Saturday, June 25, 2016


Last night not long before dusk, Doug brought me a hummingbird, that was on the ground and Doug almost stepped on.  It was alert, but the feet were curled and it's wings were rather sprawled.  It probably ran into something and knocked itself goofy.  

I got out a syringe and some of John's sugar water he feeds the hummingbirds and started to see if it would drink.  They have such a high metabolism they have to eat a lot during the daylight hours, and we have no idea how long it had been down.  

It didn't take long for it to figure out how to get the syrup out of the syringe, then it keep me busy keeping juice where it could reach it.  I never knew how long their tongue is, it's about twice as long as their bill, which is pretty long.  

We took the top off the box we put it in, but it never tried to get away.  I was hoping this morning it would be able to fly, but no such luck.  It hadn't forgotten how to eat though.....!!  Ha!  I called the Wildlife Rescue Center in Tucson and they said bring it in.  Thank goodness, they can't live on sugar water for very long and the special food for them is only available to rehabilitators or rescues.

A few years ago we took a rock squirrel into the Wildlife Center, but it's been awhile.  They had one building then, they now have 2 large brick buildings and it looked  like they aren't even using the old one.  They had a listing of animals they have right now.  They have 250 assorted critters, from 3 hummingbirds (they now have four) to desert tortoises, great horned owls, bobcats, even a skunk......!!  I'm impressed, taking care of all those different animals that take such different care would be a lot of work.  They had 71 desert Gambel quail, I guess people bring in a lot of baby quail in the spring that get separated from their parents.

It was cooler today and we even got a sprinkling of rain, hopefully over the next few days the monsoons will start.  We are behind as usual on rain. 

Friday, June 24, 2016


Published in Grit magazine Jan/Feb 2011 - Sue Hansen
Daisy choked again last night.  As the donkeys get older and their teeth either fall out or end up smooth and at gum level, hay chewing becomes a problem sometimes.  Daisy has choked in the past and we thought maybe the problem was pellets.  So she gets a mush with her hay.  She's been doing good, but last night choked on hay that John had ran thru the leaf shredder.  Unfortunately I think the short hay gives them the opportunity to grab a big mouthful, but if we leave it long, they give up before they get it chewed.  

We worked with her for awhile, Courtney was here trimming feet and had to go to another job.  I took the golf cart to open the gate for Courtney to leave and when I came back John said Daisy coughed out a big blob of green stuff and seemed just fine.  It's amazing how miserable they can be and as soon as it clears life is good and life goes on as far as they are concerned.  

We are so "politically incorrect" on how we handle them when they choke.  If anyone is around when we have a choke, I tell them, they don't see what I'm doing.....!!! LOL  Donkeys throats are built different than horses and have smaller opening where the back of the mouth meets the esophagus.  If I called the vet immediately as my first line of defense, number 1, our local vet is not available for emergencies, and over the years very few of our chokes have required tubing.  And number 2, 99 times out of 100 they would clear themselves, with the help of some of my little tricks before the vet could get here, if she was available.  If the choke is at the top of the esophagus, I can clear it.

Old Pepper use to choke at the top of his stomach, which I can't clear.  I wasn't here one time and he choked for John.  John called the vet clinic, they said bring him in, John loaded him up, hauled him to town.  Opened the trailer and Pepper was looking at John like, "why did I have to go for a ride, I hadn't finished my breakfast"?  So sometimes a trailer ride will clear a choke.......LOL

So this morning she got wet hay, like Cisco gets.  At first she looked at it like we had lost our minds.  But it didn't take her long to dive in.  I just hope she doesn't take big bites.  A good friend Claire, says hay is like equine jerky.  When you think about it, that's a pretty good description, old dried out grass.

Doug just came in.  He's been gone for about a week to visit family in California.  He drove his motorcycle and did the trip at night.  It's just too hot to try travel in the day. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016


I know it's a dry heat.  That all seemed to change sometime during the night, woke up to sticky humidity and actually a few wayward sprinkles hit the courtyard.  We're still cloudy, so it's not quite as hot as it has been, but with the higher humidity.............I still don't like it......!!! 

The poor donkeys, all they do is stand around under the trees waiting for it to get cooler.  We're actually doing pretty good with flies this year.  I use the fly predators and the fly trap bags, and between the two they aren't bad. 

