Sunday, February 28, 2016


Pancho in his new home, with his mom, Teressa and her cousin.   I assume Steve was in charge of picture taking.  Thanks guys for the update.

According to Teressa, Pancho has moved in, Bonnie follows him around even when he is flirting with Willow, the girl next door, who happens to be a horse.  I guess Bonnie wasn't interested in playing dress-up.

Teressa said Bonnie is actually getting a little less cautious about being around people and taking treats, so maybe Pancho's bubbly personality will show her people are good, especially when they have treats. 

Teressa said her visiting cousin was smitten with the donkeys and is talking about getting a couple to run with his cattle on his farm.  Pancho is a good little ambassador for donkeys........LOL

Hopefully we're ready for the big tour Tuesday.  There is suppose to be 53 people.........!!!!  YIKES, we'll have more people than donkeys......!!!  LOL  Tuesday morning we'll hang up the banners we usually hang up when we take the donkeys out for "meet and greet", to make it look a little more festive.  The banners will be hung up after the donkeys go in their pens for breakfast and will be hung far enough from the pens, so they don't become entertainment for donkeys.  

Wednesday little Lynn will finally get rid of her snaggle tooth.  Dr. Debra comes to Cochise County once a month for appointments, so we had to wait until she came back.  Hopefully that's the only one that will need to be pulled, her mouth is so small and her teeth are full size, so it's a jumbled mess in there. 

Friday, February 26, 2016


This is the MEGA shelter Mike, and Tony have been working on the last few Sundays.  All that's left now is the metal roofing and it will be sun shelter for the summer, if they don't get around to getting the sides on anytime soon.  I'd like sides before next winter, but they aren't really important for now.  

I'm glad this month is over, although next month is starting to look about as busy.  Next week we have a tour on Tuesday of 53 people, I think that might be a record.......!!! LOL  Rather than try to do a tour, we've decided to put clipboards on each pen with information about the donkeys in that pen and just turn them loose, for the most part.  The last time we did the clipboards, during an Open House, some of the clipboards ended up with big bites out of them.  Donkeys don't do too well with boredom, as long as there is people passing by that's OK.  But if there is a lull in the entertainment, the donkeys will amuse themselves however they can.  

This tour is a bunch of people that have no clue where they are going.  I've never heard of Mystery Tours before.  There are companies that put on these tours.  The people pack their bags, get on a bus and have no idea where they are going or what they will be doing for "X" amount of days.  This group are going to be seeing donkeys as part of their mystery.  Hope they enjoy it.  

Today we had a real nice couple here from Colorado.  Today was her birthday and she wanted to see some donkeys.  They are going to be in the area for about another month and want to come out to volunteer.  So we're trying to think up something that needs to be done.  

We usually like to have the donkeys in their pens for tours.  It just makes life simpler, and that way we can make sure everyone gets seen. The people said they would be here about 10AM, so when they hadn't showed up by after 10:30, John started letting the donkeys out.  They can whine so pitiful once the hay is gone and there's no action.  He hadn't been outside 5 minutes and they called to say they thought they had gone too far down the main road.  Got them headed the right direction, went out, yelled at John, but of course most of the donkeys were already out.  

Actually the tours are more fun when they are out, the people usually end up surrounded by donkeys to pet.  As long as food isn't involved they are very well behaved.  The people brought carrots and horse treats and John brought out some of the treats in a bucket to see if they would behave themselves.  NOPE....!!  But before it got too wild, Tula actually took a treat from both John and I.  She will take treats from John outside the pens at night when he lets them out at bedtime.  But I think this is the 1st time she's ever taken treats in daylight, I know it's the first time from me.  The last few months she's been taking treats on tours from some of the people, when she's in her pen.  They have to stand very still and stretch their arm out as far as it will go.  But it's progress for her.  She will come into the herd surrounding the people out of the pen, BUT, she keeps one of the other donkeys, usually Frijolita between her and the people.  

