Saturday, December 31, 2022


 I have been doing the blog since 2006, and thru the years I had time to write about what was going on here and what the donkeys were doing.  The rescue has grown not so much in donkeys, but in the interest people have in meeting the donkeys and learning about them.  

A few years ago we got involved in Pack Burro Racing, which is the summer heritage sport for the state of Colorado.  Lynn and Linda went back to Colorado full time, but before they left, helped get racing started in Arizona.  It's still going strong in Superior and Tombstone, Suzanne takes donkeys to every race possible for people to run with and enjoy the experience.  

She also goes to races in California and N.M. and plans on attending the Mancos Festival again this year in Colorado, to give Koshare a chance to actually finish the obstacle course without drama. Although he won the event, he flunked water crossing with lots of drama.

Our little rescue has been discovered as something to do in the Benson area.  The local RV parks and the Benson Visitor's Center are very good to mention us when people are looking for something to do and of course there is always word of mouth.   We've had over 1000 visitors this year even though we were closed for the summer for tours.    

A tour is an hour or usually more, if the people are enjoying the experience.  We all enjoy talking about donkeys and if they want to listen we'll oblige them.  As a working "ranch" we all have jobs to do, and tours take us away from that.  We don't mind, talking donkey is more fun than chores.........!! LOL But we hardly ever get caught up.   

We have some of the best volunteers in the world, and couldn't be the rescue we want to be without them.  They have all pretty much showed up for a tour and wanted to get involved with the donkeys and have stayed.  




I've enjoyed doing the blog and sharing some of the adventures we and the donkeys have.  But it's time to move on to other things.  Our Facebook page will continue, Suzanne will share her morning videos and we will keep it up to date on what is happening and information on where the next race or festival is that we will be involved in.  

Thanks for following, all these years.............!!!!

OBTW, we will be having an Open House March 4, 2023 to celebrate 25 years since John bought me a $50 donkey that was headed for slaughter, BlackJack is still here and has been a great ambASSador all these years..  We would like for everyone that has ever been out to visit with the donkeys to come out and help us celebrate.......!!!!

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Hmmmm.........we have a grumpy donkey to contend with.........

 Chewie and Carter have settled in nicely, they are now going out during the day.  They have to stay in at night because Chewie is use to being blanketed at night since it's been cold.  When they go out one goes one way and the other a different direction.  It's interesting to bring in a couple of donkeys that have been together for years.  A lot of times they hit the ground and don't even say bye to their former "friend".  These two are in a pen together because they had been together 5 years.  Over the years most paired donkeys have separated when they had access to other donkeys and plenty of roaming area.  La'Roy and Jackson have stayed paired, at the hip, but it's rather one sided.  Jackson is bonded and LaRoy goes along with it.  

This is Carter in a little feeding pen inside their larger pen.  He looks to me like a little chunky Irish donkey


The reason he is in the little pen is to keep him from getting chunkier.  He likes to help Chewie eat his feed.

The set of the ears shows an unhappy donkey. Nora tattled on him and he had already gotten in trouble for pushing his way into Beefy's pen between the  wall to his right and the outside corral panel on the right. There wasn't room to squeeze thru there, but he managed.  

Put him back where he belonged and this is what happened.  

He stomped in all the nice clean sand John had put in there, when he started pawing sand everywhere.........!!!!!  LOL

Even on top of the corral panel, and the ears are still telling his opinion of the whole situation........LOL

His problem was, since he had figured out how to squeeze thru here, we chained it, hadn't been a problem before.

While we were fixing the problem, Chewie had finished his feed, so we moved Crabby Carter and his bunk out in the big pen, and peace reigned.......  LOL  It's so much fun to watch their minds work and it isn't very difficult to figure out what they are thinking.  

Monday, December 12, 2022

NEW BOYS............!!!

 Chewie and Carter came in a couple of days ago from a good home.  Their family is having to move closer to civilization "ie" Tucson for medical care.  They have other equine but these boys have been kept separate, they were at the bottom of the pecking order.  They are both over 30  heading for 40 and have the usual old guy issues, arthritis, teeth wore out etc, but other than the normal wear and tear, they seem to be healthy and well adjusted..  


This is Carter when we put him in their pen

Chewie having supper on arrival

They are nice boys, although we were told they aren't real good with their feet.......!!  Being that old, you would think they know when humans "borrow" their feet, they give them back........LOL

Wednesday, December 07, 2022


 Last week-end most of our volunteers joined us for a good dinner at Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse in Tucson.  John and I wanted to thank the volunteers for all their time and effort working with the donkeys.  Without their efforts we wouldn't be able to share the donkeys with the public, they pick up poo, help with feeding Mike right now is working on adding electricity to the Mare Motel.  We had rain over the week-end and if there is one thing donkeys like to do it's roll in mud.  They don't like to be groomed when they are wet so we didn't know if the mayor's visit would happen or not.  They had a chance to dry off overnight, so they got a quick grooming before the mayor got here Monday morning and looked pretty good.  Well except for Casper the little mini mule.  He was absolutely filthy and looked like a mud ball, so he didn't get his picture taken.

