Sunday, September 12, 2021

WHAT A SAD TIME THIS IS..........

 Friday morning John Henry didn't come in for breakfast, which was very unusual, he was always one of the first to go into his pen at feeding time.  We found him on one of the trails in Burroland headed for the pen area, but down.  I came in to notify Dr. Jeremy and when I went out he had gotten up and Suzanne was with him.  He was disorientated, walking in circles and would go down after a couple of minutes.  That has to be scary for them, to not be able to walk straight and to lose balance.  He kept trying to stand up and walk, so we got him in the wash a large area with nothing he could hurt himself with.  We stayed with him until Dr. Jeremy got here and he worked with John Henry for a couple of hours with IVs and different medications, with no change.  The prognosis was not good and the decision was made.  

He had only been here a couple of months, but was such a wonderful donkey we all really enjoyed being with him.  So gentle and so easy to work with, loved people and seemed to know he was big and we weren't.   

John Henry with Suzanne's granddaughter Richelle

RIP John Henry, you will be missed

Thursday, September 09, 2021

WHAT DO DONKEYS DO WHEN THEY ARE BORED?

 Because John is nursing a broken hip if something is going on early the next morning we sometimes shut the gate to Burroland, so the donkeys have to stay on the 10 acres for the night and it's easier to round them up.  

After such a night, when we came out the next morning the cat claw tree had been molested with about 15 feet of it's bark missing.       

 Looks like they might have eaten some of it, but left the rest on the porch of the feed room probably as a message to not forget to open the gate again...........!!! LOL   

 



They've actually gotten into the routine of seeing the golf cart and usually heading for the pens most of the time for which I am grateful, since I'm usually the one having to chase them.  The last couple of mornings, most of them have been in their pens when John and I come out.  

Big Gus has finished his antibiotics, but is still staying in the Burro Barracks, which is about 1/4 of an acre until his legs are better.  That way we don't have to go out and find him.  Today we had a new volunteer Susan, and she helped me soak and clean his worst leg. He started out with a little bit of attitude, but she entertained him while I washed and as long as she was giving him her undivided attention he was happy and standing still.  He is such a ham and soaks up attention like a sponge, so it worked out good for all.

John and Big Gus discussing how many cookies a donkey should have......!!

 Suzanne washed some legs on a few of the donkeys and some of them have some sort of "gunk", hard bumps that just won't come off, lots of them.  We're wondering if it might be from some of the weeds, maybe the donkeys are allergic to them, who knows.  Boaz and Ruthie have the bumps up on their back, so we will probably be doing a lot of bathing donkeys over the next few days.  Most of the donkeys do not appreciate water on their bodies, so one or two a day will probably be about all we can handle............!!!  LOL

Thought I'd share some more of Roger Thompson's pictures....

 


Not sure what Suzanne and I are doing, but it doesn't look like we're working very hard.......!! LOL


Buddy enjoying some mesquite leaves........

Monday, September 06, 2021

TALK ABOUT BEING BEHIND..............!!

 It has been brought to my attention that I haven't updated in quite awhile.  It's been busy, missing 1/3 of our crew makes a lot of difference, with what gets done and what doesn't.  The good news is John is really doing good, every day he does a little bit more.  He's actually doing his exercises, which surprised me.  Usually when he's had exercises to do, after a few days he gets a little lazy about them.  I guess he really wants to get rid of the walker and get back to doing what he wants to do.  

Gigi one of our long time sanctuary donkeys crossed the rainbow bridge a couple of weeks ago.  She had probably been born crippled and never had foot or vet care until we were called by a neighbor to take her and her friend Rosie to keep them from being shot and buried.  


 This is what her feet looked like when she came here.  Over the years she had regular trimmings and had to wear shoes on both front feet to keep the feet from twisting to the way they were for years.  She had a good life with Rosie, they even had a boyfriend Jasper.  The last few months she started to lose mobility, it became harder and harder for her to move around, although she still was going out with her friends, just not very far.  

We use quality of life to make the final decision and it's never an easy decision to make.  She was still eating, still going out, still begging for cookies............but it was time for her to rest from a lifetime that could have been so much different if her owners had a vet put a cast or brace on her legs when she was born.  It would have only taken a week or so at that age to shape her legs, so she could have enjoyed a better life.  

This picture was taken 8-9 years ago when she came to the rescue, she was a very pretty girl.


Suzanne took this picture of Gigi begging for cookies recently.  RIP Gigi we will miss you.