My best friend growing up, whom I haven't seen in 30 years is coming next week also.  Her husband just retired at the end of January, so now they can travel a little.  Lynn and I were thrown in the yard together at the age of 3 and have stayed friends all these years, even though we haven't visited much.  We have a lot of catching up to do........!!

Monday, February 22, 2016


Saddik hanging out with Gus in the favorite dusting spot in Dec

Saddik is "roughing" it this week, while Doug is visiting Michigan and for the 1st time in a long long time he is sleeping outside, instead of on Doug's bed.  He has a rug and a blanket under Doug's RV, but it's on gravel.  Yesterday John noticed the gravel is pretty lumpy under his sleeping blanket, so I put Anubis' bedding on top of his blanket.  

This morning when John went out, Saddik was very proud to take John to show him what he had done during the night.  Out of the 3 layers of Anubis' bed 2 of them became confetti, stuffing EVERYWHERE.  Thank goodness  the wind wasn't blowing, or it would have really been everywhere.  I chastised him very sternly and finally gave up.  He obviously didn't have a problem with what he had done.  I did tell him I don't care if the gravel isn't soft, that didn't seem to bother him either.  LOL

Gus seems to be walking better this morning, so I assume the problem was his hips.  They sure are touchy, I doubt that Courtney took off 1/16th of an inch.  So I'll watch him for a couple of days and start lowering the Previcox back to the tiny amount he usually gets.

Another Tucker story from yesterday.  He and Saddik played in around the house and pen area most of the day until about 3pm, when the donkeys started filtering over from Burroland.  That was going very well, the donkeys were checking him out and he was going with the flow, everybody was having a great time and here comes the "enforcer".  Cheyenne is the littlest mini at 32 inches tall.  She has always had attitude where food was involved and would let the others know it.  They usually just found something else to do, except one time Boaz took affront and picked her up by her neck.

As I said everyone was having a great time meeting and greeting and she waded right thru the other donkeys and took him on.  He's almost bigger than she is, but obviously size doesn't count as much as attitude.  I didn't see it, but John said Tucker was looking for a place to hide.  I can't imagine why she was so aggressive, when all the others were just fine with another dog.  Just when you think you have donkeys figured out, they will surprise you. 

Sunday, February 21, 2016



Mike and Tony are out again today working on the shelter that will cover 3 pens.  When they first started on it and set the corner poles, no one thought to not only check for length, but to check for opposite corners to be the same measurement.  I know there is a word for what that is called, but for the life of me, can't remember what it is.  

Anyway the problem wasn't discovered until they started putting up the OSB board under layment for the metal roofing.  The OSB boards are 4x8', no muss, no fuss and pretty square.  Too late to pull posts and start over.  Last Sunday they tried to "fix" it by adjusting here and there.  It wasn't working too well, and sometime during the week, John went out and figured out a Plan C and they've been able to probably get the OSB all up today.  We're suppose to to to Sierra Vista tomorrow and pick up the metal roofing, so they'll have something to work with next Sunday if they come out.  They sure are good workers, we really appreciate volunteers.

Yesterday we had 4 nice women out to groom donkeys.  That's something we don't get around to very often, and it's a shame, because the donkeys really enjoy the attention.  I think everyone except stand offish Tula got brushed.  

They are all living in one of the RV parks in Benson and came up with a great idea.  One of the women had been out here before and she was talking about coming out again, and the other 3 said they wanted to come.  They had the idea of having one day a week, as volunteer day and they would make sure the people in the park knew about it.  So we're going to try it.  I know the donkeys will enjoy it if they get attention every week.  

Doug got off to Michigan on time, and Saddik has been "camping" out ever since.  Doesn't seem to mind, not having a nice comfy bed to sleep on, although I'm sure he'll be more than happy to move back in when Doug gets back in a week.  

