Sunday, December 05, 2021


 Suzanne took a trailer load of donkeys to Catalina State Park yesterday, for fun and adventure.  The donkeys were all spoken for, but people were still calling to see if there were any available, after Suzanne had left Friday afternoon.  

She only had one minor break out Friday night, and blames Jackson, although he wasn't the only one out.  The other donkeys tattled quickly, so the escape was short and quick.   Memo for next time............ bungies really don't work as extra security on corral panels.....!! LOL  Donkeys are obviously too smart for such a fix.  

 The flora and fauna at Catalina are absolutely gorgeous, typical Sonoran cactus and trees, that we don't have in the Chihuahuan desert.  

Suzanne and Frijolita

Although we are only about 40 miles from Tucson our trees and brush are quite different.  

Always when a group goes out to areas where there are a lot of people hiking and enjoying the beautiful weather, the donkeys draw people like magnets.  One young lady said she had been visiting Tucson for a month and seeing the donkeys was the highlight of her visit so far.  

When Suzanne was loading donkeys she said BlackJack was trying to get in the trailer.  I guess he's decided he'd like to know where everyone is going and what they are doing.  She said next time she'll take him as a short trail walker.  He's over 30 years old, healthy as far as we know, and believe me will rust out before he wears out.....!!  He gives a whole new meaning to "conserving energy", well except if you have him in a parade and there is grass along the route.  I know from experience if you are walking with him in such a parade, you will cover a lot of extra ground as he tries to eat as much grass as he can drag you to.  Normally he moves so slow a turtle could probably outwalk him.......!!!  LOL


 BlackJack pretending to be wild......!!! 

Thursday, December 02, 2021

BIG GUS.............AGAIN.....!!


This is a picture of a dejected donkey.  Yesterday John was going out of the driveway gate in the golf cart and of course he's not the fastest thing on the planet, with his cane, he was slow enough that Big Gus took advantage of the situation, ran out the gate and headed east.  

First thing Suzanne and I knew about it was John coming in the house to tell us.  Of course we hit the ground running, because we know from past history, he might be old, but he is also very quick, when he knows he's doing something he shouldn't.  Last time he got out, he almost made it to the main road before we people got organized enough to catch up with him.  

John said he wasn't even close to the gate.  He has a tree he stands under most of the time, and we always say he's casing the gate and planning his escape.  Maybe he is, who knows.

When Gus saw John and Suzanne in the golf cart (only holds 2 people, so I was walking behind trying to catch up) he took off.  John managed to catch up in the golf cart, grabbed Gus by the neck and held on for dear life, till Suzanne could catch up with the halter.  Gus was using his big head as a weapon, trying to get John to let go.  He also didn't appreciate Suzanne catching up and haltering him either.  But he went quietly when he figured he was outnumbered. 

He gets in more trouble that all the other donkeys put together..........!!!!  LOL  It's been a long time since he pulled that stunt, guess we'll have to keep an eye out for him at the gate.  Suzanne put him in the first available pen, which happened to be BlackJack's and he wasn't very happy about the turn of events.  As Suzanne said when it was all over, "it would be boring around here without at least one daily crisis".  It's always amazing how often Gus is involved in them.

Today John and I went to town, the pickup was filthy so John ran it thru the car wash.  Came home, Gus was standing in the driveway and walked in front of the pickup so we couldn't move.  He has a habit of snotting cars and he managed to start at the front and snot all the way down the side almost to the back of the bed.  Needless to say John wasn't amused......!!  LOL

Suzanne is taking some of the donkeys up to Catalina State Park this week-end for a fun run.  The weather right now is really nice and the donkeys enjoy getting out.  It's amazing how excited they get, when the trailer gets attached to a vehicle and parks in that "special" place in the driveway.  I hope she has time to take some pictures.


Tuesday, November 30, 2021

I'M BACK..........AGAIN

 John and I went to Indiana for Thanksgiving with the cousins.  We always enjoy the drive and this was somewhat of a trial for John.  He's been driving to Tucson for the last month or so and his broken leg hasn't given him any trouble.  But Indiana is a lot farther away than Tucson.  In years gone by we would have done it in 2 days, but we took 3 days each way and he drove every mile.  Said his leg didn't bother him which is great.  

