Thursday, May 31, 2007


Yesterday Jenny got her first good trim. I can't say she was cooperative, nor did she seem to appreciate the effort that Courtney & Katie were doing to help get her feet trimmed & balanced. To say the least she made sure we knew she wasn't happy. She may have sore feet, but the rest of her is very strong. Determination can go a long way & accomplish a lot. And I must say Courtney is VERY determined..........!!!!!!! Even more so than Jenny.............!!!! (G)

Courtney says she has been foundered. We were pretty sure that would be the diagnosis. John & I are thinking of getting x-rays of her feet, to see exactly how much rotation of the coffin bone we are dealing with. We would have to haul her either to Tucson, or to Gilbert. That might have to wait, until she is more stable on her feet. Although she travelled down here from Phoenix, I'm sure it's very uncomfortable for her to be on her feet, & have to balance in a moving trailer.

We also moved her out of the hay barn, & into the new pen, which is closer to the other donkey pens. We will let her out to roam around as much as possible, to help with the circulation in her feet. But it is much easier to lead her to a pen closer to the other donkeys than it is to lead her to a pen, in the opposite direction............!!!!!!

Everyone else is doing good. Remington is really coming along. I keep saying I want to start working a halter into his life. But lately it seems something always comes up that takes priority. Tula needs halter work too. Hopefully I'll get 'round to it soon.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

AND SO IT GOES.............!!

This morning John came in to tell me Buddy Brat was on the ground & moaning. This is not how I like to start my day. I went out & he was sitting up, not acting like colic, but obviously not a happy camper. I checked for gut sounds & he had them. I watched him for a few minutes, he got up & seemed just fine. I would imagine he had a gas pocket somewhere in his "miles & miles" of intestine & it passed thru. While I was checking him out I noticed that his neck crest is noticeably firmer & his overall body shape is more rotund than svelte. Although it isn't mesquite bean season yet, maybe it's a good thing John got the large pen finished yesterday. I think Buddy needs to stay in 24/7 for awhile. We weigh his hay, but unfortunately there is too much browse on the property that we have no control over, unless we pen him. Cisco is his running buddy, & he's a little pudgy too, so they can keep each other company in the pen & survive on "rations" for awhile.

Jenny is out again today, & little more ouchy on her front feet after being out all day yesterday, but still more than willing to explore. Katie & Courtney are coming tomorrow to get some of that length off her feet. That should take some of the pressure off the internal part of her feet & make her more comfortable.

Monday, May 28, 2007


I'm really amazed at how well she is moving. Yesterday we only let her out for a couple of hours, but this morning she was still able to walk pretty good, & wanted out of her pen. So she will be out until feeding time, about 5 pm.

We had visitors today. They came to visit the donkeys & also to see if they might like to have Remington as a member of their family. They live next to Honcho's home, & actually Honcho has access to their property as well as his own. Remington would be a good match for Honcho, he's mellow where Honcho is more aggressive in his approach to life. He's also larger than Honcho, in case Honcho wanted to play rough.

As a BLM adoptee he is suppose to stay on my property for a year before I am granted a title of ownership. But I was told I can request a change of location, or I can pay a $25 fee to change his adopter's name. We will probably do a home study this week & then I will check with the BLM & see what I need to do to change his status.

Sunday, May 27, 2007


We've been controlling Jenny's time out of the pen. She wants to see everything & do everything. Unfortunately she gets far away from her pen & then it's a challenge to get her to walk back. Last night we let her out for an hour or so & it took awhile, & carrots to get her to walk to the pen.

This morning she actually walking pretty good, still lame, but willing to put weight on both front feet, even raising a hind foot to scratch an ear. She also doesn't want us coming over to her & petting or scratching. Her reasoning being, that we probably want to put her back in the pen. She even tried to trot away from me, which was pretty exciting.

She's itched shedding hair off on trees, ate some greasewood, & mesquite, checked out the old chicken pen area & drank from the big stock tank, so life is good, at least until we want to put her back in "prison".

I missed another picture of her & the minis. It's amazing to think they are the same species. It's like looking at a jack russell terrier & a great dane.........!!!!

Friday, May 25, 2007


The panels got here this morning, as promised from the company in Kentucky. John should have the chicken pen dismantled by this week-end, & we can put the panels around the area, to make a large pen. Haven't decided how we want to use it, except as a "Fat Farm" during the mesquite bean season. Haven't heard for sure if Mirage the Missouri Fox Trotter is coming for the summer or not. If he does, we'll have a pen. Or we might move Jenny out of the hay barn. She's seems very comfortable in the hay barn, it's always shaded, & the ground is very soft for laying down. But if we get a load of hay delivered, she'll have to go someplace else anyway.

