Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I'm waiting for a phone call from the hay delivery. It's coming from northern Arizona & they are suppose to be here around 7am...........!!!!! They certainly started early this morning, I guess...........!!!!!

John is on an emergency run to Benson. Mother called this morning & the pump in her fish pond quit during the night & she had 5 dead fish this morning from lack of oxygen. So he took off to take care of that crisis. I told him he might run onto a load of hay on his way home, & if so, just bring it home with him.......!!! (G) I'd like to go out & get everyone in their pens, before the hay gets here, so we can open the driveway gate. BUT, I have to stay in the house & wait for the call......!!!

Monday, June 29, 2009

It's hot enough today, I hope this picture will make us feel cooler..............!!!

Sha'ba seems to be back to normal, although he still isn't cleaning his feed bucket. In fact this morning he wanted out & left about half of his breakfast. I don't think he is a big mesquite bean eater, although a lot of the others are eating the green mesquite beans hanging in the trees. They haven't ripened yet, but I anticipate they will pretty soon. We are watching poo for beans & when they start dominating the poo, some of them will be staying in pens for awhile.

I'm waiting for Courtney to come out to trim the ones that need it. The victims had to stay in their pens this morning because we didn't know for sure when she would get here. Daisy has stayed by Chester's pen most of the day. I didn't even know she had a "thing" for him, she's usually with Frijolita.

Speaking of Frijolita this morning while she was finishing up her hay I casually reached down to pick up her foot to see if she needed to be trimmed today. Well, she took off like I had insulted her. Sigh.................... chasing her was not what I had planned, so off we went. She caught up with Tula & started following her. Tula certainly didn't want to be chased by me, so she started trying to escape, & of course Frijolita kept following & I kept following. Heard a noise behind me, turned around & there was Daisy, also following. Frijolita would stop, I would pet & as soon as I reached for her foot, she'd take off again. And the entourage continued............!!!! On about the 3rd trip thru the pen area John what I was doing. He was picking up poo which is what I was suppose to be doing.....!!!! One time Tula started to go into her pen, because she knows that is neutral territory. As she got close to the gate, she started kicking back at Frijolita. I guess she had figured out Frijolita was the one I wanted & was trying to tell her to go away. Daisy girl was hanging in there. After about 3 or 4 more tours around the 10 acres, she stopped, planted her feet, I walked up petted her, told her what a silly girl she was, reached down & picked up her foot. After a couple of seconds I tried to put it down & she held it up in the air. I guess she was trying to tell me after all that, the least I could do was get a good look.......!!!! (G) One thing I did notice, in all that walking around she never once hiked her hind legs up with string halt, which is great. Maybe the acupuncture Dr. Weaver did, has made a difference.

Yesterday when they all came in for breakfast, Chester & Pepper came in about the same time & were standing outside the pens. Old Pepper started pushing his chin out at Chester & tried to intimidate Chester by putting his neck across Chester's neck. Silly old fool, Chester could clean his clock if he wanted to. Pepper doesn't have a clue that he is old, crippled & really should take life easy. He chases the girls, tries to intimidate the boys & in general seems to think he's "hot stuff".....!!!!!!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Daisy's Dad & his friend Tim, made it by yesterday as planned. We hadn't met George before, & we always enjoy meeting the people that have molded personalities of the donkeys, good or bad. In this case very good. You can tell what kind of home donkeys have been in, by the way they interact with their surroundings. Daisy is very very gentle & has the sweetest nature of any of the donkeys. I worried about her when she first came, because I don't think she has a "stand up for myself" bone in her body. But she adapted very quickly, if someone wants to eat where she's eating, she just goes someplace else. We always make sure there are more places to eat than donkeys. Both Lynne & George said she was a wild roping donkey when they got her 16 years ago. You can tell she has had nothing but love in a comfortable home for all these years, by her personality, totally trusting. She does do one thing that is out of character. If I stand in front of her to pet, she will usually push me with her nose, pretty hard, just one time. Not sure what that is about, but it seems to work for her.

