Thursday, May 29, 2008

TULA, TULA, TULA..........!!!!!!!!

Tonight when it was time for everyone to go into their pens, Tula didn't want to go, & she took Chester & Chili with her. Everyone else showed good judgement & realized who was in charge.............sure they did.......... I'm sure the catalyst was hunger rather than our leadership qualities.

Anyway Tula took what was left of her "herd", the 2 boys & started running anywhere John & I weren't. It wouldn't be so bad, but trying to run & dodge mesquite & cactus, was NOT what we had planned for the afternoon. At our age, our dodging techniques, leave something to be desired, actually our running isn't very good either.........!!!!! After a couple of dashes across the 10 acres, Chester decided this wasn't as much fun as he thought it would be, & went in his pen. Another couple of runs & Tula gave up. It is really irritating, when she runs in her pen, spins around & brays at you. I don't know if she's laughing at us, or telling us to hurry up & feed her, now that she's in her pen.

That left dear darling Chili. This is the 1st time he's participated in the "freedom" run. He missed the memo that said, "Tula went in her pen, it's time for Chili to go into his". Three times he got right to his gate that was open. Gus was standing inside looking at Chili like he had lost his mind. He'd walk slowly right up to the opening, & just as you thought he was going in, he'd spin & take off running. If it was a game, he was the only one enjoying it, John & I certainly weren't. About the 4th time around, he came to the gate & walked in like that was what he was suppose to do...........!!!!! By this time, I just barely had enough strength left to carry feed buckets........!!! (G)

When it was time to take off fly masks, Tula still had a bee in her bonnet. She'd let me come up to take it off, but as soon as it came off her ears, she'd spin & take off. I kept putting it on her & taking it off, until she stood still. She really does not enjoy interaction with people. It's unfortunate because she is very intelligent & such a pretty girl. She's also very strong willed, which of course makes her interesting to watch.

I'm having to keep Jenny's front legs wrapped because of sores that have developed since it's gotten warmer. Last year she had similar sores on her rear legs. These type of sores are called jack sores on donkeys, summer sores on horses & the general consensus is they are caused by habronema larvae. I haven't seen any larvae in the sores, but used invermectin wormer like a salve on the sores, just in case.

I have found one habronema inside Sha'ba's nose. He has problems ever summer with habronema. The 1st summer we had him, I took over 50 larvae out of sores below his left eye. Since we put fly masks on everyone, eyes are no longer a problem. But he still has a few sores in his nose & on his sheath every year. As soon as I see a bunch of flies in a small area on him, I start doctoring. Cisco has to be watched also. So far this year he's OK.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Well, today when we tried to leave for town, we got chased down the driveway by............a cute little fuzzy donkey. I don't know if Twinkie wanted to go with us, didn't want us to go, or exactly what her plan of attack was. But that is a first, we've never had one try to catch the van before. That was after she had "helped" us clean pens this morning. Actually most of them try to help when we do pens. They figure out real quick that if they stand between us & the poo bucket, they will get attention.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


When we went out this morning to do chores we noticed an aroma around Justin. He must have found a skunk last night. Although he didn't get a direct shot, he was in close proximity. Obviously skunk smell doesn't bother them as much as it does us, because Lynn & Cheyenne didn't even seem to notice.

Twinkie was trying to figure out how to get in the bedroom window this morning before I got up. I made the mistake of talking to her. Once she heard my voice she wanted to come in. Thank goodness it's an awning window or she probably would have pushed the screen in.

They all had to stay in their pens today. We have somewhere to go tonight & they have become almost impossible to round up early. They will stand in the wash & look at me, like they have no idea what I want them to do. I have to feed by myself because John will leave early in the afternoon. Last week they had to stay in, & it worked out just fine, except for all the yelling & screaming. They only do that when we go outside, so if I stay inside I don't have to listen to them..........!!! (G)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

After being out for a couple of days, Twinkie (found out I was spelling it wrong) is doing pretty good. Although her lack of donkey manners is getting her into trouble. Fortunately she is young & fast, which is to her advantage, when things go wrong. She's missing a few tuffs of hair here & there, & isn't really as thrilled with being around donkeys as I thought she would be. She actually prefers John's company, & will come running when she sees him come outside. This afternoon she was "helping" him in the garage. So she has imprinted on humans, preferably men. So far Buddy Brat, & Chili seem to be the most upset about her lack of manners. Like either one of those two, have very good manners, at least as far as people are concerned......!!!! Gus also gets upset when she doesn't know that pinned ears mean, MOVE. Tomorrow I hope to have time to do a little grooming on her. She's got some rats in her baby fur. It's so fuzzy & fine that it mats, if foreign material gets caught in it or in areas where the fly mask wallers the hair. Waller is a Texas or Oklahoma technical term, in case you've never heard it before........!!! (G)

