Monday, June 28, 2010


We had a group of kids come out this morning to visit with the donkeys & clean water buckets.  I think a good time was had by all.  The donkeys always amaze me some of the ones we think will be spooked by kids or by a lot of people, seem to take it all in stride.


Besides cleaning water buckets, they also exercised the goldfish in the stock tank.  We just cleaned it a couple of days ago, so the fish were easy to see.  Some of the boys seemed to think they could catch them, but the fish weren't having any of that.


The kids were great help with cleaning the buckets.  We had scrubbies for them to scrub out the gunk & they really went after it. Of course stomping thru the mud was great fun too.  And a hose just has to get used to spray anyone close enough to get sprayed.  Actually as hot as it was today, getting sprayed with water felt pretty good. 

I was really surprised at how long Daisy stood with the kids, she really seemed to enjoy them "fussing" with her.  


 We put Quilla in Honcho's pen before they got here.  Children really seem to spook him for some reason, & sure enough as soon as we opened the pen, he disappeared.  But the rest of them for the most part hung around for the attention.  

Courtney is coming out this afternoon to trim feet.  She's a better "man" than I am, my thermometer on the back porch says it's 107.4 & it's not to the "heat of the day", as they say.  I don't think it's actually that hot, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's over 100.  Mother called earlier to report her air conditioner isn't working & it's 88 degrees in her house.  As you might imagine the A/C guy is swamped & can't get out until tomorrow afternoon.  Sure makes you appreciate the fortitude of the people that settled in SE Arizona.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Honcho's introduction to eating with the girls isn't going real well.  He's a woose & they aren't.  Last night when John put everyone in, Honcho stood in his pen waiting to be fed there, rather than in the girl's pen.  This morning he did the same thing.  I was picking up poo & heard Hanna's "you better move" grunt.  Sure enough both of the girls were in his pen & he was headed out at a rapid pace.  I went over & there really wasn't much hay left, but I guess it was worth the effort to take it away from him.  

Yesterday we cleaned the big stock tank.  It has 3 goldfish in it, so we can't just pull the plug & let it drain, first we have to catch the fish.  I think they get faster every year.  Finally managed to get them after we dipped out most of the water.  There is nothing nastier than a stock tank once you break thru the crust of crud at the bottom.  As long as it isn't disturbed it's down there doing it's part to help keep the water clean.  But if you disturb it, whew!  Once we dragged the fish net over it a few times, we needed to get the fish out as soon as possible, don't think they would make it in that environment very long.  

Got it cleaned out, rinsed out & set back up using the tractor.  Put the fish in & they started running around in a panic, the water was so clear they had no place to hide.  We came in to rest for a little while, John went out & I "rested" some more.........!!!!  He came back in & asked me if I took the key out of the tractor...........  HUH?  Not only was the key missing, there were lots of donkey tracks around the tractor, so we figured out what happened to the key.  We looked & looked & couldn't find it.  My thought was one of them swallowed it, which really wouldn't be good.  We finally gave up, got the bobcat to drag the tractor out of the way.  

Later I was just finishing up chores & John stops by with the information that he found the key...........!!!!  When John parks the tractor, he turns the seat up, to protect the steering wheel from the heat & also the seat itself.  For some reason he thought to look under the seat & there it was.  Someone pulled it out of the ignition, & when they dropped it, it went into the seat frame.  When he put the seat down it was covered up & we spent all that time looking for it, as I worried about how a donkey would pass 2 keys on a keyring.  I think they go out of their way to make my hair even grayer than it is............!!!!!!  

Friday, June 25, 2010

Got a call from Mae, down at Dos Cabezas & she thinks Chico has finally dropped.  Of course now it's hot & because of flies we can't get him gelded.  But, Lupe his momma is just about ready to drop his little brother or sister.  Hmmmmm...........Mae is suppose to call us as soon as Lupe does her job, & we will go down & pick the little man up, & keep him until fall.  But we have the same problem, jennies that might think he's kinda cute, especially if he figures out what he's suppose to do, which probably wouldn't take long, with them all strutting their stuff.  