Sha'ba seemed back to normal all day yesterday, but last night when John went out at bedtime he was uncomfortable, with lots of gurgling going on in his tummy. I'm assuming we are dealing with gas colic still. So he got another shot of banamine. I checked him this morning & he took a treat, but hadn't eaten last night's mush. That was at 5am, we're getting ready to go out & feed pretty soon. I'll decide then whether to give him another shot or not. I read up on colic last night, & it seems barometric pressure changes can cause colic. The vet said something about that too. Other than that, nothing fits unless he has something going on internally we don't know about. I might quit adding the Calf Manna to his feed. That is the only change in his routine we've made lately.

Friday, June 26, 2009

GOOD NEWS............!!!!!!

Sha'ba seems to be back to normal this morning. I gave him another shot of banamine before we went to bed last night. This morning he is perky & was "huffing" for food. Last I saw of him, he had his little head buried in his feed bucket enjoying his breakfast. I hope that is the last colic for awhile. We're all wore out today...........!!!! (G)

I think it was gas colic. While we were sitting with him in between feeding the others last night, a couple of times he laid down & tried to roll. The wiggling & squirming seemed to get things moving, & judging from the sound he had a lot to move, poor little guy.

I'm so glad he's feeling better, at his age anytime he doesn't act "normal", I worry. I told the vet I wanted at least 10 more years out of him. She said she doubted it, but it gives us something to shoot for.

Daisy's Dad is coming to see her today. Her Mom came down a few weeks ago with a friend, but this will be the first time George has see her since she left home. I wonder if she will recognize him? Bet she will...........!!!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

This morning when breakfast was served, Sha'ba wasn't interested after sticking his head in the bucket, which is highly unusual for him. I watched him for awhile & thought he had choked on his first bite or two. We worked with him in between chores, & about an hour later I gave him a shot of banamine. Watched him for awhile & finally put in a call to the vet. She said she could make it out this afternoon, & by the time she got here, we knew he was colicing instead of choking. So far he isn't popping back to normal very quickly. He's too small for her to palpate, so we have no idea what is going on inside. She tubed him, we had to put him in our little homemade squeeze because he really was being uncooperative. As it was, he tried to rear and/or climb out the corral panels. Got a hoof caught thru the panel, & I had a heck of a time getting it back on the right side. He stepped on my finger in the process. John ended up with a bloody hand, & no idea how it got that way. After the vet left & we started feeding, we took turns doing feeding & setting with him. He seems to be more comfortable, but still isn't back to normal. Not the least bit interested in eating.

It's odd that the last few posts I've made to the blog were all about him. Hopefully I'll have good news in the morning, at least I hope so. He's too old to start having to doctor & colic can really be nasty.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

It seems like right now we have a lot of bees, going after water. So far no one has gotten stung but I worry about someone gulping up one, which wouldn't be good. It's starting to get hotter & drier, so I assume the bees will keep coming. I spend a lot of time fishing them out of the water, unlike wasps I guess they can't land on the water.

Sha'ba & I are still fighting the battle of the habronema larvae on his sheath. We're down to 2 small areas, which is a piece of cake from my point of view. I clean him up in the morning, & cover the area with invermectin. At night I cover his sheath with swat, figure that will slow down reinfestation.

I was asked about his history. Everyone is doing pretty good right now, so I'll give a little background on him. He came off one of the local Indian Reservations, I don't know which one. A horse trader got a good deal, 5 donkeys, but she had to take them all. Four of them were young, healthy & wild as march hares. We got a call about the 5th one. She said he was crippled, blind & there was no way she could re-sell him, would we take him? We said yes, & drove to Tucson to pick him up. He was in much worse condition than we expected. He was a small standard, should have weighed around 300 pounds, probably weighed 200 or less. About half his ears had been cut off, he had an old break at a rear fetlock. His eyes were so matted & infected we also thought he was blind. His face was raw & bloody from flies & habaronema larvae. He had a hole thru his nose that lines up with scars on his mouth, where someone had ran a chain, rope, bull ring or something thru to lead him or tie him up. I don't think I have ever seen a more pathetic sight. He had been in with 4 young strong animals & I have no idea how long it had been since he had eaten well. We were told he was about 40 years old, but since he has very few teeth & those are completely worn down, I really don't know how old he is. We loaded him as gently as we could & didn't know if he would make the trip home, about 65 miles.

