Thursday, January 31, 2008

TRIM DAY AGAIN..........!!!

Jenny was actually a pretty good girl for Courtney today. The 1st time Courtney tried to trim her after Jenny got here was interesting to say the least. Her feet were hurting her, & all these strangers were surrounding her & trying to make her lift her feet to be trimmed & worked on. Needless to say, she wasn't interested in cooperating & she is big enough to make her point. At that time one of her favorite things to do was squeeze the offending person against the corral panels & when she put all her weight on you, it was difficult to escape. I finally broke her of doing that, by making sure my bony little elbow was always between her ribcage & me. One thing she does that is cute in an irritating sort of way is, if you are trying to pick up her right front foot, she will lift the left one. And the look on her face makes me believe that she knows exactly what she's doing.

Pepper & Lucy got trimmed also. They've been foundered enough in the past that their feet will probably never be right. Actually Pepper's look pretty good & sometimes he doesn't have to be trimmed, especially if he's been doing a lot of walking on the rocks & has "self" trimmed.

Courtney seems to have a way with equines. We went in Chester's pen to see if we could figure out some way to trim his one front foot that is so long. Courtney tried a couple of times & he backed off. But about the 3rd time she tried, he stood still. He is still 3 legged lame & consequently can't stand on 3 legs to be trimmed. So she did what she could with his foot on the ground. I was really surprised that he stood like that, because he is very cautious about his legs being touched. She couldn't get it as short as we would have liked, but it's much better than it was.

I'm changing antibiotics for him tomorrow. Sometimes infection can develop a resistance to one type of antibiotic & by changing to another type, you can get ahead of it.

It looks like Rusty the mule is coming back. He was suppose to become a friend & companion for Zeke the mule. Unfortunately Zeke didn't read the game plan, & doesn't want Rusty on the property, although the 2 goats think he's pretty neat. I'm sure Max the horse & Jack the mule will welcome him back. They had developed a morning ritual of all 3 laying in the big wash to enjoy the sun. We'll probably pick him up this week-end.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


We've been staying busy as usual, & everyone seems to be doing pretty good right now. Of course there is daily doctoring, but there always will be, as long as we take in the ones we do.

Chester is about as usual, still limping, occasionally 3 legged lame, but enjoying his life as it is, hanging around with Tula. I've been trying to coordinate getting the trimmer & vet out here at the same time to put him on the ground & get a good trim on his feet. His good front foot is WAY too long, which puts a lot of pressure on that foot, ankle, leg, etc. He moves around enough that if we get a good trim, he probably will self trim, like everyone else does, except for the ones that have been foundered. The trimmer is coming out tomorrow & the local vet is out of town. I called another one, (farther away of course) & she's trying to work it in. But it's so difficult to get 2 busy professionals coordinated, so one or the other doesn't have a lot of down time, waiting for the other one to show up. The trimmer is about 2 - 2 1/2 hours away & the vet at least 1 1/2 hours. So just coming out here, basically ruins their whole day. But I am determined to get him trimmed if at all possible.

We had a nice couple come out yesterday to see about adopting their first donkeys. They have 3 acres & no far......!!! They liked Belle & Shiloh, which are a bonded couple, & we will do a home study next week. It's going to be very hard to let those 2 go. Shiloh has been here almost 4 years & the first 2 years he was completely shut down emotionally. Since then he has blossomed out & become part of the herd. He still doesn't lead & we haven't tried to put him in a trailer since we brought him home, so moving him might be a lot of fun. I've notice most of the donkeys that were harshly used as roping donkeys, don't lead very well. Belle came in almost 2 years ago, with a horrible open wound that covered most of her face. She had habronema larvae & had rubbed & scratched her face, all the way to the bone. It took all summer to get it under control, & I was afraid that she would have the same problem last summer. But with fly masks & watching her to make sure she had no sores that flies could get on & drop their little hitchhikers, she made it thru fly season with no problems. She is perfect as a first donkey for someone. Well mannered, very gentle & loves people. Shiloh is very gentle, but I don't think he will ever love people, although he always likes to see children come to visit. These people have grandkids, so he'll have kids to play with.

It's cold & windy here today. John is in Tucson until late tonight, so I will get to do chores by myself. Hopefully at least the wind will die down by feeding time, they don't like wind any more than I do.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

TOUR TODAY................!!!

