Saturday, December 31, 2016

GOODBYE 2016 - HELLO 2017

This was so cute I couldn't resist, thanks Christine @ Equine Well Being

Well today was a lot of fun.  Dr. Jeremy came out to see why Penny's mouth was smelly again.  She had a smelly mouth when she went up to the clinic in Gilbert, and when they did the colic surgery, Dr. Voss prowled around in her mouth and pulled an infected tooth.

John told me a few days ago her mouth was stinking again, so I called for an appointment.  In the meantime Dr. Jeremy had me start her on antibiotics twice a day.  Let me say working with Penny is NOT easy.  She will hurt you if she can, however she can, front feet, back feet, using her head as a battering ram.  So in order to get 8 ground up pills down her throat, we put her in the squeeze and then try to line up a syringe and plunge the molasses and pills in before she explodes.  The 1st time isn't too bad, by the 2nd time she's figured out some evasive actions to try, and by the 3rd time she's really thought up some new ideas...........LOL  I'm not sure, but think she cracked my wrist yesterday morning.  I've got it wrapped, which is probably what the doctor would do, so I'll save the time and effort.  We decided to try and see if we could get them down her one at a time, with animal cracker pieces.  I tried last night and after 6 she said no.  But this morning she took all 8 for John.  Her mouth is already smelling much better, but I still wanted her looked at.

 This is her cooperative stance...........Thanks, Doug

We warned Dr. Jeremy, got her into the squeeze and he decided to just drug her, rather than try to work with her.  Good idea, except she is still difficult.  They were doing pretty good, with her drugged and him running his hands around inside her mouth.  Until she crunched down on a finger, a bloody finger by the time he got it away from her.  Good news, it isn't broken.............LOL  I think that's our 1st wounded vet over the years, which is pretty good, although I'm sure he didn't appreciate being the 1st one.  

Good news, he didn't find any really loose teeth, or any cracked ones.  Her jaw has been broken, so her teeth aren't really lined like they should be and are crooked.  She packs food around them, so hopefully if it's anything other than just rotting feed, hopefully the antibiotics will take care of it.  He said if it happens again, he'll put her completely out and x-ray her jaws, so we have a better idea what we are messing with.  Hopefully that won't be necessary, but if it is, at least he has an idea of what direction to go.

As usual, as the days pass and the the year's come to an end, there are changes, some good and some not so good.  But that is part of life and every day should be seen as a gift.  Many people complain about getting old, but think of the many people in your life, that didn't have the privilege of a long life.  

Seems like this year we've lost many friends and relatives, and the vast majority weren't "old".  I know it's part of the kaleidoscope of life, people are lost and people are added.  Just lost a good friend from the race track a couple of days ago.  Don and his brother Allen drove one of the push trucks at the dirt track and moved over to the asphalt when the dirt track closed.  I'd either wander over to their truck or they would drive where I was, and we'd talk for a few minutes.  Nothing earth shattering, they just liked to be involved in racing and always liked to talk and seemed to enjoy watching me race.  

Don had been sick for quite sometime and hadn't been able to come out to the track.  I'd ask Allen about him, and he'd just shake his head.  Sixty years old isn't very old, although as they say, "the good die young" and he was a very good man.  

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and that 2017 is a great year for health and happiness. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016


Well at least by donkey standards. 

Of course they weren't very appreciative because it was past their time to get out after breakfast and they get rather vocal when that happens.  Usually it's because of a tour coming, I didn't hear them complaining while the truck and squeeze were here, so maybe they did enjoy seeing all that hay in one place, before it went behind a fence, in the hay barn.