BlackJack has always had long fine hair too & it mats really bad, especially in his elbow areas. He was captured when he was a baby from a wild herd, but we've always thought he might have some Poitou in him. Gus also has "the look" & I haven't noticed him losing any of his long hair either. John keeps saying he thinks BlackJack & Gus had the same Mother. The way they react to things, move & in general approach life is so similar you would think they were related. Both of them are big bluffers, they act like big tough guys. Unless someone didn't get the "memo" & doesn't realize they are suppose to bow to these superior beings. I've seen Cheyenne a 32 inch miniature donkey run them off hay. Well, actually they just had someplace else they needed to be, & didn't want that old hay anyway. They are both the biggest chow hounds on the property, so I know that isn't so. But they don't like confrontation, unless they start it.

Friday, May 23, 2008


I met Carl yesterday when we took the donkeys to get their teeth looked at. A man we've met before that keeps horses at the Equestrian Center, said I had to come meet his new horse. As we walked along he started telling me..........the story.

An outfitter in another state sold a complete string of horses. They were loaded on a double decker cattle hauler & before coming into or thru Arizona stopped close to the border to do Coggins testing & get their paperwork in order. When it came time to reload them, the vet told the driver he was already overweight & refused to load the last horse, & offered to buy him for $300. A friend of the vet knew this man had always wanted a draft horse & within a couple of weeks, here he is named Carl for the vet.

We stopped walking in front of one of the most magnificent animals I have ever seen. Measured at about 6 feet at the withers (18.2 hands to be exact), feet like dinner plates, probably 2000 pounds or more, black as coal, & friendly as a puppy. Well trained, picked his feet up on voice command, & moved away when touched. He even knew how to mug me for treats I had in a fanny pack.

Bert looked at his teeth after he got thru with our little guys, & said his teeth had recently been worked on. I guess we all looked surprised, & Bert explained that since there are no slaughter houses in the U.S, only in Mexico & Canada, they are hauling horses to feed lots before crossing the borders. He said they can get the meat to marble (which isn't normal for horses) in a couple of weeks of high powered feeding, & float their teeth, so they get maximum utilization of the feed. Then they are hauled to their fate, across the border.

You might wonder about the double decker haulers, being used to transport equines. It is illegal to haul horses to slaughter in double deckers, right? There is nothing in the law about hauling horses in double deckers to feed lots. A technicality used by people that exploit these animals & squeeze every penny from them. It seems legislation no matter how well meaning, ever completely covers the subject. People against slaughter of horses, fought & won the battle to close down the last 3 remaining slaughterhouses in the U.S. BUT, without closing the borders to mass hauling of horses, the process is still in place. Except now the animals are hauled even farther & handled under inhumane conditions we can only imagine.

John came up with an interesting idea that I haven't heard from anyone else. Rather than go after the horse slaughter industry & try to shut them down, when there is money to be made, go after the end result. The people in foreign countries that eat high priced horse meat. Anyone that has equines knows that almost any meds, say it can't be used in animals for human consumption. Can you imagine the amount of drugs in race horses for example? Maybe an ad campaign touting the amount of drugs in the meat these people are eating...........?????

One saved........... 49 others not...........!!!!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

WINDY WEATHER.........!!!

Boy have we had windy weather the last couple of days. Last night, the wind was blowing so hard, we waited awhile to start feeding, hoping the wind would die down. We moved some of the bunks into the shelters. Could have saved our effort as far as Tula was concerned. She seemed to think we were trying to trick her or capture her in a 2 sided shelter I guess. She wouldn't even go close to it, until we went in the house. At least when John went out at bedtime to let them out, her hay was gone, so the assumption is, she finally ate it.

This morning, we took 2 of the old guys, Sha'ba & Pepper to see the equine dentist. I told John before we got there that this would probably be the last time these 2 went to the dentist. He read more into it than I meant, so I had to explain I only meant that, no more teeth than they both have there isn't much Bert can do for them. Their teeth are so short they will just fall out on their own. The teeth they still have are tight, & Bert agreed that unless they get an abscess or cracked tooth, he probably doesn't need to see them again. He also removed a deeply embedded cactus thorn from Sha'ba's gum above his teeth. Last time we took Jack, he found 3 cactus thorns stuck in his gums. What can I say............they like to eat prickly pear pads, thorns & all. It's a wonder they don't get more of them stuck I guess.

