Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I will be in Missouri at my high school reunion until the middle of next week.  Vic will also be gone, so Lora his wife is going to be helping John, when Lisa doesn't come over.  

October 12th is Donkey Appreciation Day...........who knew........??  I certainly didn't.  Zeke's mom got in touch with us about the walkathon Zeke & Mike will be doing on the 12th from Tombstone to the front gate at Ft. Huachuca.  As I understand it, every year Zeke does something to raise money for charity.  This year he has decided to raise money to help his less fortunate donkeys that are in rescue or sanctuary, & has chosen Forever Home Rescue as the recipient.  What a wonderful thing for Teresa, Mike, & of course Zeke to do.

Sunday John & BlackJack are going to a photo shoot with Mike & Zeke to be used for publicity.  Guess I'll miss all the excitement.  I hope BlackJack behaves himself, he usually goes in the trailer pretty good & likes to be fussed over, so it should go well.  Of course he is a donkey & might decide this wasn't what he had planned for the day too..................!!!

This morning when John went out Tucker was in Thelma's pen.  There's an area between them that is just corral panels, & sure enough the little stinker found it.  John said none of the 3 seemed upset, which is surprising, I would have thought Mocha would have a fit.  

Thelma still doesn't show any signs of being pregnant, so maybe she isn't, but we'll continue to treat her like she is.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sha'ba & Georgette 2009
Sha'ba was ready to go this morning, it took very little drugs to release him from his pain.  

He had so much liquid draining from his nose & by the time the vet got here it was starting to have a red tinge to it.  He kept moving, like he was very uncomfortable & we could tell it was time.  

The vet's best guess was cancer with tumors either blocking his system, or tumors that had wrapped around his intestines  & were causing the contents of his stomach to back up thru his nose.  
You could just tell by looking at him his life hadn't been easy.  His ears had been cut off, he was blind in one eye, had an old break in a rear fetlock, & somewhere along the line someone had punched a hole thru his nose to use a bull ring, rather than a halter.  He would fight you if you tried to tie him up, & the shorter you tied him, the harder he would fight.  When we picked him up in Tucson 8 years ago we thought he was blind in both eyes, they were so infected.  He also weighed about 100 pounds less than he should.  We really didn't think he would be alive when we got him home.   We found out he could see a little bit, & he eventually gained weight , even though his teeth were worn off to the gums.  

He learned to trust people again, & enjoyed being with them.   Anytime we would go out on the property, if we went close to him, he would come over & then follow us around.  

A few years ago he was bitten by a rattlesnake on a front leg.  Didn't seem to bother him I guess the fangs hit his cannon bone & didn't release much venom if any.  

He had a spirit that couldn't be destroyed & our lives were much richer for getting to know him.  They are all special, but he was extra special...........we will miss  him. 

We are waiting for the vet to come out for Sha'ba.  She was out last night we thought he was choked.  That wasn't the case, & her best guess is, at his age probably a blockage or tumor.

There is no change this morning, & he is very uncomfortable.  Georgette his special friend is coming out from Tucson, to be with him for his last journey. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011



We had people come out yesterday for a tour, & I just got a call from some people wanting to come out tomorrow.  It's a little early for the "winter" visitors to start showing up, so I assume people are taking advantage of the "much" cooler weather we are having.  

We didn't know the people yesterday were coming, so the donkeys were out of the pens, thankfully just on the 10 acres.  We found most of them, & people do enjoy being able to wade into the herd, although it makes me a little nervous.  These were horse people, so they knew about being in close proximity with equine.  

Yesterday was suppose to be trim day for Thelma & Mocha & reset day for Falena's elongated shoe.  Tyler came out & said Thelma & Mocha's feet looked good & he didn't trim them.  Did say Thelma needs to move around more.  She doesn't move around a lot, I'm sure her feet hurt because they were so very long when we got her & it will take time for the bones in her feet to adjust.  There's nothing in her pen to make her move around, so John is working on her pen this morning to give it an outside gate, so we can let her in & out without having to go thru Mocha & Tucker's pen.  I hope she is cooperative when it comes time to go back in this afternoon.  

