's been ill, he has no problem walking on her if he thinks she's going to get attention.  Let's put it this way he doesn't seem to have lot of empathy.  We'll take her in this afternoon, and bring her home to lay with the rest of our extended family, under the big mesquite by the driveway.