Saturday, December 30, 2006


These pictures of Lucy's left front foot were taken almost 2 years apart. She's been getting trimmed every 5-6 weeks, & as you can tell it has made a world of difference in her foot. John even saw her run a couple of days ago. So her feet must be feeling pretty good. Her 1st trim after we got her was done at the Equine Clinic in Gilbert, & at that time she could hardly walk. So she has come a long long way. We have high hopes for both front feet, the right one was never as bad as the left.

It's finally warming up a little bit & the sun is shining this afternoon. Snowy went out today for the first time in a couple of days. I kept her in to monitor her in & out put. She ate pretty good last night & also this morning. So I took all her "clothes" off & turned her loose. She doesn't go very far or do much when she is out, but it gives her a little exercise.

Everyone else seems to be in good health & spirit. Belle is still recuperating from her encounter with the dogs a few weeks ago. She bowed the tendon in both front legs. She's not very lame anymore, but the legs are still enlarged & hard. From all I have read, the treatment for bowed tendons is the passage of time. They will probably always be enlarged, but once she's healed, they shouldn't bother her at all.

I do believe the minis are a little thinner............little being the optimum word here........!!! They still have a long way to go. I had been giving Lynn & Cheyenne 2 chromium tablets each morning in a handful of timothy pellets. This morning, Miss Lynn became a suspicious inspector, & spit out one of her tablets. I tried giving it to her again, & she wouldn't even take the timothy pellets from my hand. Guess I'll have to come up with a "PLAN B"........!!!!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Katie came out today to trim the ones that have problem feet. Actually everyone was in pretty good shape, just a little touch up here & there. Lucy's feet have been a work in progress for almost 3 years, & the last couple of times she's been trimmed, she hasn't had to have extra hoof material removed. It will probably take about another year, but she should end up with normal looking feet. Pepper's feet are finally self trimming, after a couple of years of trimming every 5 weeks. I told Katie she is working herself out of a job. (G)

Nina's feet are going to need touch ups for awhile. They actually looked better than the 1st time Katie trimmed her 6 weeks ago. Hopefully running around on rocks & gravel, will get the frog to working, rather than just taking up space on the bottom of her foot. She's never been lame, so I guess the frogs don't bother her as much as they look like they should. Nina & Benny have been offered a wonderful home in Arrivaca & will probably be leaving the sanctuary in a few weeks.

We also had some visitors this afternoon. Brian & Amy live north of us, & brought his parents, who are visiting for the holidays. Brian & Amy have been here quite often, this is the 2nd time for his parents. As usual, BlackJack was the official greeter. Unfortunately Amy left the carrots she had promised him at home.

Monday, December 25, 2006


If her polo wraps were green, she would look like a Christmas present............!!!!! We are waiting for a new blanket to come thru the mail. I called all over Tucson for a blanket & no one had a blanket small enough to fit her. In the meantime a friend suggested covering her with one of the lightweight soft fleecy blankets you can buy at Wal-Mart real cheap. I just happened to have one I snuggle in every night, to read or watch TV, so thought I'd try it. I was really surprised at how clingy it is. I position it on her back, & it sticks to her hair, so well, that it stays on all night. It's working just fine, hopefully we won't have anymore little rain showers, like we had the night before she seemed ill the next morning. Although she has a shelter, she was still wet when we went out that morning. The "real" blanket will be waterproof!

She seems much better since I've been covering her with the blanket. I had been wrapping her legs ever since it had been below freezing at night. But I guess she was losing too much body heat, & at her age it was just too hard on her.

Saturday, December 23, 2006


Snowy seems to be doing better today. We ran a list of things that could be wrong with her, ranging from ulcers to perhaps being at the end of her life. She is probably in her 30's, has 3 teeth, crippling arthritis, & of course being a holiday makes if difficult to find an available Vet. We managed to get her to eat a little yesterday. John & I also tried giving her pro-biotics in case there was a problem with her digestive system. Well, she might be old, & she might not feel very good, but she managed to lead us a merry chase within the confines of her pen, & defy us to stick that stuff in her mouth. I mixed it in with some of her soaked beet pulp & timothy pellets & she ate it, so it must not taste bad. I think it was just the idea of us trying to make her take it. She regularly clamps her lips together to refuse a carrot or apple treats, & we've never been able to figure out why, unless it's to prove she can.

