Monday, May 31, 2010


Well our little marshmallow Quilla surprised me yesterday.  He has a couple of spots on his rear legs that we've been putting sunscreen on & they are doing fine.  But I thought we'd try putting on leggings, since keeping the sun off seems to be a large part of keeping the areas from breaking out & bleeding.  You couldn't ever find a less aggressive donkey, he is at the bottom of the pecking order & I've never seen him do anything except stand around & watch unless someone wants him to move.  A flick of the ear & he leaves.  I've been putting leggings on his front legs for awhile & "assumed" the rear legs would also be no problem.  The left leg was a little touchy but not bad.  The right leg is where he decided to make his stand.  He was a roping donkey years ago & we've noticed he lifts & stretches his rear legs, so I would imagine he was used for heeling & has some issues with his hind legs.  That's OK, I was willing to work with evasiveness & all that goes with it, but I wasn't willing to get kicked..........!!!  He didn't really kick AT me..............but I know the message he was sending.  We had 3-5 seconds of  "I'm going to kill you........dead".  Never thought I'd have to do anything like that with Quilla, I've never even raised my voice at him I don't think.  

Donkeys are so smart I thought by this morning he would realize, they don't hurt him & he would appreciate having them on.  Well not exactly, although he only raised his leg this morning & I growled mean.  Once I got it on, John gave him a cookie, so maybe by tomorrow morning our little marshmallow will be back.  

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Broke 100 degrees in  Tucson yesterday for the 1st time this year. We were a few degrees cooler, but not much.  The humidity is so low the flies are starting to be a problem.  Even though we use the fly traps & fly predators, there are still flies that really prefer donkeys.  I read the other day that some flies will eat hair.  I always thought when a hairless spot showed up it was where the donkey had rubbed a spot.  But maybe not.  

I tried making some of the leggings for Quilla & Jenny.  Found some bright orange material, hopefully if they lose one, the orange will show up so we can find them.  

Tula has a new game she is playing.  We usually ignore her when it's time to put everyone in their pens.  She may go in or may not, so it's easier just to let her do her thing.  If she hasn't shown up by the time we are putting out hay, I shut her gate, so she can't get in.  This REALLY irritates her, she will stand outside the gate & yell.  I always come back & let her in, after everyone else is taken care of.  So timing is important for both of us I guess.  Lately she has been going in her pen, just as we drop hay in Chester's bunk.  Chester's pen is right before her pen.  John says she doesn't like to waste time hanging around in her pen waiting.  I think it's a game, to see if she can get in before I shut the gate, with no time to spare.  Anyone that thinks animals are stupid have never been around them.  I've never been around any animal that probably wasn't capable of outsmarting me, if I didn't pay attention to our relationship.  

I'll be glad when the "rites of spring" are over.  Most of the boys are wooing most of the girls.  Not always the same ones as a couple.  In fact some of the relationships are a little strange.  Like Pepsi the mini, following Tula around like a love sick calf.  Jack the mule & Hanna grooming on each other quite often.  That one really is weird, Jack does NOT like the donkeys usually.  And Hanna usually hangs out with Tula.  John said the other day he saw Tula & Hanna grooming.  I've never seen Tula groom on anyone before.  BlackJack at the tender age of about 21 has found a lady friend.  He has started following Jenny, big girl, every place she goes.  We haven't seen him do anything except follow along when she walks someplace.  

Heard from Georgette.  She still can't get a halter on Remington.  She said the other day, she was trying & guessed she got a little pushy, because he kicked at her & grazed her arm.  She said she threw the halter at him & yelled at him.  Then thought maybe she shouldn't have.  I told her I would have been hitting, kicking & yelling..............for about 3-5 seconds.......then back to business as usual.  I like the 3 second "KILL" rule for taking care of bad behavior.  And they are smart enough to know they deserved it.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

DRESSED FOR FLY SEASON.............!!!!

These FlyFins really seem to work.  Both Jenny & Quilla have trouble with flies & sores on their legs.  But I have to say, since I started putting sunscreen on Quilla's legs & FlyFins on both of them, we are staying ahead of the problem.  This is a lot easier way to "doctor" & I'm sure it's a lot more comfortable for them, to not have open bloody sores on their legs all summer. 

There is a "slight" problem with the operation.  In a pasture setting you'd put them on & they'd stay on.  In our situation of brush, mesquite, & other assorted "grabby" plants, every few days, one or the other comes in missing a legging.  It's not easy to find fly masks when they lose them.  But, these are lightweight material that lay flat unless they get caught off the ground in brush.  They are also a lovely design that is mostly brown, beige & black.  Blends in with the ground it's laying flat on.  I'm thinking about brushing up my sewing skills, that were never very good to begin with, & trying to make some.  I'm sure it's going to be a  LONG summer, unless we have some extras.  They work well enough, that I want them on their legs at all times when it's sunny. 