I don't think Leddy has an abscess.  For the last couple of days, he's been walking almost without a limp.  On Christmas Day, he managed to behave like a real ASS, when I tried to look at his foot.  John had said he was walking much better and I walked up to him like I do most of our guys and picked up his foot..........Hmmmmm..........guess he's not a casual type of guy.  He wiggled, and squirmed, and backed up, in general acted like a brat.  OK, I asked John to bring a hoof pick because I saw something in the valley along side the frog that looked like foreign material, maybe a stick?  While John was gone  to get the hoof pick, I picked up his foot again and he dropped his shoulder like he was going to fall.  This is an old trick they use when they don't want to pick up the foot.  The answer is to hang onto the foot and unless they are really determined, they will usually quit before they actually go down.  I held on long enough to get my point across, so he kicked back with a hind foot.  I let him know I didn't really appreciate that behavior, just about then John got back with the hoof pick, and I sent him back for a halter, and lead.

Put those on, John held him, I picked up the foot and he kicked back again.  He wasn't kicking at me, he was using an evasive behavior he has learned sometime earlier in his life, that made people leave him alone.

So we moved on to the "redneck" squeeze, that is permanently set up in Gigi's pen.  She isn't always a lady in her behavior either.  LOL  We got him in, and he preceded to have a donkey meltdown.  Our son Rod and Lisa here here and Doug was out with us, so he had quite an audience.  He huffed and puffed, and lunged and dug at the ground with his bad foot.  Must not have been bothering him very badly after all...........LOL   We all just stood around and watched him like we'd paid for the show.

He finally ran out of steam, and besides sweating like he'd been working hard and flaring nostrils while he tried to get his breath, seemed to have given up the fight.  Lisa and her 1st husband use to rope, not my idea of fun, but that's what they did.  Since she was more equine trained than any of the others, and also could probably move faster than John if necessary. she took one side and I the other and we rubbed all over his body.  His behavior was much improved......!!!

I'm thinking he might have stepped on one of our many rocks on the property and got a stone bruise.  He's improving everyday and is just barely limping now.  Who knows, maybe all that digging in the dirt to show his displeasure was a good thing..........LOL  

Lynn and Linda are on the road, they've got places to stop between here and California, so it will be a few days before they get here.  I told them about their "fur" child's melt down this morning.  When they get here, we'll have to do some training.  He's not a bad boy, he's just been allowed to get away with behavior that isn't allowed.  He needs to see them as leaders, not as "buddies", so we'll see if we can fix that little problem.  He's really a mellow fellow, so it shouldn't take much to smooth off the rough edges, so to speak.  Guess we'll find out........!!!!

One of their stops will be in Oatman, Arizona, on old Route 66, where the wild burros roam all over the city, much to the delight of the tourists.  I'm sure they will really enjoy seeing all the donkeys mugging for the people. 

Saturday, December 24, 2016



After tomorrow hopefully the stores will return to normalcy,. and stop trying to get people to spend more than they should.  Well actually I guess they do that year round, but this time of year, they really push for lots of spending.  There was a spot on TV the other day about the best way to return unwanted gifts.  Really?  Christmas isn't even here and people are thinking about gift rejection.  

We spent 10 years in Saudi Arabia, where we couldn't even have a bible or Christmas tree, and that gave us time to reflect on what Christmas is about.  Oklahoma in 1907 was the last state to recognize Christmas as a holiday.  Alabama was the 1st in 1836.  For 100's of years people had celebrated Christmas, in their own way, for their own reasons.  Somehow I don't think the primary objective was to buy presents for people, for them to return to the store.  

Well I guess that's my little rant against the commercialization of Christmas, now on to donkey stuff.  Well maybe a slight diversion.  Linda e-mailed yesterday from California and said they are about done.  She also sent a picture that shows just how close to done they are.  

Can't sell trees, if you don't have trees to sell...............LOL  That's a good thing.

Not sure when they will get back here, they plan on going thru Las Vegas to visit Linda's grandmother and might find some other places to see and do on the way.  

