Saturday, January 30, 2010


Yesterday we did a home study for a woman that came out this week to visit with the donkeys.  I saw an ad on Craigslist for 2 jennies & gave her the information & said we'd move them for her if she decided she wanted them.  We also said we would do a home study.  

 CANADA 1937

They are pretty girls both about 6 years old.  Our recent rains have made a mess of the pen they are in & they are standing in deep mud.  Unfortunately their feet haven't been trimmed in a long time, the owner said she hack sawed the feet on one of them when she got them about 8 months ago.  The slippered feet, standing around in mud for days, is a prescription for thrush, white line disease & just about anything else than could cause hoof problems.  

Susan decided to take them, even though they aren't socialized.  I think she might be a rescuer at heart.  We will be hauling them from Hereford Monday, if all goes as planned we will bring them here for a few days.  I am trying to coordinate taking them to the vet to be trimmed by a farrier under sedation.  It would be the easiest answer for everyone involved including the girls.  And it would also give us the opportunity to see if they have any problems with their feet developing.  

While they are here, we will make a small corral around the back of the trailer.  We will feed & water them in the trailer, & they will be able to hop out & visit with whoever comes by to visit with them.  It should just be a few days, I've already talked to the farrier, & he's game.......!!!!!!  Have to wait until Monday to talk to the vet.  She's the one that brought a cowboy & dart gun to geld Paladin, so she has an adventurous outlook on life...........!!!  Ha!

I've been having great fun with my new microscope.  It was a very  much appreciated donation to the sanctuary, (thank you guys, you know who you are)  so I can do fecal samples.  A neighbor has been helping me, & although he is microscope trained, he's not use to looking for worm eggs.  I think he's a trained hydrologist.  I have some pictures of what worm eggs look like, but just about the time I think I know what I'm looking at, something else looks interesting too.  I'll get it figured out, in the meantime, what a fun thing to work with.  There were some prepared slides with the microscope, & the one of bee parts is really something to see.  I went on the internet to see if I could buy  prepared slides of the types of worm eggs equine have.  So far I haven't found them specifically, but they sure have a laundry list of other weird things you can get to look at.  I'll keep looking. 

Pepper is really having a hard time during this wet humid cold time of year.  He takes so long to eat & then he usually lays down.  A lot of time he doesn't even go out of his pen during the day, which means he doesn't get any exercise.  At night he has to stay in the pens because he has his blanket & Whinny Warmers on.  Unfortunately some nights he can't stand on 3 legs enough to get the warmers on, so then I wrap his legs in polo wraps, to help keep them warm.  Hopefully when it warms up he'll be able to get around more which will help his legs.  His legs are all arthritic & he has a bad knee & a hip that was probably cracked a year or so ago, poor old guy.  His ears are still up & he's still interested in the ladies, so although he doesn't move around much he's still enjoying life, which is good.   

Friday, January 29, 2010

Under "New Stuff" on the right side is a link to the Cloud Foundation that is documenting the latest round up of wild horses by the BLM.  Please read it & get involved, write your senator, representative, write letters to your local papers.      A letter to the director of BLM might also help.

These horses & burros belong to the American people & are being rounded up & warehoused because the ranching lobby wants them off the land they lease from the American people.

This is a story written by Ginger Kathrens about a young foal that was killed by the inhumane round up by these representatives of the American people.  There are more horses & burros being kept in pens, over 30,000, than are still running free. 

Even if you aren't the write a letter type, or don't like to get involved, please take just a moment to let our government know this is wrong in so many ways. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Paladin has lost the privilege of being out with the girls as of this morning.  When everyone came in this morning it was a mess.  Paladin was right in the middle of it, chasing girls with a purpose in mind I guess.  Some of the girls are missing hair on their neck where he had bitten them.  Frijolita has a wound on her leg where she has ran into something.  So the grand experiment is over, he will have to stay in his pen when they are out like before.

