Friday, November 30, 2007


Tomorrow is the big day. Hopefully the weather will be nice. It's been rainy & cloudy the last 2 days, & the weatherman says it will be that way until Sunday. Wet donkeys are grumpy donkeys & really don't like to be sociable, which won't be much fun for the people.

Chester is doing good. He's going out & roaming around with the gang. There is a lot of swelling around the incision area, hopefully from the trama of surgery. It's still draining, & Dr. Taylor wants it to drain as long as possible, 2 weeks is what we are shooting for.

Jenny is still going out except at feeding time, & really is walking good. It is hard to believe this is the same donkey that came here last spring, & was laying down 23 1/2 hours a day, & could only walk a few yards without stopping & trying to take weight off her feet. I doubt if she will ever be sound to ride, but who knows with proper trimming, if the bones in her feet realign, she may be.

No problems with the rest of the gang. Now that the weather has cooled off, even the allergies & fly problems are over. Sure makes life easier for their caretakers, aka, John & I.............!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


As soon as we get chores done this morning, we will get on the road to Gilbert. Dr. Taylor said the surgery went well, they cleaned all the infection they could find. Unfortunately he is pretty sure the infection is in the joint, which is a very poor prognosis, long term. It seems the "bugs" can hide, no matter what kind of antibiotics you give, or for how long. But we'll give it our best shot. I'm sure he will be much more comfortable without dragging all that infection around with him. He never had a broken shoulder, which is what we were told when we got him. He had been kicked on the side of his elbow. In the x-rays we could see wild bone growth right below the elbow joint, which is probably where he was kicked. It was porous & there were also a couple of other porous looking areas, closer to the joint. The infection probably started in the wild bone growth area & then branched out to the bone itself & then into the joint. This is a simplistic explanation, but that's the only way I can understand it.

We're also getting ready for the Open House this week-end. Thank goodness there isn't a whole lot of "getting ready", although I'm sure the next couple of days, will be pretty hectic. There's pens to build, signs to put out, & stuff to be done, I probably haven't even thought about. Even if we aren't ready, I'm sure the donkeys will be, once they see lots of people with cups of timothy pellets............!!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Chester has infection in his elbow joint, which is automatic euthanasia for horses usually. Dr. Taylor is operating on him this morning to give him a chance at life. They will call after the surgery.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


It was in the 20's here this morning, good thing John brought in wood & we built a fire last night. Broke ice on the water buckets & of course had to wear heavy coats, & gloves. Doing chores bundled up is sooooooo much fun......!!!! The sun is already up & shining, so it should be a nice day.

Isn't Chester just about the prettiest thing you ever saw? When I see this picture taken yesterday, the first thing I notice is the lack of swelling in his right leg from the shoulder, down to about halfway to the knee. It's like a miracle at how well he is walking. He's still limping, but seems very comfortable. This morning I thought I saw a raw opening where the white hard "thing" was, so I'm hoping, it fell out. Maybe he never had a broken shoulder, just a piece of bone broke off when he was kicked that's been working it's way out for months. We'll find out tomorrow when we haul him to Gilbert.

Since Jenny was trotting yesterday, we thought she would be able to take care of herself if the neighbor's dogs tried to chase her. So she got to go out overnight for the first time. This morning when the "herd" showed up at breakfast time, about 6 of them came in at a trot or canter. John said she was even moving faster than yesterday. Unfortunately she didn't want to go in her pen, she wanted to stay part of the herd. John had to "encourage" her with the quirt. She wanted to stay with Chester. When he first came here, she had a "thing" for him, guess she hasn't forgotten............!!!!

Saturday, November 24, 2007


This is John & Jenny this morning after her RUN..........!!!! Well actually it was a fast trot. I was on the computer & John yelled from the bedroom, "there she goes, she's running". I couldn't imagine what he was talking about. I ran to see what all the excitement was about & he was watching her out the window. She had stopped & I could tell by her body language she was trying to decide whether to roll in the sand or take off. She finally took off at a very pretty fast trot.

I think it was in July that the Vet wanted to put her down after seeing the x-rays of her feet. Her feet still look horrible, but obviously the regular trimming & exercise is making a difference in her comfort level. The new growth, especially on the rear feet is growing in nicely. The front feet aren't very pretty but obviously are becoming more functional. YIPPEE! This is what makes all the effort worthwhile............!!!