While we were gone, Suzanne held down the fort, and for the most part she said everything went pretty well.  Well, until the last day, when Big Gus and Casper both choked during the morning feeding.  She got in touch with Dr. Jeremy and he was pretty busy with a horse in a sling..............!!!  She said Casper the little mini mule cleared in about an hour, but it took Big Gus about 4 hours before he finally cleared, but they both cleared on their own without having to be intubated.  

Gus has choked before and had to be intubated which isn't a pleasant experience for all involved.  He's over 40 years old and most of his teeth are at the gumline, so he is fed a mush of soaked pellets and senior feed.  We hadn't been soaking the senior, but will in the future.  

Other than that she said things went well and she actually had volunteers here almost every day to help with feeding and picking up poo and grooming.  We really appreciate our volunteers, more than they will ever know.  They make our work days much shorter when they are here.  

She had donkeys escorting her to her RV almost every night and in the morning they like to keep track of where she is, in case she heads for the hay barn or the feed room.

Gus making sure she's headed in the right direction for breakfast.

Cisco probably seeing if she is going to get the pumpkin.

 BlackJack making sure she gets home safely.  She'd probably be safer if he didn't step on her foot......!!

This is what always happens if something new/different/interesting, etc happens.

We had a good time on the trip and getting to visit with family.............BUT........although I grew up in the midwest I had forgotten how dreary and grey it can be in the winter.  Even when the sun shines it isn't bright sun.  One morning there was frost on the car, which we haven't seen in awhile.....!!!  LOL  At least it didn't snow and wasn't as cold as it could have been, although the last night we were there, the wind which was really cold blew so hard, John's cousin Mark took down his flag, so it wouldn't end up in the next county.  

The donkeys are still wearing fly masks, seems like it's late this year for the flies to disappear.  If it was just a few flies we'd probably take the masks off, but there are LOTS of them and of course they go for the face.  

Friday, November 19, 2021


 Suzanne headed out today with a herd of donkeys to go have some fun in the morning.  Some friends are bringing their donkeys too.  The trail is different lengths up to about 16 miles.  Most will be walking or jogging, but I think Koshare and Cochise are going with Jennifer and Adam and will go long.  Jennifer ran with Koshare at Superior and they won the 6 mile.  Her husband Adam hasn't ran with a burro yet, so this will be his chance to find out if he likes to run with the burros or not. 

We had a tour today of people from Pennsylvania that are visiting the area.  One thing led to another and Suzanne loaded Jackson and LaRoy for them to walk with tomorrow.  They'll have something to talk about when they get back to PA.

The view from the pens in Catalina State Park

Good thing Suzanne took the corral panels to make a corral, even though there are pens in the park to use for equine.  She said she got there, unloaded the donkeys into the pen, and really quickly found out the pipe was about 3 feet off the ground.  A adequate corral for a horse perhaps, not for mini donkeys or in Siggy's case a micro mini.  She said she turned around and Siggy was beside her outside the pen, while she was taking care of that crisis, Jackson came out the other side to join them. 

So  she had to unload the corral panels after all to "beef" up the existing pen, so the little guys couldn't get out. 

Damage control 

Probably just as well, Koshare has learned to raise corral panels up and push them around and the end result is once the noise of banging corral panels is over, they can get out.  Suzanne said the pens are very well made and she thinks he's met his match.  Hopefully that's true, once donkeys learn to do something you don't want them to do, they get very good at it.....!!! LOL

Bella got to go on her second outing.  We've never taken her anywhere because of her weak hindquarters.  Since she's been here roaming the acreage, her legs have gotten stronger. She went to Empire Ranch a couple of weeks ago just to be there for "Show & Tell", consisting of petting and an occasional animal cracker from the adoring public.  She did great, so she got to go today as a short trail walker.  Suzanne said she was ready to go, hopped into the trailer like "let's go, where we going".  

Yesterday Suzanne and I spent the day at a specialty clinic with Charley the blind dog that showed up here a few months ago.  He got to see a doggie ophthalmologist to see if his cataracts could be removed, so he could see.  They did all sorts of test, took all afternoon.  The doctor told us that Australian Cattle Dogs are known to have retina failure, that's what the tests were for.  

We saw the graph of his retina test and it was not good.  She showed us a graft of a normal retina and then showed us his.  He has no working retina in either eye, so he is permanently blind, which is very disappointing.  He's such a well mannered happy dog it's a shame nothing can be done to help him.  But dogs do very well blind.  He's got a 30 by 70 pen foot, a doggie door into the feed room and he knows his area really well.  The people at the clinic thought he was really a nice dog, they said he just slept until they needed him for a test and he was happy to oblige and then went back to sleep.