The mayor of Benson came out Monday to make a little video.  Every Monday he puts a video on their Facebook page of some business or place of interest in Benson to let people know they exist.  He was out at the Mescal Christmas event, met the donkeys and asked if he could do a video about the donkeys.  

Mayor Joe's Visit


John, Mayor Joe, Suzanne, me and Willie Nelson.  Mayor Joe was quite taken with Willie when he saw him at Mescal last week end.

Bonnie entertaining us.  In the video she is the one joining in the conversation.  She's come a long way in the months she's been here.  She is chronically foundered, her feet will never be healed, but a change in diet and regular feet trimming has made a world of difference in her comfort level. No more bedsores from laying down, she spends her days roaming around with the other donkeys.  It's very rewarding to help these animals improve their health, so they can be comfortable enough to enjoy life.  

This is our volunteer dinner Sunday, what a great group of donkey lovers

A dear friend in California sent us some cute magnets, designed by a group of children she works with, for us to resale in the store.  None are alike and it's really hard to choose a favorite.  Earlier in the week, we had 2 new volunteers come out and were here most of the day helping us try to catch up seems like we are always behind.

 One of the things they did was get the donkey magnets touched up from their trip from CA and spray them with a clear finish.  Most of them have glitter on them and without the clear coat glitter would start falling off.  They will probably be quite popular, I had a favorite and it's already sold, guess I'll have to find another one.......!! LOL  

Thursday, December 01, 2022

Been Busy

 At least that's my excuse for not keeping up with the blog.  It's not the only thing I'm not keep up with unfortunately........!!!! LOL  

Betsy has settled in pretty good, although some of her "I'm sweet and misunderstood" has worn off.  Beefy the mammoth thinks she's pretty cute and she seems to think he is the answer to a maiden's prayers.  He is much larger than she is and we're afraid he will hurt her.  He's also being very rough with the other boys that would like to get to know her better.  As long as he is around that's not going to happen.  Waylon and Roper have been the most loyal.  Waylon has tried to take charge of Betsy and run Beefy off.  Lots of kicking and rearing up, a little blood drawn but nothing real serious.  The last 3 or 4 days she stayed in her pen, so the boys wouldn't fight.  Beefy spent all day long and I assume the night too, standing by her gate, in case any of the other boys got any funny ideas.

This morning we let her out and kept Beefy in his pen for awhile.  All was quiet, so after an hour or so, we let Beefy out.  At first it seemed like a bad idea, lots of running and nonsense going on.  Let's put it this way, I'm glad we didn't have a tour this morning, some of the visuals bordered on being x-rated..........!!! LOL  But they finally settled down, Waylon seems to have given up and Roper is following them around in case something happens to elevate his status with Betsy.  Don't think that's going to happen, this morning when I let Beefy out, Bonnie was standing at his gate and he didn't even pay any attention to her as he took off looking for Betsy.  

Betsy bears watching, she is spoiled and expects treats and if they aren't forthcoming she gets really pushy.  It might take awhile to make her understand we aren't going to put up with that behavior. She has a lot of moxy or spirit or whatever you call it.  

Betsy chasing the golf cart  

She's very observant and very quick, which might become a problem with the driveway gate.  I don't think she'd run away, she's too nosy about what is going on here.  But that gate is really interesting........!! Especially when it opens and vehicles go back and forth.  

Justice and Boaz have been getting out.  John finds a spot in the fence, fixes it and they get out again.  Right now he's ran out of places, showing foot prints coming and going, Justice was out a long time yesterday, just roaming around on the outside of the perimeter fence.  John spent quite a bit of time today and hasn't been able to find where he's getting out.  Boaz actually stayed in yesterday, guess it wasn't as interesting out there as he thought it would be.  

Last week-end we spent 2 days out at the Mescal movie site for a Cowboy Christmas Festival.  Lots of people came by to see the donkeys.  A man named Larry sent us this wonderful picture he took of John and Bella. 

This time of year we can stay about as busy as we want to with parades and displays and we get calls for a donkey to carry Mary into church.  We've always turned them down, I can see how that could go really wrong.  

This is Willie Nelson in his younger days, on a wagon train outing.  He could probably do the church gig just fine.  But he's retired from working, and he's a pretty big boy, I'm not sure he would fit down the aisle of a church.  He went for his first outing at the Cowboy Festival last week-end.  We took 5 donkeys for the people to pet, and he seemed to enjoy all the attention.  He'll probably be one of our regulars, he's very well trained and quite a gentleman.  