Shiloh had another tummy ache this morning. He stopped eating his beet pulp & timothy pellets, laid down & rolled. He laid there until the hay was put in the bunks, got up & ate breakfast. I have no idea why he has done this twice this week. At least this time I didn't have to give him a shot.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


I got a call back from BLM, today, & although the paperwork I was given when I adopted him doesn't reflect it, he was in fact, gelded in June 2006. Even the BLM guy doesn't know why they gelded such a young one, he would only have been about a year old. I am thrilled, he will not have to go thru being gelded & now he can be with the other donkeys, male or female.

John has been busy trying to get the chain link around the old chicken pen taken down, so we can turn that area into a new corral. Unfortunately when he put the fence up, he meant for it to be permanent. He cemented the fence to the poles underground, so he's having lots of fun, with his tractor, & also a sledgehammer.

We are getting some new corral panels delivered this Friday to use in that area. We will probably use that corral for the donkeys that have to be kept away from the mesquite beans when they start ripening & falling off the trees. Some of the donkeys, eat a few & go on. But it seems like the ones that need the high starch & sugar the least are the ones that turn into vaccum cleaners.

Belle's jaw feels good, but she has been rubbing it on the feed bunks, so I assume it is bothering her. We will make an appointment at the Equine Clinic up at Gilbert to see if they can remove it. We might also take Buster Brown at the same time. He has a growth on the side of his face, that has been slowly growing for the last few years. It's probably a sarcoid, but I'd like someone that knows what they are doing, to look at it.

Monday, May 21, 2007


This morning Shiloh went off by himself, laid down, got up, laid down, rolled, got up, etc. I checked for bowel sounds & he had them, but obviously he had a tummy ache or something bothering him. I gave him some banamine & it wasn't long before he perked up & started eating hay. It's always a question as to whether you should let them eat after a gastric problem. I go by the idea, that they know themselves better than I do, if it seems minor. Banamine is really good & can cover up symptoms. So we will watch him the rest of the day to make sure he doesn't still have a problem.

Life goes on & chores continue. I went up to check on Jenny & she was going pretty good. Another little piece of hoof wall peeled off, right at the top of her hoof at the coronary band. The flesh is pink underneath & there is no infection I can see. I hope this is a good thing. She is still walking very lame, but I opened her gate & she went out. I'll let her stay out for an hour or two, hopefully she won't get too far from her pen because I'm sure we'll have to lead her back. She really enjoys being out.

Headed back down to the pens, & Jack the mule is choking. He has choked in the past, which is why we soak his feed & make it into a mush. I guess it wasn't wet enough this morning. He can be real difficult to work with, but always seems to know when he really does need help. So he let me massage his throat, & he was OK.

Gee! it's not even 10 o'clock yet, wonder what the rest of the day will be like. We have visitors coming later, hopefully there will be no more crisis'...............!!!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

ONE DAY AT A TIME.......!!!

That's what we will have to do with Jenny. Katie stopped by yesterday to check on Jenny & trimmed a little on her right front hoof. The soaking in vinegar water & using Tea Tree Oil has already made a difference. What she trimmed off didn't smell, (except like Tea Tree Oil) & it wasn't gooey. That's not to say, there aren't trapped areas of infection, so I'm still waiting for the White Lightening to get here.

She was up & down today, although you can tell her front feet really hurt. I think she is probably getting ready to blow an abcess in the left front. Right now it seems to bother her more than the right one, which had the goo in it.

John was gone to Tucson today, so we were going to have to soak her feet tonight in the dark. Some friends came by as I was feeding & offered to help soak her. There were 3 of them, & it took all 4 of us to get her soaked. She will stand on the foot you are trying to pick up, & raise the foot on the other side. She will also try to squeeze you into the corral panels, which can hurt, she's a big gal. I told Amy to use her elbow to keep Jenny from using her weight to trap her against the panels. Actually we both had to use elbows. She finally decided that wasn't working the way she planned & quit trying to lean on us, thank goodness.

We finally used carrots as an incentive to cooperate, & it seemed to make a difference. John & I will find out tomorrow, just how much she willing to cooperate.