The Pima Community College brought a tour out today. They didn't get here until after noon, which meant the donkeys had to stay in their pens after breakfast. You would think their world was coming to an end when they have to stay in like that. They pace, & whine & bray as loud as they can, I guess they equate loudness with, hopefully results. Jenny was especially vocal & she always sounds so mournful.

Of course once the people showed up, the equines all started their personal methods of gaining the attention of the people, especially the ones carrying containers of timothy pellets. Max the horse has really blossomed into a "look at me" type of guy. His favorite trick is to run his lips & teeth on the gate, which makes a vibrating sound. Of course the people make over him & feed him pellets when he does it, so he's figured out how to work the system to his advantage. If they move on to look at someone else, he sometimes really gets to playing a tune, to get them to come back & pay attention to him. Sha'ba has also become quite the little attention grabber. He doesn't have any tricks, but when the people come in his pen, he checks everyone out to see who has pellets.

We almost brought Rusty home yesterday. It seems that Zeke, the mule that was suppose to be lonely & would like to have a friend, is neither lonely or wanting a friend. In fact for a guy in his 30's with pretty arthritic legs, he made his point perfectly clear. He only allowed Rusty a small corner of the acreage. If Rusty tried to come out of that spot, Zeke would take after him. Rusty is such a mellow fellow, he just stayed in his corner for the first day or so. Terry moved him into a smaller pen by himself, so he could have a chance to rest & eat without Zeke trying to maul him. What's funny is, Zeke is much smaller & less mobile than Rusty, but he also seems to be quite territorial right now. Now that Rusty is "safe" we'll see if Zeke gets off his vendetta after a few days & appreciate the new guy. If not, we'll bring him home, back to his little herd of Max & Jack. They all get along very well together, so I'm sure he wouldn't mind.

Heard that Monday is Fred's "day of destiny". I'm sure he will be a lot happier although less involved with his fellow pigs once "that" little problem is taken care of. They said he is walking much better, the exercise is good for him, & also it is warmer north of Tucson than it is down here.

Chester is about the same, limping but bright eyed, eating & running around with Tula. He's been on Naxcel for almost 2 months. Next we're going to try Baytril for awhile & see if it makes a difference. He doesn't seem to be really uncomfortable, although at times he's 3 legged lame. With donkeys it's so hard to tell, they accept pain much more than horses do.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


We delivered Rusty to his foster home today, that is his white butt in the middle of 2 donkeys a mule & the neighbor's 2 mares. Rusty seemed most interested in the mares & the girls were really showing off for the new guy.

This morning when we got ready to go, he decided he didn't want to go in the trailer. He kept running back to where Max & Jack were. Like most mules he is very strong & after he got away from me, & then John, we finally loaded him from one of the corrals directly into the trailer. I even put a stud chain on him, just in case, but he loaded like the gentleman he usually is. I kept telling him, he was going to a wonderful place with lots of animals & once he got there he seemed satisfied, except for the fact the mares were on the other side of the fence. He even confronted the goats, or the goats confronted him, not sure exactly who started it.

Then we moved a couple of geese. I've never had much to do with geese before, but I figured they would be just like a chicken or duck, but bigger. In other words control the wings or pay the price. Actually the one I caught wasn't too bad, I eyed that big long neck & decided that would be a good handle. He made the mistake of going in the house & when he tried to run past me, I reached out & grabbed his neck..........gently of course. Once I wrapped my arms around the wings, I won the battle.

Then the fun really began. Terry wanted to put the 2 new pigs in with her other pigs. She wanted backup in case the move didn't go smoothly, which was what John & I were there for. It could have been worse, the problem wasn't the dominant female as much as it was the 2 new ones. They are young & we figured the older pigs might beat up on them. Well the older ones might have started it, but both of the young ones certainly didn't lack for guts. They didn't turn tail & run, so we had to try to get between the combatants to give everyone a chance to go find something else to do. It actually went pretty good, & when we left the young ones were still in the big pen with the others & everyone was more or less minding their own business.

I called to check on Fred the pot bellied pig yesterday. They said he is getting along just fine, walking pretty good, & has a date with the doctor next week, for "corrective" surgery. The sheep girls are also settling in & doing good. I don't think they could have found a better home, which is what rescue is all about.