Unfortunately this morning I had to e-mail them that Leddy their donkey is 3 legged lame.  I noticed yesterday he was favoring a front foot, this morning he's just barely putting it on the ground.  I hate abscesses, until they pop they are elusive and impossible to find and treat.  You can soak the foot, the idea being to soften the hoof and sole, so the infection can get out easier.  But the jury is out on if that actually helps to quicken the process.  He is moving around, staying with the "herd" and I think most people that have dealt with abscesses agree, movement helps to hurry the process.  Once the abscess gets to the surface, or gets close enough that you can get reaction by pushing on the hoof or coronet, or sole, it can be opened up, which gives them instant relief.  So far I haven't gotten any reaction.  A vet or farrier usually have testers, which is a torture tool, to clamp on different areas of the foot, and hopefully get a reaction at the spot where the abscess is trying to get out.  Then they can use a knife to open it up.  

As usual animals get sick on week-ends or holidays, Christmas coming on Sunday, makes it a double header, I guess.  But I'm not sure at this stage testers would even find it, so we'll give it a couple of days and see how it goes.  

Everybody else seems to be doing good. Unfortunately we had a wind storm a week or so ago, and Rosie's shelter paid the price.  

Making shelters out of pallets and cattle panels, covered with tarps, might work good where the sun doesn't rot the tarps in a couple of months.  This is the 2nd tarp that's been on this shelter. We had talked about using fiberglass panels to cover it, just hadn't gotten around to it, BUT, I think we've decided to go ahead and take down the cattle panels, and make it into a shelter like the others.  

Rosie is a wood eater, she doesn't crib, she actually eats wood.  So I hope John will agree to use pipe instead of 4x4's for the uprights.  Otherwise our little beaver girl will probably have them chewed up in no time.  

We moved her to an open pen, which is always traumatic.  They know their pens and will fight to get back in it, when you are trying to introduce them to the new pen.  She does enjoy having a shelter, and has one in the new pen.  But that doesn't mean anything when the, stupid people are trying to put her in a pen, that isn't hers.  It's always fun to watch their minds work, keeps us on our toes.  BlackJack is about the only one that won't fight for his pen.  He's been moved around so much, by the second move, he's fine with it.  

I hope everyone has a Very Merry Christmas and that you get to celebrate it in your own way.  Hopefully you won't feel obligated to return any gifts you receive.   LOL

Monday, December 19, 2016



 I think a good time was had by all.  One of the local RV parks had invited BlackJack to be the Grand Marshall of their Christmas parade thru the park.  We found out that who the Grand Marshall was going to be, had been kept a secret.  I think a lot of people were surprised and really seemed to enjoy seeing BJ and interacting with him before and after the parade.  

The people had really  decorated their ATV, quads and side by sides, so we worried about all these flashing lights "chasing" BJ and his thoughts on the subject.  I was going to lead him and John was  following with a bucket and broom, in case of sanitation cheanup being needed.  No  need to worry, BJ was a perfect gentlemen, both with behavior and not causing John to have to use his bucket and broom.  

I don't think the "things" with the flashing lights following him bothered  him as much as the really elaborate decorations in some of the yards.  I could tell when he really wanted to not go by some of the really scary ones.  But, he trusted me enough to not put him in danger, so he'd slow up a little, ears up, and focused, but still moving.  

The biggest problem was him seeming to want to  get this over with.  BJ is usually pretty lazy when it comes to moving around.  We call it the BJ "mosey", he doesn't expound much energy to get from point A to point B.  But for some reason he seemed to think we were in a timed event.....LOL  I had to keep reminding him that we were not in a race and he'd do pretty good, and the next thing I know, we're picking up the pace again.  

When it was over, we stood by the Recreation Center, while the people gathered for refreshments and singing carols.  Everyone got to see BJ up close and personal, he really enjoys the attention.  

One of the ladies made the blanket and flashing light collar for him.  It turned out great, fit him perfectly and she hadn't measured him or anything.  She insisted we keep it and now John is talking about doing parades.  Benson usually has a couple of parades a year, and we've talked about John and BJ participating as a miner and his donkey, but was always a little hesitant.  Since he did so good last night, maybe now it will happen.  