Of course the skin problems draw what flies we have, so I stay busy trying to figure out the best way to cover them.  I've set in a supply of men's crew socks, and they work well, unless the legs are bloody.  Then the sores have to be wrapped, otherwise they stick to the socks..........UGH!  

Boaz has a different type of skin lesion than the rest of them.  His sloughs off the skin and the hair immediately starts growing back.  In the meantime with no skin it is a slick and slimy mess.  The best thing I've found for it is Underwood Horse Medicine and in fact I need to order some more.  It's a family business in Oklahoma and is about the only thing that will stop whatever Boaz has. 

Friday, June 17, 2016


Cisco is somewhere in his 20's.  He was one of original 5, when we started thinking about doing rescue in the late 90's.

I had put an ad in the paper to take free donkeys and a roping school called.  At first they wanted us to buy him, which we weren't going to do.  So then they said just come and get him.  He was out in a field standing with his head down, not reacting to anything or anybody.  We got him in the trailer, brought him home and he stood that way completely uninvolved in life for over 3 years.  The only way roping donkeys can try to protect themselves is to shut down emotionally.  I've heard stories of them being hit with a HotShot and not even reacting.  Very sad. 

He wouldn't react to the donkeys or anything going on around him.  When the summer fly season started we found out he had horrible skin problems and was a fly magnet.   We had lost the 1st Cisco from the same problems and I swore we would not lose this one.  It was a long hot summer, I ended up just about living in the corral with him, trying to keep him from biting itchy places till they bled, which drew flies, which caused the problem to just get worse.  

At one time a local woman made him a "suit" to protect him, especially his very venerable sheath.  

This is what his sheath looked like after a couple of years.  This was surgically removed and the vet couldn't tell us what it was for sure.  It looked like lard inside, very few blood vessels inside, a couple of big ones outside, that caused a lot of excitement in the operating room as blood shot up in the air.  

His legs have never been very strong, very rarely would he move quicker than a slow ramble.  A few years ago he started choking when he ate.  We had a barium x-ray done of his throat and the esophagus looks just fine.  So we think that the muscles in his neck might have been damaged during his time at the roping school.  The students were allowed to take him home to practice on.  Who knows what they did with him.  Since the x-ray, he has eaten a mush and John cuts his hay up with a leaf shredder and then wets it, so it's easier to swallow.  He does really good, occasionally we'll hear him coughing, but it's been a long time since he actually choked.  

As he's gotten older the legs have gotten less steady.  Gus has done so well on Previcox, I decided to see if it would help Cisco be more comfortable.  He's been on it for a little while and we thought he might be walking a little easier.  

Yesterday when we came in from town, we noticed Coquette was "entertaining".  For anyone that has never seen a jenny when she is cycling, it can be quite a show......LOL  Coquette was giving it her all and I thought Boaz was seeing if he might be Mr. Right.  On 2nd thought, Cisco was trying to be Mr. Right, was in position and after 3 or 4 abortive attempts manage to climb aboard.  That was about all there was to it and he dropped back down to earth.  Then they both just looked at us like, "what are you two looking at?"  I swear I saw a gleam in his eye thru the fly mask.  I gave him a high five and told him what a good boy he was.  Who knew, he has never shown any interest in any of the jennies...........never.....!!  After all these years it's got to be the Previcox.  I'm so glad we found something to help him be more comfortable.  Obviously he's feeling pretty good, Courtney doesn't even lift his feet very high, when she trims his feet because he always acted like it hurt.....!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


Thanks for the pic, Doug

As you can see Saddik has shown Punch (couldn't get it changed, so Punch it is) how to hang out in Doug's RV.  They spend the nights in there on the bed.  Saddik is a sprawler and Doug says Punch is a cuddler.  We have enough problems with cats, Nigel especially, certainly glad we aren't sharing with 2 fairly large dogs.....!! LOL   The cats would have a conniption  fit if the dogs came in the house,  I'm afraid.  And the dogs would probably chase cats, which wouldn't bode well for all the "stuff" in the house.  If they got close to the cats before the cats got under the bed, there would be a mess and probably some clawed eyes.  Neither of the dogs are hunters, although Saddik loves to chase lizards, all he's caught is one tail and he had no clue what to do with it.  Punch isn't even interested in lizards. 