So we are working on opening up a pen for him to stay in.  The largest pen we have was Max the big red horse's.  Right now Daisy & Frijolita are eating in there.  They eat at about the same speed as Buster & Lucy who don't go in a pen to eat.  So we are going to try moving them out to eat, & see what happens.  Daisy will probably be confused for a few days, she really likes going in HER pen.  

We also have a problem with Buster & Quilla.  Quilla eats out with Buster & Lucy, but Buster delights in tormenting him, & running him away from his hay.  Quilla will not stand up for himself, I have never seen him even lay an ear back at anyone, he just moves away, & if there is no hay available somewhere else, he does without.  So this morning we let Honcho eat with Hanna & Katie in their pen to see how it goes.  Hanna had the last big of hay, & let him know it was hers.  But for the most part it went well.  If he can eat with them, then we can put Quilla in Honcho's little pen to eat & he won't have to contend with Buster.  

These little changes in routine are always fun.  Equines are routine animals & if you try to  make changes, they will let you know that you aren't very bright & if you would just leave them alone, they would show you the right way. 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

We hardly ever have a camera when we need one.  Yesterday Jenny, big girl, decided to see if Honcho might be her type.  She is our local resident hussy & checks out all the new guys.  She started doing her, "hello big boy" dance, winking, clacking & peeing all over the place.  Honcho watched her, came over smelled her nose, spun around & ran.  I don't think that was a reaction she was expecting and obviously he didn't have a clue.  I noticed this morning he is following Chester around.  If he needs a big brother to show him the ropes, Chester's the man, he doesn't know he's been gelded, & most of the girls think he's pretty cute.  

Poor Honcho, he is one of the smartest donkeys we've had here...........but............ some of his education has been sadly neglected.  Besides not picking up on Jenny's signals, last night we went racing.  So they were put in their pens & fed about 3 hours early.  Rather than leave Honcho in his little temporary pen, that had a lot of sun in it, John opened the panels between his pen & Katie's & Hanna's pen.  That way when he got thru eating he could go in with them & have access to shade.  When  we got home early this morning, John  went  out to open the gates & let them out.  He opened the girl's gate & went around opening all the others.  When he came back by the pen, the girls were gone, & Honcho was still standing in his pen, waiting to go out the way he usually does.  He didn't pick up on the fact that he could go out where the girls did.  This morning we opened the panel up & let him figure it out.  

When John went out early to round them up yesterday afternoon, he found the "over the hill guys" down under the trees.  Sha'ba, Rusty, Jack & Pepper are all over 30, some of them  "WAY" over.  Usually the mules don't hang with the donkeys & visa versa.  John said Jack was laid out flat & at first John thought he might be beyond sleeping, John said he stomped his feet, (Jack doesn't hear well) & yelled his name & he didn't move.  Finally he raised his head I guess to see what all the fuss was that was disturbing his nap.   He's just getting over being almost 3 legged lame on a hind fetlock.  It had been hurt before we got him, & the passage of time hasn't been kind to it.  He must step wrong on it sometimes, & then limps for awhile.  I have him on herbs that are suppose to be about like bute, I don't want to give him bute long term, too hard on his system. 

Georgette called & said Remington is still making progress.  Leading & picking up feet isn't going as quick as  fly mask, halter & some of the other things, but he's still cooperating & headed in the right direction.  She hasn't been using the round pen at all, but I guess a few days ago, he had a show of independence & wouldn't let her put the halter on, out in the field.  So in the round pen he went to get a little attitude adjustment.  She said once he was in the pen it was no big deal.  I guess he just had to try. 

Saturday, June 19, 2010


This morning when I went out I asked John if he had everyone rounded up.  He said, "no, but he did have some he had rounded up twice".  It seems Hanna, Katie & Quilla didn't stay rounded up.  They were in the girl's pen & John was going to get Quilla out later, as everyone showed up at once & if you don't get them in their pens quickly, they wander off.  In the process, he "forgot" to put on the girl's fly masks, so Hanna opened the gate & let them out.  She hasn't been opening the gates & we've gotten lax on clipping the gates.  They are very good at "getting you" if you try to short cut the process.........!!! 