Tyler was quite pleased with the way Falena's foot is doing.  When we picked her & Selena up, she had been walking on the top of her foot probably all her life, at least long enough to wear the top of her hoof off flat.  So Tyler built her a complete hoof, using a special shoe & designing a front for her hoof with epoxy.  She walks right about 99% of the time, although she does stand with the foot turned over.  But Tyler said where her hoof is growing in new, is growing at the correct angle to eventually grow correctly, & she won't need the shoe.  It will take about a year, but that's OK.  They still belong to the state & the livestock inspector hasn't ever called me back, so we couldn't adopt them out anyway.  If I did, I'm sure the next day the livestock inspector would call........!!!!!  LOL

Falena isn't real cooperative, & in the ensuing battle, I got my hand caught between the rope & the 4x4 upright post I was trying to wrap the rope around.  The guys thought I should go for stitches, but I opted for super glue.  Getting stitches would be an all day process, & a lot of paperwork.  It sure seems like I'm getting beat up a lot lately.  Unfortunately it's my right hand, so the super glue is really getting a work-out, & not working as well as I'd like.  

John came in this morning & said, "you should have seen Tucker, he was really making high speed laps around & around his pen."  I want to get pictures of him running, but usually when I go out with the camera, if he is running, he decides to be a statue........or he's sleeping or eating.  The dogs usually tattle, when he's running like that.  I just need to coordinate getting my camera & getting out there in time. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Today is the last day for Tucker's antibiotics.  The vet said it would be good to get another complete blood work-up to see how he is doing.  He doesn't realize how difficult it is to get things done in Cochise County.  As active as Tucker is, he certainly seems to be just fine, so I might just watch him for a few days.  I have my handy dandy thermometer, ready at a moment's notice, if he started acting "off", so we'll see how it goes.  

Yesterday morning Sha'ba was acting "off".  Didn't want to eat his breakfast, which for him is very unusual.  My best guess was gas colic.  When I took him temp, I got a big "blessing" & it wasn't long before he started eating & then wanted out.  I guess raising that tail, helped with the problem.  

Jenny still has an open abscess on the bulb of her hoof.  The thing has just continued to move around, so the whole side of her hoof & coronet has been involved.  We didn't soak this morning since it was already open.  A clean up with Betadine & then covering the whole area with ichthammol .  

John is now taking the fly masks off at night, so summer must be over.  The fly traps aren't filling up near as quickly...........YIPPEE!  Well except for Thelma, she doesn't mind it being taken off, but putting it back on can be a challenge.  Having this bum leg really puts a cramp in my style as far as working with the donkeys goes.  John's idea of putting on a fly mask is to stomp up from the front & put it on.  The donkeys that have been here for awhile have gotten use to this "abuse of manners" & allows him to do it.  Thelma obviously expects a little "wooing" & perhaps an approach from the side.  But I'm not ready to take a chance of getting knocked down.  

I'm not even feeding Sha'ba yet.  We have a relationship that consists of him butting me like a billy goat when I go in his pen with his bucket, & me trying to get away from him.  I know it isn't acceptable behavior, but he was so beat down when he got here, I was thrilled when he started showing a little moxey, & have let him keep doing it.  (And will do so for as long as he wants to do it)  But I still can't pivot or change directions with my leg, so can't take a chance.  

Thelma really doesn't care for ropes or heaven forbid a halter, so I guess that will be my first project when my leg gets stronger. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Last night I got a call from a woman.  Tyler had said something about her as a possible home for Beau, when he was out to trim him & the 3 jennies last month.  She has a 30 year old mare & a 2 year old donkey gelding & has been looking for a buddy for them.  Tyler thought Beau would be a good match.  I had to tell her what happened.  I'm always amazed at how things turn out sometimes.  I doubt that anything would have been different if she had called earlier, although she said she could have taken him as a jack, she has a place she could have kept him if necessary.  But I don't know that we would have let him go as a jack, because so many times people don't follow thru with getting them gelded. 