A lot of people know Big Gus he's pretty memorable is you've ever met him...!!!   We've been doctoring his hind legs which swelled up and looked terrible for the last couple of weeks.  Dr. Jeremy came out and as long as we've had donkeys and as much cactus as we have on the property we've never had a problem with cactus thorns like this before.  He had lots of them, Dr. Jeremy used clippers to get as many out as he could.  If you start talking to other people it sounds like it can be a rather common problem............who knew.....!!! 

 


  Rather yucky looking isn't it?  It's finally getting better and as of today, I wasn't able to find any pus when I wash his legs, although he's got about 6 sores, but they look pretty dry.  Suzanne has been taking his temperature twice a day along with checking his respiration and heart rate.  He's over 40 years old and we've known for quite sometime that he has a heart murmur, and his heart rate has been pretty high, until the last couple of days.  

Of course he needs to be on antibiotics, which for his size is 8-9 rather large tablets twice a day.  We tried grounding them up and mixing with molasses for a few days. Gus is very good at using his head as a battering ram, which makes getting molasses which he apparently doesn't like down his gullet an adventure.  

Last night Suzanne wasn't here, which meant I got to give him his antibiotics by myself.  We had tried animal crackers, ginger snaps, of course the rejected molasses and pretty much got a look from him like, "is this the best you can do?"  In desperation I tried peppermint candy.  Much to my surprise the greedy boy would take 2 tablets with each peppermint and it worked again this morning....!!!   YAY....!!  I'm also giving antibiotics to Rosie and Boaz, so far Rosie is no problem, put the 5 pills between 2 ginger snaps and they're gone.  Boaz is getting a little reluctant, although he is still taking the pills with cookies.  I'm holding the peppermints as a last resort  with him. 

Saturday, August 28, 2021

ETC..............

 Just checked and I haven't updated in a week.....!!  The donkeys aren't getting any easier to round up, although when they see us coming in the golf cart most of them head for the gate to the pen area.  Most of them, of course there is always a few that think they can get away with bad behavior.  

They aren't the least bit hungry and see no reason to interrupt their snacking in the wild.  Suzanne isn't weighing the hay now, this morning she fed 23 animals with 3 flakes of hay.  I know it sounds like we are starving them, but they aren't eating hay, so there is no reason to put it out to be wasted. 

I've been taking care of John's bird feeders and the birds are as bad as the donkeys.  They eat the sunflower seeds and drink the hummingbird juice eat a little bit of the thistle seed, but really aren't interested in the bird seed.  There is just so much growing out there I guess all the animals are enjoying it.  Everything is wilting so in a few days they will all probably be a little more hungry.  Unfortunately when everything dries up we will be fighting 2 or 3 different types of stick tights.  Some of the donkeys are already coming in with them on their muzzles.  

 


John Henry has become quite the fashion plate with his Dangles.  Suzanne says he looks like he's walking in the 70s.  I can't even begin to explain how horrible the flies are this year.  John Henry has a sarcoid on 2 legs and the flies love them.  Hopefully these free hanging leg wraps will keep the flies busy flying and not landing.  People that aren't even close to animals are saying they've never seen them this bad and I agree.  I have 5 fly traps going constantly and it doesn't take long for them to fill up, with what they advertise is 40,000 flies.  

Charley, the dog that showed up here a couple of weeks ago is finally going to the vet this week for a check-up.  We already know he has quite a few problems, I'm sure Dr. Monica will find more.  He seems happy, especially when we feed him food he likes.   He turns his nose up at just about anything that isn't beef.  

John has been home from rehab for a week and really is doing good.  He's our Uber driver, he drives the golf cart when we go looking for donkeys.  That way if we find them whoever is riding can get out and encourage the donkeys to head for the pens.  He also drive the golf cart to deliver hay to the pens.  He's really getting involved in doing whatever he thinks he can do and so far the only problem has been his recliner.  It is a low slung rocker/recliner and he can't get out of it.  He's using mine for the time being until he gets stronger.  The physical therapy people are going to be coming twice a week to the house which is great, we won't have to waste half a day driving to Benson. 

HERE ARE SOME OF OUR ALUMNI  ENJOYING THE GOOD LIFE


This is Pepsi, he was adopted about 3 years ago by a family in Colorado that do a lot of different things with their animals.  He has been to school, pulled a sled in snow, pack burro raced and now will be one of the two mascots for Colorado School of Mines.  It's so rewarding when the donkeys go into a wonderful home and become part of the family.