I think it would be a lot easier on everyone if he was older.  He's only about 3 years old, so he is in his prime & thinks the world revolves around him.  Although the girls think the game is fun, they don't seem to have the durability to stay ahead of him.  It would be OK if he'd chase, they run & after a few minutes everyone would stop & mind their own business. But that isn't how Paladin operates, once he starts chasing it seems like he can chase for hours. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Mr "HOT TO TROT" is in his pen even as I type.  We looked out & Paladin was chasing Frijolita, not really being mean, but he wouldn't quit.  John went out & popped him on the hip with the bb gun.  It does make him stop long enough for the girls to get away.  But they come back around & run in front of him to start the game again.  GRRRRRRRR.........!!!  He took off after Hanna & she double barreled him in the chest, which slowed him down but not much.  Daisy our resident old "cougar" girl kept coming back, she was huffing & puffing & sweating, but didn't want to quit I guess. 

We started trying to get him in his pen, which of course he looked at as ruining his "style".  He ended up over on the 20 acres of Burroland & here come the girls. I got behind them & headed for the gate.  Wonders of all wonders he went thru the gate & after a couple of abortive trips around the pens, went in his pen.  So where did the girls go?  They are hanging around outside his pen right now........!!!!  WHAT IS IT WITH THEM.............????
We are trying a couple of new ideas to see how they work.  Although the rain has quit & the pens have dried up we are still feeding Daisy, Frijolita, Jenny & Hanna out with Quilla, Buster & Lucy.  That way when they get thru eating they can go do what they want rather than wait on us to come & let them out.  It's been working out real good, although Hanna seems to be a "feeder hog" for some reason.  They have 5 feeders for 7 animals, which should make sure there is plenty of room for everyone.  Well, according to Hanna, the other 6 donkeys can share 4 feeders, because one of them is hers.  I never noticed her doing this in the pen with the other 3 jennies, so I'm not sure what that is all about.  The others just ignore her since they know there's plenty of room.  This morning they had to stay in the pen though.  Some people are coming out for a tour & it works out much better with the majority of them in pens.  Buster, Quilla & Lucy are always out, we don't have an extra pen to put them in if we wanted to.  Those three are all very gentle & don't get pushy with the visitors.  Some of the others get too pushy with people even if there is no food offered.  There is no way Gus could ever be out on a regular basis with people.  He's like baby Huey, he wants to be right in your face & he's big enough that can be intimidating to people that haven't been around large animals.

The other "experiment" is Paladin has been out day & night for the last 2-3 days & we thought it was going good.  When I first let him out, the girls & boys were teasing each other & everyone was having great fun.  Old Pepper was even trying to get into the fray, until Buster kicked at him & made him back off.  So when the gate opened he headed for the fun & latched onto Tula, who is more than able to take care of herself. Hadn't seen any problems, like sweaty animals from running, or bite marks or anything like that.  In fact Hanna the one that jumped the corral to get away from him, & ended up hanging upside down, has been staying with him, obviously she like boys that play rough or she has a short memory............!! 

But this morning when John went out Paladin was chasing Frijolita, not in a mean way, but he was keeping her moving.  John broke it up, & while everyone was standing around, Daisy ran in front of him so he would chase her.  So I can only assume that he is not being mean, & everyone is enjoying the game.  We'll watch them for awhile, but it looks like the testosterone level is falling.................YIPPEE! 

Sunday, January 24, 2010

We had some visitors today, thank goodness it was clear & sunny, the type of day people come to Arizona to enjoy.

They write & photograph for magazines & have been doing it for many years.  What kind of fun would that be, bumming around the country?  I'm afraid it would take more self discipline than I have, although the travel & finding things to write about would be a lot of fun.  Susan called a couple of days ago & asked if they could come out & maybe do a story on the donkeys.  My 1st question was, "how did you find us?".  They were RVing north of Tucson & someone there had been out here & had a brochure.   I think, the world is getting smaller & smaller all the time.

They were here a couple of hours & right before they left we let the donkeys out of their pens, so Eric could get some "wild" pictures.  Gus promptly headed for their truck to snot the windows.  We warn visitors whenever Gus is out their vehicle is probably going to be checked out.  He never fails to live up to our warning unfortunately. Heh, heh, heh.........!!!!