Still putting blankets & boots on Sha'ba & Pepper every night. It's warmed up a little, but the nights are still below freezing.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Tish & Ringo circa 1958

Ringo was my last horse before I discovered........................CARS....!!!! You thought I was going to say boys, didn't you......?????? Ha! Ringo was a bull headed little mustang, & we had many a battle about who was in charge. I think the wins/losses were about even. He had been abused as a colt, a boy I went to school with lived close to where Ringo was raised & told me the story. I guess even as a baby he was smarter & more stubborn than the owner. So the guy snubbed him to a post & beat him with a 2 x 4. Broke his jaw & it healed crooked. Didn't slow him down any or mellow his personality. Couldn't put shoes on him, he'd walk to the nearest fence & pull them off. He had mustang feet, so really didn't need shoes. He was quick as lightening, & you needed velcro on your jeans to stay with him sometimes. I had a guy want to buy him to use in pick up races because he was so quick. He taught me a lot about patience.

I called to see how Molly was doing yesterday. As I figured she has the whole community in love with her. She gets a 2 mile walk in the morning to different areas, & again in the afternoon. She is now in with all the horses & has a couple of them that will play with her.

I noticed last night that Chester isn't putting weight on his bad leg. This morning he still isn't putting weight on that leg. He's been on antibiotics ever since the surgery, but it looks like they aren't doing the job. I've been e-mailing Dr. Taylor trying to figure out another antibiotic we might try, but so far haven't come up with anything better than what we're using. Before surgery he told us about a horse they had a few years ago with a comparable infection problem. The people wanted the horse fixed & I guess had the money to do it. Five months later & over $30,000 the horse was euthanized, so we knew going in the chances were slim to none. We won't give up unless he gives up.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Eight years ago today, we had an incident that headed us down the road of rescue. The donkey in the foreground is the 1st Cisco. We bought him from a horse trader as a friend for BlackJack. He was in horrible condition, he had open habronema sores on his face, sheath, legs & had been used as a roping donkey. The woman told us he had been handed around in the "roping community" for quite sometime, & she had picked him up at the auction cheap, because no one wanted him. I would imagine he had quit running, & they just wanted to get rid of him.

Since then I've learned a lot about habronema, but at the time I knew absolutely nothing & my Vet at the time, didn't know much more, except to worm every week.

We had him 7 months & as you can see from the picture above he had come a long way & we had managed to get control of the habronema.

This picture was taken a few days before we had the Vet out, because we had noticed he wasn't dropping to pee. She put him on the ground, found out the sores on his sheath had adhered to each other, healed that way & consequently he couldn't drop. She started cutting & discovered she was in over her abilities for field surgery. At the time we did not have a trailer, & although she said she could pack where she had cut & we could haul him to the Equine Center in Gilbert, if we could find a trailer, the outcome probably wouldn't be good. So on January 19, 2000 we made the decision to euthanize him.

He was only about 7 years old, & probably had never had a safe home. He & BJ had learned to play together & it was heartbreaking to have to put a young healthy animal down, because we couldn't help him. I put an ad in the paper to give a good home to free donkeys. We got 3 donkeys from that ad, all with health issues, & as they say, the rest is history.

I wonder if Cisco came to us to show us the path we should take. I hope so, because otherwise his death would be such a waste.

Friday, January 18, 2008

COLD THIS MORNING..........!!!!!

It actually wasn't any colder than a lot of the mornings in December.................BUT........John forgot to turn the light on in the well house last night. Turned on the faucet in the kitchen this morning & "NO WATER"............!!! That certainly gets your attention. A lot of times when we have no water, someone has played with a hose or faucet outside, turning on the well & ran the well down, but not this time. We pressed on with chores, then about 5 minutes of running a milk room heater in the well house, fixed the problem. Tonight one of the first things he did after chores was turn on the light in the well house..........!!!! Nothing like experience to further your education, I guess.............!!!!This afternoon we went to visit these 3 girls in Tucson. They have a wonderful home in Tuscon with a couple that sees to their every need. The people have offered to foster for us if we ever have more than we can take care of. Hopefully that won't happen, but if it did this would be a perfect foster home. It's good to know, we have a Plan "B" & wouldn't have to turn down a donkey.

Next week Rusty will be going to a new home. Right now it's a temporary arrangement, but if he gets along with 2 donkeys & a mule it might be permanent. I don't see why he wouldn't, he's a pretty "mellow fellow".

I haven't checked on Molly to see how she is doing in her new home, maybe this week-end I will call.