I'm not sure but I think Benji is in front of his new best friend Earl, following Steve  pretty high up in the Colorado mountains. 


This is Nell, she and Stacey spend a lot of time in the mountains, enjoying what Colorado has to offer.  What more could a donkey want.  


Saturday, August 21, 2021

THE LOST IS FOUND........!!!

 This morning when Suzanne went out to start round up, the A team was over in Burroland and guess who was with them.......the missing Boaz.  Whew, I don't think any of us slept very much last night, it's just so unlike Boaz not to come in at feeding time.  Last night he wasn't with them.  

Round up this morning turned into a real round up, they are getting harder and harder to come in because of all the green stuff out there.  I can't blame them, I'm sure it's tastier than hay, but they've conveniently forgotten all they ever knew about cooperation at feeding time............!!! 

I zeroed in on Big Gus and he was all over Burroland trying to "shake" me off his trail.  Of course he didn't stay on the trails, he plowed thru the green growth that in some places is waist high on me.  I figured if there were snakes in there, he'd find them first.......LOL  I was carrying a whip and everytime I got close enough I'd give him a pop.  He finally came over on the 10 acres and even then tried to not go in his pen.

Donkeys are interesting studies.  If you work with them and they get away or you quit for some reason, that is a win from their point of view.  Next time will be worse and take longer.  Over the years I've walked down quite a few donkeys, it's mindless torture not to mention physical, but usually if you do it and they finally bend to your will, you shouldn't have to do it again.  Or if you do it will just be a short challenge.  

I tried walking down a mule years ago, and it doesn't work quite the same way, at least it didn't on Jack, he was as determined when I gave up about 4 hours later as he was when I started.  That was my one and only time with a mule. 

Friday, August 20, 2021

A day of highs and lows..........

 John got to come home this afternoon, he is really doing good, although he found out he can't get out of his mushy overstuffed recliner.  When he tries to stand up with his walker by using the arms of the recliner, it is so squishy the arms go down so low he can't line up with the walker.  So he's taken over my recliner, which doesn't rock and isn't overstuffed.  Of course he hasn't tried to get out of it yet, but it should be easier.  Other than that, the truck ride from Tucson went well and he's looking forward to riding around in one of the golf carts tomorrow.  

That's the day's high, the low is Boaz is missing.  He hasn't been seen since they were let out late this morning, which isn't unusual.  Once they are out, they are on their own to do whatever they want to do until it's time to come in for feeding.  Suzanne and I ran all over the property more than once and even ran up and down the roads on either side of the property and didn't see him.  

Right now the rain has made all the weeds grow really fast and some of them are about 5 foot tall.  So it is really difficult to see donkeys under the circumstances.  The "A" team was late coming in and a lot of times Boaz is with them, but not this time.  

Right now the snakes are moving around a lot.  A neighbor's dog was bitten a couple of days ago.  I have been treating a swollen place on Gigi's lower jaw for a few days.  Didn't know what it was, just kept trying to keep it open.  Today it finally opened and I could see 4 holes all the same size about 1//2 to 3/4s inch between them.  My guess is she was hit twice by the same snake, but it was probably a dry bite.  It did swell up quite a bit and is infected but I'm just treating it like normal wound.  

 

                                        This is what a dry bite can look like under the jaw

 

She is the 6th donkey we've had bitten over the years, never lost one, but I'm wondering if Boaz got bit and is down in the weeds somewhere?  We looked as good as we could until it got dark, we'll look again in the morning.  As Suzanne says, this hurts my heart.  He isn't the type to stay out past feeding time, so I'm sure something is really wrong.  

Over the last couple of days, while I was in Tucson visiting John in rehab, Suzanne had a little escape artist to deal with.  Wednesday Suzanne spent about 2 hours frantically looking for Sasha, one of the little minis.  Finally saw her OUTSIDE the perimeter fence trying to get back in, where she got out.  It was an area of the fence that had broke quite awhile ago and was never fixed properly.  In our recent rain and wind weather, a large limb had fallen across it and left a wide gap that a little mini could just walk thru.

 


Yesterday Suzanne met me in the driveway to tell me not only was Sasha missing, so was Mamacita, although Bella was still here those 3 are usually together.  Of course we figured they got out in the same place, but nope........!!  Given the opportunity, they opted to go a different direction and slither under the special fencing across the wash.  It's made to float when the wash runs, rather than get torn out by the rushing water.  They were having a great time over at the neighbors, with access to brand new weeds that were so high, you couldn't see the minis.  But if you yell loud enough they hear you and headed for home.