Doesn't really do any good to second guess, it is what it is, it just seems to be such a waste.  He was such a cute small standard & would have been a great little guy with some training.  

Everyone else seems to be doing pretty good today.  Since it's cooled off, & there are less flies doctoring is getting easier.  Jenny is still limping around 3 legged lame.  Yesterday when Lisa & I went out to doctor her, we noticed a "herd" of flies on her coronet & sure enough an abscess was draining, so that's 2 on that foot.  She's still favoring that foot, so I soaked her again this morning.  She still has swelling in the hock, so it's really difficult to tell where her problem really is.  She's tired of staying in her pen, & lets us know every chance she gets.  

Tucker is running around like crazy, still on antibiotics for 2 more days.  He's 2 weeks old today.  I've found out if I'm close to him, if I reach out & scratch his butt, he'll stand still for more scratching & rubbing.  Mocha is still being over protective, kicking & biting if she thinks it's necessary.  She even kicked at Vic yesterday, when he was in Thelma's pen.  When Tucker gets his antibiotics syringed in his mouth, she will nip you if she can.  We don't know if she's protecting him, or trying to get the karo syrup.  

Pepper is doing much better, he hasn't got down & needed help getting up in quite awhile.  

Quilla has discovered a new past time.  Selena & Falena both are entertaining the boys.  In fact they are the reason Beau tried to get out of the pens.  Quilla stays right with them & occasionally tries to do the "dirty" deed.  Not bad for an old guy that this time last year was fighting for his life from a rattlesnake bite.  Unfortunately 2nd in line is Pepper, he follows them around all day waiting for an opportunity.  So far Quilla hasn't gotten mean with him, for one thing all the 3 have to do is walk off, & it will take Pepper awhile to catch up.  But he doesn't mind getting in close if he can, he's never figured out that he is old & frail.  And I don't think he ever will. 

Monday, September 19, 2011


It went as well as these things can go.  I have heard horror stories about ones that have gone wrong & can't imagine how horrible that would be, for all involved, especially the owner. 

When it was over, Nancy cut the bandage we put on yesterday, to exam the leg & also to see where the bandage failed.  The thin PVC collapsed, but the leg was like a piece of spaghetti, it had no tone to it at all below the knee.  It makes me feel better, Nancy said if we had tortured him for weeks or months, he still would have never been able to use that leg, 

John put him in the garage for the night, it was too late to try to bury him tonight & because of the drugs used, he couldn't stay outside.  It could poison any animal that might take a bite. 

We've lost 4 this year, way too many.  RIP Lucy, Noelle, Louise, & Beau.....!!!


We are waiting for the vet to come out & euthanize Beau.  John just came in awhile ago, & said something had changed, with his leg.  I went out & it is bowed out to the side like a cowboy with bowed legs.  I guess the PVC in the wrap isn't doing it's job.  

I talked to the vet & she said although she saw nothing in the x-rays to show anything broken, her best guess is the ligaments in the knee area are destroyed, & if we put him in a cast it would have to be replaced every couple of weeks.  She talked about a lot of things not good, & nothing really good except no broken bones.  

He's unhandled, & hard to work with, so he would have to be tranquilized every time you wanted to work with him. 

I have to weigh the facts, & unfortunately the facts are I think we would be torturing him for a long time, for hopefully an outcome that would let him be able to use his leg.  If not, then the end result would be the same.  Animals don't understand you are trying to help them, especially one that has very little relationship with humans.

If he would stand still to be bandaged, or if he had a calm disposition we might try it.  But I see nothing to be accomplished by all the time & effort it would take on our part to keep him miserable for months.  

Anyone that knows me knows this is a hard decision for me to make.  I'm not God & the idea of being responsible for killing an animal even for the right reasons, turns my stomach.  