Thursday, December 15, 2016


Merry Christmas to one and all.....!!!

I know that might not sound very exciting to you and I, BUT, it sure is keeping the donkeys busy.  Of course the leaves are done for the season, we've had enough wind to cause them to drop in great numbers.  Thankfully mesquite leaves are pretty small, so even though the ground is covered under the trees, it takes them a long time to pick up enough to make a mouthful.  It does keep them busy all day between breakfast and supper, which is a good thing.  I don't know if anyone has ever tested dry mesquite leaves for food value i.e. sugar and starch, but I'm pretty sure they aren't really bad.  

Just heard of another good friend passing away.  Laura had gotten in touch with us years ago, when her jenny was attacked by a mountain lion down by Gleeson.  The jenny unfortunately died and Laura was looking for a companion for her donkey Tio.  We found a friend for him and life was good up until a couple of years ago, when Jacko had to be put down.  We had a nice jenny that went to live with Tio.  Laura went thru some tough times, but her dogs and donkeys were always her main objective.  We hadn't been in touch for about a year, you know the old saying, if you're good friends, you can pick up where you left off, no matter how much time has passed.  Yesterday was her birthday and I was thinking of sending her a Facebook message, when I got a call from her pastor, that she had died.  She had been sick for about a year and had given him a list of people to notify.  I asked about her donkeys because of course we would take them, but he said some friends wanted to keep them.  I'm sure if Laura approved of their new home, it will be a good one.

This is a picture Laura took of Jacko and Tio from a few years ago in happier times

Saturday, December 10, 2016


A few weeks ago a group came out to see the donkeys from one of the local RV parks.  They all had a good time and before they left one of the woman asked if we'd be interested in having one of the donkeys in their Christmas parade of ATV's thru the park.  

Sounded like fun, so I said sure and planned on taking one of the minis, less poundage to work with, if he decided he didn't want to be in a parade.  Most of our donkeys are easy to get along with, but when she told me they were going to hang lights around his neck and put a blanket on his back, I rethought who might be the best victim to take.  Justin was my mini choice, BUT, Justin can also be a "I don't want to" type of guy.  Whenever we are going to do something horrible, like worming or putting a halter on them, we have to do him first and even then it doesn't always go well.  If he gets a chance to see the others being "mistreated" you better have your running shoes on, until you either wear him down or get him in a corner.  Cornering him doesn't always go well either......LOL

So my 2nd choice was BlackJack, he is usually pretty mellow about change in his daily routine and has been taken up to the movie site enough times that he enjoys getting out and meeting people.  And he doesn't seem to mind having "stuff" put on him.  

We got a wreath to hang around his neck with the lights and years ago I made some Christmas hats with ear holes cut out.  This morning we decided to dress him and see how it would go.  

Do you think he would "pose"?  Of course not, and he knew John had cookies in his pocket, so they were dancing down the driveway.  He did just fine with all the Christmas stuff on him, but he had cookies on his mind as long as John was trying to walk with him.  

I finally tied him to a tree and he just stood there like a big old fuzzy grump, no pride at all.  I'm going to have to exchange the wreath, they had 2 sizes and this one is really too big and floppy.  But at least he didn't mind having it hanging on his neck.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016



For some reason, right now I have leisure time, makes me wonder what I'm forgetting to do.......!!!  LOL  

Had a nice couple here this morning from Illinois, that are looking for a home in Arizona.  Not necessarily in this area, they are driving to different areas looking around to see if something stands out as "home".  They had a good time I guess, said they will be back to visit with the donkeys again.