I promised Twinky when we got home from the dentist, I would let her out. I was afraid the wind would make her freak out, but she came out like a little lady. Buddy tried to run at her, & Gus was acting like a grumpy old uncle, but other than that, everyone seemed to ignore her. She's really people orientated, but needs to work on her approach. Running up behind people at speed, tends to make them panic.........!!! (G) A few well placed elbows & she's still running up behind us, but at least now she's stopping & throwing her head up in the air. Not sure if this is progress or not.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

GOT HER............!!!!!!

Talk about a fuzzy little girl............with big ears...........!!!!! Her name is Twinky & she actually loaded pretty easily, considering this wasn't what she had planned to do today, I'm sure. Her coloring is unusual, remembering my days of dying my hair, the word champagne comes to mind. Of course with the babies you can't tell what color they will be when they finally shed their baby coat in their 2nd year.

She's very friendly & didn't seem scared or anything, although she was hesitant to come out of the trailer. That might have been because of the welcoming committee that was surrounding the trailer. I finally had to get a whip & clear a path to her pen. We'll keep her in for a couple of days to give her a chance to acclimate, without having to contend with the whole group at once. This way they can come around & visit her thru the corrals pipe & she can get use to them a little at a time.

* * * * *

Monday, May 19, 2008


Tomorrow we will be picking up a little jenny about 9 months old. She was weaned at 4 months & hasn't seen a donkey since, although she is with horses. But they don't like her & her people want her to find a home with other donkeys. She's healthy & usually we wouldn't take her......BUT........she needs to learn to be a donkey before being rehomed. I'm sure she will find someone around here to hang with, hopefully not Tula...............!!!! (G)

Saturday, May 17, 2008


We have somewhere to go tonight, which means early feeding time. Last week John had already left & I had to round up & feed by myself. Let's just say, they weren't interested in being rounded up early for any reason. As I walked all over the place rounding up one donkey at a time, I promised them this week would be different. Today, after morning feeding they've all had to stay in their pens. Everytime we go out of the house, they start yelling & screaming to let us know, we've forgotten how it's done. I love to hear them bray, but not when they are all mad at me.......!!!!

Some people are suppose to come for a tour this afternoon also, so it won't be a total loss for the donkeys. They will get lots of pets & treats from the visitors, although from the way they are acting, I'm not sure it will be enough to sweeten their dispositions.

Max, the horse is doing a little better. His tail is hanging like it should & he seems to have more control over his right rear leg. I called the Equine Clinic at Gilbert yesterday, but haven't gotten an appointment yet. Even though he's improving, we'll take him, when we take Chester for his post surgical evaluation, probably next week.

So far this year I've been able to keep Cisco & Sha'ba habronema free, which is wonderful. By giving them benedryl every day, their allergies don't make them scratch themselves. No scratching, no irritated sores to draw flies, to deposit the habronema eggs. I wish I knew what they are allergic to, but as long as the bendryl does it's job, guess it doesn't matter. I noticed yesterday Jenny had a small sore on her leg, & there were flies all over it, & others landing on her leg waiting their turn.......!!!! So I would imagine her immune system isn't very good either. When I was little, hanging out with my Grandad & his farmer friends, I remember them saying, "don't buy a cow the flies are on, she's not healthy". From what I've observed with the donkeys over the years, I think they were probably right. I gave her benedryl for awhile, but she is really good at picking around them in her feed.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


These boys should be engineers I guess. If you follow a straight line from where I am standing, thru Gus' shoulder area, there is a corral panel upright, behind him. Normally the corral panels & gate off to the left are lined up between those 2 points.

This morning the boys got done with their hay, & noticed Buster & Lucy were still eating from their bunk. They tried the gate, which was locked so they couldn't open it. So the next best thing is to move the corral panels, until the goal is accomplished. You will notice the closest corral panel is up against the end of the bunk. PERFECT....... all they had to do then was stick their head thru the corral panel, & pick up hay that had dropped on the ground.

After we let them out, I found Chili on the courtyard...... again.........!!! I tried opening the door quietly, but as soon as he heard a slight noise, he took off. You think they don't know what they are suppose to do? Some of them like the adventure more than they like behaving.