The bottom line is what is best for Beau?  It would have been best if he had been socialized, & been gelded, in which case we wouldn't have ever been involved in his life probably.  But he wasn't, & we were, so we have to make the hard decisions. 


She came out with 2 helpers & it's probably a good thing.  We went down to look at him & figure out a plan to get him close enough to the x-ray.  He was in Rusty's pen, which was too far from the feed room & electricity to get a good x-ray.  We decided to try to move him 5 pens up to the front pen, which is his pen anyway, if we could.  

I went to get a lead ropes, & when I came back they were busy shutting gates as he was headed for his pen.  At the rate he was moving he was getting to the gates before they did & I was afraid he'd get out.  He might have a bum leg, but he wasn't letting it slow him down much.

She finally decided he'd have to be tranquilized, too many people & most of them with ropes didn't set well with him.  John also set up one of our corral panel chutes, actually had to have it in order to give Beau his tranquilizer, to say he wasn't cooperating is an understatement.  

They got 4 x-rays, in spite of him trying to kick anyone that came close to him, & will call from the office to let us know what the verdict is.  

She said he could have some nerves damaged, she named one I can't remember & also the radial nerve.  Chester had a paralyzed radial nerve & Martha managed to get it working with massages.  So we haven't given up yet. 


The vet is suppose to be here around noon to x-ray Beau, & see what we are actually dealing with.  She's going to try to x-ray thru the wrapping, although I'd really rather someone that knew what they were doing would wrap it.  Although if the x-ray shows more damage than just the knee I guess it probably won't matter much, long term. 

He's eating & moving around, but donkeys are so stoic there's no way to know how much pain he has.  I haven't given him any banamine this morning because the vets usually want to be able to evaluate them without drugs. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011


This afternoon I was out sitting with Tucker & happened to look down the pen area that Beau had access to 5 of the pens.  He was standing in a gate that should have been closed.  I went down to see what was going on & his right front leg was hung up almost to the top of a 5 foot corral panel.  The foot was caught between the gate & the corral panel.  He had been there for awhile, ground was tore up & quite a bit of blood on his leg.  He wasn't thrashing around, & seemed to think I would help him.  

I tried to find John but didn't know for sure where he was.  Got hammer & screwdriver to try to take the corral panel loose, but his leg was so wedged in there, I wasn't getting much done.  

Went back in the house & finally found John.  The only option was to cut the corral panel, so he had to get a hack saw from the garage.  Beau, bless his heart was fairly calm, much calmer than we were I'm afraid.  

I went in & called Vic & Lora & they were here right away.  Vic & John got the corral panel loose & went he came down you could tell the knee is broke.  Of course it's Sunday, but I got on the phone & tried to find a vet.  Two out of towns, one left a message, never returned my call & one with no answering machine.  That just about exhausted the local vets we have available.  Vic knows how to use ropes, & they managed to get him down on the ground, covered his eyes & I gave him a tranquilizer.  We spent the rest of the afternoon doing our best to put a Robert Jones splint on him.  I had cotton roll & vet wrap, & John had a piece of PVC that hopefully will keep his leg from collapsing.  As soon as we got done, he got up, he's not putting weight on the leg, but he is standing.  

I just hope I can find a vet in the morning that will come out & has an portable x-ray machine.  Unfortunately most of the vets around here are very practical when it comes to taking care of animals, & I don't think we could get him in a trailer to haul him anyway, so we're basically stuck with what's available locally. 

I have went over & over in my mind trying to figure out what we could have done to prevent this from happening.  Other than not using corral panels for our pens, I don't know what else we could do.  And we've used corral panels because if a donkey runs into the sides they give rather than being solid.  I would have never thought that one would manage to get a leg hung up like his was.  It just happened to be wide enough to trap his foot in such a way that it was impossible to get it out.  