When Doug left in the evening, he put Saddik in the dog pen with Nicki, but when John came home a couple of hours later, Saddik greeted him in the driveway.  A 5 foot fence doesn't seem to be much of a deterrent for him or for Mike's dog Tucker.  Mike brought Tucker with him again today.  Last time he was out here, he climbed or jumped the fence and was having a great time running with the donkeys.  He wasn't chasing them, he was just enjoying the run.  Today Mike brought his harness and lead, and tied him up in the dog pen.  Yep, he chewed thru his harness and lead.........LOL  I know, it isn't funny.  But it was pretty funny, when they came in for lunch and I asked Mike where Tucker was.  I just happened to be sitting facing the courtyard, so I knew where he was, Mike didn't............!!!  LOL 

Gus is moving pretty slow after his trim and getting casting material put on his front feet.  He was moving really well right afterwards, but the next morning he was really slow and spent most of the day laying down.  Courtney was going to make a special trip out today to see if the casting was too tight.  She actually put it on looser than she would on a horse.  I guess the horses just barely can make 8 weeks in it, without it falling off or wearing thru, so it fairly easy to get off.  Not so, with Gus, either because donkeys don't weigh as much, or he doesn't move around as much.  Yesterday when the women were grooming, Gus acted just like he did before, when they tried to touch his body.  So I think the problem is, even though Courtney trimmed almost nothing off his feet, it was enough to change the position of his hips.  He's spent so much of his life, trying to keep weight off his front feet, that his hips are probably very arthritic.  I've doubled his Previcox for the time being and actually today he seems a little more comfortable, so I told her I'd just watch him.  

Thursday, February 18, 2016


This is Bonnie watching as we brought Pancho into view.  Right after this she went into her shelter, so she wouldn't have to look at any of us.  She's not been worked with much and is still quite reluctant to deal with humans, if she doesn't have to.  

John and Pancho getting ready to go into "her" pen.

Let's see if playing hard to get works
Smelling poo is a good way to introduce yourself, I guess

Well, you're rather cute
No fireworks, Bonnie kicked in his general vicinity a couple of times, just to let him know he wasn't going to come in and take over, and he seemed just fine with that.  Teresa spends a lot of time with her animals, and Pancho loves attention, so this should be a great home for him.  

Come to find out Teresa raced a factory stock race car at the old Corona Speedway here in Tucson many, many years ago, long before we got here.  She said she told them she wanted to race and they said she could race in the Powder Puff races and she said no.  So Friday afternoon she got a phone call telling her if she wanted to race, she would have to get a pregnancy test.  She asked them if the Powder Puff girls had to tested and they said no, but she did.  So she scrambled around and found a doctor to do a pg test, so she could have the results in time to go racing Saturday night......!!!  LOL  Said she finished 6th out of 32 cars that started the main event.  She also said then some of the car owners wanted her to drive their car after that.......!!   Well at least I've never had to go to those lengths, although not being allowed in the pits, but being allowed on the track, always seemed a little weird.  

We had to get home before Courtney got here to evaluate Gus' front feet. That's not a problem, Courtney is always late......!!!  LOL  She has good intentions, BUT, reality gets in the way, as the day wears on, she gets farther and farther behind and we're always late afternoon, because her next appointment doesn't get off work until 6pm.  That's OK, but I was afraid the one and only time we weren't here she'd be on time.  Not to worry......!!!!  

She was just going to trim his heels down a tiny little bit.  With him it's always teeny-tiny, any normal change can cripple him for weeks, if not months.  Unfortunately she noticed a crack at the coronet.  It's only about  3/4 an inch long, but it's at the top and looks deep.  Soooooo, time for another artificial hoof of casting material.  The inside of his hooves are such messes, she didn't think we could take a chance on it, since it was all the way into the coronet.  We are running out of options for Gus unfortunately.  Unless they come up with something else, this is just about the last "fix" available for him.  He's actually walking pretty good right now, which is one reason she doesn't want this crack to cause more problems.  

I think Tula actually was looking for Pancho last night, either that or expecting him to jump out of hiding and attacking her.  I would imagine Boaz will be glad he's gone, they didn't get along at all.  

Saddik will probably miss him, they had some sort of cross species relationship and were always playing thru the corral panels when Pancho was waiting to get fed, or Saddik would reach thru the panels to grab any pellets Pancho dropped.  