Remington is still progressing, he's enjoying wearing a fly mask Georgette says.  He's allowing grooming, but a halter isn't acceptable yet.  He talks when she comes to feed him, so he's learning to rely on her rather than being blaise' about people. 

Next week we are going to visit with Susan & her 2 girls.  In February we brought the girls here & had their feet trimmed before we trailered them to their new home.  They've had time to settle in, so we thought we'd go see how they are doing. 

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Quilla is doing pretty good with his leg sores.  We are making sure they are always coated with sunscreen & between that & the Flyfins his legs are not bleeding.  

Cisco who has had a problem with summer sores ever since he came here 10 years ago, is really doing good this year.  Fly masks took care of the eye sores, so that hasn't been a problem for years.  But his sheath always had to be treated & even then if it bothered him at all, he would drop, scoot & it would turn into a bloody mess.  This year I started early with keeping it covered with sticky stuff usually thunja zinc oxide.  The last 2 days I have not put anything at all on him.  The flies aren't bothering his sheath, & as long as he doesn't bother it, maybe we have beat the problem.  I hope so, he has gone thru a lot in his life.  He is still getting his daily benedryl & that will continue thru the summer.  

This morning Daisy had a lot of flies gathering on her nostril.  John noticed it, so I checked her out.  She doesn't have any sores or anything they seemed to be after the nasal drainage.  But they were piled up like they do when there are habronema larvae.  Or she might have a little infection.  Either way, we put some Ivermectrin around the nostrils.  

All in all everyone seems to be doing pretty good right now, even old Pepper.  He doesn't move very fast, but he's always interested in going out & seeing what's going on.  

Haven't heard from Georgette the last couple of days, I'm sure she & Remington are still making progress. 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


This is Sultan, the Arab stallion we picked up for a friend yesterday.  He's been being shown & according to Susan has done quite well.  But she decided it was time for him to come home & be a horse for awhile.  He really was a good boy, didn't particularly care for motorcycles passing the trailer, but other than that took the trip in stride. 

The barn where we picked him up was up by Scottsdale & really was impressive.  Probably 200 box stalls all under the same roof.  They had  about 5 or 6 different arenas for different types of riding or training, really a nice operation, except for one small problem.  There were 4 horses in turnout pens, & one other horse in the barn with Sultan a total of 6 horses on the property.  What a waste, I don't know why there aren't more horses there, but it would be hard to justify even keeping it open, for so few horses.  Susan said at least 2 of the outside horses belong to the woman that owns the place, so she probably isn't making enough off of the boarders to even pay the electric bill.  Maybe it's a tax write-off or something like that.  

Georgette called last night & Remington let her put a fly mask on him & also run her hands all over his body.  Well, not the belly, but this morning she called & said he let her touch his belly, so he really is being cooperative. He's become the neighborhood entertainment, for people walking by, so he's getting a lot of stimulus from different people, which is really good for him.  

Sunday, May 16, 2010

 Mercer County, Kentucky 1890
A couple of years ago, we had a cat show up.  At the time we didn't know if it was male or female, or if it had been neutered.  We named it Hobo & although it has become friendlier, we can touch the head & that's about it.  We tried using a live trap to take it to the vet for shots & neutering if necessary.   Not even tuna or anything else was interesting enough to "hop" into the trap.  A week or so ago, John said Hobo looked fat, a few days later he said Hobo didn't look fat anymore.  Hmmmmmm.  He had seen "her" hanging around the hay barn & yesterday he moved a hay bale & saw a little gray & white wiggly thing, eyes not open.  He couldn't tell if there are more & we don't want her moving them, so we'll just wait to find out how many there are.  She comes down to the house twice a day to be fed, so I assume she will bring the kids when they get old enough to roam around.  We had suspected she was a female, because when we first saw her years ago she had a kitten with her that was about 3 months old.  We saw it one day & never again, so I guess it didn't have the survival techniques Hobo does. 

Yesterday was trim day for those that needed it.  Courtney ended up working on 8 of them.  Everyone did pretty good, even Hanna.  This was her first experience with getting trimmed.  I had worked on haltering & picking up feet with her.  But really hadn't worked very much.  She stood like a statue, I was so proud of her.   We only did the fronts, & Courtney didn't use the power tools.  Always end on a positive note...........!!!  LOL  She really did good though.  

Jenny has been on Horse Tech's BioFlex-Ultra for her feet.  Courtney said her feet were in good shape ..... for her, so hopefully it is making a difference.  The inside of her feet are so nasty, nothing is going to put the bones back where they belong or grow new bone where they have demineralized.  But if supplements will help to improve the hoof, frog & sole that's got to be a good thing. 