John got kicked before the tranquilizer kicked in, a glancing blow to the knee.  He's got ice on it tonight, hopefully it will be better by morning.  At this rate we're not going to have a pair of good legs between us. 


Both of the above links are very interesting.  The donkeys are now at Tehachapi, California,  one of two headquarters for Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue.  The other is at Miles, Texas, where Georgette & I went last weekend.  

Things around here are busy as usual.  Little Tucker is still getting antibiotics & karo syrup every day.  I'm going to call the vet tomorrow & see  if he still needs the karo, it's getting harder & harder to catch him, he thinks it's a game.  He's getting very fast & I'm sure before it's over, one of us is going to get kicked, because usually when he takes off, there's an additional little buck with rear feet flying.  

I'll go out to see him, & he'll be charging around the pen, 90 miles an hour, dust just a'flying.  Even if I have the camera with me, by the time I turn it on & aim, he usually skids to a stop & just looks at me.  Or runs into his shelter.  

John says he thinks Thelma isn't PG, not sure what he bases this information on, wishful thinking maybe?  I don't have a clue, but I'm pretty sure that once Beau figured out what needed to be done, he was more than willing.  Right now Selena & Falena are "entertaining", much to Quilla's delight.  Unfortunately old Pepper that has to be helped up if he lays down on the wrong side, is also delighted & we're trying to watch them, so he doesn't get hurt.  Quilla is usually very mild mannered, but if he thinks Pepper is moving in on his "harem", he might change his mind.

Of course Beau is in his pen watching all this going on, & is very vocal about it.  Not to mention probably walking miles every day, back & forth against the fence.  This morning Selena decided to get close enough to aggravate him, & he reared up on the corral panel, with his front legs over the top.  I sure hope he doesn't learn on to climb them with his rear feet, or we will have a problem.  It's cooling off now, so hopefully we can get him gelded soon. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Picture I took of Tucker this morning.  I had plans to take a movie, but he decided he'd rather play being a statue.  Maybe later today.

Our weather has really changed the last couple of days.  We had rain, & now it's chilly in the mornings.  Chilly enough that it might be time to start taking fly masks off at night again.  Most of the summer we've left them on, because the flies were getting up in the morning before we were & getting in their eyes. 

Went to Tucson yesterday & stopped by the track to see if the rain was causing problems.  I heard pumps running when I got out of the car, & sure enough, the track I run on was underwater, & one end of the big track was also under water.  Doesn't look good for racing tonight, although the office girls said if we didn't get anymore rain, they should be able to race tonight.  We'll see...........!!!

About 30 minutes ago, Mark twittered, the donkeys have landed on the mainland, safe & sound, been loaded in trailers & are headed for Tehachipi.

Friday, September 16, 2011


Here's the first info out of Hawaii that I've found about the donkeys being brought to the mainland.  It sounds like the good heartedness of one man started the project.  I hope it all goes well, that many large animals on a plane is mind boggling.  My next question would be, who cleans up the plane?  (G)

When Georgette & I were in Miles last week-end Mark told us, rather than bring frozen beef to Hawaii they use these 747's that have been redesigned to haul live cattle.  I guess there isn't enough cattle on the islands to feed the population.  They put 4 cattle in pens that hold 4 cattle, & load the pens "ie" crates side by side & away they go.  I think Mark said there will be 6 donkeys per crate.  What a project I'm glad to see other organizations are involved, I hope with funds, because something like this certainly isn't cheap.  All the jacks will be gelded before the trip, so that's good.  When we went out to the headquarters, we saw a LOT of jacks that need to be gelded, as soon as it cools off.  Texas A&M brings their students out which gives them practice & gets a lot of jacks gelded in a day or two. 

We picked up baby Tucker & Mocha yesterday in a hellious rainstorm, it rained most of the trip home & we had some rain after we got here.  Welcome home, little man........!!!   They rode just fine.  Georgette went with us, I think she thought the little guy was going to ride in the van like he did when he went to the doctor........but.........he is a lot more livelier than he was a few days ago.  He would have been bouncing off the seats, with his sharp little hooves, & probably bouncing off Georgette too.  So he rode in the trailer like a big donkey.  