By the way, Jenny didn't have pebbles caught in the crack of her hoof. When I got a chance to look, it turned out to be hoof material. It sure looked like a rock to me.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


I haven't said much about Jenny & how she is doing since we saw her trot a couple of times. She doesn't run around trotting all over the place, but she does move easily & doesn't seem to have any pain in her feet at all. Below are a couple of pictures of her front feet, & although they look horrible, they seem to do what they are intended to do.This is her right front, which has always looked the worse. She had a lot of infection in this hoof & it is the one that had proud flesh & maggots this summer. In the picture it looks like there might be a couple of pebbles caught in the vertical crack. I went out with a hoof pick this morning after I saw the picture. As far as I can tell there isn't an equine on the property.............!!!! I guess they are over on Burroland, but it's unusual that we can't find at least one or two...........!!!!
The left one has always been the one that seemed to bother her the most. As far as I can tell, it never had any openings to the outside like the right one did. In fact I can still get hydrogen peroxide to bubble, if I spray it on on the right foot.

I also called Lynda this morning to see how Chili & Gus are getting along. She said they are doing great, they hang out together & even do some rearing & play fighting. She said Gus has put on a little weight & REALLY loves his treats..........!!! Hmmmmm.............. hope he's not getting TOO many treats. After being by himself on a ranch for years & being thought of as a nuisance, it sounds like he's really having a good time, which is what we like to hear.

I'll wait a few days to check up on Molly Brown to see how she is settling in to her new home. Things are kinda slow around here today it seems, without her nosy little self running around keeping everyone "entertained".

Monday, January 14, 2008


This is Molly in her new home visiting with a little donkey & pony "next door". Actually there is a couple of horses in the pen with her, that she is choosing to ignore. The people hadn't even seen a picture of her, & fell in love with her when they saw what a pretty girl she is. They have quite a few horses in different pastures, so if she doesn't work out with the ones in this pasture there's others. I must say she really worked all the people that came over to see her. She let them touch her all over, pick up her feet & seemed to think all the attention was great fun.

On the way home I was wondering how long before we got a call about a donkey needing a home. It seems like anytime we find a home for one, another one shows up needing a home. Sure enough, when we got home, there was a message on the answering machine about an older arthritic mule, that the people want to give to us. I'm afraid this is going to be happening more often, since the price of hay is so high. We've never had to turn down an animal that needed a new home, although we have turned away young healthy animals, to make sure we have a slot for one that needs an assisted living or hospice home. I tell myself that it isn't me that is getting rid of an old friend & I wish we could take any animal that is no longer wanted. But since there is just the 2 of us, we have to make hard choices.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

COLD NIGHTS AGAIN............!!!

I have a hard time deciding whether to cover Sha'ba & Pepper with blankets at night. I don't want to ruin their natural ability to keep warm themselves, without a human saying when it's cold & when it isn't. The mornings have been getting pretty cool, this morning it was 18 degrees. No one was moving around, & once the sun started coming up they all gravitated towards areas where the sun was shining. Pepper was standing outside his pen in the sun & wouldn't move. Sha'ba was as far back in his shelter as he could get. Sha'ba isn't fat, but he does have a little more meat on his bones than Pepper does. I put their blankets on them, & Pepper immediately went in his pen, so I guess it made him more comfortable. I told them I won't keep trying to outsmart the thermometer, I'll just automatically put their blankets on every night until the nights start staying above 32 degrees.

Tomorrow is the day we take Molly Mule to her new home. She will do just fine & I would imagine have everyone on the farm wrapped around her delicate little hoof, in no time.

This video has nothing to do with my guys, but I always have it available on my computer to show people, just how fast things can go wrong. Every time I see it, I cringe, & also wonder at the stupidity of man.............!!!!!

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Fred is on the right almost out of the picture. This is his meeting with some of his new neighbors & friends. I guess we worried too much about him staying with his sheep. He hit the ground & seemed to know immediately that he was a pig.............!!! I just talked to Donna & she said he spent the whole afternoon, trying out all the pigs, male & female.........!!! Hmmmm........... guess he is going to get neutered after all. If he had been a little more "discreet" perhaps he could have gotten away without having to go thru "corrective" surgery. As crippled as he was just a few weeks ago, it is amazing how well he is getting around now. It sounds like he's going to be getting a lot more exercise, which should also help his arthritis.

The sheep girls, seemed to make the move OK. I don't know if he even knows they are in the pen, from what Donna said all of his attention is on the pigs. She said he was exhausted & fell asleep outside the barn, rather than going inside with the rest of the animals for the night. So she covered him up with a blanket. If the girls are outside with him, Annie will probably try to eat the blanket, that's what she did every time I tried to put one on him.