Friday, November 23, 2007

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

Chester's leg is doing real good, although it looks like a science project. It's drained down his leg & of course he's laid down in the dirt & gravel, which makes for a messy leg. He's a little more agreeable to allowing us to touch his leg on the outside, BUT, not anywhere close to the open spot. There's too much crud on it now, so I can't tell if the white "thing" is gone or not. He's walking good, abeit, still with a limp, but not like before. The swelling has gone down considerably, & he isn't standing with the foot turned backwards like he was. I tried spraying the leg, with a spray bottle.......not even close to the wound. That's not going to happen.......!!!! He let me know his good nature, will only go so far........!!!

Everyone else seems to be doing good right now. Hopefully they will all continue in good health for the Cascabel Christmas Fair, next week-end. This morning Sha'ba actually brayed at us twice. Then when I went in to put his "mush" in his feed bucket, he wanted to push me out of the way. I reminded him, that without me there to put it in the bucket, there wouldn't be anything to eat...........!!! I got the distinct impression, he wasn't the least bit impressed............!!! (G) When I think back to what he was like just a little over 4 years ago, it's amazing how far he has come. We didn't think he would make the trip from Tucson, he was in horrible shape & so painfully thin. Donkeys are such survivors, & one of the most forgiving animals on the planet.

Except for Tula, I don't think she will ever forgive humans for what has been done to her in the past. She is NOT going to give up her independence to any mere human being, no matter how "honest" they are with her........!!!!

Thursday, November 22, 2007


We got a little sprinkling of moisture again this morning. It sure stirs Molly Mule up, I can't imagine how she will act if we ever get a "real" rain.

When Chester "finally" came in with control freak Tula this morning, he was actually walking pretty good. His arm isn't as swollen & I managed to clean enough of the ichthammol off to see a hard white spot. I still think it's a piece of bone. If we get a chance today we'll tie him up & try to look at it, & maybe clean it up a little. He's so protective though, it might be better to just watch it & let him work it out. I hope if it is a piece of bone it isn't still attached somewhere.

Actually John came in a few minutes ago, & said "Chester doesn't even want you LOOKING at his leg" & was adament enough about it to graze John's leg with a quick moving back foot. John said he thought Chester kicked a moment before, but thought he was kicking at a fly or something............. Yeh he was kicking at something alright, the nosy person that was trying to look at his leg. So he got smacked on the tush & told not to do that again. John thinks it looks like a piece of bone also. So that's two people that don't know what they are doing, in agreement.......!!!! (G)

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving................!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


I guess Tula has decided that she will be as wild as she can be without giving up her "domestic" feed pan & hay. The last couple of days she has waited to come in, until we start putting the pans out for everyone else. In fact she waits until I've put her feed in her pen, & manages to come in without us seeing her. Although this morning I did catch a glimpse of her, without her knowing it. I'm not sure what the game is, but she's certainly playing it by her rules. Chester came in without her yesterday, but this morning he stayed out until she "decided" to come in. I keep telling him, she isn't the best one to hang out with, she'll lead him astray........!!!!

I noticed yesterday that Chester had a lump on the inside of the swollen part of his leg. It's been swollen ever since we picked him up, but I never noticed the lump before. This morning the lump is open & wet & he doesn't want it touched at all, so I assume it's very sore. I wonder if a piece of the broken bone has worked it's way to the surface & is coming out? I tried to put some Ichthammol, which is a drawing salve on it. It was a rather hit & miss operation, as I said he doesn't want it touched & was rather adept at keeping me away from it.

I called this morning up to the Equine Clinic at Gilbert, but of course with the holiday, they are behind. We have an appointment for Monday of next week. The last time we were up there, one of the Vets said, they always like for us to come up, because we bring such interesting problems...........!!! We've been wanting to get an x-ray of his shoulder to see just exactly what is broken & where. We should have had one taken, the day we picked him up, we were right at the clinic. But we were busy with Molly & Buddy Brat's surgery, & didn't even think about what a perfect opportunity to find out for sure what his shoulder looks like.

Monday, November 19, 2007

SUGAR HAS A NEW HOME...........!!!!