I found out that not only did he get infection in his umbilical stump because we didn't find him for awhile after he was born, but he was also a dummy foal.  That means he probably was deprived of oxygen before or during his birth.  I guess we were lucky he could even nurse because a lot of times they can't.  The clinic thought he probably wasn't nursing well enough to get all the colostrum he should have gotten, so he got a plasma transfusion.  

We have to give him karo syrup every day & he's also on antibiotics for a few days.  He had an elevated temperature today, not much but higher than I'd like.  It hasn't stopped him from running all over the pen.  Poor Mocha seems to think she has to stay right with him, so she's getting quite a workout.  The clinic was impressed with what a good protective mom she is, considering how young she is. 

When John tried to catch him to give him the karo syrup, is when we found out that he's a lot more livelier & much faster than he was a few days ago.  One person certainly couldn't dose him or "heaven forbid" take his temperature, he really doesn't like that being done.  I told John we need to work on getting him to come to us, rather than us having to catch him, because he's already faster than we are.  We can trap him in his shelter, but that probably won't work very long.

Maybe I can get some more pictures of him tomorrow.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hmmmm.............looks like Thelma likes baby Tucker's stall. Might be a good thing we're picking him & Mocha up today before Thelma gets firmly implanted in it.  John is already talking about building one facing this one, so there will be choices, if necessary.  

Of course we had a big rain storm off & on all afternoon yesterday, & she wasn't the only one looking for shelter. 

The big wash ran, & this is John in his "designer" outfit, cleaning out the junk that took out the fence across the wash.  It took out the fence on both ends, & when that happens the first thing he has to do when the rain quits & the water recedes is to get those fences back up.  It only took the bottom wire, so it didn't take him long to fix it.  Only once have we had a herd rebellion bound & determined to go see what there was to see over there in the new territory.  Of course with both fences down, as I tried to round them up they just went to the other fence.  The neighbors got here before I wore out & we got them in their pens.  That's been awhile ago, but they seem to remember things like that.  I'm sure given the opportunity to explore again, they would.  

Of course the west fence would just get them on Burroland, but right now the gates are open so the cattle can come in over there.  I am happy to report the cattle are hanging out over there, hopefully eating mesquite beans as fast as they can, so we can let the donkeys over there again. 

Jenny is still 3 legged lame, & I've about decided that it isn't her foot & another abscess at all.  She has still got some puffiness on both sides of her hock, & doesn't want to put weight on it at all.  I'm not sure at this late stage what would be the best thing to do.  She's on "pen" rest much to her disgust.  She's started eating the shelters I think as a way of showing her displeasure. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

NOT A THING OF BEAUTY.........????

Well it might not look like much, but it should be adequate to keep the weather off Tucker if need be.  John is in there with the tractor putting a berm around the 3 sides. 

Thelma thinks it's quite interesting & has already been using it as a scratching post.  Hope she doesn't knock it down........!!

We'll put shavings in it, when Tucker gets here, no sense in putting them down for Thelma to mess with.  I just hope she doesn't take over the shelter before Mocha & Tucker come home tomorrow.  

We really wanted to put the shelter opposite where we did, but this is the area that Mocha was having him lay down in, so we were afraid if we built it over there, she'd still have him lay down here.  

Jenny is still 3 legged lame on one of her hind legs.  She blew an abscess, but obviously there is another one in there somewhere.  She is becoming quite uninterested in having her foot soaked, read that as meaning she's NOT letting us put that THING on her foot.  Last night I wore myself out trying to put it on & really never got it right.  

