Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Thanks Bill for the picture of Martha, BlackJack & Ellyn

We've had quite a few visitors the last couple of weeks, to see the donkeys. Most of the donkeys have learned the routine, "unknown vehicle drives in driveway....... more than one person gets out........ the "head jenny & big boss" greet them in the driveway & stand talking......!!! After a few minutes of "people" chit chat, it's time to move in & start showing the people how cute we can be. Head jenny usually give them cups of timothy pellets to feed, as the people walk around visiting with everyone. All the donkeys have learned that it works out best to not push & try to get the people to feed the pellets just to them. Head jenny really gets mad..............!!!! Except for Benny, he's still working on his "crowd" manners. He tries to behave, but all those people, carrying cups of pellets, is almost more than a young donkey can stand.

Everyone has been pretty healthy lately which is great. Even Belle's bowed tendons seems to be healing nicely. She is walking normally, although I am still wrapping her legs at night. The weather has been cold & humid for the most part, which makes chores in the early morning a lot of fun. The donkeys don't seem to care, as long as the hay is forthcoming.

Snowy is still enjoying her blanket & boots, some days have been so cold & miserable, I've left her dressed. We recently read an article on older equine with arthritis & the fact that they can't lay down to rest because they know they can't get back up. So they end up sleep deprived. We know she doesn't lay down because she never has dirt or anything on her blanket. They recommended giving bute for 5 nights to see if that would help them be able to lay down. We started giving her bute yesterday, to see if it might help her. You can't give bute long term, it can cause ulcers. But you can give it for a few days at a time. The article said if they can lay down 1/2 hour once a week, it can really make a difference. Horses don't sleep like we do anyway. As a flight animal they are always ready to run. Consequently, they take short naps day & night. But I guess they need a deep nap every few days. Sometimes you will see equine laying down, with one on watch. I guess that's when everyone but the guard are getting their deep sleep.

Monday, January 29, 2007

A "TAIL" WITH A MESSAGE......!!!!!

An old man, a boy & a donkey were going to town. The boy rode on the donkey & the old man walked. As they went along they passed some people who remarked it was a shame the old man was walking and the boy was riding.

The man and boy thought maybe the critics were right, so they changed positions.

Then, later, they passed some people who remarked, "What a shame, he makes that little boy walk."

So they then decided they'd both walk! Soon they passed some more people who thought they w ere stupid to walk when they had a decent donkey to ride. So, they both rode the donkey.

Now they passed some people who shamed them by saying how awful to put such a load on a poor donkey.

The boy and man figured they were probably right, so they decide to carry the donkey. As they crossed the bridge, they lost their grip on the animal & he fell into the river and drowned.
The moral of the story?

If you try to please everyone, you might as well...

Kiss your ass goodbye!

Have A Nice Day &
Be Careful With Your Donkey

Friday, January 26, 2007

FIBER ANYONE.......?????

Here's a good way to add fiber to your diet, although I wouldn't recommend it, unless you like to pluck spines & stickers out of yourself.

This is a large prickly pear that is going to be gone in a few days, at the rate they are eating it. This is Shiloh & Cisco is also munching away just out of the picture.

For some reason, right now a lot of them are after the prickly pear & are really decimating the patches on the property. I've heard that it has vitamin C in it. I might get some oranges, next time I go to town. They all love to eat citrus of any kind, except for BlackJack & Max.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


John had a jeep tour early this morning. He went out in the dark & started preparation in the feed room before he headed for Tucson, so everything was ready for me to feed. It's a lot quicker when 2 are feeding, & picking up poo, but I plug away & it eventually gets done. The animals like the quicker routine of 2 feeding, & let me know I'm slow by myself. I thought Max the horse was going to turn himself wrong side out, he was air dancing to tell me to hurry up. Jack, the mule gets a little frisky too. He doesn't air dance, he "double barrel" kicks straight back & very quick. He wouldn't kick you on purpose, but we usually tell him to settle down, before we go in the gate. He's very good about slowing down to just prancing around & talking to you, rather than acting like a bucking bronco.

Sha'ba was really vocal this morning, no braying, but I was afraid he was going to suck his tongue down his throat, as much wheezing & huffing as he was doing. I'm glad I can't really remember how thin, crippled & horrible he looked when we picked him up in Tucson about 4 years ago. He's fat, sassy, walks sound even though he has an old break on one of his rear legs, & has developed an attitude. I do wish he'd quit eating prickly pear cactus though. He usually has spines in his face, & if you try to pet him, he "shares" them. Obviously they don't bother him as much as they bother us, because he eats cactus every day.

Monday, January 22, 2007

FIRST SNOW IN 5 YEARS.......!!!!

Although it was beautiful when we went out for chores this morning, I can't say our "audience" looked very happy. I expected them to be covered with snow, but I guess they spent most of the night in the hay barn. It's now about 11am & most of the snow has disappeared. It looks like we could get some more though, the sky has that "snow" look.

Saturday, January 20, 2007


I've been off line the last few days, because of computer problems. Seems like life goes on, whether the "puter" works or not.

