Sunday, July 29, 2007


This morning I remembered to take my camera when we changed the wrapping on Trudy's foot. She doesn't seem to be in much pain, although the pressure put on her other leg & shoulder has got to be uncomfortable. Hopefully we'll hear something this week from the Vets. I just hope there is something they can do.

Today started out with a call from a woman about a pony that she thought was colicing. She had tried to find a Vet, but of course this is Cochise County, & the week-end. She did find a Vet in Tucson that said it would be $700 just to look at the pony, if she could get him to Tucson. We talked & e-mailed back & forth & late this afternoon she asked if we could come out & give him a shot of Banamine. I took all my toys, stethoscope, bran mash, electrolytes & of course the Banamine. He's a cute little guy, the 3 boys had been walking him so he couldn't roll & he really wasn't acting like colic to me. Checked for gut sounds & he had them. They said he had been drinking water, & he didn't seem dehydrated, but he was working his mouth & making a grating sound. I've never been able to effectively check teeth. It's a good way to lose a finger or two if you aren't careful. You can grab their tongue & pull it out the side of their mouth, so they won't clamp down. But that's like trying to grab hold of a wiggly eel. They are going to call a Vet tomorrow & see if they can get an appointment. They don't have a trailer, so we said we'd haul him if they can get him in to see the Vet.

We got home late for feeding, & everyone let us know that they can tell time even if we can't. I noticed that Trudy's leg wrap I put on this morning had slipped. It was still covering the part that skids on the ground, but it was bunched & I was afraid it might be rubbing or cutting off circulation. So we cut it off & put on another. Not my favorite thing to do twice a day, believe me. I wish I could figure out a simple way to protect the front of her leg that she skids on the ground.

Friday, July 27, 2007


We are still waiting to hear what Dr. Taylor thinks of Trudy's x-ray & what he thinks can be done to help her walk on that foot. I have her on antibiotics, & have managed to get her bed sores cleaned up & dry enough that the dirt & gravel doesn't stick so much. I've also brushed her a couple of times. Judging from her demeanor when I'm brushing, I would say it's one of her favorite past times........!!!! She also likes to eat & has already learned to beg when we are feeding.

Yesterday morning we changed the bandage Nancy put on at the Vet Clinic. I don't think she ever wanted it to be removed. John finally managed to cut & wrestle it off. Then I had to figure out a new one. It wasn't quite as elaborate, but still looks OK today. I used a piece of inner tube as the "skid" on the bottom, which seems to be working We'll change it tomorrow morning. She isn't really cooperative, hopefully as we do it more often, she'll get easier to work with.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Some things are so sad, it hard to understand how or why they happen. We picked up Gertrude, aka "Trudy" yesterday. She had been with her family for 17 years & the neighbors had complained to the sheriff & livestock inspector enough that the family was given an ultimatum..... either put her down or give her up. She's old & thin, but the worst thing is for some reason the tendons in her right front leg have contracted so much, that she has no use of that leg. She is balancing on the fetlock which is sorta like a wrist or ankle. The hoof is pointed to the rear. It is an open sore on the part that slides on the ground. The people had not doctored it or protected it at all. The spots on her body are bed sores, raw, open & with proud flesh on some of them, also never doctored.

After we got her in the trailer, which wasn't easy, I called one of our Vets on the way home, & she said she would wait for us, although it would be past office hours by the time we got there.

The first thing she asked was, why we weren't euthanizing her? She already knew the answer, but guess she ought to ask anyway. I told her we don't do that, if there is a chance. She took x-rays, & there is obvious bone damage in her foot, from chronic foundering. But nothing is broken or out of place. She is going to show the x-rays to Dr. Taylor at the Equine Surgical Clinic in Gilbert, & see if he thinks the tendons can be stretched or cut. This is really out of my area of knowledge, & I will have to rely on the Vets to make the decisions. Nancy wrapped the leg, so it wouldn't be in the dirt & gravel, & we brought her home. Left her in the trailer overnight, it was dark when we got home, & there were 18 other equine that were upset that supper was being served late. We fed & watered her, & she did just fine, although she was ready to get out this morning. She walked with us to her pen, beside Sha'ba & has had a busy day, investigating her pen. She is alert & involved with what's going on, so I hope there is something they can do to help her walk a little better.

Speaking of Sha'ba he gave us a little scare a couple of days ago. He wouldn't eat & was running a temperature. He had a runny nose a couple of weeks ago, don't know if one has anything to do with the other, but I started him on antibiotics & he's back to normal now. I use unsweetened applesauce to give ground up pills, & he will almost suck the syringe wrong side out, he REALLY loves applesauce.......!!!!