Saturday, January 23, 2010


Last night was another "all nighter".  John checked the rain gauge this morning & said it was a little over 2 1/2 inches.  WOW, that's impressive after years of a few sprinkles here & there. 

But it has made a mess of some of the pens.  Here in the desert southwest we don't worry about leveling pens, having layers of gravel, & all the other things people in other parts of the country have to worry about.  So when it does rain, YUCK...........!!!

We decided last night after the weather report, to let the girls out of the jenny pen for the night, so they could go where they wanted to to find some drier ground.  That was the 1st time they had been out with Paladin in quite awhile.  Three or 4 times during the night I heard him serenading the girls.  I even thought one time of getting up & trying to get him in his pen, just in case he was running them.  But I figured he'd look at me like I'd lost my mind with all these pretty ladies out there to be impressed with his masculinity. 

When they all came in this morning from Burroland I watched to see if there were any casualties.  They were all together including "stud muffin" & the only problem I saw was Quilla limping on his club foot.  He was limping on it a little bit yesterday & I cleaned it out, in case a buildup of mud was bothering him.  So I guess I can't blame that on Paladin. 

Paladin is in his pen today, although I'm thinking of letting him out this afternoon to see how he behaves.  I'd rather have him out with the others, if he can behave himself.  It's been about 4 months since his "brain" surgery, so hopefully his hormones are gone.  Old Pepper still serenades the girls & he was gelded over 35 years ago, so maybe that isn't a good litmus test. 

Friday, January 22, 2010


It rain here almost all night, started out windy & hard rain, but as the night wore on it calmed down to a soaking rain, which we desperately need.

When we went out this morning in the rain to feed, a lot of the donkeys were making use of the shelters.  In fact Katie was up in the Fat Farm shelter, she was dry & she wasn't moving.  The minis were in Paladin's shelter, much to his disgust.  He was trying to get in his pen, & they were trying to get out.  You could read his body language & know what he was thinking............"get the midgets out of my pen......NOW"!!!   Jack the mule was standing on the porch of the feed room & waited until his shelter was empty before he would move.


Some of them will not go in shelters Tula for one, she gets upset if we put her bunk in the shelter. out of the weather, so we don't try to move it anymore.  The pen with the jennies in it, use to be a chicken pen area.  I'm not sure what that has to do with anything, but it is flooded everywhere.  We use a couple of small bunks in there along with the big bunk, so no one can hog all the hay.  We moved the small bunks under their shelters, but the big bunk is still out in the weather.  Daisy, Jenny & Frijolita all crammed themselves under the shelter to take advantage of the cover.  I noticed this morning that Frijolita's string halt is making her hind legs jerk.  She's been doing real good, so I assume the chilly wet weather has something to do with it. 

We were suppose to have a tour this morning, but the woman called to cancel.  I told her that was best, because there is nothing crankier than a wet donkey.  She's never been around donkeys, so under these circumstances I doubt that she would be very impressed.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Well I'm happy to say that Katie was still in her pen last night when John went to let them out at bedtime.  I assume clipping the gate thwarted her new skill of opening gates.  That's "fine & dandy" BUT our little brains are filled to overflowing trying to remember all the little things we have to do to keep them from doing what we don't want them to do............!!!!  Heh, heh,heh.................!!!

Katie is suppose to be 7 years old.  The woman that found her & wanted her out of the petting zoo situation called the original owners & got a little history for her.  She had a foal about 3 years ago & refused to have anything to do with it, so she is lacking in mothering skills.  Other than that it sounds like she hasn't been mistreated, which is great.

Courtney will be coming maybe next week to do some trimming.  Katie has long feet, & she will let me pick up her feet, but she's a little squirrelly about standing still.  So we'll see how that goes. 

Monday, January 18, 2010

Katie "Houdini"

I've been calling her Katydid, but might have to change her name to Houdini.  Two nights ago, when I went out to let everyone out at bedtime, she was in with the other 4 jennies.  I just figured the gate between the pens didn't get latched, but last night she was in there again.  And John said he double checked the latch to make sure it was closed...............Hmmmmm.  Tonight we clipped the gate, so I am expecting her to still be in her pen.  I'll let you know how it goes. 