This morning I got everything ready, so Lisa & John could put it on.  They came back with an empty container & the soaking boot.  I really hate to be outsmarted, so mixed up some more epsom salts, got an IV bag & the soaking boot.  Loaded up with duct tape & headed out for battle.  Of course I didn't go alone, I yelled for Lisa & John.  We tied her up, poured the water in the IV bag, fought the battle to get it on the foot & taped on.  It's much lighter weight than the boot, & easier to wrestle.  Once it was on & taped, the foot went down in the soaking boot & we taped that on.........!!!!  It stayed on until Lisa took it off.  "WON THAT ONE".........!!! We can't just use the IV bag, because the ground is too rough & they get holes in them real quick.  I had a good supply of IV bags from when Quilla was snake bit, just about this time last year.  But I've about used them all up, so I had to figure out a way to keep them off the ground. 

Looks like I'll be going racing Saturday night, John & I were up at the garage, & he asked if I thought I could get in the car?  I didn't have my brace on, but managed to get in it without twisting anything.  Should be easier with the brace on. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

We were going to pick up Mocha & baby Tucker today.  He's eating & eliminating, although he is still laying down quite a bit.  He is still getting antibiotics & will until his white blood count goes down to normal.  

The vet & I talked this morning & I explained that we don't have any place to put him inside.  She said we could build a 3 sided shelter in the pen & put shavings in it.  Our weather has been so blustery the last few days, wind, trying to rain, & then 30 second of typhoon type rain.  I guess this is the monsoon we were suppose to have earlier in the summer.  

She thinks about 2 more days of antibiotics by injection, so we decided to have him stay until Thursday afternoon.  That will give him time to get stronger & them to observe him.  I would hate to bring him home & have to take him back because we aren't set up to take proper care of him.  

Yesterday was the 3rd day in a row we had to get a vet to doctor somebody.  Yesterday morning everyone got a couple of small pieces of watermelon, which is always a big hit.  I've never had a donkey refuse watermelon, although there are other fruits they will turn their nose up at.  

Poor little Sha'ba choked on his, so we hauled him into the vet in town.  By the time we got him there I guess he finally worked it down, because the tube went down pretty easy.  He came back & when we fed, he ate his breakfast he'd left, & his supper too & seemed just fine.  

I better write about the trip before I forget what happened.  We had a great time, & really enjoyed the little town of Miles & their Cotton-fest, visiting with Mark Myers from Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue, & even the 700 mile trip to get there.  I always enjoy road trips, half the fun is getting there.  And Georgette was a great "sidekick", she was up to whatever was happening. 

We got in Friday night, Miles is only about 800 people, so it wasn't surprising they didn't have a motel, so we went to the county seat of Ballinger, which had one.  The next night we stayed in San Angelo, which was large enough to have a choice of motels.

Saturday morning was the parade, which was a lot of fun.  I think everyone in the parade & on the sidelines knew each other, it was a lot of clapping & yelling back & forth.  










We made a special trip back the next morning before we left the area to see if the town had survived.  It not only had survived, it didn't look like so many people had been there partying most of the night.  Pretty good, considering the amount of beer that was in play, EVERYWHERE.......!!!  Those people like to "party hearty", I think.........!!!!

We hit the road headed for Deming to overnight & visit Lucy's Pasture the next morning.  But once I got the message from John that he was taking Mocha & Tucker to the vet, we drove straight thru to get home as soon as possible.  

Georgette said she's ready to go again, so I guess she had a good time.  Since we didn't make it to Lucy's Pasture, we've decided to make it a day trip, hopefully soon.

Monday, September 12, 2011


Just a quick note for those that are following the baby story.  Georgette & I hit the road Friday & left John to fend for himself.  Saturday he called the vet out, & she said the next 24 hours would be critical for baby TUCKER, yes he has a name now.

Sunday John decided he wasn't doing very well, & decided to take him to one of the only vet clinics in Tucson that has 24 hour care.  He picked up our friend Patti, on the way, which really helped John.  He's good in a crisis, but doesn't enjoy the experience.  So it's good to have someone around that can help. 