Tula is still not giving up without a fight. Terry says some days she is cooperative & other days she isn't. I would imagine one day she will give up the battle, I just hope Terry has the patience to keep working with her.

Molly is now officially our cute little mule. I talked to her former owner for quite awhile, & got all the details of her stomach damage, surgery & recovery. The woman really went above & beyond the call of duty to save this little $55.00 auction purchase, & I'm glad she did. We'll delay taking her to Gilbert to see what is going to happen with Trudy. I want to make sure her pot belly isn't a result of the fistulas & surgery.

Today was "trim" day. Both Lucy & Pepper didn't need trimming which is great. They were our, every 5 week trims for over 3 years. Jenny has taken over that job. She is really walking much better now, I just wish she appreciated Katie's efforts a little more. Jenny is big enough & strong enough that she is a handful if she doesn't want to do something. We put her in the cross ties & she still was "difficult". We finally put a stud chain on her, which I hate to use, but I also don't want anyone getting hurt. Molly got her dainty little feet trimmed, & she really did good. I don't know if she has been trimmed before or not, but as long as John played with her nose & gave her a treat occasionally she stood fairly still, except for some "baby" squirming. Cisco got his first trim in about 5 years. He ran off when I put the halter & lead rope on him, John caught him & brought him back, & then he behaved like the gentleman he is. Katie said his legs are pretty tight. I would imagine his years as a roping donkey, left some residual damage to his legs.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

We're staying busy as usual. Yesterday we had company, which was fun. Benny & Nina's "parents" came for a visit. They had been here a couple of times, but never had the chance to visit with all the donkeys & hear their stories. Everyone was on their best behavior, came over to be petted & acted like perfect ladies & gentlemen. Benny & Nina have wound Susan & Tom around their little hooves, & along with Rosie & Lucy the mini mule, are running the show at their place. Susan & Tom are outnumbered & seem to be enjoying this turn of events very much, which is great......!!!

We will probably be taking Molly the little mule up to Gilbert as soon as we can. Her stomach looks enlarged to me, over & above the scar tissue, where the fistulas were. She's got lots of energy, eats well, & is nosy as she can be, so hopefully I'm just being a worry wart. I am going to talk to her owner tomorrow & offer to buy her, if she won't give her to me. That way we will have say so, & responsibility for her, rather than having to check with her owner, before we make a decision. I know the owner has a rather large Vet bill for the surgery she had. She wanted to get some of her money back, so I doubt if she will give her away.

Tuesday we will go down by Sierra Vista & pick up the little donkey that was to be confiscated by the Livestock Inspector, if the people didn't give her to us. I haven't seen her, but it sounds like she isn't in very good shape. The owner said she's about 60 years old. I think that would be a record, but everyone seems to agree that she is really really old. The Livestock Inspector, said she is very arthritic, & emaciated. The owner says she has bed sores from laying down so much..........!!!! Poor old girl, I just hope we can get her in the trailer without too much trouble. She will go in a pen by Sha'ba, I'm hoping they will like each other & like to hang out together. Sha'ba is suppose to be over 40 years old.

Sounds like Jack is doing great in his new home. Haven't hear from Terry & Tula for a few days. Hope they are getting along OK.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

This is Sugar & Molly checking each other out. I think this was about the last time they were close to each other. Since Remington went to his new home, & Tula went to stay with Terry for training, Sugar has been hanging with Lucy, Buster, Pepper, Shiloh & Belle. Molly finally wore Mirage down, & now is allowed into the inner circle of horses & mules. So much for my great idea of these 2 being girlfriends, because they are close in age. It goes to show people don't always know what works with animals.

I knew that donkeys don't always bond with horses, & prefer their own kind. With mules I guess because momma was a horse, they like to hang out with horses. If you really want to humble yourself, think you know what's best. Animals will usually prove you wrong.

Heard that Remington will accept treats, but is being standoffish with his new family. I'm sure it won't take long for him to let them touch him, he's such a "mellow fellow".

Also heard that Tula is being Tula. Some days she's suspicious & some days not. She also nailed Terry with a rear foot. Terry mentioned something about 2 stubborn females, use to having their own way.............hmmmmm this might get interesting. My money is on Terry.........!!!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


We took Jack to his new home today. He went in a small pen so the horses & Tio could check him out, & he could get his bearings, before getting up close & personal with his new buddies. Laura called Tio to come see. When he got pretty close Jack brayed & Tio got so excited. He started kicking & running along the fence, trying to get closer to Jack. It was really cute, he really seemed thrilled to have a new donkey buddy.