We think she might have gotten too cold the other night & maybe that was the problem. It was warmer last night & today was pretty nice, once the fog lifted. Not what you expect in the desert............!!!! At least not what I expect. She went out of her pen this afternoon, & seemed to follow her regular routine, so hopefully she's OK. I checked my records & she had a similar experience last April but it only lasted a day.

We also had the equine dentist out today to check Belle. Belle had a lump on her jaw when she came to us this summer. We were told the lump had been checked by a vet & they had been told to leave it alone, & just watch it for any changes.

A few days ago, we noticed her pushing against it on the side of the hay bunk when she was eating. Checked it out & instead of being solid like before, it was now loose & you could hear & feel it grating on bone.

Phil checked her jaw inside & out, & agreed it was very strange. He massaged & pushed on it from the outside & all of a sudden something fell out of her mouth. This is a picture of the rock that had been encapsulated in a pocket on her jaw. The quarter & 2 dimes show the size of the rock & it is about as round as a man's thumb. It is very smooth, like a rock that has been in a lapidary tumbler, so we assume it has been in there for a long time. But how did it encapsulate like that? Was it sharp enough to puncture the inside of her mouth when it got caught in her mouth? How did it get caught in such a way, so that it couldn't just fall out? Lots of questions & no answers.

Thursday, December 21, 2006


What a great start for winter, it was 14 degrees this morning.........!!!! We spent most of the morning, breaking ice & hauling hot water. We had to remove the heater from the big stock tank, yesterday. We noticed Nina trying to drink, but not touching the water. John used a volt meter, & found out there was a current flow from the water to the ground. It wasn't much, maybe a quarter of a volt, but I have read that equines can detect electricity, we can't. Took the heater out, & everyone started drinking. So this morning they had to contend with ice.

We also have a sick mule. Snowy hasn't eaten much today, nor has she drank any water. She isn't acting sick, but something is wrong. It was so cold last night I thought that might have something to do with her not wanting to eat or drink. But it warmed up this afternoon, & she still isn't interested in anything except chewing a little hay. It seems like animals have a built in clock, to know when it is a holiday, week-end or the dead of night. Local Vet is out of town, so we will probably have to haul her to Tucson in the morning.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Well John learned a lesson yesterday. The first few days the minis were out, when it came time to go back in the pen, they followed us, like well mannered little guys. A couple of days ago, John wasn't here at feeding time & I had to round everyone up by myself. The minis were together as usual, but Justin was the only one that would follow me. We went in the pen, I gave him his tiny sliver of carrot for being a good boy, & he promptly spun around & ran out of the pen, back to where Lynn & Cheyenne were standing. After that they followed me back to the pen.

Yesterday John was doing round up, & I was fixing beet pulp & supplements. He came in the feed room, & got a quirt. I asked him what was going on & he said the minis wouldn't go in their pen. A few minutes later he came back in, hung up the quirt & mumbled it was like trying to herd pigs....!!!! He said he came up behind them, pointed with the quirt, & they ran every which direction. Went back out & they followed him to the pen, just like little lambs.

We might have to rethink how to handle them. Not the fact that they are getting rebellious about going in the pen. But the fact that when they go out of the pen, they start eating whatever they can find. They have already figured out that the other pens are open & there might be some hay scraps left. So they make a bee line to the pens for clean-up. I'd hate to keep them in a pen, but they aren't going to lose weight, if they continue "snacking" during the day.

Sunday, December 17, 2006


Shiloh has been with us for almost 3 years, & in all that time we have never heard him make a sound. He was very shut down when we got him, & it took 2 years for him to react to anything going on around him. The day we saw an ear turn to catch sounds was a red letter day. Then he started watching us & the other donkeys. He's even learned to play with the other donkeys occasionally.

Yesterday morning John & I were in the feed room, fixing the pans & for some reason Shiloh was the only one there. I opened the door to see if anyone else had shown up, & his nostrils started flaring. I asked him what he was doing & he actually huffed a couple of times. You would have thought we'd won a million dollars, we were so excited........!!!!

Shiloh has never made a sound or even attempted to. He has lots of scarring on his throat, probably from either dogs, or aggressive equine. Since he had never made a sound, we assumed his vocal cords were probably damaged.

My mission now is to get him to do a full blown bray........!!!

Saturday, December 16, 2006


Here are a couple more really good info areas on beet pulp. Unfortunately, most of our equines are overfed & under exercised, which makes for an unhealthy animal. Companies that manufacture animal feeds do a lot of advertising about how good their products are, how healthy they are, & have lots of different feeds designed for old, young, working, pregnant & anything in between .