Tuesday, November 22, 2022


 don't always go as planned.   We were planning on picking up the new boys Sunday.  That has been put on hold.  It seems when Cochise kicked my knee and I hit the ground I broke 2 ribs.  They aren't displaced thank goodness, but I'm not much good for chores right now.  Everyone keeps running me back in the house, I think to get me out of the way.........LOL.  We couldn't do it without the volunteers, John went out by himself to roundup and feed this morning.  Suzanne is in Mesa to pick up her furniture. FINALLY........When I finally managed to get dressed and out the door he said he had it handled.  Since then someone drove in, hopefully it was a volunteer and not someone wanting a tour........LOL

Here is Cochise at Superior with a couple admirers.  When he came here from being used as a roping donkey , we had to be careful when we cleaned his pen we learned quickly he was really fast with those hind feet.  With the passage of time and learning that no one is going to hurt him, he's been easy going for months.  But he was focused on those hay buckets more than spending a fraction of a second to check who was behind him, friend or foe.  

He actually kicked his running partner at Superior, for cause from his point of view.  This was Greg's first burro race, and Cochise wanted to catch donkeys that were ahead of them.  Greg interfered with what Cochise wanted to do and he kicked back.  Hit a spot that guys don't like to get hit.  Didn't hurt Greg in fact they finished the 10 mile race, and Greg is signed up for a race up by Apache Junction in January and he requested a return match with Cochise....!!  He will probably be wearing a red ribbon on his tail.  That will denote to anyone behind or passing him to be careful.

Betsy is a lot of fun.  She's already chewed on Suzanne's porch on the modular.  If we're out she's there to help.  She seems to think every time someone is in a golf cart, whatever they are doing needs her supervision.  

Suzanne was moving Cisco's pumpkin out of my extra bedroom to the storage area in the office/store building.  Sure enough Miss Nosy was there to help.  

Friday, November 18, 2022

BETSY IS OUT TODAY.............

I think this girl has been maligned.  She's been here 3 days and so far hasn't been a problem at all.  Today was the 1st time she had been out of her pen.  Well, that's not exactly true.  Suzanne looked out a day or so ago and Betsy was across the driveway with another donkey.  The other donkey happened to be Jasper one of our excellent gate openers and we're hoping he let her out.  We don't need another one that thinks opening gates is fun.  We don't know if she opens gates or not, so for now her gate is double locked.

She is very pushy, probably from begging for treats from the greenhorns at the Bed and Breakfast.  She will nudge you hard enough to knock you down if you weren't paying attention.  I have no problem with instantaneous retaliation, so we have a pretty good understanding so far.  She's still trying to nudge me, but seems to realize it isn't working the way it has before..........LOL  Hopefully everyone will  be able to let her know those days are over.  I know she doesn't respect a stick, she'll just stand there and let you whack her with it, till your arm wears out..........!!! LOL

She doesn't want any of the other donkeys behind her and lets them know quickly.  The only one so far that is smitten with her is Waylon.  He is following her around, but from a distance.

Checking out the neighborhood

I was a little bit worried about Casper.  He has a history of attacking new animals on the property, doesn't matter girl boy or size.  So far he has pretty much ignored her, thank goodness.  

  We did have a little bit of excitement here a couple of days ago.  We were feeding, John was driving the golf cart, Suzanne was throwing hay and trying to do Betsy and Cochise where their pens come together.  I went in Cochise's pen to move his bunk and he kicked me twice so quick, I think I'm the only one that knew he kicked twice.....LOL  Anytime something like that happens it's almost always the person's fault and it was.  Suzanne was trying to get Betsy's gate open and control 2 buckets of hay.  Cochise and Betsy were totally focused on those buckets and I walked behind him.  He thought I was another donkey and probably figured there wasn't enough for 3.  He kicked the side of my knee, and I have no idea where the other shot was.  I went down and wallered on the ground for a little while, and made sure all body parts were still attached.  The knee swelled a little and didn't even bruise, it could have been worse.  When he first came here we had to be careful when cleaning his pen, he would shoot a hoof in your direction if he thought you were too close.  But he's been really good for a long time,  I don't hold a grudge and he doesn't seem to either........!! A dirty look and squeal would have got my attention though......LOL

We'll be picking up Chewy and Carter Sunday afternoon.  They are 2 mature geldings that have been in a great home for years.  But the people have health problems and need to move closer to medical care.  They have quite a few animals of assorted species and need to downsize the work.  They should do fine here.  

Monday, November 14, 2022


 We have not met Betsy yet, we were told she has become aggressive and her only option would  be euthanization.  In these situations is the problem the donkey or the lack of leadership by the people around her?  Guess we'll find out............

It sounds like she isn't halter broke which means she doesn't lead.  We will try to run her into the trailer without having to wrestle her.  This means when we get her to the rescue we will unload her the same way, open the door and let her out into a pen............but which one?  