Saddik is going to have a lifestyle change starting this week-end.  Doug is flying to Michigan to visit friends and family.  Like a lot of Arizonians, he's from somewhere else.  Saddik has spent a lot of time with Doug in his RV and sleeps on Doug's bed.  For the next week, Saddik will be roughing it, probably staying overnight in the feed room with Nicki sleeping on Anubis' old bed.  I'm sure he's going to think he's being punished..............LOL

John is catching mice in the feed room on a regular basis.  Now we need to figure out where the little monsters are getting in.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT, on a regular basis........!!!  Donkeys have a way of showing you your limitations, which is what makes them such wonderful souls.

We're going this afternoon to do Pancho's home study.  I'm pretty sure Boaz will not mourn his departure.   Pancho has always been very aggressive about the girls.  When one is cycling, he takes over everything going on outside.  He plants his little body right next to his "lady" and woe be any of the other donkeys that get close to them, especially the other geldings.  Boaz has never really accepted Pancho being the big guy, although in the last year or so, he's pretty much taken the "WHATEVER" attitude, when Pancho starts lunging and screaming obscenities, not to mention kicking with purpose.  

Yesterday when we were getting ready for evening chores, John noticed Boaz was dropped and his little buddy was bloody.  Too early for fly damage, and it looked suspiciously like someone had bitten it.  When we do tours we usually explain how jacks fight and will go for the neck, spinal cord, legs, ears, eyes, they pretty much fight to do as much damage as possible.  We usually don't talk about this particular fighting technique, but it is one they use, if their opponent is stupid enough to let it all hang out, so to speak.  I can only assume Boaz gave Pancho a opening and Pancho took it.  

I had always thought that going out with another gelding would be good for Pancho, but I've changed my mind in recent months.  I think him having his own girl with no competition might be best for him.  The couple spend a lot of time with their animals, and he is very people orientated, so he'll enjoy all the attention.  

The weather right now is almost perfect, cool nights with warm sunny days, wish it would stay this way.  Actually, I really hope this isn't the beginning of an early summer, when they start talking about 90 degrees, this early in the season, it's not that far to 100........!!!  

Yesterday I noticed mouse turds on the counter in the feed room.  Years ago we had trouble with mice coming in on a tree branch hanging over the roof, too close to a crack.  A very tiny crack, some of these desert mice probably don't weigh an ounce, they are tiny.  But all the tree limbs are cut, so we are trying to figure out how they are getting in.  One night a few days ago, the Dutch door was open after dark and we've always known that is a super highway into the feed room.  But that's been days ago.  John set the live trap and caught one last night, reset the trap and this morning a mouse had been in the trap, ate half an animal cracker and still didn't trip the trap.   I told you they are tiny.......!!!  So for the next few nights he'll set the trap and we'll make sure the Dutch door is closed at night, hopefully we'll clean them out again.  

We still have one in the van, have had for years.  I'm pretty sure getting in the van is a family tradition trained from generation to generation, and we have never been able to figure out how they get in there.  They don't live in there, but any time there is edibles left over night, they chew holes and eat whatever it is, usually feed of some kind. 

Sunday, February 14, 2016


A couple of days ago I received an e-mail that gets sent out to all the equine rescues in Arizona, whenever there is a special situation, like owner going in hospital, animals need rehomed, need emergency hauling, anything that might be helped by the rescue community in Arizona all knowing about it.  

Bonnie and Clyde were adopted from an Arizona rescue a few months ago and were doing great, until the woman went out a few mornings ago and Clyde had died in the night.  Probably his heart, this seems to happen with donkeys more than you would think.  We've had 2 and also a horse, basically drop dead or die in their sleep while laying down.  

Although the people have an Arab and a mini horse, Bonnie is very lonely, so the emergency call went out for a male donkey.  Hopefully, this is  Pancho's destiny.  He has been in foster care, he also was in a home and proved to be too smart for his own good, as far as escaping to go visit the neighbor's grass, and was returned to us a couple of years ago.   