We can't let him out on the property, he also doesn't hear very well, and the donkeys see dogs as a predator and will try to kill him.  Big Gus got in his pen awhile back and if Suzanne hadn't seen what was going on, probably would have killed him.  They actually share a fence and Big Gus spends quite a bit of time when he's in the pen, trying to dig into Charley's pen.  We put a railroad tie against the bottom of the fence, so now Gus is digging beside the tie.  I guess he's determined to get that dog........!!!

Sunday, November 14, 2021


 The last few mornings have had ice on the bird baths, which sit on the ground.  This morning said it was 31*, so it's just barely cold enough for a little bit of ice and of course in true desert weather it's gone by the time the sun comes up.  Guess we should start chores a little later if we don't want to see ice........!!!  LOL

The week-end at Empire Ranch was really nice.  We met lots of people that were interested in the donkeys, a lot of them had stories to share about donkeys in their lives.  

Suzanne set up the tables and took care of the donkeys all week-end.  John and I came in after chores and help with the booth sales and answering questions.  

Our booth at Empire

Suzanne did take a break to hob knob with HORSES........!!! 

This is Othello, nice looking horse.  Suzanne went for about an hour trail ride along with a bunch of other people.  Not sure the donkeys would approve, don't think they even noticed.  

LaRoy likes to play with ropes.  He has figured out if he picks up a rope and shakes it, people are entertained and might give him a treat.  

He tried but couldn't find any of the donkeys that wanted to play unfortunately.  I don't think any of the other donkeys have ever played with him, poor little guy.  His buddy Jackson has no interest in a rope.  so he picks it up, walks around for a little while and then drops it.  

This month so far has been busy with tours.  Seems like almost every day we've got at least one.  John and I will be headed to Indiana next week-end for Thanksgiving.  We always enjoy road trips, although this will be the 1st one since John broke his femur in August.  We're taking the little car, already put more than $100 at one time in the pickup, besides the little car is more fun to drive.  But it isn't the most comfortable ride, it built for speed, comfort wasn't important I guess.  Hope John gets along OK, so far he hasn't had any problems riding or driving.  But we haven't gone 1800 miles either.......!! LOL

Suzanne and I just spent this week-end at a virtual symposium from U.C. Davis in Sacramento, CA.  This is the 8th year they've had it, although it's always been in person before.  Last year Covid cancelled it, so this year they tried virtual.  They really did a wonderful job, had lots of experts on different aspects of donkeys, donkey diseases, and care.  Mark Myers founder of Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue, was very involved and showed the video below.  It's really informative about the plight of donkeys in Australia, where the government has killed 500,000 to 600,000 donkeys in their eradication plans to kill all the feral donkeys in NW Australia.


The BLM in the U.S. so far is doing a lot of rounding up of mustangs and burros, last I heard they had something like 40,000 in holding pens and that's been a few years ago.  There are organizations that go out when they are rounding up and keep track of how many are rounded up and how many deaths and basically are trying to represent the people and their public land and the mustangs and burros.    

Friday, November 05, 2021


 I'm going to quit making excuses for not updating the blog, doesn't seem to make a difference.....!!! LOL

Anyway Suzanne has been doing really good at taking videos, so I thought I'd share a couple of them.  Charley is the heeler dog that showed up here a few weeks ago.  He's blind and pretty much deaf too.  I would hate to think someone would dump an older dog in his condition, but nothing people do surprises me anymore.

He has taken his life style change in stride, and seems to be a happy guy, especially at feeding time, surprisingly he was overweight when he came in.  We put him on a diet and he's lost a little weight, but needs to lose some more.  

Awhile back Big Gus got in the dog pen someway and had poor Charley cornered and was trying to do a donkey stomp on him.  Suzanne managed to break it up and get Gus out of there with just a bloody toe.  Didn't even seem to faze him.

Charley has an appointment with a doggy eye specialist.  We think he has cataracts on both eyes, if that is the case we will have them removed and lens implanted.  Dogs do very well blind, BUT, his life would be much more interesting for him if he could see. 