In the case of donkeys, these animals evolved from a life in the desert, travelling 20-30 miles a day, to scrounge enough subsistance to keep them alive until tomorrow. Not even close to the "cushy" lifestyle of today for most donkeys. Alfalfa hay, sweet feed, & many of the pelleted feeds sold, are much too much feed for donkeys. Most donkeys do just fine on a diet of grass hay, bermuda is the grass hay of choice in Arizona, clean water & salt.

Beet pulp can be used as a carrier for minerals & supplements, if you feed them. It can also be used to put weight on or take weight off, depending on how it is fed. It has approximately the same food value as oats, but without as much starch & sugar content. The lower glycemic spike, makes beet pulp a wonderful food for Insulin Resistant equines.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Honcho went to his forever home today. He's going to have 40 acres to run on & his new Mom was very excited about him joining her family. In fact, when we pulled up with the trailer, not only was she waiting to see him, but so were the neighbors. Everyone said what a pretty boy he was & he walked off into his new life, without a backward glance. We are really going to miss him, he has such a wonderful personality even when he's being "Honcho" you can't help but love him.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Twenty degrees this morning, I'm ready for winter to go someplace else. One thing about the desert, by 10am, the sun has been shining long enough for it to be pleasantly warm outside, & you can shed your "winter" togs. Some people in other parts of the country would be thrilled with a daytime temperature of 20 degrees, so I guess I should consider myself fortunate.

I wrap Snowy the mule's legs every night. She is very arthritic & I would like to think wrapping keeps her legs a little warmer. Right now I am also wrapping Belle's front legs. She is the one the neighbor's dogs chased. I'm no expert, but am pretty sure she has bowed tendons in both front legs. I'm giving her banamine one day & bute the next. I've been putting DMSO on her legs & then keeping them wrapped. She seems to do better with exercise, & since the treatment for bowed tendons is the passage of time, we'll keep doing what we're doing, although I will probably stop the bute & banamine this week if she continues to improve.

The minis are doing great. Don't notice any weight loss yet, but they've only been here a few days. We let them out for a few hours yesterday afternoon for the first time. The first thing they did when they got out, was put their mouths down & started vacuuming tiny little mesquite leaves. Fortunately every inch of land has already been vacuumed by the big guys. Not only that they have also taken care of everything edible, up high enough, I don't think the little guys will find much to eat. Honcho tried to "exercise" them. Their little short legs put them at a disadvantage running in a straight line, but they also can change direction quicker. Finally Justin & Cheyenne had enough, started kicking him, & Cheyenne, even chased him out of "her" area. So he decided he had real important business to take care of, someplace else...........!!!!

Monday, December 11, 2006


This is a picture of Cheyenne's neck. As you can see her mane has fallen over to one side. When the "tres amigos" came a few days ago, her neck was so hard you could not indent it by squeezing as hard as you could. Lynn's crest was almost as hard, & she also has runny eyes, which usually means allergies.

We are soaking their hay to remove some of the sugar & starch. After one day of soaked hay Cheyenne's crest was already softening, which is a pretty good sign that she is insulin resistant.

Right now they are still in a pen, getting use to being in a new place. In a few days we will let them loose to run with the others, hopefully to work off some of the excess weight they are carrying.

Lynn is also getting a generic allergy capsule each day to help with her allergies. So far it's keeping her eyes dry.

Even if Cheyenne loses weight her crest will never stand up again unfortunately. Her neck will always lay to the side.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Tres Amigos

Here's the 3 little guys this morning, wondering why everyone else is out running around, & they are still in the pen. We'll give them a few days to learn the routine before turning them loose.

If you look close you can see, there is too much donkey in each skin. Cheyenne's crest is very hard & has started to fall over on one side. I would imagine she is insulin resistant, & Lynn also has all the classic symptoms of IR. We will be soaking their hay starting today. This removes a lot of the sugar & starch, which IR equines don't need, any more than a diabetic person needs candy. Once they get out of the pen, they will get lots of exercise, which should also help with their "diet".