When I went out to feed this afternoon, Remington's fly mask was laying in the middle of his pen. I hate to place blame without proof, but Buddy Brat loves to take fly masks off of anyone that is in a pen, so I would imagine he was responsible. I picked up the mask & asked Remington if he was going to let me put his mask on, without having to go in the "squeeze" area. Imagine my surprise when he let me put it on, & also let me pet & scratch all over his neck & shoulders. Ever since he came about 3 weeks ago, he has watched us intently, interact with the other donkeys, & seems to have made the decision to allow us into his space. It could have been a fluke, but he let me take it off tonight in the dark, so I think it's an actual break thru.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

HOT TODAY..........!!!!

I thought it was over 100 until I checked the thermometer & it's only 98.6.........!!!!

Jenny is laying down today. She was up almost all day yesterday, & it took John about 1/2 a hour to slowly walk her to her pen last night. She had been all over the place & almost couldn't make the trek back to her pen. She went into Tula's pen at suppertime, & wouldn't leave. I went ahead & fed them both in there, & she actually ate better than she usually does. Tula was ready for her to leave after they ate though.

Katie, trims for me & came by yesterday. She peeled a loose piece of hoof material off Jenny's right front hoof. It was black, gooey, & smelled terrible. Katie thinks she either has a bacterial or fungal infection in the foot. We are soaking the foot with a vinegar solution, until some special soaking stuff, I ordered gets here. Hopefully it will help. Infections inside the hoof wall, are really hard to treat. She's eating hay & drinking if I carry water to her, so she's doing OK.

A woman that lives in Whetstone came to visit this morning. She thought Jenny was really pretty, she said she loves the mammoths. While she was here she groomed Sugar & Shiloh. Sugar really needed it. She still has her baby fur & is shedding. Terry said she has some tangles on her belly, but preferred to keep them. I cut a lot of cuckleburrs out of her when she first came here. I don't know if this is some I missed, or if her baby fur is causing matted spots. She sure looked spiffy when Terry got thru with her.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


This is a picture I took yesterday when Jenny first went out. You can see the minis in the background trying to figure out who she is.

She could barely walk when John put her in her pen last night, & she laid down most of today. I would imagine it's been a long time since she's been on her feet as much as she was yesterday afternoon. She hasn't seemed to be stressed or in a lot of pain today. I noticed when she got up, she would stand in the protection mode of hind feet under her body to take pressure off the front feet. But after being up a few minutes, the rear legs moved back & she stood more natural, even though she's still lame in front. Hopefully she'll be a little more comfortable tomorrow & will be able to go out at least for a little while.

Tonight we took Remington's fly mask off for the first time. The morning we put it on we used the squeeze we built in Tula's pen. It hasn't been convenient to run him back in her pen, but today John fixed a squeeze in Remington's pen, & he went right in it, seemed more curious than upset. He really is a mellow donkey, to have been thru the BLM system. I even exchanged "nose sniffs" with him & he seemed to enjoy it. I will probably put a halter & rope on him tomorrow & let him spend the day walking on the rope.

I called BLM in Kingman yesterday to see if they have any record of him being gelded. The man I talked to, said about a year ago they gelded 20-25 older jacks, but not any younger ones that he knew of. He's suppose to be checking & will let me know. But it doesn't sound like Remington's been gelded, which puts us back to the idea, that he will have to have major surgery. Once we get him use to being handled, we'll take him for a blood test to check his testosterone level. If he has to have surgery, we will take him up to the Equine Clinic at Gilbert.

Monday, May 14, 2007

MEET JENNY.......!!!

Isn't she a pretty girl......???? Wish I could say the same for her feet. The reason her family gave her up, was because they have been dealing with her feet abcessing for the last year & they don't know why. They tried different things, but nothing seemed to work for her.

This morning I noticed a trickle of blood from her coronary band at the top of her right front hoof. That means there is an opening, which of course means bacteria, dirt, gravel & anything else that wants to, can get inside her foot. We may have to keep her front feet wrapped in diapers, vet wrap & duct tape, for awhile, depends on what Katie & Courtney decide. They are the ones that will have to keep her trimmed. I know we would all prefer they be open to the air & sunshine, but not if we can't keep it clean enough to heal.

She's a big girl, about the size of a average riding horse. She's very gentle, although she isn't thrilled with having a syringe stuck in her mouth. But after letting me know that, she lets me squirt whatever the concoction of the day into her mouth, & for the most part she swallows it.