That has been 6 years ago. We cleaned him up I started agressively treating the habromena, which as above, I continue to do annually. When we got his eyes cleared up we were thrilled to find out that he does have sight in one eye. We made sure he had all he wanted to eat & found out that he will only eat so much. He seems to have a built in "I've had enough" trigger, so we don't have to worry about him getting fat.

He's my little Muffin Man, he was emotionally shut down, (wonder why) but once he came out of that, he is one of the most loveable donkeys there is. He also can be the most stubborn. Thank goodness he self trims his feet, even the one with the broken fetlock, which healed crooked. He might be little & he might be old, but two people & a cross tie can't control him enough for a foot trim.

He seems to be very healthy, after getting bit by a rattlesnake a few years ago, which was scary. He's probably actually more healthy than some of the others that were fed too much or too rich for years & have developed insulin resistance & have other problems. I think his leg was broke early in his life, perhaps his mother stepped on him or if they were in rough country, who knows what happened. I don't think he was ever worked, because he has no concept of people/donkey working relationships. At least normal ones. (G)

Friday, June 19, 2009

SHA'BA BIT ME.............!!!!!!!

Sha'ba has always been allowed more freedom to misbehave (if he wants to) than the others. Once we found out he wasn't blind & we got a little weight on him about 7 years ago, we found out he was mentally shut down. He actually came out of the shut down, & started reacting to people, although he was & still is hesitant about being close to the other donkeys. Along the path of rehabilition he started showing a little spunk which we encouraged. One thing he has done for a long time is to butt me like a goat when I come in with his feed. I dance around & we've developed a routine that works for us that gets his feed in the bucket & he thinks he's personally responsible for it getting there.

Usually I can get from the gate & to his bucket before he does. Then it's a simple matter to dump it & back away, as he marches in & starts to chow down.

This morning for some reason, he was fast or I was slow. When this clash happens he will stick his head in the bucket & you can't dump the soaked feed. So I turned the bucket I was carrying upside down in his feed bucket & just stood there. I guess he got upset because not only could he not get his head in the feed bucket, but he could smell breakfast under the thing that was keeping him from getting his head in the bucket. He turned around & bit down on my arm. Usually when an equine bites you, it's a crisis of sorts, good opportunity for broken skin, crushed tissue, blood & not a pleasant experience. Getting bit by one that has very few teeth & those are worn off to gum level is a little weird. I don't think I've ever been gummed by an equine before, complete with lots of slobber. It was kind of a slimy "yuck" moment. Yes he won, I immediately took the turned over bucket out of his feed bucket, he dived in & his little world continued to rotate as usual. And I will try to be quicker in the future, so as to not upset him.........!!!! (G)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

VISITORS TODAY...........!!!

Georgette & her friend Cilla (I think) came out today to see the donkeys. A few years ago, Georgette came out with a tour company & fell in love with Sha'ba. She has kept in touch, keeps track of how he is doing & has helped out when we have Open Houses. Last but not least she also adopted Sugar a couple of years ago as a friend for Jacque. She comes out to visit, when she has time, which isn't often, I think she said it had been 10 months. This is her & Sha'ba getting to know each other again. The cup of timothy pellets she is holding certainly helps.

Cilla has a donkey too. She originally got him as a companion for her horse, that has since died. So now she is down to a donkey, a goat & 5 dogs. She said the goat & the donkey get along real good.