A dear friend that had 2 mini mules and Dion the palomino pony she adopted from us is having a similar problem with the mules.  Jack and Jill were quite busy when they were here, as into everything they could find.  They have been getting out and fencing is being reinforced as soon as they show the weak areas.  But of course they have to be found and returned home.  Usually they just go over to the neighbor's place to eat his weeds, Teresa keeps a tidy yard and there isn't much of the good stuff , or at least not enough for those two......!!!   

Sunday, August 15, 2021

RAIN, RAIN, GO AWAY........!!

You know you can get too much of a good thing.  We've had over 10 inches of rain, 3rd wettest monsoon for Tucson since they started keeping score.  

Some of the main roads in Cochise County are having huge fissures open up and people are having to find "drive arounds" to go to town or in some cases to get home.  A friend is having to drive twice as far to get home as he usually does.  

In the case of our road there is no drive around, we have one road in, and there are 9 washes to cross just to our turn off, 7 of which dump into the big wash that crosses our property.

I've been driving into Tucson everyday to see John and it's been "interesting", especially since I'm driving his little sports car, instead of the pickup, much easier to park.

 

This is what it looks like after driving thru our road a couple of nights ago, that was flooded for almost 1/4 mile.  I was gritting my teeth before I got thru it, I was doing just fine, until a couple of cowboys in their big pickups came thru at speed going the other way.  Their wake went over the top of the car and I was lucky it didn't get drowned out.  

This morning it finally wasn't flooded, but tonight when I came home it had rained and caused the washes to run earlier today.  There was debris was all over the road, rocks, limbs, deep mud  really a mess.  Little "bug eye" plowed thru just fine.  The license plate reads Bug 3Y3 because Bug Eye was already taken.  It is a 2002 Subaru WRX and that year is nicknamed bug eye because of the headlights, that's the only year they looked like that.  

I'm going to have to get it washed before John sees it......!! LOL  OBTW John is doing really well with his rehab.  He is suppose to be released to come home on the 21st, unless he doesn't keep up with PT and OT.  So far he's not allowed to get out of bed by himself, but he's doing everything they ask of him. 


 

This morning when Suzanne went to throw water on the Cholla that grows beside the feed room, she noticed that it was no longer there.   Earlier I had noticed the blobs of dirt on the feed room and thought that was weird, but didn't even notice the missing cactus.  

Whichever donkeys are responsible didn't even leave a spine, they ate everything including most of the roots.  But it does explain the the dirt clods on the wall, that's where they kicked up dirt digging up the tasty roots.  Earlier this summer they decimated a large bed of prickly pear.  At different times of the year they go thru a period of eating certain plants, guess it was the cholla's turn.


Boaz's whatever it is on his chest is looking better, the swelling is down because of antibiotics and I think it would heal a lot quicker if he couldn't bite it.  I'm sure it itches or burns or something, because he makes hamburger out of it just about the time it starts to look like it's healing. 




 This is how it looks in the morning when Suzanne goes out.  The donkeys are having to stay on the 10 acres, because they don't seem to be interested in coming in to eat.  There is obviously too much green stuff out there.  Guess the pickings are getting a little slim because the last few mornings a lot of them are much more cooperative about showing up for mealtime.  

We were suppose to take donkeys to Echoing Hope Ranch in Hereford, south of Sierra Vista this week-end.  Suzanne had everything packed and ready to go but it was postponed because of the weather.  Probably just as well, it was cloudy and rainy all day Saturday everywhere and donkeys aren't real big fans of inclimate weather.  They will enjoy typical sunny less humid weather much more. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

JUST WHAT WE NEED, A DONKEY REBELLION.........!!

 We've been getting lots of wonderful rain lately.  In the desert when the flora and fauna get a little moisture they make the most of it and grow like crazy.  Our areas look more like the midwest right now than the desert southewest.  

The donkeys of course are really enjoying all the greenery, which is great..........except at feeding time when we really would like for them to come in like good boys and girls.  Do you think they are interested in old dried out hay, when there is all this yummy fresh green stuff out there?  LOL

After the last long round up, they are now confined to just the 10 acres until further notice.  It won't take long for them to eat down what's available, not sure what will be plan B.  One good thing about the desert, rain and plant growth.  If it doesn't rain for a week or so, all that greenery will disappear quickly and they will have to rely on "equine jerky aka "hay".    