Today Suzanne left with a load of donkeys headed for a week-end of hanging out with equine people and letting people get to know donkeys and how special they are.  John and I will go to Empire Ranch after chores in the morning and go out for the day.  We'll go out Sunday also.  Anyone in SE Arizona that would like to do something fun over the week-end there is going to a lot going on on the Empire Ranch that's between Benson and Tucson on highway 83.

 When Suzanne picks up poo many times she gets side tracked for a little while.  We always say chores are not a timed event because we never know what will happen.  Bella obviously found something she liked, tools don't always have to be used in just one way.....!!!  LOL

Bella was one of the donkeys that left for Empire Ranch this afternoon which is a first.  When Bella came to the rescue a few years ago her rear legs were really weak, and she had a hard time getting up when she laid down on the ground.  She had been in a small pen with no exercise, but after being here awhile running around her legs have gotten stronger.  We hadn't taken her for outings like parades or displays a couple of times when we tried to take her out she went down in the trailer.  Suzanne called when she got to the ranch and said Bella is doing just fine, no problems.  She's a cute little thing and loves attention, so if she is up to being trailered, we'll take her out more often.







Thursday, October 28, 2021


The minis were a big hit

So was Ruthie and Frijolita, by the time the kids got to them, they had been in with the minis and the big girls didn't look that intimidating 

This little guy was so cute, he obviously wasn't a 3rd grader, he was 2 years old.  I assume he had a brother or sister in the 3rd grade and mom was a chaperone.  Mom told me he will be 3 Nov 8th and he held up 3 fingers.  

 We had a group of 3rd graders from Sierra Vista come out this morning and see the donkeys.  They were a good group of kids, and the donkeys really put on a show for them.  LaRoy played with his rope and of course Boaz did his lip thing that looks like he's talking.  Quite a few donkeys have caught on to sticking their tongues out, to get visitors to notice them.  

* * * * * * * *

We lost John Henry and Gigi Girl this summer and their markers finally got here.  Years ago I had a company that made the best markers, but they've gone out of business and I had to really look hard to find a new company.  

Lynn and Muzzy headed for the finish line at Superior last week-end.  They had to beat 2 equally determined teams that were hot on their heels.

Sunday, October 24, 2021


 Yesterday morning John and I got up at 2:30am to feed donkeys, so we could leave by 4am to get to Superior hopefully before the races started.  Our neighbor let them out later in the morning and we made it with about 15 minutes to spare.  

Suzanne had the table all set up, all we had to do was show up and sit down.  

I didn't really get to see the start of the race, I stayed with the table.  Later I did get to see Lynn and Muzzy come in first place for the 12 mile race which was pretty exciting.  

This is a young lady named Jennifer, winning the 6 mile race with her team mate Koshare.  Suzanne had taken him with her to Superior.  She had planned on helping to clean the trails after the race and taking him with her to load trash or whatever in his saddlebags.  Suzanne had paired Jennifer with Ruthie, as Jennifer was a 1st time burro runner.  Found out she is a fast runner in people races, so the plan changed from Ruthie to Koshare.  She came in planning to win and that's exactly what she did.  In fact Koshare timed the fastest time on the trail of all the burros running.  I'm not sure how they figure the time.  He ran a 4 minute mile a few months ago in a race, his team mate was an ultrarunner and managed to keep up with Koshare.  It's not for the whole race, I just don't know how they measure it. Jennifer works in the health care industry and quite a few of her fellow workers came to cheer for her and Koshare.  I would imagine she is now hooked on pack burro racing......!!!  LOL

Animals always get sick on week-ends or holidays, at least ours always do.  Friday morning Charley the dog that showed up at our place a few weeks ago was very lethargic.  He's usually not a lethargic type of guy and our local vet is closed on Friday.  I called a vet in Willcox and they actually got him in that morning.  

A lot of vets seem to have taken a lesson from people doctors.........rely on tests, not experience.  They came up with a list of what they wanted to do and I picked out x-ray and said we'd  wait on the others.  From experience an x-ray can save you a lot of money if there is cancer involved.  Showed a area that looked like he might have swallowed a bone or something.  He doesn't have access to anything and the few treats we've given him, he doesn't eat.  He runs outside and buries them.  \

So I agreed to blood test, and they sent him home with antibiotics and steroids.  He had something going on temp. 103.1.  He was pretty much back to his perky barky self by Sat. morning and has continued to act normal for him.  They are suppose to call in the morning with the test results of the blood draw.  Since he's so lively, they'll probably just tell me to continue with the meds twice a day till they are gone.  I doubt they will know what the weird area in the x-ray is.  