Honcho is in a little emergency pen, since most of our corral panels are loaned out right now.  One morning I forgot to drop the pin in the corral panels, (the gate is loaned out too) & when John went out to let them out, Honcho had already taken care of that little job.  I don't know how they know when it's not right, maybe they check it daily, but it seems if we don't do it correctly, they know it. 

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Between getting dressed every morning & getting greased up with sunscreen Quilla is really doing good this year.  The final "fix" was the crusader mask to keep the sun off his muzzle I think.  I looked up equine photo sensitivity  & found a lot of information including that it can cause liver disease.  Also grazing on certain plants is thought to be a cause.  I think Quilla has been on dry lot for years, & he isn't pink skinned, so who knows what started it.  But I'm glad we seem to have figured out how to keep him comfortable.  

This morning when John did round up, Hanna came right up to me & looked me in the eye.  This is unusual for her, she isn't stand offish but she also isn't Miss Cuddles either.  I started to rub her jaws & YIKES, she had cactus spines all over her jaw.  I started plucking, & happened to look at the bottom of her neck........completely covered with spines.  I have a flea comb that works good for such emergencies, but didn't want to leave her to look for it.  John showed up so he took over plucking while I went looking for the comb.  Never did find it, but John finally got most of them out.  I really think she came to me to get them out, because than wasn't normal behavior for her.  I do have a question, how did she get them where they were?  They weren't cholla which can be tall.  They looked like prickly pear stickers, but to get them where they were, she would have had to lay down & stretch her neck over a cactus.

As of today, John has put up with me officially for 49 years..........!!!  Most people thought it wouldn't last 6 months, so I guess we showed them........!!!  We've always managed to have fun, no matter what we were doing, & I think I'll keep him...........!!!  

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Boy, it's hard to get a picture of him.  He's either hiding from Moogee, or resting up from running around all night.  Then when I do get him in the cross hairs, he looks like he's mad at the world.  Usually he has a happy little face, & wants to be petted.  

I've never had a cat that had a bloodline before, the best they could do was be classified as a DSH (domestic short hair)  But it seems this little guy is  papered, he is a Bengal .  I had never heard of the breed, so  of course I went on the internet to check out the available information.  Very interesting, especially that at least 4 generations ago, he had an Asian Leopard cat as an ancestor.  Most of the pictures looked like leopards lots of spots, etc.  But I finally found some pictures that looked like him.  The best I can figure out he is a blue marble Bengal.  He slept with us last night for awhile, & the information says they like to sit on laps, which he's already tried out ours.  He also climbed John's chest to look him straight in the eye, not sure what that is about.  He's willing to be friends with Moogee, but she'd rather hiss & scream.  When she does that he just moves closer to her, which of course makes her get louder & louder.  He's already twice as big as she is, once he fills out, he will be a big cat. 

Poor John spent over an hour last night looking for 2 missing fly leggings.  He said he ran a grid over the whole 10 acres & doesn't know how he missed seeing them.  This morning he spent more time looking for them.  I finally told him, I could probably make a half dozen in the time he had been looking, so in the interest of using time wisely, in the future we probably won't even bother looking for them.  They are so lightweight  & lay so flat on the ground, even though they are bright colors you can't see them unless you walk right over them.  Or they get caught on a bush.  So I have something to do this afternoon, make up a stash of fly leggings.  

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

New Jersey 1897
I think Sha'ba & Jack were happy to have John home.  They actually greeted him, & neither of them are what you would call lovey dovey usually.  Everyone else just accepted the fact that he was here, & should have treats, which he did.  He went out before chores last night & found 2 fly masks I hadn't been able to find, guess he has the knack.
He reported a good time, enjoyed a homemade pie by a niece.  She picked the cherries off her tree, pitted them & made the pie.  John said it was really good.  I keep looking for sour cherries at the store, but they are almost impossible to find anymore. 