She will be kept in a pen for a few days until we figure out how to handle her.  Our first thought was to put her in the mare motel with Kris and Waylon.  But those pens aren't very big and there isn't any way to open them up to give her more room, when the others are out of the pens.  Most of our pens have middle gates we can open up and let a donkey use all of them during the day.  

We finally decided that Willie's pen would be the best choice, which means he gets moved to the mare motel.  Since he didn't have a vote, it was quite a shock for him this morning when he followed John like a good boy and ended up in a new pen.  He was not happy with this situation, so he paced and let us know we needed to fix it.  

We wondered how tonight would be at roundup, but you know what?  With a little hesitation he followed John into the mare motel.  It usually takes a couple of days for them to agree to a move to a new safe place.  Jasper got moved years ago and still goes in his old pen to stand sometimes.  If we forget to clip his gate, he will open it and go down to let whoever is in "his" pen out.  Melvin and Jackson that just went home last week, had that pen all summer.  Quite often we'd end up with 3 donkeys instead of two in that pen.  Jasper would open the gate and go in and the other boys didn't care.......!!! LOL

We've got 2 geldings over 30 years old coming in for sanctuary probably this week or next and that pen will be their's.  That should be a surprise for Jasper the next time we forget to clip his gate........!!!  LOL

Sunday, November 13, 2022

THESE GUYS ARE SMART................!!

 People that have come out on tours know we don't feed treats if the donkeys are out of their pens. It would be too dangerous with donkeys and people not use to being around large animals that are greedy and want to make sure if treats are available they get their share.  They wouldn't hurt people on purpose but they sure would go after a fellow donkey that was between them and an animal cracker..........!!! 

Yesterday we had large group in the morning to visit with the donkeys.  The donkeys stayed in their pens and the group got to feed them treats.  At the end of the tour they wanted to see a couple of donkeys out of their pens to roam around with the people.  End of tour......... 2 donkeys..... large group of people, sounded doable.  We were by Harley and Siggy's pen, two of the minis so out they came which they thought was great, until they figured out there weren't any treats being offered.  They wandered around checking all the people for treats, wandered off and the tour was over.  


We had another tour coming, and the minis weren't interested in going back in their pen, so we just left them out.  The tour got here, I looked for the boys but they weren't in sight.  The boy's pen was at the end of the tour and when we got there, there were two little minis standing in their pen, waiting patiently for their treat.  

They know there are no treats if they are outside the pen, but know if they are on the inside of the corral panel, treats will be offered, gate open or not.............!!! 

When it is feeding time, some of them will not go into their pen unless one of us is there to see the transition.  Other wise they will stand outside, until a person with a carrot shows up to escort them in.   It is so much fun to watch the little wheels work inside their heads.  Except when they are outsmarting us..........!!!  LOL


Thursday, November 10, 2022


 Melvin and Jackson had been here all summer.  They usually spent summers in Colorado and winters in Tonopah, AZ.  But this summer they stayed here while their family went to CO.

Jackson in the background, Melvin front and center

Going for a walk with mom

I think they had a good time being part of the herd, haven't heard yet if they were happy to get home.

Suzanne took 7 donkeys to Empire Ranch for a Cowboy Festival last week-end.  John and I took care of the ones left at home and then went out for the day Sat and Sun.  Lots of people interested in the donkeys and we've already had people come out here to see the rest of the donkeys.  

Next week we will be picking up a jenny named Betsy that has been living at a Bed & Breakfast, but has worn out her welcome by becoming too aggressive.  Treats probably were a large part of the problem, or perhaps not having anyone in charge.  Donkeys need to be part of a herd and have a leader.  If there isn't a leader in charge, they can become rather difficult to deal with, so they figure they must be in charge since no one else is.  That can be a big problem especially if the people don't agree with this arrangement.  

We are going out to the Mescal Movie Site next week and taking some donkeys for the people to pet.  We have never taken Boaz because he has scars on his legs people want to know about.  But he is the "donkey" of a thousand faces.  He has learned to make all sorts of faces to make people laugh and give him animal crackers.  Maybe people won't notice his legs, they'll be too busy laughing at his antics.

We have always wanted to take Beefy because he is a mammoth.  But he is just now learning to behave himself around jennies and still has a lot to learn.  We've decided to take him to Mescal with 3 or 4 other girls.  It's been almost a year since he was gelded and he still acts stupid sometimes, but if there aren't any girls around we're hoping he'll enjoy all the people and forget about chasing girls.............!!!

Suzanne's modular is coming together, hopefully she can go get her furniture out of storage, move it in and her and her mom can enjoy all the space to spread out.  

Sorry I haven't been keeping up the blog, we never know what our days will be like, and there is usually surprises we hadn't planned on.  I keep trying to keep up, but sometimes the days just aren't long enough.