Friday, April 13, 2018


That is an understatement.......!!  

Sunday afternoon Lynn took Joe out for a run.  They went across the road into a state land cattle lease of 12 sections, or 7680 acres.  Lynn took off Joe's halter, like he has done with all the other donkeys when they are out in the "wild".  Donkeys will follow the leader, if they know who the leader is and all the other donkeys have always followed.  

Joe is independent, which is what makes him so much fun, he has his own idea of who is in charge and it seemed to be him, because he disappeared into the brush and Lynn spent all afternoon looking for him, without any sighting.  That was Sunday, Monday was spent looking for him.  There is a tank over there for the range cattle.  A tank looks like a pond, but usually doesn't have a source of water, except for rain or a lot of times they will have a well, with a windmill bringing up water to be piped into the tank.  This one doesn't have a well, so I guess it relies on rain, it looked pretty shallow and muddy.  It has corrals around it, where the cattle can be rounded up and worked with because for the most part they aren't tame and aren't very interested in interacting with humans.  The general idea was that is probably the only water source available in the whole area.  

I called the rancher and asked if we could put a couple of donkeys in one of the corrals overnight.  We thought if he came down for water and the donkeys were there, he would stay by them.  Lynn even stayed overnight, but no Joe showed up.  The next idea was instead of 2 donkeys to only take one, so it would be lonely and maybe bray.  The next night Lynn took Frijolita, one of the jennies that yells a lot and camped out again.  She yelled all night, but still no Joe and we are getting worried, although the 2nd morning, John and Linda were out early in the morning and thought they heard him, but instead of moving towards home, he was moving away.   

This red circle is about 13 miles.  On the left is 4 markers, the 2nd one from the bottom is our place.  The lowest marker to the south east is the water tank.  The 2nd marker above the water tank is where Joe disappeared.  The mark between where he disappeared and our place is where he was found.  As you can see Joe actually stayed in a relatively small area.  Although because of brush, trees, hills, valley, mesas, and ridges it's really difficult to see very far. 

Wednesday, some of the neighbors went out on horseback, but didn't find anything.  I went out on the quad, ran up and down the main road, looking for tracks to see if he had crossed back over it maybe.  Also went down in the riverbed to see if he had gotten that far.  Ran across Lynn wandering around in the brush, but no Joe.

One of the neighbors said she had heard him that morning around 4am braying and she was sure it wasn't one of ours, it was from a different direction.

John had a procedure at a hospital early Thursday morning in Tucson, so we were up really early.  The phone rang at 5am, it was Lynn saying he had gone out before 4am and had heard what he thought was a cow, but heard it again and thought it was Joe.  Good news but we had to hit the road.  When we got to the hospital, there was a message on our phone from Linda, saying, they had him.

NEEDLESS TO SAY THAT WAS WONDERFUL NEWS, we all had been so worried, it was the 4th day with no sighting and no clue as to where he was..!!  Lynn did over 75 miles in 4 days of searching.  He's a runner, but that's a lot of miles in some pretty rough country. 

This is a poo pile Lynn found before he found Joe

When Lynn first saw Joe up on a ridge

Joe was a little scared of Lynn at first and would move away when Lynn moved towards him

Lynn had a couple of bottles of water and after 4 days without water Joe was very interested in the water, enough that Lynn finally got close enough to him to get a halter and lead on him.  Then he put water in his hand, which wasn't much but Joe slurped it up as best he could.

They headed for home and Lynn said when Joe figured out where they were going he really picked up the pace.

Our neighbor Jorga was here and is a horse person, so she knew he didn't need access to water, and started kicking over water buckets.  There is a bucket in every pen, plus 2 large water areas, and I guess they had quite a tussle over water, she even had him around the neck, but they finally got him in his pen.  The vet had told us to call whenever we found Joe in case he needed an IV.  Since he was on his feet Dr. Jeremy said to give him 1/2 gallon of water every half hour and to add electrolytes to it.  Jorga happened to have electrolytes, so that's what they did. 

By the time we got home around 3pm he wanted hay more than water, so the dehydration crisis was over.  By bedtime he was back to normal, and went out with the herd.

We can't figure out why he never found the water.  Granted it was away from the area he stayed in, we about decided he is a city boy, and use to being taken care of.  He stayed in the area he was lost in, maybe waiting for someone to come and take care of him, who knows.  The rancher thought he would probably get with the cattle and they would have led him to the water, they know where it is.

Lynn and Linda had planned on leaving for Colorado this week-end, but now are waiting until next week-end to let Joe have time to recuperate from his experience.

Now we wonder if he will think of Lynn as his leader.  It will be interesting, as independent as he is.  Lynn may never let him off lead again to find out..........LOL

Joe and Lynn on one of their earlier outings

I guess as of this morning we are out of the dirt racing business.  The track north of Phoenix where we went to race a few weeks ago is still trying to get a Hornet class going.  So far they only have 3 cars showing up on a regular basis.  I guess people aren't building cars because they don't know if the class is going to take off.  So some of the racers put out the word they are buying up cheap Hornets and we gave them a good deal on the 2 cars.

They even got extra doors and bumpers, which they are going to need probably..!!  The idea is they will rent the cars out to people that want to try racing without having to buy a car.  Our dirt track has been closed since 2014 and we haven't heard any chatter for quite sometime.  If by some miracle it does open before I get too old to climb in the window, we can always buy another car I guess...!!  LOL


Witcheylady said...

OMG! I would have been a total wreck! So glad Joe was found and is okay. Never a dull moment with you all!

Tish said...

We all were total wrecks.....!! LOL NO, it is never dull around here, although when Lynn and Linda leave it will be pretty boring. No dogs, although the neighbor's dog has decided she likes it over here with 4 dogs to play with than her home. Don't know if she will quit coming here when the dogs leave or what.