This is the only picture I could get of Justin. He was bound & determined to get in my pocket. They are all very friendly & love to be petted, but it makes it difficult to take pictures.......!!!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


They are sooooo cute! They are all "donkey grey" complete with dorsal stripes. Justin & Cheyenne have white noses like most donkeys have. Lynn has a brown nose, with no white at all. She is the first one we've had that has no white points. They are very friendly & have pretty little faces, & chubby little bodies, which is why they are out here for awhile. Right now they will stay in a pen for a few days till they get use to being in a different place. Bennie has already tried to play with Justin thru the fence, so they will probably play together & become buddies. I'll try to get some pictures of them tomorrow.

Belle has been in a pen since the dogs chased her. The woman that brought the donkeys is very knowledgeable & suggested letting her out of the pen. Her thoughts were, that as a flight animal, they're bodies are designed to keep moving even if they have problems with tendons or muscles in their legs. In the wilds if they can't move & keep up with the herd, they will become someone's lunch. We'll see how she is doing tomorrow after running around all night. Tula, Belle, & Nina decided not to come over from Burroland tonight for dinner. I'm sure Tula is the instigator of the rebellion. Obviously they aren't very hungry, but this is the first time they've refused to at least show up. We went over & checked to make sure they are OK, & they are just fine. In fact they came as far as the gate between the 10 acres the house is on & the 20 acres of Burroland, & scooted past the gate like it didn't exist, little stinkers..........!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

If everything goes as planned, 3 little miniatures are coming out tomorrow to visit with us for awhile. They need to lose some weight according to their Mom. I'm not sure this is the place to lose weight, judging the body shapes of all our guys. But we'll give it a try, & see what happens. This will be the first miniatures we've had. They are use to being in with horses, so hopefully they know what to do to stay out of trouble with larger animals. Originally we thought they would be here for the Open House last week-end, but it didn't work out.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Open House!

We had a great Open House this week-end. Met a lot of nice people & the donkeys for the most part were thrilled with all the extra attention & treats. Both of the mules ignored everyone & wouldn't even take treats. Snowy doesn't see or hear very well, so any change to her routine really confuses her. Jack isn't going to accept treats from strangers, just to make them happy. He'd rather stand on the other side of the pen & watch them out of the corner of his eye. We don't call him the "grand old man with attitude" for nothing.

Max the horse, figured out how to get people's attention. At mealtime, he has always "played" a tune on the gate by running his mouth along the pipe, which makes a humming sound. He started "playing" a tune for some of the people, when they were feeding donkeys instead of him. A lot of people didn't know what was going on, but John & I got a kick out of watching him, work to get their attention.

We had no idea how the week-end would go, but we had such a good time, we're already looking forward to next year. A lot of people said they'd like to come back, which we hope they will do.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Winter is here........!!!!

It was 11 degrees this morning when we got up. Needless to say all the water buckets were frozen, so we spent all morning getting rid of ice & hauling hot water. Many of our donkeys are older & we worry about colic if they don't drink enough.

On this day last year we woke up to Muriel the mule being down with colic. After 2 1/2 days of round the clock doctoring, with no improvement, we had to make the hard decision to let her go. The Vets seemed to think she might have lipomas, a type of fatty tumor that can strangle the intestines of older equines. I know getting equines to drink enough water in the winter, when the weather is cold & the water icy, is sometimes a problem & have wondered if that might have been part of Muriel's problem. We'll never know, but we are very diligent about them having access to water at all times, no matter how cold it is, or how thick the ice gets.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Hopefully fly season is over!

Last night we had our first fire of the season. We have no central heating in our house, only a wood stove. Arizona has nice enough weather, to get away with "alternative" heating. But the cold nights certainly cut down on the fly population. This morning we decided to leave the fly masks off, which means the donkeys could have access to the 20 acres of Burroland during the day for the first time in months. When they got thru eating, they didn't realize the gate was open, & followed their usual routine.........go up to the hay barn & see if there were any scraps of hay they could pick up. I put a halter on Lucy & used her as a Judas goat. Sure enough, they followed us across the wash to the open gate. Once they all figured out the gate was open, it was almost like a stampede. Really really, silly because they had been over there all night, until John called them in this morning for breakfast.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

BlackJack is getting ready for the Christmas Fair!

We're all busy getting ready for the Cascabel Christmas Fair next week-end. We have no idea how many folks will come to visit with the donkeys, but it should be a lot of fun. I wonder if 2 days of petting & hand fed timothy pellets by lots of people will make Monday seem like a bad dream to the gang........!!!!!! Probably!