With John home we let "Nigel" (yes he now has a name) out of solitary. He came out to explore & Moogee acted like a brat, following & hissing.  He for the most part ignored her.  This morning when John got up he told me one of the screens had been pushed out & Nigel was gone.  Talk about panic, as mellow & laid back as he is he wouldn't stand a chance outside.  I'm throwing on clothes, & John yells "never mind" he's in the great room.  He actually was stretched out on a window sill, watching all the excitement.  Makes me wonder why he bothered to push out the screen & then didn't go out.  Maybe he's smart enough to know it's a big cruel world out there for kitties.  

Quilla has been wearing his crusader mask for about a week now & keeping the sun off his muzzle has made all the difference in the world.  No more open sores with the flies having a picnic.  I know it has to be more comfortable for him without all those flies buzzing around.  I'm going to have to see what I can find about sun sensitivity for equines.  This may be a common problem that we don't think about.  I know the sunscreen has made a lot of difference, on his legs. 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

JOHN COMES HOME TOMORROW...............!!!

If he makes it thru Dallas/Ft. Worth.  The problem is by the time he would know there was a problem we are already on the road headed to the airport in Tucson to pick him up.  

Everything has gone really well, Mike our neighbor has been a big help.  And last night Destiny showed up to help, so we've been getting chores done in record time.  No major health crisis, although I am still working on Sha'ba's sheath got 2 more habronema out this morning.  I keep hoping each one is the last one, but it seems when I get one out there is at least another one behind it.  At least he isn't itching too badly, poor little guy.  

Both Jack & Pepper have dramatically cut down on the amount of food they are eating.  They are eating about 1/3 of what they were just a few weeks ago.  Of course all the other donkeys especially the ones that are food hogs, really watch those pens & wait impatiently for me to open the gate to let the old guys out.  I've really cut down on the amount of food I mix up, but those two still have leftovers at every feeding.

"Nameless" seems to be doing good.  He's still hanging out in the bedroom bathroom, although he has come out from under my clothes in the closet & is now positioned behind the TV.  Last night he did some prowling, which was OK, but I didn't appreciate him trying all the window screens to see if they would hold up.  Every time I yelled at him he quit on that window & go to another one.  Moogee has given up on trying to get in the door, I'm sure she will make his life miserable when she gets the chance.  She likes to hide around the corner & pounce when her victim walks by.  Poor Midas was very paranoid about walking past a corner unless he knew for sure where she was.  

Haven't heard how Georgette & Remington are doing, last I heard they were going to start doing "walkies", which could be fun.  He's very smart & really seems to want to cooperate, so it should go pretty well.   

Friday, June 11, 2010

John left yesterday for his annual family reunion.  He said the weather in Dallas/Ft. Worth was nice.  Three times in the last 5 years the weather has been bad, & one time he had to overnight,  Wednesday the weather report for Dallas wasn't good, so it could have gone either way.  When he called he was all chirpy about how great the trip went, nice weather, on time & all that.  I told him not to do too big a Happy Dance, since he hasn't made it home yet.  We'll see how it goes Monday when he tries Dallas/Ft. Worth again.  

This afternoon I picked up Beau or Nigel at the vet office after his "brain" surgery this morning.   Unfortunately the emasculator broke (I've never heard of such a thing) & one of the cords sucked back up before it got sewn shut.  So the boy has to stay in a cage tonight, no food or water to make sure he doesn't bleed.  So far, so good.  John is thinking about names, Beau is back on the list, & Nigel is the only other name I came up with that John will even think about.  I told him either he comes up with a name or it's one of these.  Once he's out of the cage & I can observe him, maybe another name will  "fit".

The donkeys have been doing real good with their fly masks, but BlackJack came in tonight without his.  Although our neighbor is helping with chores, I still didn't get a chance to look for the mask before dark.  We don't have a lot of flies, we use the fly predators, & the fly traps, but the ones we have are really determined.  They ate a lot of the hair off of Jenny, big girl's rear legs, trying to get to the skin I guess, nasty little beasts.  So I made some covers for her hind legs & it really keeps the flies at bay, they don't like all that material flopping around I guess.  