Tomorrow we are taking a friend up by Phoenix to pick up her Arabian stallion.  He's been up there for training & showing, but it's time for him to come home.  She doesn't have a trailer so she asked if we'd haul him.  I would imagine it's a "hoity-toity" Arabian show training barn, hope they don't throw our  donkey rescue 4 horse stock trailer out before they find out we have a reason to be there. 

Friday, May 14, 2010

This crossed my desk this morning.  A friend forwarded an ad off of Tucson Craigslist trying to sell the horse.  I have sent the information out to a couple of Yahoo groups I belong to & have also sent a message to the ad e-mail, reminding him of the Arizona cruelty law.   Arizona Animal Cruelty law 13-2910-3 states:  " Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly inflicts unnecessary physical injury to any animal." I'm sure he will be quite impressed with anyone's opinion about what he does.  BUT, silence does not educate, & who knows maybe disrupting his thoughts on the subject might make a difference. 

Heard from Georgette this morning.  She was so excited, she had touched Remington & he didn't seem to mind............until she tried to hug him.  Waaaaay  too much contact.....!!!  That's OK, he will learn that this exuberant woman really has a heart of gold & doesn't want to strangle him. 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Confederate Headquarters, Yorktown Virginia  1865

I'm finally getting caught up from my little vacation.  Although John did good while I was gone there are lots of things to do that he doesn't even know about around here.  (G) 

Yesterday Chester turned up lame on his right rear.  His bad leg is his right front, so he's not doing too good on the right side right now.  Today they were working on our new water storage tank & John decided the job would go much easier if the donkeys stayed in their pens.  Then a man came out for a tour, so John just left them in.  John decided to leave Chester in to rest, so when everyone else went out he stayed in.  John said he came in the house & could hear Chester yelling even with the doors closed.  Chester usually doesn't get in fights nor do the other boys bother him, so John gave up & let him out.  He does pretty good walking slow, but when he turns you can really tell his leg hurts.  

Quilla is doing really good with his legs.  I've been using sunscreen on them & so far so good.  We're managing to keep them from bleeding.  He's also wearing Flyfins, which keeps the flies from landing on his legs.  If you go to the web-site the Ouch Socks are at the top of the home page & the Flyfins at the bottom.  

Sha'ba was having some itchy problems on his sheath before I left.  So I started doctoring a few days earlier, & John kept up the routine when I left.  Sure enough when I came back & checked him, I found a habronema.  When they first start out they are so small you can't see them, but they cause a lot of itching.  I control them by putting Ivermectrin wormer on the spot & wait until they get large enough to be seen.  So he's doing pretty good now.  

Jenny & Cisco are my other "summer patients".  This is the latest in the spring that Cisco has gone without having scooted on his sheath & made it bloody.  Yippee!  I'm keeping it coated with thunja zinc oxide, which really irritates the flies.  Jenny has old scars on her legs that the flies will pick at until they bleed, & also has an umbilical hernia that stays weepy most of the time.  Not a big deal in the winter, but the flies love it in the summer.  We just have to make sure any open sores are covered with something.  

I've always used the Sterling Rescue Fly Traps, & they do a good job of gathering flies, last year we figured we caught about 30 pounds of flies.  This year I heard about a trap called, Fly Be Gone & decided to give them a try.  They are a much larger trap, but are rapidly filling up.  This time of year the flies are very busy, & even though we use the fly predators, there seems to be plenty of flies to go around.  I don't think the Fly Be Gone smells as bad as the Rescues, which is a plus in their favor. 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I'M BACK..............!!!

Had a great time in Oklahoma meeting all my cousins.  At the last minute Jack Ed found out the lodge we were suppose to use had been double booked for that week-end.  So we all ascended on him & his wonderful wife Helen.  They seemed to think having a bunch of nutty relatives for the week-end was a lot of fun.  We laughed & told jokes, & reminisced about Granny & Grandad & also all our parents that are now gone.  Callie, our remaining Aunt was there & she didn't look much older than us "younguns".  All in all it was a wonderful time, & hopefully we'll be able to do it again.

Got in a couple of hours late, American Airlines in on my "list", so when we got home we hit the ground running.  We were already late for chores & they let us know it.  I thought they might be glad to see me, but that isn't the vibes I got.......!!!  John did great on sore care, Cisco, Sha'ba, Quilla & Jenny all looked good, no new spots showing on any of them.   And the ones they have were under control.  