We went to Ironwood Pig Sanctuary after dropping the girls & Fred at their new home, & picked up 2 young pigs for our friend Terry. Terry went on the day's adventure, she came over this morning to help us load Fred, which is a good thing. I would never have thought of backing him into the crate, rather than trying to "herd" him in head first. I can say, that head first herding doesn't work very well. They have over 400 pigs at the Sanctuary, which is just mind boggling. Everything looked clean & tidy, I can't imagine the logistics of taking care of that many pigs. They even had a pig dropped off last week that had a litter of 4 babies a couple of days later. They are a week old & cute as they could be, running around like they were big guys. I doubt if they weighed a pound each. I can see why people would want them when they are so little & cute. Unfortunately they grow up into a maybe not so cute 100 pound plus pig, perhaps with attitude, that is no longer wanted. Thank goodness there are places like Ironwood doing what they can to not only help the unwanted pigs, but to educate the public.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


We did a home study today, & I don't think we could have found a better home for her. It's a community of people on 165 acres, that do organic gardening. They have ponds, are planting orchards, lots of different types of animals, a beautiful place with lots going on. Should be a perfect place for a inquisitive little mule with a busy mind. It's about 2 1/2 hours from here in the Tubac area, which is really a pretty part of Arizona.

Monday, January 07, 2008

RUSTY IS TALENTED.............!!!!

John came back in this morning to tell me it wouldn't be necessary to let Rusty out of his pen today. He had already taken care of that little project himself, sometime in the night. Judging from the lack of poo in his pen & the amount of hoofprints all over the place, we assume he "escaped" early in the night. I would imagine Molly played with him as long as he would play. When we put him back in his pen for breakfast, one of the first things he did was lay down & rest for awhile..............!!!! "No fool, like an old fool", as they say....................!!!!

The cold mornings have disappeared, at least for awhile. No ice to break, & the old guys don't even need their blankets, which is great. Sha'ba never goes out at night, but Pepper usually does. If he has a blanket on, he has to stay in the pen, which makes for a cranky old donkey. His temperment is MUCH better when he is allowed to do exactly what he wants to do.................believe me.....!!!!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

RUSTY HAS ARRIVED.............!!!

This is Max welcoming Rusty back into the "herd". He looks pretty good for an elderly "gentleman" doesn't he? From the looks of Rusty's mouth, he looks like he is saying something. Hopefully it's "glad to be back old friend".

Miss Molly Brown acted like a wild child, you would have thought she had never seen another equine in her life......!!! She bucked & snorted & cavorted, & pranced & in general seemed to be saying, "look at me, look at me......!" I was standing by her one time, & she turned around a tried to nip me on the arm. Not sure what that was about, but she didn't appreciate my immediate reaction.

We'll probably let him out tomorrow & he can put up with her nonsense. Tuesday we are doing a home study for her a possible home south of Tubac. Sounds great, 165 acres with lots of grass.

Thursday we are taking Fred, & his little harem of sheep to their new home. The people that came out to trim hooves & tusks are going to give them a home. She was talking about the sheep when they were here, & her husband said, "don't even think about it". When she called she said he came to her, & said he would feel bad if Fred was separated from his sheep, so they might as well take them. I can't think of a better home, she works at the Ironwood Pig Sanctuary & it will be great that he can stay with his friends, admittedly a strange relationship, but it works for them.

Thursday, January 03, 2008


Almost 2 years ago, Rusty the mule came to stay with us for awhile. His family was moving on & at age 27 they didn't want him out in the world. A good non-working home with lots of animals on 5 acres showed up & off he went to start a new life. But circumstances change, & we just got a call from his owners asking if they could bring him back. Hay is up to $14.00 a bale & they are having to downsize their animal herd. When someone adopts an animal from us, they sign a contract that says the animal will be returned to us, if they can no longer keep it. So he should be back this week-end some time. He is a real nice mule, a little boy rode him to school for 2 years a few years ago, which is fascinating in this "modern" day & age.

We are actively looking for a home for "The Unsinkable Molly Brown". We put a message out on the internet for the Tucson area & have had quite a bit of interest in her. It will have to be a special home, & even then I don't know if John will let her go or not..............!!!!

Fred, the pig was playing with his ball this afternoon. That's the first time since we've had him, that he's shown interest in anything except laying around or eating. I am giving him meds for arthritic pain, & he's getting a lot more sunshine than he had access to in his old pen, so maybe he's feeling better.