Punch is very needy, he wants to be with you and up against you.  He's also a follower, so Saddik is passing on his "let's go see what's out there" adventures.  So far they come back after about 30 minutes, we think they go across the road to play with the neighbor's dog and are ready to go into the dog pen and air conditioned feed room when they come back.  I hope Saddik doesn't take Punch off for the day like he did Lucy, Lynn and Linda's older dog.  She was completely wore out by the time they got home, she collapsed by the pens and wouldn't move. 

Speaking of Lynn and Linda, they have a new family member named Leddy. I don't know what took them so long to find a donkey of their very own. Wonder how long it will be before the "herd" starts growing?  LOL

 Leddy meeting his "brother from another mother", Lennon.

 The obligatory "snot shot"....... between being very curious and thinking you might have a treat, sometimes this is as far away as you can get from a donkey......!! 

Marking his new home as his very own.  Thanks for the pictures, Linda

From what we've heard I think they are spending every minute they can with him.  Linda called John yesterday to wish him a Happy Birthday, and they were out in the pasture taking Leddy for a walk.  Every donkey should be so lucky to have such an indulgent home.  We told them he can come down with them next winter for Longears Camp, who knows maybe he will get to meet our gang.  First they will have to find a trailer..........LOL

Hot enough here to cook eggs on the sidewalks I think.  Suppose to be hotter each day and the week-end is suppose to be 110* in Benson, 113* in Tucson Saturday, and even hotter Sunday.  I will be racing Saturday night and not looking forward to sitting in staging waiting to go out on the track with all my gear on, from helmet to fire suit.  It wouldn't be so bad, but if the race ahead of you doesn't go well, as in lots of yellow flags, you get to sit for a long time, stewing in your own juices..........UGH!  What we do for fun sometimes...!!

Doing OK with the doctoring right now.  We have 7 that have to be doctored every morning and in Boaz's case every night too.  We're fighting his annual crud on his sheath, it's been scraped and tested with no definitive results.  So we try this and we try that.  Right now the Columbia Vet Powder which is zinc oxide in powder form, seems to be working the best.  I was using the thuja zinc oxide which is a paste, it kept the flies at bay, but really wasn't helping with healing.  Been doing it this way for a couple of days, and so far, so good.  

He also has his annual habromena larvae infestation in the side of his mouth.  It seemed like he was fine one day and a couple of days later, the spot about the size of a quarter on the edge of his mouth had erupted into a problem.  He's really good about letting me pick them out with tweezers, so we do that each morning, I slather the area with ivermectin wormer and we are actually getting ahead of them.  The wormer kills the larvae on contact.   I'll have to watch him even after it heals up, until winter or they will be back.     

Thursday, June 09, 2016

IT'S HOT, HOT, HOT..........!!!

And now they are saying we actually have  a chance of some rain............!!!  So far 2016 has been a rather strange year, weather wise.........!!! 

Not much going on, everyone is hunkered down in the heat of the day, waiting for cooler weather.  We've been doing quite a bit of doctoring, the stable flies, which are the ones that eat the hair off donkey legs below the knee and make a bloody mess are out and about in great numbers.  They only bother certain donkeys and most of those legs are covered with socks, or polo wraps or a combination of both.  Actually the combo works out pretty good, polo wrap below the knee and sock above the knee.  Trying to cover the actual knee in conjunction with either above or below does not work well.  

We're also doctoring Rosie's belly.  She has some type of open sores on her belly every summer.  I call it ventral dermatitis, just because it has to be called something.  It has been scraped and tested, came up inconclusive.  She has had "THE SHOT", which is a steroid called Dexamethasone and if it made any difference it was minimal.  Dex is scary, it can cause foundering in a healthy equine, and had been used for a long time as the only method to test for Cushings disease.  In recent years a simple blood draw for ACTH results has started to replace the 2 blood draws, hours apart using Dex.  Unfortunately older vets and equine people that have "always done it that way", are slow to change sometimes.  When I asked Dr. Lindsey to test Coquette for Cushings, she hesitantly asked if I was familiar with the ACTH test.  I told her I wouldn't do the Dex, and her eyes lite up.  She said so many people still insist on the Dex. 

