Monday, February 26, 2007

SPRING IS IN THE AIR.........?????


Just about the time we think spring is here, we get a night like night before last. It was 21 degrees when we got up & there was ice on all the water buckets. Last night it was 35 degrees, which is more to our liking.

We are going to move the stock tank goldfish today. They have been on vacation in the spa room for the last few months. One was floating on top one cold day, so we scooped all of them up & brought them in the house. Goldfish can take cold weather, so I don't know what was his problem. John said the others probably put him up to it......told him to go up there & float, so they could come in the house & get fed for the winter. They were in last winter also, but that was because we wormed the donkeys one day, they got drinks of water & there was enough wormer on their muzzles to make all the fish float. Since then John puts a piece of plywood over the tank for the day when we worm. Boy that really upsets the donkeys, even though we put a tub of water right by the stock tank, they let us know, that it isn't like it is suppose to be, we get dirty looks & they will stand with their head hanging over the plywood.

Had some volunteers come out yesterday to help John put up fence for the new chicken pen. Dave & Liz had come out to visit the donkeys awhile back, & offered to help. Where the old chicken pen is, will be a new corral area for donkeys. It just so happened, John's cousin Carol & her husband Don were visiting from Alaska, so Don offered to help with the fence also. I guess, it's a good thing there were lots of hands, they said the fencing had a mind of it's own. Course it didn't help, they were working right beside a run of barbed wire fence & under mesquite trees. Once John gets the final touches completed & we get the chickens moved, we can start renovating the old chicken pen area. The chickens are going to be surprised, they've been in that pen since they were 1 day old, over 8 years ago.

All the donkeys seem to be doing well. Snowy is still wearing her blanket & boots every night. She stands very still when I "dress" her, so I assume she likes having everything on. She's much more alert & is eating much better since we've had the blanket for her. I feel bad that the cold nights were so hard on her, & I didn't realize it sooner.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Thanks Bill Eccher for the picture...!!!

Looks like a meeting of minds doesn't it? BlackJack is wondering where the treats are & John doesn't look like there are going to be any.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


I went out this morning to take an update picture of the minis. They've been here about 2 1/2 months & are a little thinner. Actually Justin looks pretty "buff". They only get out of their pen, in the afternoon, after everyone else has eaten any leftover hay in the pens. Unfortunately trying to take pictures of them, when they "know" it's time to go out, doesn't work very well. I couldn't even get them away from the gate long enough to take a picture thru the fence, let alone go in the pen with them. I tried that & got mobbed.....!!!!!

They are being fed the least amount of hay I am comfortable feeding them. They do supplement their hay with whatever scraps they can find, & I have seen them chewing on some of the bushes occasionally. They really don't act starved, so even though they would eat more if we gave it to them, this seems to be working.

Sunday, February 18, 2007


We delivered Nina & Benny to their new family yesterday. Although I don't think they enjoyed the trailer ride. Benny refused to take a ginger snap from me, when we stopped for lunch, to show his displeasure. It's the first time he's ever refused anything to eat that I know of........!!! But when we got there, John put a lead on Benny & I took Nina. They walked out of the trailer, like it was no big deal, went into their pen & started looking for hay scraps.

There were a few pieces of hay here & there, because Lucy the little mule with the bad leg has been there for awhile. Her leg looks really good, considering what it looked like less than a month ago. It's almost completely healed, she isn't lame or it or anything. The Vet thought the piece of wire might have been embedded in her leg for years rather than months........!!!!! He really did a good job, to get that mess cleaned up in one treatment.

She is a cute little thing, I doubt if she is 36 inches tall. She is still in her corral. But as friendly & easy to work with as she is, they will probably let her out soon. They will keep Nina & Benny in their corral for a couple of days, & then they can go out & run around on the property. They are going to have fun, it's perfect donkey country.

Snowy seems to be doing better, she seems a little stronger & more involved in what is going on around her. We've been giving her some different supplements for her arthritis, maybe it's doing some good.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Guess not.........!!!!! Although it was only in the 20's, but this morning the added frost, made it seem colder. Yesterday we actually got a little rain, of course while we were doing chores. It quit just as I was picking up the last of the "poo" & the sun came out. ;-(

Snowy isn't bouncing back, but she is at least holding her own. I wish she was stronger. She is eating OK, nothing to cheer about, but she does eat. She goes out of her pen, to spend the day on the other side of the wash. I don't see her do anything over there except stand, but at least she gets exercise walking over there & walking back at feeding time in the afternoon. She's probably in her 30's, & we have to think about what happens next. As long as she is eating, moving around, (although she no longer lays down, she knows she can't get back up) & paying attention to what goes on around her, we'll take it one day at a time.