Tomorrow we are going to deliver the corral panels to Georgette, so she can get up close & personal with Remington.  I talked to her tonight & she said he's curious & not afraid or anything like that.  He just doesn't see a need to do all that interacting & bonding nonsense.  She did manage to scratch his butt one day.  That usually is such a fun thing for them, they make sure you will do it again.  She said ever since he's stayed "over there", rather than getting close enough to be scratched.  

We're also going to try to go see how the 2 girls are doing we picked up in February   They are the 2 that needed their feet trimmed, & we hauled them to the vet.  A happy shot made the experience easier for everyone involved especially Tyler, the trimmer.  But Susan hasn't had their feet trimmed in the last 3 months, which isn't good.  Tyler said they had some white line disease probably from standing in deep mud for days, but thought it would be OK with regular trimmings.  Hopefully we can make her understand just how important regular trimming is, especially with feet that already have problems. 

Thursday, May 06, 2010


Well not exactly a roadtrip..........I'll be flying out early tomorrow for a cousin reunion with one remaining aunt in Grove, Oklahoma for the week-end.  Should be fun, I've only seen most of them a couple of times in the last 40 years, usually at funerals.  So it will be a good chance to get caught up on family news & history.  I'll be back Monday afternoon.  John got his last minute orders, so he should be good to go, although I'm not sure he thinks so.  Ever since the time Pepper choked & John had to haul him to the vet about an hour after I left, he's been a tiny bit paranoid...............!!!  (G)  

Heard from Georgette & she said Remington seems to be doing just fine, he came within about 4 feet of her this morning.  She was armed with a cookie.  We will probably take some corral panels in next week to make a smaller round pen for her to work with him.  The field he's in,  is large enough that he doesn't have to get close if he doesn't want to.  So we'll make it so he has to accept people being close to him & maybe even putting a halter on him.......!!!! I'm sure he will be thrilled.........!!!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Picked up Remington this morning to deliver him to his foster home.  We were all prepared with corral panels to "funnel" him into the trailer.  Got all set up, went in the round pen with him, & he headed for the trailer & hopped right in.  They never cease to amaze me.  Now we are wondering if he would have went in without the corral panels, guess we'll never know.  This is a picture of Honcho trying to get John to quit talking & pay attention to him. Honcho loves to be messed with & will work to get your attention.  He has always been Mr. Personality Plus. 

The trip was uneventful, we kept Georgette apprised of when would we get there, & she was waiting for us. He didn't even poo or pee in the trailer, I think that is a first.  They usually do one or the other before the trailer has moved.  
Remington has a large area probably 1/4 acre or more.  We opened the trailer, he hopped out & immediately started investigating.  Georgette & I were sitting under a nice big shelter, that's her in the left corner, & tried to get him to come to us for a ginger snap, but he was more interested in checking everything out.  He is pretty independent, although he really liked the ginger snaps I gave him this morning when we were loading him. 

There are no animals with him, Georgette lives about 3 or 4 houses away, so he'll be able to hear them but not see them.  She has a bicycle & plans on riding over 3 or 4 times a day to "mess" with him.  

After we got him settled in, we went over to her house to visit with Sugar & Jacque.  We hadn't seen them in over 2 years, & I wouldn't have recognized Sugar, she has lost her baby coat & is much darker than she was although she still has her pretty blaze.
They couldn't understand why we were standing so far away when we could have been petting, & seemed to think sticking their heads thru the panels would make it happen. 

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

We will be moving Remington tomorrow.  After chores we'll take the trailer down to St. David & see if he loads any better than he did last time. My guess is NOT.........!!!!!   Ha!  That's OK, we plan on taking a couple of corral panels to make a little bitty space behind the trailer, to cut down on him running around the round pen & ignoring what we want him to do.  

Georgette & the young neighbor Hannah are excited about him coming to stay for awhile.  I 'm really glad they are going to work with him, I don't seem to find time to do a lot of things like grooming Rusty the mule looks like a hair explosion if you even look at him, & ground training for Hanna as it is.  Remington is a beautiful boy & with a little training he'll be ready to go to a new home.

Quilla & I are doing pretty good with his legs.  I am using sunscreen in the morning on his legs & Vetricyn spray in the afternoon.  As it is getting warmer, I will probably have to put sunscreen on more often during the day.  The scar tissue on his legs has no elasticity, which is always dry & subject to cracking.  That seems to be when the sun gets involved, & the bleeding brings on the flies. 

I'm going to be gone this week-end, so John will be chief cook & bottle washer.  Hopefully everyone will behave themselves & not get sick or hurt.  This year we have managed to not have to put fly masks on everyone yet.  Six are getting fly masks every day, but so far the flies aren't a problem for the others.  When I get back Monday we'll probably start putting masks on everyone.  Unfortunately they will have to stay on the 10 acres during the day thru the summer.  They check the gate every morning when it's closed & give us sad looks.