Max the horse is having some neurological problems right now. He had a broken neck about 6 years ago, that was untreated. I've always been able to tell when he was having problems, he carries his tail to the left side, a little or a lot, depending on how much trouble he's having. This morning John noticed he didn't seem to know where his right rear leg is, & he is carrying his tail quite far to the left. He's not wanting to move around much, & spent time this afternoon calling to the "horsey" group to come to him. They ignored him just like he ignores them when they lose track of him. He finally started walking towards them, but he's slow & very awkward. Tonight I might try putting his hay in a manger on the ground, rather than hanging on the side of the corral panel. Might stretch his neck out. Hopefully it's temporary inflammation rather than permanent structural changes.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


We're getting ready to go out & feed, but I doubt if anyone is going to be interested. It has been windy all day, right now it is 57 degrees & trying to rain. Not weather that is condusive to getting donkeys to move into their pens, even if it's to be fed.

Earlier before the rain, they were running. I saw Jenny actually running for the first time. She was trotting, broke into a lope & back into a trot. But she ran a little bit. Chester my other cripple was right in the middle of it. When he runs, he also does a lot of kicking out. Keeps the others from getting too close to him I guess. Tula & Chili were the other two runners. Most of the others were spectators, although Justin the little mini was trying to keep up for awhile.

I've got to measure Peppers front legs. He is getting sores on the side of his knees & on his ankles (fetlocks) from laying down. Since we're going into summer, at least I thought we were, I want something that isn't going to be too warm. A friend is going to try to make one cover for the knee & another one for the fetlock, so the whole leg doesn't get covered. We'll see how it works.

It looks like we're going to have a bumper crop of mesquite beans this year, if the amount of blooms on the trees is any indication. Hopefully the wind today, got rid of some of the blooms before they set into beans. Most of the donkeys REALLY like mesquite beans. We've cut back a little on the amount of hay they're getting every day. There is lots of browse out there, & they are spending most of their time eating as much of it as they can. Not exactly putting them on a diet, but a few less calories isn't going to hurt them.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Granted I'm sure Max wouldn't appreciate being called a donkey, but he is showing what is allowed at the courtyard going into the house. Heads hanging over is just fine but not invasion.

Today we were gone most of the day, & got home just about feeding time. I had shut the courtyard gate when we left this morning. First thing I noticed was the gate was open when we parked the van. The second thing I noticed was the pile of fresh poo in the courtyard. That's just plain rude, but there wasn't a donkey in the vicinity to blame. They all know the courtyard is off limits, which of course makes it extremely tantalizing if the opportunity arises. Occasionally they can't help themselves, even with me outside & they knowing it. When that happens all I have to do is scream like a siren & they quickly leave. I have to be careful not to actually scare them, because they could fall on the sautillo tile, if they started scrambling. When I scream, they move out briskly, with the attitude of, "rats, I thought she was busy & wouldn't notice".

Over time, I've lost assorted plants either chewed down to the dirt or jerked out of the pots & thrown around everywhere. Mint & parsley seem to be favorites. They have also "pruned" the little mesquite tree planted in the courtyard, sometimes down to almost ground level, depending on how much time they have. Not too long ago, the gate to the back yard was left open, for just a few minutes. By the time we noticed, there were already 3 donkeys in the back yard. Virgin territory, their heads were down & they were eating as fast as they could. I guess they knew it wouldn't last long. Naughty, naughty donkeys............!!!

Friday, May 09, 2008


I wanted to draw your attention to this important petition
that I recently signed:

"Support the Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit"

I really think this is an important cause, and I'd like to
encourage you to add your signature, too. It's free and takes
less than a minute of your time.


There seems to be a lot of interest brought on by the break-
down of Eight Belles in the Kentucky Derby to make changes in
the industry that would benefit the horses. Let's do what we
can to help.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

There was a photographer out this morning taking pictures for a possible story in Arizona Highways magazine. They want to do an article about a day trip from Tucson to visit areas of interest in the San Pedro Valley. Donkeys of course don't understand or care about photography, tripods, or standing still with the pretty mesquite tree in the background. It's worse than trying to get a 2 year old child to sit still for a studio picture........!!!!! What gets me is usually they will stand perfectly still...........for hours at a time.