The people came out today to see him.  He was really busy trying to keep the other boys away from Tula, but was friendly enough that the people want to add him to their family.  We will do a home study Tuesday and then we will haul him later in the week.  We could probably take him when we do the home study, but I'd rather not, even though it would save us a trip.  They gave all the right answers, I know their vet and they've had the same farrier for 20 years.  

Should be a great forever home for a very personable little donkey.  This will actually put us below our self imposed limit for the 1st time in a LONG time, makes me almost afraid to answer the phone.!!!  LOL

Courtney is coming out this week, to assess Gus' front feet.  He seems to be slowing down, so he might need the casting material put on again.  His heels have to be so "over the top" tall, he might just need to be trimmed a little bit.  I leave that decision to Courtney, she's kept him going when most farriers would have said they couldn't do anything else.  I don't think "can't" is in her vocabulary, she also kept old Pepper going for years, we ended up with John and I holding him up on 3 legs, when she would trim him, he was so frail.  It was just about this time last year when we finally had to say goodbye to the old man, his legs just finally gave out.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed about Lynn's tooth.  I don't worry about it falling out, I worry about it getting infected, as loose as it is, there's plenty of gaps to get food caught around it.  We'll keep a close eye on her, until Dr. Debra comes back down the 1st week of March.  

Got to get her in "cuteness" shape.  Kartchner Caverns got in touch with me, to take donkeys out for Earth Day, April 16th. Last year we took Ruger and Wister and they were a big hit.  I had planned on taking BlackJack and Frijolita this year, but was requested to bring minis.  I didn't even remember talking about minis, but obviously someone in the park system did...!!!  We are going to take all 4 of the minis, so there will be no waiting to pet.  Actually minis are usually really popular, they are small enough to not be threatening to people that have never been around large animals.  Children especially are more comfortable around them. 

Friday, February 12, 2016

UGLY MOUTH.........!!!

I didn't get as good a picture as I wanted of Lynn's mouth.  John had noticed she had a snaggle tooth.  Her mouth has always been a little creative, one of the results of breeding for smaller animals.  Her mouth has either too many teeth or too large of teeth, not exactly sure.  As someone with a small mouth and full size teeth, complete with wisdom teeth trying to break thru many years ago, she has my sympathy.  She has had teeth pulled which has allowed for some shuffling around and it looks like the cleanest one on the bottom closest to my thumb has lost the shuffle battle.  It's really loose, but not loose enough for me to have the guts to grab it with a pair of pliers and hopefully jerk it out with one "gentle" pull.  I've observed over the years that even though an equine tooth seems ready to come out, that isn't how it usually happens.  Poor Penny put up with about an hour of pulling and tugging to get one out.  Granted it wasn't loose to start with, because of her broken jaw it was not where it should be and was causing problems.  

Dr. Debra doesn't come back until the 1st week of March, so Lynn is on the list and we'll keep an eye on it.  She doesn't like it messed with, hopefully it won't get infected between now and then.  Looks like she could use a good brushing, because her teeth are so crooked, they seem to collect food.  

Sunday, February 07, 2016


I know how he feels....!!!

I hate to keep harping on the subject of weather, but this winter is really getting old.  I had to start a fire in the wood stove this afternoon, because it never got warm today in the house, too many clouds I guess.  Passive solar houses are really nifty neato, UNLESS there is no sun.  It also doesn't work if you aren't home the evening before to build a fire.  

Loaded up and headed for the track
Yesterday was the 1st race of the season.  I did OK, not as well as I'd like.  I finished 3rd in the heat race, which lined me up in the 3rd row for the main event.  I was running 5th and doing OK, when the car started acting up and the gas pedal was mushy.  Needless to say running 5th with 12 other cars behind you just waiting for an opportunity to improve their position, gives you incentive to do something, anything.  I pulled up to the wall and pumped the gas pedal like crazy and all of a sudden it came out of it.  So away I went and it happened again.  Of course by this time a lot of the cars behind me had taken advantage of my misfortune and were ahead of me.  I was just hoping to get to finish, but with 7 laps to go the race director started yelling in my radio, for me to get off the track, I was dumping gas, so I got off ASAP.  So I got scored in 12th place.  I can't believe I finished ahead of 5 other cars....!!  LOL

John has been busy today trying to figure out what happened.  So far no definitive answers.  Probably something to do with the computer, but he can't figure out what that would have to do with the gas pedal.  