Honcho has settled in & is part of the herd.  I guess I'm a matchmaker, I'd like for him & Katie to bond.  They are about the same size, both of them have a weight problem, & their personalities are a lot alike.  Usually when I want 2 of them to bond it doesn't turn out well, like Daisy & Quilla.  They didn't like each other when they were being fed in the same pen, & they are never together now. 

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Here's Honcho when he went out this morning.  It was hard to catch him with his head up, he went out & immediately started looking for things to eat.  As you can see from the picture he isn't thin & judging from his attention to hay in his pen & browse outside the pen, it looks like he is a food freak.
This is Jenny, big girl, helping him find something to eat.  Actually she was trying to strike up a relationship, but he kicked at anyone coming up behind him, including Tula, which surprised me.  As the lead jenny she usually doesn't have to worry about such rude behavior.  I guess he didn't realize who she was.  He thumped her twice on the chest before she decided to go someplace else.  

We took Midas to the vet this afternoon & she agreed that it was time.  John brought him home & he is under the tree with all our other kitties, & Tom the turkey.  The vet tech asked if we'd like another cat.  They have a year old bengal that an older couple had asked them to find a home for.  He had been in a cage for the last couple of weeks, but when they brought him out to show him off, he acted like it was no big deal, really quite mellow for a young cat.  I asked if anyone had shown interest in him, but they said they hadn't shown him to anyone because they wanted to make sure he had a good home.  The vet said she'd neuter him & I could pick him up Friday.  As they say one door doesn't close without another one opening, I guess.  We've got to come up with a name though, he came in Bob the Bengal.  The vet clinic has been calling him Edan or Egan or something like that.  I think we can come up with something if we think about it.  I just ran Beau past John & got a no...........!!!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

HONCHO IS BACK.........!!

We picked Honcho up this afternoon, & put him in a pen when we got home.  The first thing he did was start exercising the dogs.  The dogs always "greet" new donkeys by running the fence & barking.  Honcho as I recall use to run the dogs almost everyday.  Seems like he hasn't forgotten although as hot as it is (107 on the back porch in the sun)  I would think he'd want to find shade somewhere, like the other donkeys.  Chester & Rusty came up to the trailer when we unloaded him, & tried to figure out if he was worth their time & Katie came to check him out.  John told her yesterday a new boy was coming maybe she wanted to see how cute he is.  Honcho & Katie would make a really nice pair, they like to be where the action is, whether you want them there or not...........!!

He is Mr. Personality, what people call a pocket donkey.  That is why I don't have a better picture.  I couldn't take a picture inside the pen, unless you wanted to see a very very closeup of his nose.  We'll leave him in the pen a day or two before letting him out.  We'll have to make sure he's going to get along with everyone.  I think he will, he's like a little boy running around chasing everyone, or at least he use to, & from what I've seen he's still that nosy curious little boy.  

Tomorrow we have an appointment to take Midas our red tabby cat to the vet to be euthanized.  He's only 5 years old, but it seems cancer doesn't always hit the elderly.  Last week we took him in to be examined because he was having trouble breathing.  The vet drained a lot of fluid off his lungs & said take him home for a few days.  He's having trouble breathing from a buildup of fluid again.  Quality of life should always be the primary objective with animals & although we could have his lungs drained again it would just put off the end result. 

Monday, June 07, 2010

AND SO IT GOES.................!!


Georgette called last night excited about how well Remington is doing.  I think we were there Friday & set up the squeeze so she could get a halter on him.  Sunday she put a halter on him out in the 1/4 acre pen, didn't even have to have him in the round pen.  So he's done with the squeeze, unless he decides to regress, which I don't think he will do.  He's a good boy & wants to please, but had gotten away with being evasive.  Next big step will be lead rope.  She is going to try to get him to walk with her first.  If he learns to do that, a lead rope should be easy.  

Heard from Lynne today.  She had been Honcho & Remington's mom since last August, but had given Remington up because he was getting too aggressive with Honcho & wouldn't leave his fly mask on.  She is going to have to go stay with her Mom in the SE for a few months, so Honcho will be coming back here.  I don't know yet if she wants to just have him visit or sign a release & let him go to a new home.  We'll have to pick him up tomorrow, John leaves for Indiana Thursday.  Sure wish it would cool off while he's gone, but I don't think it will.  Honcho's a good boy, although he has one of those steel trap type of minds, & loves people.  That's an interesting combination, that's a lot of fun.