We're suppose to get some rain tomorrow, at least they are forcasting a 40% chance. We sure could use it, everything is so dry. We make sure there is always water out on the ground, so everyone even the tiny critters can get a drink. The other day a gopher (king) snake was drinking out of the short stock tank. I ran to get the camera but of course by the time I got back outside, he was finished. I miss a lot of good pictures. It always amazes me at what neat pictures some of the blogs have on them. I'm usually lucky if mine are clear & not blurry.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


BlackJack & Buddy playing with dog rope toy

Had a good night of racing last night. John finished 7th in the main event out of 20 & our son finished 11th, after having to go into the infield for a tire change. Brought both cars home relatively unharmed, except for the back end of John's car. One of the other drivers used the left rear fender of John's car to stop, rather than using the brake pedal. He got blackflagged & fined, & John gets to do body work this week. Anytime you bring them home with the running gear OK, & the frame & body fairly straight, it was a fun night. We'll do it again next Saturday night. I found 2 pennies at the track last night, so I hope the good luck will carry over.......!!!!

After the races we went with some of the other racers to TTT (oldest family owned truck stop still operating in the U.S) to get something to eat. They gave John a birthday card with a donkey on it, a lot of the driver's had signed. All in all John had great birthday. Forty years ago when we started this particular hobby, I don't remember thinking, "gee whiz, I bet we'll be doing this in 40 years"................!!!!! (G)

Of course at that time we didn't know we would be doing donkey rescue either. We never know what twists & turns life will deal us, do we? The gang was happy when we got home about 1:30 am. They had been cooling their heels in the pens, while we were out having fun. When we come in late like that & they hear us unlocking the gate, they start yelling. Of course there is no sleep-in for the humans, the cats expect breakfast at the usual time in the morning. And once there is movement in the house, the equine also expect breakfast to be served. John use to use Sundays to wash the race car & check it over to get an idea of what needed to be done to get it race ready. But as the years pass, Monday or Tuesday or even Wednesday works just as well............!!! "Mature" people have to save energy where they can you know...............!!! (G)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

We had to make a trip to Phoenix yesterday. That is always fun, we have to feed early, in order for the gang to have time to finish eating. Given a choice between eating early or staying in their pens all day, I can tell you which they would choose.............!!! Of course eating early is one of their favorite things anyway.

The day before Dr. Weaver came out to do acupuncture on Max & Frijolita again. He said Max's hips are actually more level than they were, even though he's been flopping around a lot & falling in cactus. Frijolita has string halt & she really has improved since he was here a month ago. I haven't seen her hiking her back legs at all. So he gave her another treatment. Hopefully there will be some long term improvement for her. She & Chester are kind of an "item" & they would make a wonderful addition to the right home. It would take some one that wasn't looking for perfect donkeys, but wanted beautiful donkeys with sweet personalities. They both love attention & even though Chester was a roping donkey, he doesn't hold any grudge at all.

Dr. Weaver doesn't think acupuncture would help Pepper, & said my white willow bark, substi-Bute, & hylaun is probably as good as anything to help with his poor old legs. The old buzzard was checking out the girls this morning, to see if anyone thought he was cute, so he's doing pretty good for the shape he is in. I'm not sure any of them appreciate his attention, but it doesn't seem to hurt his feelings at all. Earlier this year he was so very thin, & I couldn't get him to eat anymore than he would eat. But I've started adding a lot of water to his feed, & also have been giving him Calf-manna & he's actually putting on a little weight. Someone on one of the groups mentioned Calf-manna, so I checked it out. Good heavens, they need to change the name, you can feed it to just about anything, including chickens. It's been around since 1931 & is touted as a healthy feed. I think it has licorice in it, which seems to be a real hit, not only with Pepper, but with Sha'ba & Max. All 3 of those have a hard time holding their weight.