Had visitors a couple of days ago. They came with lots of apples, carrots & raisins. Needless to say they were very popular with some of the equines. Kathy & Beth offered to do some grooming & brushing, so I got out the equipment. It's been so long since most of them have been brushed, they weren't that interested. Guess we need volunteers to come out more often so the donkeys realize the benefit of "good grooming".............!!!!!!

We had an article about the sanctuary come out in the local paper this week. It was really a nice article & a lot bigger than we expected. It's scary to see your face plastered all over the front page though..........!!!!

This morning Snowy laid down for the first time in a long time. I think she's been afraid to lay down, because she might not be able to get back up. Sure enough, she had her good back leg on the bottom & couldn't get it underneath her, to hoist herself back up. After 3 tries, I got on the phone to call John, who was on his way to Tucson. Left a message, & of course when I went back out, she had figured it out, & had managed to get up. I checked her all over & she looked at me, like I was nuts. I sometimes think they do things like this to see if we are paying attention........!!! (G) I called John again, so he would know we were doing OK.

Monday, January 15, 2007


This morning, at chore time, the temperature was 3.7....................!!!!!!!! John has a wooden box over the faucets, with a 25 watt light bulb to keep the faucets from bursting. He had to replace the bulb with a 100 watt, just to be able to turn the handle, so we could have water in the feed room. One nice thing about living in SE Arizona, the sun is already shining & we will probably warm up pretty quick.

Everyone was ready for their hay. They are getting extra this morning, to help them keep warm. Checked on Snowy under her new blanket, she is nice & toasty. Now we are thinking about getting a blanket for Sha'ba. He's got a nice heavy coat, but at his age, he might appreciate a little help to keep warm.

Sunday, January 14, 2007


Thanks for the picture, KC....!!!!

Yesterday we went to do a "home study" at their new home. Susan & Tom had been out to visit the donkeys, & seemed like perfect donkey "parents". Our primary question was the type of ground they would be living on. Nina's rear feet are not right. Neither I or the trimmers can figure out exactly what her problem is. But we have decided, she needs to run on hard, gravelly rocky ground. They have 20 acres that couldn't be better if we had special ordered it. They will be going home in the next couple of weeks probably.

The picture was taken a few days ago, when a friend brought her granddaughter out to visit the donkeys. Benny made sure he was closest to the petting & wiggled in between Cameron & Nina. He soaks up attention like a sponge.

It was 13.5 degrees here this morning, which didn't make anyone happy. Then all the donkeys decided they didn't like the hay that was offered. Granted it didn't look that good to us either, it was dirty, & had assorted unknown types of grasses, weeds or whatever. They all looked at us like we were trying to poison them. So John, went to the hay barn & got them some different hay. By this time of year, if you didn't get all your hay during the season last summer, you have to take what you can find that's available. We are buying from the same place, but obviously not all of their hay is created equal, at least in the eyes of the "experts"..............!!!! This afternoon the sun is shining & it is a beautiful day.

Friday, January 12, 2007


We had a group of visitors out a couple of days ago. Benny as usual was in the middle of things. We finally put him in a pen. He tries so hard to entertain everyone, we were afraid someone might get hurt. He's well behaved, but young enough to not always show good judgement.

Yesterday we had an appointment to take Jack the mule to the vet. He started coughing & wheezing a few days ago. Wed night he had a real bad spell, but was just fine yesterday morning. We think he must have had a stick or something caught in his throat & managed to dislodge it. So I called & canceled the appointment. Believe me, it didn't break our heart. Jack does not like to be doctored, & will impress that upon you, in any way he can. He may not be very big, but he is very determined. We no longer attempt to vaccinate him, the battle isn't worth it.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


I visited a school in Tucson today & talked with the kids about donkeys & the sanctuary. They were a great bunch of kids, asked a lot of good questions & really seemed interested in the subject.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Animal cruelty can lead to crimes on people, investigator says

Judi Villa
The Arizona Republic
Jan. 8, 2007 12:00 AM

The horse on the corner is too skinny, the caller said.

Harvey Redman, an investigator with the Maricopa
County Sheriff's Office, knew little else as he
climbed into his pickup truck and headed west.

For the past six years, the sheriff's office has
dedicated a team of investigators to check out
thousands of animal-abuse reports that come in annually.

Officials say it's a way not only to educate the
public about the proper care of animals but also
to target abusers who could be working up to violence against humans.

"We're not going to tolerate people being cruel
to animals," Redman said. "We've all swatted a
dog for piddling on the carpet. We don't beat it
till it can't walk. There's a difference."

Some experts claim animal abuse is the starting
point of an escalation to child abuse, domestic
violence or murder and serial killing.

"It is a known fact that people who abuse animals
and escalate to killing animals are in the
infancy stage of graduating to killing people,"
said Capt. Dave Trombi, who oversees Sheriff Joe
Arpaio's Animal Crimes Unit. "If we can stop
something from progressing to a point where it
becomes crimes against people, then that's what we want to do."

Arpaio started the unit in 2000 after a series of
cat mutilations in Ahwatukee. Today, seven
investigators respond throughout the county to
reports of everything from no food and water to
animals being starved, beaten, tortured and killed.