This isn't a very flattering picture of Katie, but it does show what I wanted to show, her very cresty neck & what might be called love handles or fat ripples down her side.  She also has a bubble butt.  Although she's carrying quite a big of extra weight, she is very quick & moves around a lot.  John went to his first physical therapy today (which I might add he didn't enjoy) & when we came home, she came down to the gate to greet us, from up by the hay barn.  We probably shouldn't encourage that, because she might get in the habit of greeting everyone that comes in.  The only time most of them care when we come home, is if we're late for feeding time, so it was nice to have her just coming down to say Hi.............!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Well John is really getting into doing chores with one arm.  He even hopped on the tractor this morning to move corral panels back where they belong.  Gus decided this morning that with a little bit of effort he could shove the corral panels far enough to reach one of the bunks in the jenny pen.  He managed to get to his objective although I think by then the girls had finished their hay. 

This afternoon when Mike our neighbor & John went over to feed the chickens, they discovered 2 minis & good old Gus in the chicken pen.  The only alfalfa hay on the property is a bale in the chicken pen, for them to snack on.  Guess someone figured out there was alfalfa in there & between the 3 of them figured out how to get the gate open.  I guess Justin had a bunch of alfalfa hanging out his mouth when they were discovered. 

Tomorrow morning I will do a home study for Gus' new home.  I think this will be a great home for him, they think he's entertaining & they also have a 13 year old girl that will probably "mess" with him.   He definately needs directional guidance to keep his busy little mind occupied, otherwise he is very good at entertaining himself.  We finally figured out why he hangs around by the driveway gate a lot of the time.  Our local rancher lets his horses run loose with the cattle, & we think Gus is waiting up there to visit with them.  The new family has 3 horses, so he will enjoy being around horses again, I think. 

Thursday, January 14, 2010

GOOD GRIEF.......!!

Well, John is up & about, in fact he has been helping with chores, abeit, one handed since Wednesday, two days after surgery.  Our neighbor Mike is coming up twice a day to help with chores & pick up poo, which really is helping.   And Destiny the young girl that helps when she doesn't have homework or something else to do is also helping.  So actually things are going great. 

Gus for some reason has got a bee in his bonnet about going in his pen.  The 1st night we "made" him go in, which took a lot more time & effort than I care to invest.  So the next time we ignored him until it was time to start putting down the feed pans.  He still wasn't interested.  Last night Destiny was here & he followed her in like a little soldier..........Hmmm..........This morning more of the same although he finally did follow John in reluctantly.  I think he's mad at me because I took a whip with me & spoke harshly the 1st night, once I figured out he was leading us on a merry chase.  I guess he doesn't like to be treated like a common run of the mill donkey, if there is such a thing.  The first night, he never looked at me once in the about 45 minutes it took us to "round" him up.  If he stopped he would look the other way.  In fact he would concentrate on something that was absolutely fascinating, "over there". 

We will be doing a home study for Gus' new home this week-end.  They are horse people & I'm sure it will be a good home for Gus.  

This morning when it was time to move Pepper out of the girl's pen into his pen, he didn't want to go in the right direction.  He much preferred to go out the other gate.  So I got the halter, went out , opened the gate & out he came.............and headed straight for Lucy & started wooing her.  The old buzzard can't hardly stand up, he even tried to mount her, without much success.  Poor Buster he usually protects his Lucy girl from outside suitors, but Pepper had on his blanket & booties & Buster must have thought he was some sort of apparition , because he took off.  I finally got the halter on Pepper, & he toddled off to his pen like that was what he wanted to do.

Everyone else seem to be doing good right now, Hanna was a little off a couple of days ago.  She's still young enough she might be getting some new teeth, I checked her over & couldn't find anything wrong.  We're still keeping Paladin in during the day when the girls are out & he gets to go out at night.  I've thought about letting him out when they are out to see what happens.  BUT, I've noticed when the other geldings start braying at each other, he joins in the chorus & paces the fence, so I would imagine his testosterone level is still pretty high. 