I started Chester on Baytril by mouth this morning. That will give his neck a break from getting a 10cc Naxcel shot every morning. Although I change sides, I know his neck gets sore. I'm not sure the Baytril works as good as the Naxcel, so I will watch him closely the next few days. He's been walking pretty good for a week or so. If he starts limping again, I'll go back to the Naxcel.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


Yesterday I went to town, which always means sacks & assorted "stuff" to unload. For some reason Gus seemed to think that his help was needed. It is difficult to open the side door on a van, gather up as many sacks, etc as you can carry, & get the door closed again, before your "helper" either grabs one of the sacks, or you get one of the sacks caught in the door as you try to shut it quickly, so the "helper" can't grab a sack. It's a very clumsy project, & I have never been able to get them to agree to leave me alone when I'm unloading the van. I dropped the mail all over the ground, & figured it would be safe, since it's inedible, while I took what I was carrying into the house.

Came back out & Gus had a newsletter of magazine size in his mouth, swinging it around in the air, like a flag. By the time I got to it, between his snotty nose & what looked like hoof prints on torn pages, it's not very readable anymore. Wouldn't been so bad, but it's actually our neighbor's mail, we're picking up for them. I don't know how he could cause so much damage in such a short amount of time................!!!

As for his snotty nose, he has managed to get a cold or as they call it in equine circles, rhino. He was punky for a couple of days, but has bounced back, except for the snotty nose. I've tried to clean it, & he seems to like it just the way it is. I tried putting lotion on it because he's rubbed it enough to make it sore. EEEEEKKKK!!!!! you would have thought I was using acid. In fact he was such a pill, he had to stand tied until he would quit pawing the ground & stand still. He dug a big hole to show his displeasure, & also would not except any treats.......or what he obviously thought of as bribes.

Chester is continuing to improve, & is walking with almost no limp at all. We are planning on taking him up to the equine center in Gilbert later this month, & have him evaluated. I'm not going to quit giving him antibiotics until I'm told to. So we'll see what Dr. Taylor has to say.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Friday, May 02, 2008

Yesterday Lucy, Pepper, Jenny & even Chester got their "toes" trimmed. Gus & Chili had to be put in their pens, talk about being in the middle of things............!!!! Jenny was not a well mannered lady. She never has been & even though I've been soaking her feet, she still has a possessiveness about them being picked up & worked with.

Chester was roaming around watching all that was going on, & Courtney noticed that his heel on his bad leg was high. So she decided to try to trim, at least that foot. We're not sure but from his attitude, he might not have ever had his feet trimmed, except when we put him on the ground. He's not particularly fidgety but he does have a quick & accurate rear foot. He's never kicked since he's been here, but he decided he didn't want Courtney messing with him. Even after she gained possession of the foot, trimmed a little, put it down & told him what a good boy he was. When she tried to pick it up again, his rear foot whizzed real close to her head. So much for "poor crippled Chester", he got treated like any other donkey being rude. He finally let her work on the foot, but I don't think he changed his mind.

This morning we removed Jack's bandage. We put him in one of our corral panel squeezes, because of his past behavior. He didn't move a muscle, he stood there just like that was what he had planned for the day. He acted like he knew we were trying to help him. Maybe the old buzzard is mellowing with age. The leg looks good, at least what I could see. The vet put some sort of covering over the dissolving sutures. It's about the size of a postage stamp, & is really stuck tight. I might be able to get it off by wetting it, but certainly wasn't going to peel it off. I'll watch it for the next couple of days, hopefully it will flake off by itself.

Thursday, May 01, 2008


Justin has decided that Tula is his type of girl the last day or so. Doesn't seem to matter that she is about 46 inches tall at the withers & he is maybe 33 inches, if he stands TALL....!!!! Also doesn't seem to matter that she thinks he's a little nuisance, what he lacks in size he makes up for in perserverence. Of course there is also the little matter of him being gelded, which doesn't help his mission. He's definately getting lots of exercise, I just hope she doesn't get so irritated with him that she stomps him into the ground. We've had enough medical bills lately.......!!! (G)

Right now everyone that have allergies are getting generic benedryl every day. Most of them have dry eyes, but I still haven't found the right amount to give Gus, to keep his eyes dry. Even with a fly mask on, he's got wet streaks under his eyes. He's up to 20 tabs a day.

Courtney is suppose to be out today to trim Jenny, Pepper & Lucy. That means they have to stay in the pens, so we don't have to go find them when she gets here. Buster always goes in the pen with Lucy. He'd rather give up his freedom, than to be separated from her, even though his feet never need to be trimmed.