The donkeys seem to have finally accepted the fact that they are on diets, at least the fatties are.  Even though they are on "short" rations, they have given up, racing from pen to pen when John lets them out at night to clean up leftovers.  Either that, or they know there are no leftovers anymore.  John has pretty much figured out the minimum amount of hay he can feed without having a total rebellion.  I don't see any great weight loses, but hopefully with the passage of time, they will lose some.  Four of them really need to lose weight, Rosie, Buddy, Coquette, and Frijolita.  Of course trying to cut down on Rosie's hay, is what led to her ending up in the equine hospital for a few days, so it's really a delicate operation with her.  

A few days ago we went down by Amado to pick up..................another race car.  I think we're becoming hoarders, I'm not sure.  Well it hasn't raced for a LONG time and the price was right.  It is a Camaro, so if nothing else it could be body parts for a good friend that races a Camaro.  The older the car the harder it is to find replacement body parts.  Our son has also said he might fix it up and run it as a factory stock on the dirt, when he's not running his modified on the asphalt, so who knows what will happen to it.

Anyway although it looked pretty sad, it looked well built, even if it was a few years ago.  I got the idea to take a picture and put it on one of the local racing Facebook pages.  It had a Tucson Speedway sticker on the right front fender, so I assumed it had raced locally. 

Less than an hour later, I got the message below from someone I don't know:

Was run 2000-2001 by Edward pappa before that I think it was the 105 car of Larry young and the championship car from 98-99.  It's an m&m motoersports car if I recall correct so mike metzner built

GOOD GRIEF.........I couldn't remember that much about one of my own cars, from that long ago.  And to recognize it from 2 pictures, sitting on a trailer at dusk............I was just amazed.  It looks like it's been sitting somewhere for 15 years, so I doubt that it's been raced since 2001.  It's interesting to find out it's history, and since the badly faded almost non-existant name of Pappa is above the driver's door, I assume the information is correct.  

Friday, December 02, 2016


Actually I'm sure the donkeys are enjoying the colder weather.  The equine comfort zone is between 40-80 degrees and with the thick winter coat they've put on I'm sure being in the teens for a few hours before sunrise isn't that much of a problem.  Worth the trade-off to get rid of the flies and the warm temperatures that cause so many skin problems.  

The little bark lizard went into the hay barn in a bucket filled with hay, wrapped in a kleenex.  Well I tried to wrap him, BUT, even though they are comatose, if you try to pick them up, they get real lively, real quick.  So he and the kleenex are together buried in hay in a bucket.  That's the best I could do.........LOL 

Tours are picking up now that it's not so hot and the "snowbirds" are showing up for the winter.  We've been doing more tours with the donkeys out of their pens lately, and they've gone really well.  Seems to be enjoyable both for the people and the donkeys, getting up close and personal.  We don't feed when they are out like that, don't want someone to get knocked down, when 2 donkeys are trying for the same treat.  They wouldn't knock someone down on purpose, BUT, food adds a whole new dimension to the adventure.  I don't even want to go there.  We still do tours with the donkeys in the pens, usually if the people want to come in the morning, we'll leave the donkeys in.  Actually lately when they make the appointment, I usually ask them what they prefer and most people want the donkeys out and about..........!!

Leddy, Lynn and Linda's Colorado donkey, is fitting right in the herd.  He still hasn't found a running buddy, but he has discovered girls.  A few days ago, Lynn one of the minis was trying to entice him into a "relationship".  She's less than 36 inches tall, he is a large standard, probably over a foot taller than she go.

The last couple of days all the boys are trailing Tula, including Justin, who is also less than 36 inches tall.........!!  Leddy is right in the middle of the party, participating whenever he gets a chance.  Needless to say, territory is important, and being at the front of the line is vital.  He's not a fighter, but neither are Boaz, Quilla, BlackJack and of course the wishful thinking Justin, so there's a lot of pushing, shoving and growling.  You can almost see Tula rolling her eyes as she tries to escape in disgust.  Gelding them, besides making them shoot blanks,  seems to disrupt the mental process of breeding.  They will squabble to the front of the line, get in position and then it's more or less a sight seeing operation.  They kinda look around like, "what do I do now?".  LOL