Arrests have added up over the years. Some examples:

• In November, a Tonopah man was arrested and
accused of animal neglect after officials said he
failed to contact a veterinarian after his three
horses became "really skinny."

• In September, an Arlington man was arrested,
accused of five counts of animal cruelty after
investigators said he left two pigs and three
chickens without access to water. The man had
previously been placed on probation for not properly feeding his dogs.

• And in 2005, a Mesa man was cited for animal
cruelty after he used a bow and arrow to shoot a
neighbor's cat that had wandered into his yard.

About 25 animal-cruelty cases are prosecuted
annually in Maricopa County, said Deputy County
Attorney Tony Church. The cases range from
starving animals to such intentional cruelty as
beatings and stabbings to bestiality.

One man pleaded guilty to putting his wife's
puppy in a 200-degree oven, crippling it. He went to jail for six months.

Most of the people convicted wind up with three
to six months in jail plus probation with a
stipulation that they can't own, possess or
control an animal. Recently, Church said, he has
begun requiring defendants to attend a new animal-offender treatment program.

"The people who come through and do this sort of
thing are usually associated with some other
violent crime in the past or this is the starting
point and it mushrooms from here," Church said.

"These people are violent," he said. "Hitting
these kinds of cases head on not only reduces
violence against animals but reduces violence against humans in the future."

And so investigators check out every abuse
complaint that comes their way. A hotline fields more than 120 calls a month.

"If you like to bully and threaten, who's your
easiest victim? Animals," Redman said. "Animals
are easy, readily accessible, don't tell anybody,
nobody comes to see them. They have no friends,
no communication. You can beat on them until
somebody turns you in. What happens then? The
thrill isn't there. Then you need a little punch
to the thrill, and you escalate to people.

"It's going to continue unless we cut it off."

Still, a lot of the complaints turn out to be
educational, like the skinny horse Redman checks on, on a corner in Laveen.

She is 22 years old, with a bad hip.

"How are you?" Redman says softly to the Arabian.
"Can I look at your mouth? Can I?"

He clicks his tongue to get the horse to walk.
"Come on," he urges. "That a girl."

"Having somebody call is not necessarily a bad
thing," said Terrie Curtis, who owns the horse.
"It means somebody is looking, which is fine. On
the other hand, it lets me ask questions. 'How do
I do this?' . . . I will talk to any- body and say, 'How do I correct it?' "

Curtis' horse and a second one are fed twice a
day. While Curtis' horse is about 100 pounds
underweight, the other one is overweight.

Redman talks to Curtis about using feeders
instead of putting alfalfa on the ground, where
horses can ingest too much dirt. He suggests
separating the two horses during feeding.

"They look OK," Redman said to Curtis. "Just fatten her up a bit."

When it's necessary, animals are seized and
housed in a no-kill shelter in jail. In 2005,
investigators seized 137 animals. Last year, more
than 60 dogs, cats and horses were seized.

One dog was kicked so hard its hipbone was
broken. Twenty-two pit bulls were starving.

Inmates care for them until the animals are
either released to their owners or adopted.

And the abuse complaints don't stop:

Two dogs are chained in a pen. Their leashes are
mangled, preventing them from getting food and water.

A neighbor is putting out poison to kill birds.

A skinny dog can barely walk.

A horse has an infected eye.

There's a mutilated cat with its head hanging from its body by a thread.

"You can never imagine what people can do to
animals. The sky's the limit," Redman said. "The
sheriff has taken a stand that we will not
tolerate it. We will hook you up and take you to jail."

"When you have animal cruelty, you need to stop that immediately.


To report suspected abuse:

• Call the hotline at (602) 876-1681.

Saturday, January 06, 2007


Recently Sha'ba has started braying for the first time, in the 3 1/2 years we've had him. He was shut down mentally when we got him, was very thin & it took months for him to even bother to look around. He finally started "huffing" at us a couple of years ago, especially at feeding time. Just in the last couple of weeks we've heard him bray at least twice. It's not much of a bray, but for an old guy probably over 40 years old, it sounds pretty good. Maybe it will get louder with practice.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


Snowy's blanket & boots came in yesterday. Her blanket is a little large, but if I tighten up all the straps, it's not bad. I already had her legs wrapped last night, but did put the blanket on. This morning I put the boots on to make sure they fit, & they do. She stands so still when I'm fumbling around with all this "real" stuff, almost like she knows it's for her own good. I'm sure I will get better at straps & buckles as time goes on.

She's still eating well for her, so we really think her problem was being cold & not being able to warm up during the day. Whatever the reason, we will blanket & boot her every night until the nights warm up.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


As you can judge from this picture, the minis aren't the least bit worried about being in a new home, with larger "neighbors" to contend with. Cheyenne is on the left, Lynn in the middle, & Justin was really stretched out, enjoying the afternoon sun. They aren't getting much exercise laying around, but they also aren't eating either, which is a good thing............!!!!!!!! The other day Justin was standing outside Max's pen, & they were grooming each other. This wouldn't really be news, except Max is close to 17 hands...............!!!!!!!!!!