Shiloh won "Picture of the Day" at this week. You can send an equine picture, & they have 4 pictures every day to be voted on by anyone that wants to vote. There is a woman on the internet, that always tells the donkey & mule people when there is a "longear" that needs a vote. So between her putting out the word & everyone I e-mailed to vote for him, HE WON! We don't win anything except bragging rights, but it's still a lot of fun.

The 2 girls that were chased by the neighbor's dogs are doing good. Nina had cuts & scrapes that are healing just fine. Belle is still on "corral" rest. I assume she is feeling better, although she is still limping. She seems to think I've lost my mind, because I won't let her out of the corral. Today we are letting her have access to another pen, so she has about twice as much room, but she still wants out with the rest of the herd.

Animal control is coming out this week to confiscate some of the dogs. The owner has agreed to give some of them to the county. Notice I said "some", not all. None of them are spayed or neutered, so we will probably have the problem again in a few months as more puppies are born. I'm sure they will be euthanized, because of lack of socialization. Another man made problem, where the animals pay the price............!!!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Dog pack

Last night the neighbor's dog pack, ran some of the donkeys. These dogs have been a problem for years, the last count we had was 16 dogs. But since then John has heard new puppies over there, so I guess there will be more to add to the pack, in the next few weeks. Animal control hasn't been much help. Their answer is, this is a livestock state, so shoot them. I'd rather shoot the people, that allow the dogs to run loose as a pack, & breed at will. They also don't have shots, so rabies is always a possibility.

The donkeys that have been here for awhile have learned that even as a pack, the dogs are cowards, so they don't run. Two of the new girls, Belle & Nina obviously ran. Belle has a swollen leg above the fetlock & Nina probably bounced off the barbed wire perimeter fence, ending up with cuts on her chest, ear & across her face.

A friend was going to bring 3 mini donkeys out to be put on diets. It seems they are getting a little too "short" for their weight..........!!!! I e-mailed her today to seriously think about it. These are large dogs & could easily take down a mini. She has already written back & agrees, it wouldn't be a good idea at this time. We were looking forward to them coming, they would have been our first minis.

Both BlackJack & Pepper for years have teased the dogs to get them to come into their space. So the dogs stay away from them & some of the others, but these girls weren't prepared for being attacked on their own property.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

A visit with Mirage

Yesterday we spent the afternoon visiting with Mirage. He spent over a year with us, till he could be gelded & mature. His "mom" didn't have any way for him to get the exercise a growing boy needs, & he loved to play. So he spent his misspent youth, out here playing with Max the horse, & having great fun making the donkeys scatter.
Last month his mom took him home & he has been in training about 3 weeks. Delford is a mule trainer & I was hoping that he wasn't the "mule-skinner" type of trainer. Mirage, loves people & has a lot of curiosity, which could all be destroyed in the wrong hands. I am pleased to report that Delford has done a magnificent job with Mirage. His ground manners are beautiful, & for all his spirit, he is a dream under the saddle. No bit, just a homemade rope hackamore. Delford even said he's one of the best horses he ever trained. He was a horseman before he discovered mules.........!!! "LOL" Mirage's mom has ridden him twice & her only complaint is, "he's so big".........!!!! He is going to be a pretty good sized Missouri Fox Trotter, & she's about my size, which isn't very big. So she's thinking of selling him. If she does, I hope he goes to a wonderful home that recognizes what a special horse he is, & treats him accordingly.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Insulin Resistance

A problem with equines, especially ponies & donkeys. This link has some really good information & is well worth reading, even if you don't have an equine friend with insulin resistance...................yet!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Enjoying company

Well, the donkeys are getting ready for the open house. We've had quite a few visitors the last few days, friends from long ago & also new donkey friends. The donkeys really enjoy company, especially when the company thinks donkeys are there to be petted & fed timothy pellets. Even Shiloh, who is usually hesitant to come up to people, actually walked up behind Rick a long time friend & "asked" to be petted. Rick seems to have a way with animals, Buster also wanted his attention. Rick should stay around here awhile, maybe Tula would enjoy his attention. She sees no reason to be "pals" with people. We wanted her to decide to be friendlier on her own, but don't know if she will ever take that last step, which would be to stand & be touch. She had 2 owners in the last 4 years & wasn't required to be touched, so as far as she is concerned , this works for her.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Fly Season is "ALMOST" over.......

The last few mornings have been very chilly & consequently we've noticed fewer flies each day. Hopefully within the next few days we can dispense with the flymasks & consider summer is officially over........!!!! Once the donkeys no longer have to wear fly masks they will be able to have the use of their "beloved" Burroland, 24/7.....!!!