Molly got to go out yesterday for the first time. All my worries about her running around like a squirrel, were not necessary. She came out like a well behaved young lady, & checked things out. First she pestered Jack the donkey. He seemed to realize she was a baby, & was very good natured about it. Later she decided she wanted to hang with the "good old boys" club. That would be Max, Mirage, Jack the mule & BlackJack the donkey. Mirage would not let her into the inner circle, he kept running her off & she kept coming back. It was almost like a girl trying to sneak into the "boy's" club house. He never did let her get close to Max. BlackJack finally broke away from the gang, & she pestered him for awhile. She bit his legs & jumped on his back, & like Jack earlier, he allowed it, with good nature I didn't even know he had. Usually he is really the alpha donkey & puts up with little nonsense from mere underlings.

When we came home this afternoon after delivering Jack, there were 5 fly masks to look for. They really must have had fun today, I think that is a record. We found them all after we fed, which is a miracle. Of course 3 of them were together, which made it easy. I would imagine those all got jerked off at the same time.

We may be getting in a new donkey in the next few days. I got a call from a rehabilitation rescue about a donkey the livestock inspector is in the process of confiscating. She sounds like she is in very poor condition & very old. Since they do rehabilitation, & this is going to be more of a hospice situation, their organization couldn't take her. We're waiting to hear from the livestock inspector to see what happens next. If we do get her, we know she probably won't be with us very long, but hopefully we can make her comfortable for however long it is.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


We did a home study for Jack yesterday, & it looks like he's going to have a great home. He'll be with a donkey named Tio, 2 horses & 3 dogs. The area is hilly & rocky, so he'll get exercise & the rocks will be good for his feet. His rear feet are very upright, & I thought that was called coon footed. But after checking out some information on the web, it looks like he's more club-footed. Laura says the guy that trims their horses & Tio is very good, so maybe he can trim some of the extra heel height a little at a time. His feet don't seem to bother him, so maybe they have always been like that. We are going to let him out with the rest of the "herd" today, for the first time, to see how he gets along. He was with horses up until a few months ago, & has been by himself since. I'm sure he will get along just fine, as long as he realizes BlackJack is in charge.......!!!! If he doesn't agree to that, there may be a problem, he's built sturdier than BlackJack & is quite a bit younger. But I'm sure they'll do just fine.

Last night we left Sugar in with Molly all night. The idea is, to get Molly to bond with Sugar, so when we let her out of the pen, she hopefully won't run around like a crazy mule........!!! From the body language of both of them this morning, I don't think they are going to be "girlfriends". They basically are ignoring each other. If Jack's outing today goes well, we'll probably let Molly out tomorrow. We're certainly not going to let 2 new ones out in the same day........!!!!! I just hope she isn't going to run around like crazy & hurt herself. Yesterday morning she turned the hay wagon over, by stumbling over it. She seems to be something of a "train wreck".....!!!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Here is a picture of Jack, being groomed on his first morning here. Annette & David came out to volunteer some time with the donkeys & Annette loves to groom. Jack loves to be groomed & I think he would have stood there, & let her rub all the hair off his body, especially on his butt. He's another one that thinks butt "scritches" make his world go round. Poor David got stuck with poo pick-up, not quite as glamorous, but necessary, unfortunately.

Tomorrow we will do a home study down by Gleeson for Jack's new home. If it works out he will have a new buddy & some horses on an acreage, along with a Mom that sounds perfect.

The picture on the right is Molly, the mule. Isn't she the cutest little thing? We are taking care of her while her owner, & also us, try to find her a good home. Her papers show she was brought to Arizona as a 5 month old weanling from North Dakota, ran thru an auction about 3 months later ran thru another auction, where this woman bought her in March. In May she noticed feces dripping from her belly line & called the Vet. She had 3 fistulas with abscessing & the recommendation was to put her down. The woman wouldn't do it, so they did surgery & a regime of antibiotics. Now that she's healthy & feeling good, she's too much for the woman's mini-horses.

Since Sugar's buddy Remington is going to his new home today, & Molly is just about her size, I'm hoping they will team up as girlfriends. I have a feeling if she stays here very long, we won't be looking too hard for her a home.......!!!! (G)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


We picked up Jack, the donkey today in Avra Valley, north of Tucson. Boy, he is a big boy, I think he's as big as BlackJack, & built very drafty. Friendly as a pup, & hopped in the trailer like we were going to a party. I'll try to get a picture of him tomorrow. He seemed overwhelmed by all the "eyes" looking at him when we got home. He's been by himself for quite sometime, so I would imagine it was quite a shock to see all these long ears.