John's doing good in rehab, of course he doesn't think so, his timeline doesn't seem to agree with reality.  They told us the average stay in their facility is about 2 weeks.  It's not a, lay there until you feel better type of place.  They are required by Medicare to provide 15 hours of PT, and OT a week, so it's not exactly Club Med......!!!  He's had a couple of easy days, I have a feeling the schedule is going to accelerate pretty quick.....!!!  LOL  I'm sure he will do all he can to help the process get him back home.  

We will be taking some donkeys down to Hereford this Saturday, Aug 14th to Echoing Hope Ranch.  They have an open house every month and have invited the donkeys to come this month.  It should be a lot of fun, just have to figure out which donkeys to take. 


Saturday, August 07, 2021

UPDATE.......

 Well I'm still running back and forth to spend the day with John and Suzanne is holding down the home front and taking care of the donkeys, cats, feeding John's wild birds and must not forget Charlie, an old heeler someone probably dropped off in the neighborhood and he managed to find the rescue.  He'd deaf as a post, cataracts on both eyes, and has settled in quite nicely.  We'd like to take him into the vet for evaluation, but haven't had the time yet.  I doubt that he is chipped, he looks healthy and since Suzanne has been taking care of him, he seems to think she's a pretty good friend.  Suzanne put out flyers in the neighborhood, but no one has asked about him.  He'll have to stay in the dog run, the cats would have a meltdown if he came in the house......!!! LOL

 

 

I think John is doing good, of course he doesn't.  He went into a rehab center yesterday, in fact the nurses at Banner were thrilled he was going into one of the top 2 rehab places in Tucson.  He had only been up once in the hospital, and yesterday when he got to rehab they didn't do anything except put him into bed and ask him a lot of questions.  Today was a different story.  

He had a shower and stood up by his bed twice and was pretty steady on his feet, although he complained a lot.  No cast, or brace or anything, just bandages and they are pretty minimal.   

I don't know how long he will be there, but if determination counts for anything he be doing as much as he can to get out of there I'm sure.  

Boaz is one of the donkeys that has a problem with summer sores, fly damage and anything else that can cause sores that the flies love.  Speaking of flies is everyone else having a bigger fly problem than usual?  They are absolutely horrible this year.  I hung 2 new fly traps out in the last 3 days.  When I got home from Tucson tonight I checked on the 5 bags I have hanging.  The new ones are small only suppose to hold 20,000 flies.  The one I hung 3 days ago if full, the one I hung yesterday is about half full.......!!!!  Can't imagine what it would be like around here without the fly traps and the predator wasps, that parasite fly eggs, which kills the developing fly maggot..........!!!  YAY............!!!  






I know this is a weird looking picture that might be hard to identify....!!! LOL  That is Boaz's 2 front legs, with his belly behind them.  The big round circle in the middle is a problem area he has had for years.  It started out about the size of a quarter and every year it gets bigger and bigger.  Linda and Lynn took him to Colorado a couple of summers and Linda didn't even have to doctor him up there, the difference in climate or temperature or something really made a difference.  The day before I took  this picture the swollen area went from front leg to front leg, it was huge.......!!!  Two rounds of antibiotics really made a difference in the swelling.  It's probably less than half the size it was in this picture now. Sure will be glad when the weather cools off.  He'll get about 4 more days of antibiotics, hopefully the swelling will be gone by then.

This morning Suzanne had a surprise when she went out to start roundup...........Justice was in the feed room snacking on senior feed.  Her first thought was we had forgotten to shut the door or not got it latched when we pulled it to.  Ran him out, started rounding up donkeys, looked back at the feed room and he was working on the door knob.....!!! Hmmm.............pretty much answers the question of how he got in the first time.  He has learned how to open the door that has a round door knob.  We have 2 others than can open gates, doesn't seem to matter what kind of closure.  Jasper can open a chain almost faster than we can close them.......!!! LOL

But a round door knob is a new problem and we don't have a quick answer, so tonight there are 2 feed cans up against the door inside and we will go in thru the dog pen in the morning.  We've got our fingers crossed that those cans with 40-50 pounds of feed in them will be enough to discourage him.  

Thursday, August 05, 2021

SORRY for no updates

 Last Sunday John had a vertigo issue, fell and broke his leg.  He had surgery and is still in the hospital, Suzanne is taking care of the donkeys and everything here at the rescue, and I am getting even more familiar with the highway between here and Tucson.  They are talking about moving him to a rehab facility within the next day or two.  Not sure if that will give both Suzanne and I a chance to catch up or not, guess we'll find out......!!!  LOL

Anyway, I hope to have a chance to update soon.