I let her out this morning to roam on the property. She hasn't gone very far from her pen, but she does seem to enjoy being able to move around. She's lame in the front, but doesn't seem to mind moving around. Moving is better than standing or laying, it should help with circulation to her feet, which of course will help with healing.

When she 1st went out this morning she went to the pen the minis were in. They all crowded the fence & sniffed noses with her. I tried to get a picture, but she moved away too quick. Talk about differences in size...........!!!! They could easily walk under her belly, I think.

No one has really shown much interest in her, although Buddy Brat & Sugar were in her pen cleaning up pieces of hay. I guess they have their priorities & eating take precedence over meeting another donkey.........!!!!!

Friday, May 11, 2007


It's a little after 8pm & we just got the call that Jenny is just leaving the north side of Phoenix. We will get another call when Courtney gets to Casa Grande, & we'll head out to meet her on I-10 at the Sonoita exit, to bring Jenny home in our trailer. John spent all afternoon fixing the hay barn for her to stay in short term. We don't have an extra corral right now, & all of the corrals are on gravel anyway. The hay barn floor is soft dirt, which will be good for her sore feet. Courtney pulled her egg bar shoes before she loaded her, & said Jenny seemed to be more comfortable once the shoes were pulled.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Postcard sent to me by a dear friend that lives in Scotland.... thanks Tom!!!

We might be getting a new girl, in the next few days. I got a call from north of Phoenix about a jenny that has such bad feet, the woman was thinking of having her put down, & she's only 9 years old. If she can be hauled & we can get her down here, we'll see if we can help her. If she does join our little group, she will be our first mammoth. The woman said she has huge ears, & the ground rumbles when she brays. Can't wait to see her, she sounds wonderful.

Everyone else seems to be doing great. Belle, is out of solitary confinement & getting to eat hay, so needless to say she is a happy camper. She gets one more dose of antibiotics today, & that's it!

I think I might go sit in Remington's pen today, & see if he thinks I'm interesting enough to investigate. He seems to accept just about anything without fussing too much. I think he's going to be a very nice boy for someone.

Monday, May 07, 2007


Belle is doing just fine after her surgery, Friday. She is not only eating her gruel now, but is looking forward to it. I'm feeding her 4 times a day, until she can eat hay again, which should be Thursday. The soaked pellets aren't very bulky & she finishes them in about 10 minutes. Then she starts eye balling the hay everyone else is eating. She spends most of the day, checking the ground to see if any little pieces of hay might have been overlooked.

Justin has finally decided going in his little squeeze pen, isn't worth the hassle, & will stand for me to put his fly mask on & take it off.

Tula is still going in her squeeze to have her mask put on & taken off. You can see her thinking about standing & letting me touch her head without being contained. But she just can't do it yet. That's OK, every day I see a little progress, so we're at least headed in the right direction.

Remington is making progress too. We haven't really messed with him too much, we've been letting him get settled in . But he is such a mellow fellow, I'm not sure he needs time to settle in. He's very curious & watches everything we do. Belle has been spending the day in Tula's pen & that is where the "squeeze" is. So we haven't been taking his mask off & on every day. Thursday we should be back to normal with Belle out 24/7, & then we can start taking his fly mask off.

We think he might have a problem. The last time he was in the squeeze, I checked him to see if he had the right equipment to be gelded. He has absolutely nothing behind his sheath, not even a pouch. We talked to the Vet Friday about him, & she suggested making sure he had no external female parts & that he could drop. He has no extra parts, & drops like he should, he just looks like he's already been gelded. We know the BLM doesn't geld their jacks, so the next step will be to have a blood test to check his testosterone level. Unfortunately we can't let him out with the rest of the donkeys until we know what's going on. An intact jack would be dangerous for the geldings & the girls might think he was cute enough to "date" & we'd end up with a cute fuzzy little baby. The surgery to geld one that hasn't descended is pretty involved from what I've heard. But it would have to be done, otherwise he would be a jack, with all the bad traits they can have.

When I checked him, he almost fell on the ground..........guess he'd never had anyone get that familiar with him before........!!!! Ha!

Saturday, May 05, 2007


When we went to pick Belle up last night, we were told there was good news & bad news. The good news was............. they had drained a copious amount of saliva from behind the sialolith cyst. The bad news was......... after 3 Vets working for 2 hours, they could not remove the cyst. The Vet said it was up against & in among nerves & arteries, & they could not get it out without doing cutting they weren't comfortable doing. I went to pay the bill & one of the techs came thru & said they were tubing her. I went back to the stalls & there were 3 people working on her. I asked what happened & they said her heart rate was elevated & she had no gut sounds. News like that isn't what you want to hear. They were tubing her to put about a gallon of water into her stomach directly. About 15 minutes later her heart rate had fallen & she had gut sounds, so we could take her home. Times like that, is why my hair is all grey...............!!!!!