We also got a call today about a molly mule that has had some health problems, but is now healthy & is too rough on the mini horses she is suppose to be protecting. The woman thought she was about 2-3 years old when she got her, but now thinks she's less than a year old. Not a good age for a guard, be it donkey or mule. I don't have enough of the particulars to know if she is trying to play or if she actually is trying to hurt the minis. It sounds like she's going to end up out here. The woman is keeping her in a stock trailer right now, because she can't keep her in a fence. I know nothing about training a young mule, except you better know more than the mule...........!!!!!!

Jenny has been on her antibiotics for 5 days & I have to say both of her front feet look much better. One foot has an area of proud flesh the other has a open area 1 1/2 inch by 1/4 inch right below the coronary band, that has "oozed" ever since we've had her. I would imagine that is the area that has blown "50" abscesses in a year, as the owner told me. Not sure about earlier but since she's been here, I don't think she's had abscesses, I think it's just been an open area leading to the jumbled bones in her foot, that have ongoing infection. The Naxcel seems to have dried up the oozing, & she is walking much better & seems more comfortable.

Terry keeps me posted on how Tula is doing. It sounds like she's making progress, but it's going to take awhile. Tula isn't willing to give up her independence without a fight. Terry believes she is a reincarnated opera singer. She is one of the loudest donkeys we've ever had, & she does sound like she's making sure the people in the back row can hear her.................!!!! (G)

Sunday, July 08, 2007

BUSY WEEK.........!!!

Looks like we're going to be busy this week. We will be picking up a donkey from Avra Valley that has been by himself for awhile. I think I've found a good home for him with another donkey, but still need to do a home study, before making a final decision.

Thursday we will be taking Remington Steele to his new Forever Home. He will have Honcho for a buddy. They should get along real good, Honcho likes to get in trouble, & Remington likes to watch others get in trouble............!!!

Friday, July 06, 2007

I sent Jenny's x-rays to my trimmer, & she said judging from the misaligned bones, poor Jenny has had this problem for years, not just one year. We're going to give it our best shot, I started her on Naxcel a very good antibiotic last night. Hopefully it will knock out the ongoing infection in both front feet.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


This morning the Vet came out to x-ray Jenny's front feet. They are about as bad as they can be, the end of the coffin bone in one has dissolved. The other one still has the end, but it is curled upward. The bones higher up in the foot are "jumbled" & that is what is causing the continuing abscessing. There is a direct channel from the joints to the areas that are open at the coronary & also farther down on the foot. Long term laminitis is the probable cause. The prognosis isn't good, but I am hoping that trimmers that have worked with really bad feet might have some ideas. She's a wonderful girl, & deserves to have a life, if we can get her pain free.

This afternoon we took Tula to Terry to see if she can become more comfortable with people than she is now. She has her "comfort zones" & if you try to work with her outside of those areas, she is basically untamed. Terry is very quiet & has time to work with Tula, so we hope she can make a break thru. Terry has 2 donkeys & a mule of her own, & they were very excited to see Tula. Guess they thought "Mom" brought them a new playmate. Wait till they find out she likes to rule the roost........!!!!!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

HOW HOT IS HOT......??????

According to the weatherman it's going to get hotter in the next couple of days. It's 109.9 at 1:00 in the afternoon, so I would imagine it will get a little warmer before the day is done.

Everyone seems to be doing pretty good right now, maybe it's too hot to get into mischief. BlackJack & Buddy have really been letting us know lately that they are tired of being in the Fat Farm 24/7. Although neither of them has lost much weight, at least their necks are not as hard as they were. So this afternoon when I let the minis out, I let BJ, Buddy & Cisco out also. The first thing Buddy did, was run over to Shiloh & challenge him for the ground he was standing on. WHY...??? Poor Shiloh wasn't doing a thing except standing. I yelled at Buddy & told him to mind his own business, & about that time, heard noise at the hay barn, like someone trying to knock down the corral panels that keep the hungry hoard from going in & eating their winter supply of hay. Sure enough there is BlackJack, pawing at the panels like he thought they might fall down. He's not been out of the pen, since the hay was delivered, but has been able to see it, just across the driveway. I found a stick, & pounded on his butt for quite awhile, before he decided to give up his position. I'm sure now that I'm in the house, he's back, trying to figure out how to get into the "Mother Lode of Hay"..........!!!! If his neck hardens he will find himself right back in the Fat Farm. That is one of the first ways to tell an equine is over eating & probably the wrong things, if they get a "cresty" neck. BJ is insulin resistant, so he already has one strike against him. Poor little Buddy Brat, just looks like a very lumpy unmade bed. If he has lost any weight since he's been incarcerated, it doesn't show. I guess the only way to get weight off him is to put him in a pen by himself, with minimum food to eat. I'm not even sure that would work, because he's been competing with BJ & Cisco for his hay, & still hasn't lost weight.