Yesterday morning when we fed, I went ahead and mixed up feed for evening feeding.  I made up all the pans and put them in our big igloo cooler with ice packs for Doug to feed when it was time.  Last year Amy was still coming to clean pens and she'd mix up pans, but I think this is going to work out pretty well.  We have to be at the track so early to sign in and pill draw for my starting position, there's no way we can feed.  Having Doug here really helps.  

Gus is finishing up his meds for possible ulcers tomorrow morning.  I don't think he has ulcers, he eats too well.  He isn't as touchy as he was, we are pretty much leaving him alone to give the Previcox a chance to get into his system if the problem is his joints.  This cold weather is hard on everybody that has arthritis, man or beast.  

Got back the results on Quilla and Daisy's ACTH test for Cushings.  It's been a couple of years since they were tested and Daisy is putting on a pretty heavy winter coat.  She is always pretty hairy and gets body clipped in the spring, but since the vet was here for Gus I thought it would be a good time to test them.  Daisy's numbers are almost perfect on 3mg of pergolide a day, so I guess she's just going to be hairy.  I never asked her owner, maybe she has always had long hair, I just figured it was the Cushings.  Quilla's numbers weren't quite as perfect as hers, but they were pretty good on 1 1/2mg of pergolide a day.  After Dr. Karla left I thought I should have had her test Coquette.  She's not really old enough to worry about Cushings, I pretty sure she is Insulin Resistant and there is too much donkey in her skin, she came in fat and I've not been able to get it off her. 

Monday, February 01, 2016


     Nikki has a visitor named Tucker.  Mike and Tony came out today, even though the weather is lousy to get the rafters up for the big 3 pen shelter. Mike brought Tucker out for a play day.  As you can see from the 2nd picture Saddik is outside.  

     Tucker was out with him for awhile, but Mike kept him on a long leash, which wasn't much fun.  Not that Nikki is that much fun to play with, but at least in the pen, Tucker can run around and pee on stuff.  
      He figured out the doggy door, first try, unlike Saddik.  Saddik hasn't figured it out yet.  He will stick his head out the door and that's it..!!  He better be figuring it out pretty quick.  Doug is going to make a trip back to Michigan the end of this month and will be gone about a week or so.  That means Saddik won't have a nice warm "person" bed to sleep in.  If he wants to be warm, he'll have to sleep in the feed room with Nikki, the cats sure don't want him in "their" house, I'm sure.  

     John's cousin, Mark just drove in.  Every year about this time he comes down here to visit friends and always make the effort to come see us.  We always enjoy having him stop by, seems like not many of the family travel anymore. 

     The weather today is cold windy and nasty.  I was really surprised Mike and Tony showed up, it's not very nice to be working outside.  They said they want to get the rafters up, so the next time they will be able to put the metal roofing on.  The donkeys aren't impressed, when the weather is like this they don't like it.  They usually get in one place and stand there until the weather improves.  

     Haven't heard back on Quilla and Daisy's ACTH blood draw, to see how their numbers are for their Cushings disease.  I"m pretty sure Daisy needs her pergolide increased and wouldn't be surprised if Quilla did too.  It's a progressive disease, Quilla has only been diagnosed a year or so, but Daisy has been on pergolide for years, so it was time to have them tested, especially when the vet was already out here.

     Gus is still taking the Ranitidine, the vet said we would notice remarkable improvement in 4 days.  Really didn't notice much difference in his behavior, so yesterday we started him back on Previcox, which should help if his hips and back are bothering him.  With animals, so much is a guessing game, they can't tell you where it hurts, and science can only do so much, unfortunately.