Today is John's 69th birthday, & he is going to drive the race car tonight instead of our grandson. I hope he keeps it between the fences, doesn't run over anyone, or get run over & keeps the greasy side down..........!!!!! (G) Our son will be racing our other car in the same races, so maybe he'll look out for his Dad. Actually it doesn't work that way, if he tried watching out for his Dad, he'd probably get run over. I just hope they don't run over each other, that would really be bad.........!!!! (G)

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


This is Judy & Rory, getting ready to go home. I think she was glad to see him. Now maybe she will get brushed more & get some of the long hair off. One of the symptoms of Cushings disease is long hair that doesn't shed. Since she's been on pergolide, she has started shedding, although I don't know if she will ever slick out, her coat is pretty rough.

Noticed today that Frijolita is not losing weight. She was plump when she got here, & she's still plump. Now that we have an empty pen, we thought about feeding her by herself, rather than with Lucy, Daisy & Buster. But I don't really think she's eating that much hay, the four of them only get 10 pounds of hay a feeding. I would imagine she is eating "off the land", which is going to get quite interesting pretty soon. The mesquite trees have set lots of beans this year. Right now they look like small green beans, but once they plump up & turn brown, the equines will go after them like candy. Which means the ones that will over eat, such as Frijolita will have to stay in pens until the beans are either eaten or have fallen on the ground. Once they have been on the ground for a few days, the donkeys won't eat them, which is good.

Daisy looks like she is losing a little weight, which is good. She doesn't really seem to go out on the property & try to eat everything in sight, like some of them do. At least she is headed in the right direction.

Max still has a few cactus spines in his shoulder & still isn't very steady on his feet. He does pretty good walking in a straight line. But if he tries to turn or change direction, his hind legs go every which way. I sure hope this is just a bad time he's going thru.

Monday, June 08, 2009

JOHN'S BACK......................YIPPEE.................!!!!!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

I guess during the night someone brought back my sweet cooperative donkeys & took the ones from hell away. Well at least most of them, I still had 5 that waited until the last minute to show up this morning. That's a definite improvement over the last couple of days, besides Tula, Chester & Jenny don't count. They are ALWAYS late.....!!!

I've identified a problem area while John's been gone. He usually does the rounding up & fly mask detail. Tula will stand for you to put the fly mask on & off, BUT, when you're taking it off, she will throw her head & run, as soon as she knows it's loose. I don't allow her to do this & will keep working her around her pen, & get her to show me 2 eyes, until she gives up & will stand. John is the....... get it on, get it off, type even though I've told him it's much easier to get things accomplished when both parties know the rules. I can tell from her attitude, that she's been doing her thing, & he's been letting her get away with it. Last night in the dark, (thank goodness the moon was pretty bright) we were doing "stand still for fly mask removal, 101" for quite sometime. She finally stood, but I could tell from her body language, she was probably thinking bad thoughts about me. Although she is hard to work with she has never offered to kick, bite or run you down. I'm sure if you tried to corner her she might, although if she gets herself into a corner, (the pen is square) she will bury her head & tuck her tail, rather than show any aggression at all. I sure wish I knew why she is like she is.

Max still has a few cactus spines in his shoulder, I plucked 3 more out this morning before the muscles started twitching & he figured out what I was doing. He likes John, so maybe when John gets home tomorrow, he can get the rest, if they haven't broken down & fell out by then.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

This morning when I went out, the horsey group was here as usual. When Max the horse walked over to get his treat, I was horrified to see hundreds of prickly pear cactus spines sticking out of his neck, shoulder & body on his left side. He obviously had fallen in a cactus sometime during the night. He looked like he had a nasty run-in with a porcupine. No pictures, my first reaction was to start trying to pick them out. He was pretty good about standing & I got most of the big ones out, although, when I got to the shoulder the nerves that automatically get rid of flies kicked in, & some of those I haven't been able to get ahold of. He's also covered with the little tiny red hairy stickers, everywhere. He did try to bite me a couple of times, but doesn't seem to be bothering the remaining stickers, so I assume they bother me more than they bother him. It will only take a day or two for his body to start breaking them down, so I guess it's not a major crisis, but I do feel bad about it. Because of his broken neck & nerve damage we have to keep in the back of our mind someday he will get to the point that he will no longer be safe to roam around on rough ground. At that time we will have to make a decision in his best interest. I hope this was just a fluke & not a change in his situation.