We brought her home, & John had to set up a temporary corral for her, as we have a full house right now. She is suppose to be fed a pellet gruel for the next 5 days................hmmmmmm! She has a very low opinion of "gruel". I've tried different types of gruel, some are better accepted than others, but none of them are a hit............!!!!!

Hindsight being what it is, if we had known then what we know now, we wouldn't have put her thru the surgery. The thought never occurred to any of us, that it couldn't be removed.

She's alert & complaining about her diet, so she should be fine after the next few days.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


This morning Belle choked while eating her soaked beet pulp & timothy pellets. She is a fast eater & I guess she gulped too much at one time & it impacted in her throat. At first we thought it had something to do with her cyst that is suppose to be removed next Thursday. Rather than stretching her neck & gagging, all she was doing was slobbering. We watched her for a couple of hours, & also tried to get some water down her throat to help dissolve the impaction.

I called the Vet Clinic in Tucson, they said bring her in, & they would keep her over night & do the surgery tomorrow. By the time we got there & the Vet saw her, she had cleared the choke on her own. The Vet went ahead & tubed her to make sure it was clear all the way to her stomach.

Some of the others, have choked, but we've always managed to clear it without Vet intervention. We've always let them go back to eating. The Vet said they withhold food for 24-48 hours to make sure there is no damage to the esophagus.........!!!! YIKES! an equine system is built to have food in the pipeline constantly. She really loves to eat, so she's going to think, not only did we desert her, but the new people don't have any hay to feed her. Her last hay was last night about 6pm, & they won't do the surgery until tomorrow afternoon, poor girl. We will go in tomorrow afternoon late, & pick her up.

Tula got brave enough today to let me take her fly mask off, without her being "trapped" between 2 corral panels. I told her what a brave girl she was. We'll see if this break thru, translates into putting the mask back on tomorrow morning..............!!!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

TODAY WAS A GOOD DAY......!!!!!!!

Remington took a carrot from me this afternoon. Granted, I was actually standing on the other side of the gate between, his pen & Sha'ba's pen. But when I stuck my hand thru the gate, he actually walked over, took the carrot & stood there to eat it, rather than taking off for the other side of the pen. Tomorrow we will try to put a fly mask on him. Since he will be staying in his pen until he's gelded, we'll just leave the mask on for awhile, rather than take it off every night.

Tula almost let me take her fly mask off tonight without being squeezed between 2 corral panels. And once we put her in the "squeeze" she let me rub her ears without throwing her head around. That's quite a break thru, she has been very protective of her ears, especially the left one. I would imagine someone has "eared" her down at sometime in her life, & she doesn't want it done again.

And darling little Justin allowed me to take his fly mask off tonight without going in the little corner. He wiggled just enough to let me know it wasn't his idea. Want to take bets on whether he lets me put it back on in the morning? I wouldn't bet against him...........!!!!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


The new guy has a name now. I named him Remington. He's going to be a big boy, probably larger than BlackJack, & I felt he needed a good strong name. And he's about the color of a rifle barrel.................!!!!!

He's really a mellow boy. I threw a jolly ball in his corral this morning, to see how he would react. He watched it hit the ground & wobble around, but it didn't seem to be a big problem.

The picture shows his BLM brand. All of their animals are cold branded on the left side of their neck. His looks pretty recent although he's been in the system since June of 2006.

In the next couple of days we will probably squeeze him between a couple of corral panels & put a fly mask on him. The flies aren't too bad yet, but everyone else is wearing a fly mask, so he might as well have one too.

We are putting a mask on Tula everyday & taking it off every night. So far she is unwilling to stand & let me put it on her, so she has to go between the corral panels. She seems to know we aren't going to hurt her, but she isn't ready to give up her independence. That's OK, it's a long summer, I bet she'll give up before it's over.

Justin is really being a little pill. We have had to "design" a mini size squeeze area for him, in order to put a fly mask on him. Unfortunately it's turned out triangle shaped. He learned real quick, where to put his face, so neither John or I can reach him. I'm pretty sure they are actually smarter than we are & just allow us to feel we are the ones in charge.........!!!!