Big Gus is finally off his twice a day antibiotics as of this morning for cellulitis.  His legs are staying dry so hopefully when he's finished with about another week of pills they will continue to be dry.  

Some pictures from the races at Superior

Sasha and her team mate Clare, Suzanne said Sasha kept going to the sidelines where there were kids that would pet her.  Unusual behavior for her, she was abandoned on a property over by Willcox, no one knows for how long.  She's pretty independent and usually a little standoffish.  I guess she's decided kids aren't a threat.

This is Button a 3 month old orphan that Michele at Lucky A Ranch is raising.  The mother wouldn't have anything to do with him, and the owners were going to shoot him.  Thank goodness someone got in touch with Michele.  She and her daughters spent Friday night at Superior in the hotel.  They sneaked Button in, put an adult incontinence diaper on him and no one knew.  This is Kristen showing him where the finish line is and teaching him how to be a pack burro racer.

This is Michele and her daughters.  If you look closely you will see a brown blob on Michele's lap.  Button has his own red saddle bags.  

Siggy and his handler took 3rd place in the costume contest.  He was a green elf.

Jackson and LaRoy are completely bonded, Maryann and Teresa knew they had to stay together, looks like LaRoy took advantage of a rest break to use Jackson for a pillow.

Monday, October 18, 2021


 This week-end is the 3rd annual burro race in Superior.  Well, I guess it isn't really the 3rd annual, covid last year cancelled the race, but it will be their 3rd race.  Four years ago they held the 1st burro race in Arizona in over 30 years.  It was a great success and hopefully will grow every year.   

                                Here's information on what's going on in Superior this week-end

If you are in the area by all means this is going to be a lot of fun.  If you've never seen a burro race or even if you have, I can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday.

Seven of our donkeys will be running in the race and we will have a table set up with t-shirts and stuffed donkeys available.  There will also be an auction for one of Gretchen Klett's plaques she has graciously donated to Forever Home to be silent auctioned off at our booth in Superior this week-end.  Highest bidder will get the plaque ..........!!!!  Our donated plaque is on the right, and the plaque on the left will be donated to Lucky A Ranch, a non-profit rescue SE of us in McNeal, Az for them to auction.  Gretchen is very involved with donkeys and shares her talent with rescues.  She has a business called One Herd Art, that shows how talented she is using different mediums.   

If you go to Superior Saturday, by all means come by our booth and say "HI" and maybe bid on this lovely plaque.

Big Gus is doing well after his trip to the equine clinic in Gilbert,  His legs are staying dry, Suzanne has been washing them every morning with chlorhexidine and he is getting liquid antibiotics twice a day and prednisone for the next 3 weeks.  I guess sometimes with this type of bacterial infection they don't get over it and have to be on medication forever.  With him that isn't something to look forward to.  He's actually done pretty good, but he's starting to question what we are giving him.  When he turns down peppermints you know he is suspicious.....!! LOL

This morning he visited with Suzanne at her RV.  

Wednesday, October 13, 2021


 Yesterday Suzanne and I took Big Gus up to the Equine Clinic in Gilbert.  Dr. Jeremy has been treating him for cellulitis in his rear legs for about a month, it's getting better, but still needs attention.  Dr. Jeremy was unavailable and it was time for another shot, so we went to plan B.  

Over the years we've been up there more than once, Jenny's hoof resection, Cisco's bulbous growth on his sheath, Bell's sialolith cyst, Penny's colic surgery, and many more in between.  A lot of times, all of those problems couldn't be done in the field and had to be done in a hospital/clinic, so we would make the 3 hour haul, and sometimes left them there.  Jenny ended up staying up there over a month.  

Awaiting his fate........!!

For him....... he was good didn't say it would be easy

                                      Sometimes you just have to overpower him with bodies

                                                        His legs got a trim and a bath

We noticed today that Saddik's plaque on his grave is missing.  It had come loose and was laying in front of a rock at the head of the grave until someone figured out a way to keep it from falling off again.  We're pretty sure we know who took it unfortunately, which is sad when it is someone you know.

Saddik showed up in our wash in 2015, a half starved gangly pup about 9 months old with Valley Fever He really was a nice dog with lots of personality.  I think everyone that ever met him, liked him.  Unfortunately his life was cut short by a vehicle one night when he was suppose to be home.