Monday, January 11, 2010

 South Dakota 1891

I might be out of touch for awhile.  John had rotator cuff surgery today.  A neighbor took him in this morning about 6am & they didn't get back home until about 7pm. I'll be in charge of chores for awhile.  John had thought he would be home in time today to help with chores.  Not only did he not make it in time, he looked like he had been ran thru a wringer & wasn't showing any interest in anything except getting in his recliner.  For 3 days he will be hooked up to a machine that runs ice water all over the shoulder to control swelling.  So far I've shot water across the room twice.  Finally read the instructions to detach it from the electricity to stop the pump............DUH!

I didn't notice the donkeys cutting me any slack today.  They have never figured out that if there is just one of us doing chores it's going to take twice as long, especially if they don't bother to come in & get in their pens, without a lot of drama.  I don't really mind the not coming in & I don't really mind the drama.  But I do mind them going in the pen, turning around & yelling at me because I don't rush in & give them their carrot.  Under the circumstances they are lucky to get a carrot at all............!!!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Well, I guess we've been forgiven, Rusty is back to his old self this morning.  And all the mud from him rolling in the dirt to dry up the sweat is gone.  He's back to  being  nice &  shiny white with a few appaloosa spots, hence the name Rusty, which until we figured it out seemed like a strange name for a white looking mule.

Katie the new girl really gets excited when you deliver food.  She hogs the gate, & then trots & prances with you as you carry beet pulp, hay or whatever.  This morning she hogged the gate, I poked her in the chest to get her to back up.  She was jumping all over the place & I knew what was next.  Sure enough on the way to her bunk, she spun & up in the air the hind legs went.  So we had MURDER 101 for about 3-5 seconds.  I'm not sure she was very contrite, she was way too focused on what I was carrying.   So for the foreseeable future I will also be carrying a quirt, we'll see if that gets her attention.  I hate to have to be the bad cop, but that type of behavior is not acceptable, no matter how excited she gets. 

Friday, January 08, 2010

Boy are we in the doghouse as far as Rusty the mule is concerned.  It seems in the flurry of getting chores done & getting ready to go to town, we forgot to let Rusty out of his pen this morning.  When we came home at feeding time this afternoon we were greeted by one pissed off mule still in his pen.  He had worked himself into a sweat & when we got out of the van he was screaming like a howler monkey, as he paced back & forth.

John let him out & he immediately rolled in the dirt, to dry up all the sweat I would imagine, since it was starting to get chilly.  I came bearing gifts of Mrs. ?????  Pasture Cookies, which they don't usually get except on special occasions.  He was willing to take both of them, & look for more.  We left him out while John rounded up the others, & I fixed their beet pulp & supplements.  He was willing to go into his pen when the time came, but really worried about the gate being shut.  In fact he almost wouldn't eat, he'd rather keep checking the gate.  I hope going out like normal at bedtime will settle him down.  Mules do have their own way of looking at life & it sometimes doesn't make a whole lot of sense to us mere mortals.

When we first got Jack the other mule years ago, we kept him in his pen for the first week or so.  He spent every minute pacing back & forth along the corral panel, until he had a path worn into the dirt about 10 inches deep.  We thought he was maybe missing a special buddy, but once we let him out of the pen, he was just fine.  Must be a mule thing. 

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

I am REALLY getting tired of nights in the teens or low 20's if we're lucky.  The days are nice & sunny, which is nice, but it would be wonderful to add at least 10 degrees to the night temperatures.  This is suppose to be a rainy season too, but so far nothing wet has happened. 

Katie is now out & about with the other girls during the day when Paladin is in his pen.  Yesterday morning Quilla came in after a night of playing with Paladin, with a gimpy leg.  I don't know what he does to cripple everyone, but he is getting quite a list. The ground is pretty rough with holes & dips all over, so I would imagine in the process of running & playing or chasing they mis-step.

This afternoon when it was time to do round-up, Katie & Hanna were running.  Hanna has not been kind to Katie when they are in the pens, so I don't know if they were playing or not.  Katie doesn't seem to mind if Hanna is a grouch or not.  Katie really moves fast for a donkey.  She's 7 years old so she isn't a wild child that wants to run all over the place.  But if Hanna acts grumpy, Katie just takes off, she doesn't even act like it's a big deal, which probably irritates Hanna.   It's hard to try to dominate someone if they aren't scared & don't really seem to care. 