Right now I am not happy with the rest of the gang. It was after 10 am this morning before they all managed to wander in for breakfast. It's interesting to watch the dynamics of the herd. They will go along for weeks, showing up on time, going in their pens, perfect little angels. Then something happens............. I sometimes think they've been replaced during the night with donkeys from hell. So the battle is on for a few days, & then they go back to being angels again. I've threatened to close the gate to Burroland, with them on the other side & leave them over there for the day. I have 2 reasons why I haven't........... # 1, there's no water over there..........& # 2, they probably wouldn't notice & if they did they probably wouldn't care.......!!!! (G) They do love their WILD country..............!!!!

Friday, June 05, 2009

John got to Indiana just fine, said he actually landed early in Dallas & Indianapolis, which was a pleasant surprise. He had a busy day planned today, getting ready for the memorial tomorrow.

I guess we're doing OK, although we did have a power struggle this morning. I'm probably the only one that recognizes it as a power struggle, we'll see if feeding tonight goes any quicker. When I went out this morning I had the horse & mules, & BlackJack. Everyone else was over on Burroland, ignoring the bell, & the passage of time. I fed the chickens, mixed up breakfast & still no donkeys. I fed the few I had, got ready to get the hay wagon & low & behold, here they came wandering across the wash. I ignored them, except for putting on their fly masks, no treats not even a sweet word & loving pat. I told them to get to their pens, & I MIGHT get around to them sooner or later. Everyone except Tula, I closed her pen, so she couldn't get in it. When I do this she stands outside & screams at me, like it's my fault. Everyone ended up in their pens got their breakfast & their hay, but no treats. I'm curious how tonight will go. Usually after one of these control battles, they straighten up for awhile. We'll see.......................!!!!!!

Flies are terrible right now, I use the fly traps & fly predators & they do a good job, but right now it's humid & flies are everywhere. It would be nice if it would rain & get it over with. We sure could use it.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

As planned we trimmed on Buster's feet. Bless his little heart he was such a good boy. I don't think his feet have been trimmed since we've had him, which has been over 6 years. He is rather fragile emotionally, although I think he has had good training in the past. But it was probably rather harsh training. Over the years he has learned to trust us & loves to give kisses, by sticking his tongue out the side of his mouth. Depending on your level of acceptance, he prefers to have you hug his head with your cheek on his tongue. But he will settle for a hand if that's your preference.

I sat on a little bucket, put his feet in my lap & trimmed away. He never pulled away or anything, just stood quietly as I spent a LONG time on each foot. If he had wanted to fuss, I was in a very vunerable position, but he was great.

Then last night he choked on hay pellets. We called the Vet after about an hour & left a message. It took about 3 hours before he finally cleared. Soon after the Vet called back & we discussed the ramifications of feeding pellets. I've had this discussion before with just about every Vet I know. Although we mix them with soaked beet pulp, they still hold their shape & obviously can get hung up on their way to the stomach.

John flies back to Indiana tomorrow for his Mom's memorial. He'll only be gone until Monday or 8 feeding sessions, depending on how you look at it. Up until a couple of days ago, they had been doing real good on coming in to be fed. But for some reason, independence has set in & they don't seem to see a need to come in until they are good & ready. John usually does round-up & he isn't quite as "forceful" as I am. Since there are a lot of them, & only one of me, I think it works out much better, if they take responsibility for showing up without me having to go ferret them out of the brush. I'm sure by the time he gets back, we'll all be organized & cooperative, at least I hope so. It's suppose to cool off into the low 90's, which will be nice.