The home study was great, & Jacque is absolutely adorable. He's smaller than Sugar, but they will make a cute couple. I'm sure she will be in charge, the jennets usually are.........!!!! Sorry guys, that's just the way it is.........!!!! LOL

Talked to Lynda tonight to see how Gus is doing in his new home. She thinks he is wonderful, he loves to be groomed, & is developing a taste for exotic foods, such as honeydew melon & cantalope. He's also trying to figure out how to get to the duck feed. Chili already had been trying to figure out how to snag that particular treat & Lynda says she has to stand guard till the ducks finish eating, with 2 donkeys now instead of just one.

We were feeding late tonight, & I opened Burroland without checking to see if John had gotten everyone in their pens. He stuck his head in the feed room while I was fixing feed pans, & said Tula & Chester had taken advantage of the open gate & went over there instead of in their pens. I finished the pans, grabbed a halter & went over to see if I could find them. I stumbled around in the dusk, trying to find a path thru the mesquite & finally Tula brayed, so I knew where they were. I headed that direction but couldn't find them. I headed back for the gate & noticed a pair of legs in the general vicinity thru the trees. I yelled & acted mean & lost track of them. Thought I saw one of them on the other side of the gate & sure enough, they headed for their pens. I guess I needed all that extra exercise..........!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007


We will be doing a home study for Sugar tomorrow. When someone is interested in adopting one of the donkeys, we always go visit the home before it's a done deal. If this home works out she will have 3 horses & Jacque the donkey to hang out with. We will keep her here until after the Open House, so she doesn't miss all the petting & treats given out by dozens of people.........!!!

Friday, November 16, 2007


We woke up to a sprinkle this morning. It wasn't much, but enough to get the "herd" going. Molly the mule was in the lead. She had quite a following, Shiloh, Belle, Tula, & Sugar were in hot pursuit, trying to catch her. Max the horse, was chortling & trying to figure out if something was chasing them. Jack the mule was just trying to stay out of the line of fire. Lucy, Buster & Chester were standing in the wash, as spectators, watching the show. What fun it is to watch them run & able to enjoy being free, without humans, telling them what to do, & where to do it. Of course right after the "races", we told them to go in their pens if they wanted breakfast, so it isn't a perfect world after all.......!!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Well I guess Chester is getting settled into his new home OK. In fact he & Tula have become quite the "item" & stay together when they are out. Not sure that's a good idea, she usually leads whoever runs with her astray & tries to get them to run WILD.....or at least to stay over on the 20 acres we call Burroland, rather than come over to be fed, like a TAME donkey. They've stayed over there 2 mornings rather than come over with everyone else. John & I had to go over & round them up, or at least head them in the right direction & hope they went thru the gate. What's really odd is old Pepper is hanging with them also. Not sure what that is about, Tula has never paid any attention to him before. It's always interesting to what the dynamics of the "herd" are on a daily basis.

Chester of course is still crippled on his broken shoulder, but it doesn't slow him down much. When he runs, (yes he does run) he runs almost without a limp, which is really pretty to see. He doesn't seem to be in pain & I told John when he's running he probably doesn't have to think about his leg. I've been massaging the enlarged part of his leg between the shoulder & the knee every morning, & he really likes it. He will lower his head almost to the ground, & stand as long as I'll massage.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007



The 27th annual Fair will be December 1 & 2 this year from 10-4 each day. Last year was the first time we had participated & everyone had a great time. So we're going to do it again this year. The donkeys will be thrilled, they always enjoy having people come to visit. And if there are LOTS of them, with cups of timothy pellets, that just makes it better from their point of view........!!!!

If anyone would like to volunteer to help during the Open House, we could sure use the help. Basically you would walk around, answer questions if asked, & make sure no gates get opened by mistake, or fingers get too far into eager donkey mouths.

Monday, November 12, 2007

GUS, WE HARDLY KNEW YE...............!!!

We picked Gus up yesterday at Arivaca & delivered him to Elfrieda today. For a donkey that has been running loose on a ranch the last few years, I must say, he has a wonderful personality & is a gentleman. Not thrilled about being in a trailer, but no one is perfect..........!!!!! Chili was so excited to see another donkey, he's been alone for almost a year. Neither one showed any aggression at all, started off exploring together, ignoring Lynda, her neighbors a friend from Bisbee, & us, like we didn't exist. Chili did come in right before we left, to get some apples from Lynda, but Gus continued to ignore us. I'm sure he'll catch onto the routine quickly, & will line up for his share of the apples & anything else offered, probably by tomorrow. Thanks to Susan & Tom for getting involved, when they found out Gus was thought of as a pest & was no longer welcome where he lived. He now has a friend & a Mom that will make sure he is loved & taken care of for the rest of his life. Gus on the left, Chili on the right surveying their domain.....!!