Everybody else seems to be doing great right now. This is a picture of Buddy Brat. Buddy has been with us 7 years this month. He wasn't a rescue, he had a good home, but the man had too many donkeys, & BlackJack needed a "buddy" after we lost Cisco I. Buddy's name when we got him was Eeyore, but we changed it. As time went on we changed that to Buddy Brat for cause.....!!!! He's never been mistreated, & is very smart. Consequently he has no fear, & can think up all sorts of entertainment to amuse himself. He teepeed the driveway one day with a roll of paper towels he found in the back of the van. During fly mask season he is one of the instigators for using them as toys. Unfortunately he is insulin resistant, & has to be on a diet all the time. He loves to eat, so it's always a challenge to keep him on the path to being thin. Thin he will never be, I'm afraid.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


A couple of nights ago, I heard the corral panels, being banged around, just as it was getting dark. After a couple of minutes I went to check, & found poor old Snowy, cast in the corner of her pen. If an equine lays down they have to get back up in a certain way. If they get too close to a wall, or in her case, have their head in the corner, with her hind feet under the corral panel, they are "cast'. John was in Tucson, & there aren't any neighbors real close to help. Usually corral panels come apart rather easily, but when you have 3 panels intersecting, they don't, as I found out. Everytime she fought to get up, she was banging her mouth & both eyes on the metal pipe, & getting bloodier each time. I tried putting a rope around her chest & dragging her. Yep, that's going to work...........she is old & weak, but still weighs around 600 pounds, & with her back legs trapped, one of which doesn't work very well anyway, we definately had a problem.

I got a rhythm of her fighting to get up, & me pulling on the rope around her chest. Finally got her head out of the corner, & between her pulling along on her front legs & me pulling on the rope, she got out into the corral away from the side. She had to rest for about an hour before she finally managed to shakily get on her feet, but she made it. She was moving pretty slow, & so was I, that was quite a fight for two old gals.

It's a couple of days later, & she is doing really well. Her eyes have scabs around them, we are "trying" to doctor. Doctoring her is always a challenge, she may be old & crippled, can't hear very well, or see very good.............but........... if you think she is going to give up without a fight, you better think again. We could tie her up so she couldn't move around, but we usually put a halter on her, John attempts to hold her, & I follow them around the corral, doctoring on the move, as best I can. When we take the halter off, she goes to the farthest corner of the pen, stands facing us, & gives us a dirty look. I guess that is to let us know, next time it will be another fight.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


This is Buster & Lucy enjoying the morning sun. Yesterday it was 80 degrees in Tucson, probably a few degrees cooler out here. We are guessing the night time temperatures in the teens, might be over. Certainly won't be missed by us or the donkeys.

I talked to a man that does bodywork on sport horses yesterday about maybe helping Snowy be more comfortable. He said if she can't pick up her rear leg, the problem could be in her neck. We know her neck has been damaged, because she never lifts it up. He's suppose to call back & we'll make an appointment for him to come out & work on her. He's use to doing roping, barrel racing, & other fancy working horses. Poor old Snowy will be a shock to him, I'm afraid.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Monday, February 05, 2007


Today was an absolutely gorgeous day, lots of sun, & a mild breeze most of the afternoon. This is the kind of day people come to Arizona for.

The ones that need it got their feet trimmed today. Katie came out this morning & brought her brother that is visiting from cold weather country. He's going home tomorrow, poor guy......!!!!

Everyone's feet were pretty good, although Katie did find some thrush in 2 of Snowy's feet. Unfortunately one is her good hind foot. She can't hardly stand on the other one probably because of arthritis. So it's very hard to doctor her effectively. She will need to be doctored at least twice a day for awhile. Tonight we tried to pick her foot up & she just couldn't do it. Tomorrow I will try putting the diluted lysol, I'm using right now in a metal pie pan & see if I can get her to keep her foot in there for a few minutes. She is so unassuming & quiet, you forget she's a mule, until you try to do something with her. Then it becomes perfectly clear that she is definately a MULE........!!!! She may be old, & not very strong, but she is not giving up without a fight...........!!!!!!

Pepper has been having his feet trimmed every 5-6 weeks because of foundering about 4 years ago. Last time Katie was here his feet were good, & she didn't trim him. This time he just needed a little touch-up, which means he is well on his way to self trimming, like most of the other donkeys do. Our ground has a lot of gravel, which is very good for keeping their feet worn down naturally.

Nina got her last trim before she goes to her new home in a few days. The first time Katie trimmed her, she was rather squirmy. Today she stood very quietly....... what a sweet natured girl she is. I had a special fly mask made for her to protect the open part of her nose, from the flies this summer. Got it today, & it fits perfectly.

Friday, February 02, 2007


This piece of wire looks rather innocuous doesn't it? It's not...........!!!!!

This is the type of damage it can cause. This little girl has been carrying this piece of wire around for months embedded in her leg. From what we know, she has been on her own for years, no one knows where she came from, or who her last owners were. I hesitate to call her a donkey, because we think she might be a little mule. I have only seen a picture of her, & will not see her in person until the 17th of February, when we deliver Benny & Nina to their new home.

The people that are adopting them, discovered this little girl eeking out a living close to where they live, & once they saw her leg, took on the responsibility to help her. No one knew what was causing the on going infection in her leg. Once they caught her, & the vet started working on her leg, this piece of wire was found, wrapped around the bone. I can't imagine how painful this has been for her. Tom was gracious enough to allow me to share these pictures so others can see how much damage something so small as a piece of wire can cause.

The last I heard a couple of days ago, she was much better, & was putting weight on that leg. Hopefully she will heal without any further problems. It looks like Benny & Nina will have someone to show them around at their new home.