This is Julius, our "wild" outdoor cat.  In this heat wave he has decided that he likes to be in the house during the heat of the day.  Up until a few weeks ago, he would come in the house in the morning, wrestle with the cats, eat a little dry food and want out.  Since it's been hot, his MO has changed to coming in, going thru the usual routine and then disappearing in the house, usually on our bed.  Sometime in the evening, he'll go to the door and want out to go do cat stuff while it's cool.  He's actually a full brother to Snooky and and half brother to Sunny, but has never wanted to be a house cat.  He was with their mother Hobo for years, until she didn't show up one morning.  I would imagine he gets lonely, but doesn't want to give up his freedom. 

Sunday, June 05, 2016


Casper in a very interesting study.  He seems to go thru life according to his idea of right and wrong and pretty much does his thing on a regular basis.  

Lara said he and the 2 goats are getting along real good and stay together all the time.  Whew, we didn't know if he would like them or hate them.  

Vic told us quite a tale, well actually Doug told us first and then we asked Vic if it was true.  Vic and Lara have chickens in a pen.  A couple of days ago, they heard a horrible racket like someone was killing someone else.  They went out to see what the commotion was and saw a coyote being rolled by a very determined little white mule.  The coyote was squalling, Casper was screaming as he rolled the coyote with his front legs.  The coyote managed to escape and was headed for the fence as fast as he could run.  They said Casper ran him down before he got to the fence and bit a pretty good sized patch of hair off of his rump.  The coyote was still running and managed to get up and over the fence to safety.  Too bad they didn't get a video of it, they said it was really something to see.  I'm sure the coyote wouldn't agree, but I doubt that he'll be back to check out the chicken pen anytime soon..!!!! LOL

Friday we went in to sign the final adoption for Falena aka Momma and Selena aka Squeaky.  

 You might know I had all the paperwork filled out, ready to go............except I had paperwork filled out with the wrong name and address.  I got my Tim's and Ted's mixed up, so we couldn't do the paperwork.  But we did get to say good-bye to the girls and I mailed the "correct" paperwork later.

They look good and Tim and Steph said they are getting pretty good at pulling Sierra's chain. She being a horse, in her mind is a superior animal and tries to put them in their place.  While we were there, they weren't allowed to come over to us.  So they just waited awhile till she went off somewhere else and then came over. 

This is Sierra "protecting" us from "those" donkeys. 

Wednesday, June 01, 2016


Well at least I hope so.  Our friend Michelle came out today and asked if we'd like a friend for Saddik.  She knew of an older man that had a younger dog that is just too energetic and needed to be rehomed.  Preferably where he could run and play.  Hmm.......sounds right up Saddik's alley, so Michelle called to see if they would like to bring him out for a play day.  

His name is Punch, which I've tried to think of something close to that, but haven't come up with anything so far.  Changing names for dogs is a lot different than changing names for donkeys, dogs actually know their names and react to them.  Donkeys........not so much.  I have a feeling if I don't come up with something today, it will be Punch for the duration.  

So they brought him out and he is a bundle of energy, which of course thrills Saddik, to no end.  We started them in the dog pen and right now they are out with John and Doug, who are working on Rosie's shelter.

When Lynn built Rosie's shelter it ended up 80 inches deep.  We have looked and looked for 7 foot roofing panels and guess what?  They don't make them, you can get 6 foot or 8 foot, but not 7 foot.  So the guys are elongating the shelter to make it 2 inches shorter than 10 feet.   Ten foot are easy to find and it will give Rosie more shade.  

Punch is a Kelpie cattle dog.  I went on line, and there is quite a bit of information about them, one thing is they have to be able to "work" or at least play at work.  Not a good apartment dog or one that doesn't have room to run.  That's good, he'll have plenty of room to run out here.  I just hope Saddik, doesn't show him how to take off for the day, like he did with Lynn and Linda's dog Lucy. 

He's already tried to herd the minis, which didn't go over very well.  They ran and bucked and kicked, which of course made it very exciting for him.  We'll have to try to control his exuberance for chasing donkeys.  They are very smart dogs, I'm sure he will get the hint, I just hope he doesn't get his head kicked off first.

A few of the other donkeys came around to see what all the excitement was about, but he hasn't seen most of them, so this afternoon at feeding time, should be "interesting".........!!!