Sha'ba hasn't been eating his mush the last couple of days, I'm not sure what the problem is.  I felt around in his mouth today & smelled it.  All of the few teeth he has are worn off to the gums, but they could still get infected.  But he didn't mind me poking around in his mouth & it smelled OK, so I don't know what his problem is.  He doesn't need to lose any weight.  Both he & Pepper get blanketed & booted every night.  I'll have to keep it up until the nights are above 40 degrees on a regular basis.  It's one of those things, that once you start you have to keep doing it.  So he shouldn't be too cold. 

I called today to make an appointment to have the little jack down at Dos Cabezas gelded.  Haven't heard back yet, but I hope they can do it this month before it starts getting warmer during the day.  I hope his momma can protect him if necessary, there are a lot of coyotes in that area.  He's only about 8 months old, so it shouldn't be a big deal, like an older jack. 

I heard today one of the neighbors that lives right on the San Pedro river has seen mountain lion tracks on his property.  I hope it was just passing thru, a mountain lion could take one of the donkeys down. 

Monday, January 04, 2010


The man had met Gus when he was here helping John pick up poo when the movie was being shot a few weeks ago.  I never knew poo was a "prop", but they needed poo to spread on the street & Joe offered to help John clean pens in exchange for the poo.  Gus followed him everywhere he went & Joe was smitten with him. 

They have a 13 year old daughter that got a horse for Christmas & they already have a couple of horses, so it's Gus' kind of place.  Everyone was in their pens, but we let Gus out so they could meet him up close & personal.  He followed along as we visited with the other donkeys, although he did take one detour to check out their truck bed.  They said there was hay scraps in there, & we asked if there was anything else.  Joe said he didn't think so.  Well, Gus managed to find an extension cord & bite thru the insulation.  We had already told them about some of the things he does to amuse himself, & when they saw the cord, they just laughed & said they would have to tape it.  Sounds more & more like a great home for this big buffoon that needs to be entertained or he will entertain himself. 

John's cousin & his wife are here from Washington.  Gene is a master gardener & when he was here a few years ago, he said he wanted to work in our yard the next time he came back.  They have been here a few days & have worked like wild people in the yard & it's really starting to look nice.  Yesterday they went out to buy some plants & when they came back they parked in the driveway with the trunk open.  John came in & told me my donkey had just ate a hawthorne.  Number one I have no clue what a hawthorne is, & number two I'm not really sure which donkeys are classified as mine.  My first guess was Gus, but John said no.  Hmmm, the only other ones out were Lucy, Buster & Quilla.  I guess John saw Buster with the evidence hanging from his mouth.  Unfortunately there wasn't enough left to salvage, so we only have one hawthorne planted in the yard instead of two. 

Saturday, January 02, 2010


We had a couple of tours this morning & afterwards we let Katie out to explore.  I don't think she quit moving all day, she was flitting here & flitting there. She didn't really attach to any of the other donkeys, she was too busy investigating everything.  This afternoon when it was time for her to go into her pen, I saw her over on the 20 acres we call Burroland.  When I called her she came across the wash & followed me into her pen.  She is very sweet & came running up to me a couple of times during the day, just to say Hi I guess.

This morning after the tours I was letting everyone out & happened to look over towards the hay pen.  I noticed there were a couple of equines over there & it looked like they were in the hay barn.  Got closer & sure enough, Rusty the white mule & Buddy the little Brat were in there eating as fast as they could.   Cisco was standing outside, obviously he knew better than to go where he knew he didn't belong, unlike the other two.  John had either left the gate open or not latched it.  Whichever it was, it didn't take them long to figure out there was free hay in there for the taking.  When I got closer I yelled & believe me they both knew they weren't suppose to be in there, they almost ran each other down trying to get out the 4 foot gate.

Tomorrow a family is coming out to visit with Gus & see if he might be a good fit in their family.  They have horses & the man has already met Gus & thinks he's pretty neat.  I hope it works out for Gus & he can get a lifetime home.