With the cooler weather we also should have to do less doctoring for summer sores, jack sores, habromena larvae or whatever you want to call them. These sores are caused by a misplaced stomach worm larvae, that hitchhike on flies, & can cause horrible & irreputable damage to these guys. Actually the larvae doesn't cause the damage. The itching they cause when trying to find a stomach to attach to, is so intense, the donkey will literally destroy themselves scratching & trying to gain some relief. We had to have Cisco I put down years ago, because he had literally destroyed his sheath.

This year wasn't too bad for habronema, thank goodness. Belle came to stay this summer with sores on her face & one leg & with a few weeks of intensive treatment, has been clear for almost 2 months. Sha'ba has a very bad area on the front of his nose, that I have been treating constantly for weeks. The cold weather will cause the remaining ones to go dormant, only to return next summer. Yuck! I wish they would just go away, permanently.

Friday, October 27, 2006

28 degrees this morning.........brrrrrrr!

I'm not too happy with the gang today. This morning it was 28 degrees when we went out to feed. The only ones here were Max, the horse, Jack the mule, & BlackJack, big boss donkey...... Bennie & Nina showed up quickly. The rest of them were over on "Burroland", their 20 acres of freedom. During the summer when they are wearing fly masks they have to stay on the 10 acres where the house & corrals are during the day . The reason we do this.... it's much easier to find fly masks that have been used as toys on 10 acres, than it is to find them on 30 acres. The above picture shows what they think of this arrangement, the closed gate leads to burroland.

They didn't come in on their own, I had to retrieve them. Pepper was the first one I saw on my trek, so I haltered him & started back to the 10 acres. The others could care less, I ended up with just Pepper. Penned him, went back over & found Lucy this time. We usually use her as the Judas goat, since they all seem to acknowledge her as the lead jennet. Haltered her, & sure enough, they all followed in a single line. Then they all seemed to be upset that breakfast wasn't waiting when they got here. Believe me I was tempted to forget breakfast. Unfortunately they wouldn't care, the lesson would be lost on them, & the trees & bushes would suffer. Donkeys are browsers & love to munch just about anything including prickly pear cactus, & greasewood.

There's a fly mask missing from yesterday, I must go & find............!!!!!! Wish me luck, sometimes they can be very elusive.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Bennie & I started on clicker training yesterday. He's a little possessive of his feet. They need some trimming, so I thought we'd see if clicker training might make the job a little easier.

He figured out "targeting" quickly. It only took a few minutes for him to equate touching the target, hearing the click & getting a few timothy pellets for his effort. This morning I tried running my hands up & down his legs, & picking his feet up for a few seconds, then a click & a goody. This boy is a fast learner. I have no doubt he could learn to do just about anything you wanted to teach him.

Nina on the other hand, is very cautious. At first the clicking scared her. So we are going very slow, until she gets use to the sound. It loses something, when your trainee, takes off & doesn't wait for her reward. It might take her a few mornings to figure it out, but I'm sure once she figures it out, she'll be as good a student as Bennie.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Our first Open House....!!!

The 1st week-end of December will be the annual Cascabel Fair. This Arts & Crafts fair has been going on for over 20 years, & hundreds of people drive out for the day to enjoy the San Pedro River Valley & it's uniqueness. Many vendors will set up at the Cascabel Clayworks & also at Ivan's a local painter. They are located about 13 miles farther north on the Cascabel road.
We asked if we could participate this year, & have been given the OK, even if we aren't located up where the actual Fair will be going on. We will put a sign out on the main road to let people know we will be open for donkey feeding & petting. Hopefully we won't have a lot of people show up at once. Since we're new at this open house idea, I'm sure we'll have to learn as we go along. So if you are in the neighborhood that week-end, stop by & say "HOWDY".

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Today, is the first day of freedom!