We encountered our first rattlesnake of the season.  John came down from the hay barn & said he thought there was a rattlesnake in there but he couldn't tell where.  I could hear it rattling before I got to the building.  I don't think I've ever heard a crankier snake, he was rattling when John got there, John left, came, got me, was rattling when we got back & continued to rattle while we tried to figure out exactly where he was.  John can't hear & I can't see, so we make a good combination to get in trouble.  I finally figured out where he was, behind the hay of course.  John leaned around & could see him in the S-shape strike position & rattling as loud as he could.  We got the snake catcher & box & John had to catch him 4 times before he stayed caught & the lid was closed on the box.  He never stopped rattling, & was in the S-position in the box.  Hobo the feral cat was in the neighborhood, so we figure she must have riled him up & we kept him riled after that.  We don't really want one in the hay barn especially one that is as cranky as this one seemed to be.  A nice gopher snake or racer would be great, but not a rattler. 

Saturday, June 05, 2010

      Yesterday we went to visit Susan & the two girls we hauled to her in February.  Susan has never had donkeys before & unfortunately doesn't understand that someone has to be in charge.  Their feet are long again because she can't even put a halter on them, let alone lift their feet.  We talked about what she needs to do in order to get them to be companions, rather than just 2 pretty donkeys out there running around doing their thing.  She said she is willing to work with them, so we'll check back in a couple of months & hopefully she will have made a lot of progress. They were never "our" donkeys, but once we're involved we want to make sure they are getting the training & attention they need.

      After visiting there we went over to see how Remington is doing.  Georgette has really done well with him. 

      Here she is working with him. His head set looks to me like he's bored.......!!!  (G)  He has on a fly mask, but for some reason putting on a halter was a big deal........not going to happen as far as he is concerned.  I told Georgette when we came over John & I would be the "bad cops" & put a halter on him, so she was looking forward to this experience.  
      We're not that good without using props, so it wasn't really that exciting....!!!  We took one of the corral panels out of the round pen, attached one end & left the other end free standing.  Open it up, get him to go in, & then use it like a squeeze.  Once he's in there, you can put a halter on him without him being able to evade, which he is really good at.  You do have to make sure your open end is in a corner.  We've set these things up many times, but for some reason we didn't put the open end in the corner at first.  He went in just fine, & pushed backwards & out.  Hmmmmm!  that never happened before.  So we got him in there again, & the same thing happened.  I'm sure by this time Georgette thought we were nuts, but finally we figured out the problem, set it up with the open end in the corner, & no more problems.  Put a halter on him, let him out for awhile & worked towards the goal of putting it on without him having to go into the squeeze.  Didn't accomplish that before we left, but I'm sure it won't be long he was actually rather accepting, although not willing to give up that last little bit of evasiveness without a fight.  Georgette's husband Dave will help her as long as Remington has to go into the squeeze. If you are trying to do something at the head end, that leaves the rear end not being monitored, which could get exciting. 

The kids don't get groomed like they should, we usually run out of time before we run out of chores.  This morning I looked at Sha'ba & he looked like a fur ball explosion, hair was sticking out & hanging everywhere.  So in between the usual chores, I grabbed a Furminator & made the fur fly for a couple of minutes.  I couldn't believe how much hair came out, poor little guy, I would imagine he was getting pretty itchy.  I usually pull on hair to see if it's coming out & so far, none of the others are as far along as he is. 

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


Last night when I took Quilla's leggings off, he was a little squirmy, but stood once John put the halter on him.  This morning I "sunscreened" his legs & face & John was still busy doing round-up when I was ready to do Quilla's rear legs.  I decided to try by myself, & he didn't even move.  Guess he decided it was easier to stand quietly than have Mom growling at him.  Glad my marshmallow is back, he's such a love, I didn't like having to be grumpy with him.