Saturday, November 10, 2007


After having 5 months of doing nothing but what he wanted to do, going into a small 2 horse trailer wasn't what he had planned for the day. He wasn't mean or anything, just didn't see a need to go in there. He finally did after Delford showed him it was the only place he could rest. If he was outside the trailer, his feet had to be moving. After awhile, that got old & he made the decision to hop in.

Delford is a mule trainer & of course we had to show him Molly. He worked with her a little bit, & she thought that was great. She's just like a piece of clay, everything is fun & interesting. Hope she keeps that attitude, she'll make someone a great saddle mule someday.

We had a tour group this afternoon, & also John's cousin Gene & a friend came by on a road trip. They will leave in the morning, & we'll probably leave about the same time to go pick up Gus in Arivaca.

We kept the equines in their pens, because of the tour. Then we decided to leave them in the pens, so we could feed early, & then go into Benson to eat supper. It has not been quiet around here, they have yelled & screamed & generally let us know we forgot to let them out & need to fix this problem. They like to get fed early, so that should soothe them a little bit.......!!!!

Thursday, November 08, 2007


Cisco is checking out the temporary pen we're setting up for Gus. We actually might not need it, we pick him up Sunday. But Mirage's Mom called today & is suppose to pick him up Saturday. If she does, then Gus could go in Mirage's pen overnight. We'll be taking him to his new home in Elfrieda Monday. He won't hardly be here long enough to meet everybody.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007



This is a picture of Jack in his new home, with his new best friend Tio. Obviously there is something of interest to the left. I guess he's went thru a few name changes, all revolving around Jack in some way, & has settled right into his new life. I love it when they get a great new home........!!!!

This Sunday we will pick up Gus, & deliver him to his new home Monday. Susan sent this picture, taken when she & Tom went out to visit Gus a few months ago. He's a good sized boy & should make a good friend for Chili. He's had no donkeys around him for a few years, but both of them have pretty mellow personalities, as far as I know, so they should get along just fine. Linda doesn't have a extra pen to separate them till they get to know each other, so we will stick around for a couple of hours & make sure Chili doesn't think he has to protect his "turf".

Monday, November 05, 2007


Got back from the Clinton Anderson Walkabout Tour last night. Really had a great time, didn't even mind sleeping in the van, which actually turned out very comfortable. I've never seen such a place as Empty Acres. I guess I need to get out in the "real" world more.............!!!!! Next week they are having a Horse Festival up there, & are expecting over 20,000 people for the 3 day event.

The clinic started at 8am sharp on Saturday. There was around 3,000 people there to watch. You can tell from the round pen, that the covered arena is pretty big. By 6pm the bleachers were getting hard. Sunday morning 8am, we started again & the bleachers hadn't gotten any softer overnight. I left at 4pm to get home at a decent hour & the clinic was still going on.

I'm really glad I got to go, & will try to go again, if he comes back to Arizona. Unfortunately most of the training he does, probably wouldn't work with donkeys, but it was really interesting anyway. To watch him take an unbroke 2 year old, like the one in the picture & have a saddle & rider on him in less than 2 hours, is amazing to me.

John did great while I was gone, everyone got along just fine. In fact they didn't even acknowledge I'd been gone, when I went out this morning. But he did tell me the same thing I always tell him when he comes home, "chores sure go faster with two than it does with one".................!!!!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Did a home study today. Chili has been by himself, since his friend Hillary died from colic a few months ago. He has been very lonely & depressed. His Mom got in touch with us a few weeks ago, & I knew of a big black donkey running on a ranch that had been getting into the flower gardens & had basically worn out his welcome. So we will be moving Gus from the ranch in a week or so. We'll bring him here for a few days, & then take him to his new home, which is 33 acres & a pond...!!!! Lucky boy!

Tomorrow I will be leaving John with chores over the week-end while I go to the Clinton Anderson Clinic up at Buckeye. Should be very interesting & hopefully I'll learn something I can use with the long ears. Hope John survives the experience, it's been a long time since I left him with the whole mess.