This picture was taken just before we opened the pen & let them out this morning. Bennie is on the right, Nina on the left. Bennie is really a nosy guy & came out like he wanted to see everything all at once. Of course all the other donkeys, mules & horses were already out, & he seemed quite surprised at all these eyes looking at him. His answer was to kick up his heels & take off running. Nina followed at a more sedate pace, but I did see her running & bucking a little bit. The pen they were in wasn't that small, but obviously it wasn't large enough to exercise, at least by their standards. This afternoon they have settled down in the beautiful Arizona sunshine, & are resting under the trees, like everyone else. Around 4pm, we will start gathering everyone up for their evening feeding. Some of them go into pens, & some don't. I'm curious to see if Nina & Bennie remember their pen, & will go back to it. Or if we will have to "encourage" them. Something tells me, Bennie especially will be hard to herd in one direction. He seems to think running is a lot of fun & I'm too old to chase him effectively. Nina has some problems with her feet, although she seems to be sound. I've already gotten in touch with my trimmer, to see if we can help her. Her previous owner said she is a little difficult about her feet, so I will try some clicker training to see if we can make picking up feet a little easier.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Nina & Bennie have come to stay

We went up to Gilbert, south of Phoenix yesterday & picked up Nina & Bennie. They were rescues & the woman that had them, could no longer take care of them, so she released them to us.
Bennie is a curious, in your pocket, type of guy. Nina is a little more stand offish, & I can't blame her. Although she is only about 4 years old, at sometime in her life, her left nostril has been ripped open. It has healed, but she has a 4 inch open scar that runs from the top of her nostril up her face. It has collapsed & has a hard area inside which cuts off that nostril for normal breathing. She has been scoped, & above this area, is normal. Surgery has been discussed, & as you can imagine isn't cheap. But there is also no guarentee that it would help her breathe easier, so for now we will leave it as it is. She is a pretty girl, & it's a shame that this injury wasn't attended to when it happened, so she wouldn't have had to go thruout her life, so disfigured.
Bennie thinks she's pretty cute & stays with her constantly. They will stay in a pen for a few days, until they get use to new surroundings, & then will go out with the rest of the gang.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

A group of visitors came to visit the donkeys today. Pima Community College gives tours of local areas of interest & have been coming out to see the donkeys for a couple of years. The people always seem to enjoy seeing the donkeys & hearing their stories. The donkeys really like to see a group of people drive in the driveway. They have learned that a large group of people showing up, usually have come to see them. We furnish small bags of feed for those who would like to feed the donkeys & it doesn't take long for them to figure out which people are "goodie" dispensers. Most of the donkeys enjoy the game as much as the people. Some of the donkeys still aren't trusting enough to wade into a group of people, even for food. Occasionally one that has been stand offish decides to "try" it & we have a break thru. Shiloh is one that has recently started standing very close to the people although he won't go to the people. But he will stand his ground if someone wants to walk over to him & offer treats. Hopefully soon, he will wade right in with the more precocious ones, to get his fair share of the goodies.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Photo by Sandy Cole

BlackJack surveying his domain
We have 2 more donkeys coming to stay next week. It's exciting to meet the new ones & have them learn their place in the "herd". But it's sad to know the reason they are here, is because they are probably unadoptable by most standards. I don't know much about them yet, but do know they are young, & one is physically disfigured.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Buster sharing secrets with Cisco



Arizona Revised Statutes
Title 13, Criminal Code
Chapter 29, Offenses Against Public Order
# 13-2910: Cruelty to animals
A.3. Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly inflicts unnecessary physical injury to any animal.
A.4. Recklessly subjects any animals to cruel mistreatment
F.2. "Cruel mistreatment" means to torture or otherwise inflict unnecessary serious physical injury upon an animal or to kill an animal in a manner that causes protracted suffering to the animal.
F.3 "Cruel neglect" means to fail to provide an animal with necessary food, water, or shelter.
* * * * *
Shiloh, in his former life was used as a roping donkey. His legs are badly scarred. He has scarring on his muzzle & some of his teeth are embedded in his gums. Our best guess is, he has been badly kicked in the face. He also has a lot of scarring on his neck, probably from having his throat torn out by other aggressive donkeys or horses. He doesn't make any sound at all, so we assume his vocal cords have been damaged. He is very gentle, although he gets very frightened if you try to "capture" him with a rope or halter.

You might ask, "what is a roping donkey" ? People that do roping practice a lot. Calves are worth money & donkeys can be had for as little as $ 25.00 from the BLM or sometimes even cheaper at auctions. In other words, they have very little value to some people. They will be roped until one of three things happen; they can get a broken leg, or even a broken neck. Or they will shut down emotionally & refuse to run. Shiloh was with us for about 2 years before he ever looked at us, or twitched a ear to show interest in what was going on around him.

Donkeys, horses & mules are classified as livestock, rather than companion animals.