John & Vic loaded Tucker in the van & Vic threw Mocha in the trailer.  She's never been haltered, but they got one on her, got her to the trailer, got her front feet in the trailer & that was it, no more cooperation from her.  So Vic put his shoulder in her backside & gave her a heave-ho & up she went. 

The clinic experience information I have is all 2nd hand, since Georgette & I were still in Texas, which incidentally, we had a great time.....!!!

Got to go feed, but will be back later to continue this...................

Tucker had a temperature of 104* which is high & also had a high white blood count & a low red blood count.  Since donkeys don't have as high a red blood count as horses, that number might not really be a "player", but the other 2 were.

He was pretty weak & dehydrated.  Since he wasn't strong enough to nurse, first thing was to get some milk to feed him.  At least that was the plan.  Unfortunately they didn't have a tube small enough to use on such a small little guy.  They went ahead & milked Mocha, just in case they found a smaller tube. 

All the pictures below were taken by Patti at the vet hospital

 John holding & Jeremy milking 

 IV in place

Mocha decided it was time to eat

 IV running & the next thing you know, you need a diaper...!!

And before John & Patti left, Tucker decided to have a snack

The vet office called today & said he has been nursing today & his blood test came back in good shape, except for a high white blood count, because of probable infection.  We're suppose to go pick them up tomorrow, & he will have to have antibiotic shots for a few days, but hopefully he'll be OK.  They found out he has a parrot mouth when they examined him. I had looked in his mouth & thought it looked a little odd, but I've never looked in that young a mouth, so wasn't sure if it might not be normal.  I hope I remember to ask some more questions about it tomorrow when we pick them up.  I have read that parrot mouth can improve on it's own, so we'll just have to see what the doctors say.  

More about the trip later, I'm still trying to catch up & not doing too well at it.  Here's an article in the San Antonio newspaper about the plight of donkeys being abandoned in Texas.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

OUT OF TOWN..................!!!!

Bright & early in the morning, at least I hope bright & early, Georgette will arrive & our plan is to hit the road, since the drive will be about 700  miles to the San Angelo/Miles Texas area, & I'd like to get it done before midnight.  So I will be out of touch until probably Tuesday.

I was almost talking my self out of going this afternoon.   You know the baby was acting lethargic last night & the vet said give him an enema.  Well he was doing the same thing today, with the rapid respiration, so I called the vet, & she didn't return my call.  Called a new vet in Benson, but he wasn't in the area.  I called the vet in Tucson my vet recommends if she isn't available, & he seems to think the little guy is too hot.  Right now our weather is 100+ & humidity to boot.  I guess the new ones have a hard time adjusting their body temperature.  He recommended 1/2 OZ karo syrup & keeping him cool.............!!!  Not that easy to do, the pen is wide open & if we put fans out there, it would probably take at least 4 to cover the area under cover, & even then he could just move out of the fan area, very easy.  

I got on the Donkey Group & asked them for suggestions.  They said spraying him with water often on his neck, chest, & belly helps a lot.  So John has his marching orders & says he can do it.  

I destroyed 2 fly masks today trying to build him one.  It doesn't take much to show me how little I know about designing & sewing.  The first one was an absolute disaster, in the trash it went.  The 2nd one came out good enough I can put it on him, but it has it's problems.  A friend from the donkey group has offered to make him one, but she's long distance, I offered to give her the measurements on the last one I did, haven't heard back from her. 

I spent about 10 minutes twice today, sitting in a chair out there with them.  Mocha is so cute, when I'm out there, she pushes him towards me, so I guess I'm part of the family.  

Tonight when it started cooling off he started perking up.  I went in the pen & here he came, ended up under my skirt, & trying to climb in my lap, except I was standing up.  Hope he remembers me when I get back. 

WE DID IT.........!!!


Not sure the little guy appreciated our efforts, but we got it done.  We were going to put Mocha in the squeeze, but once it was up it seemed like a better idea to, pick up the baby & work on him in the squeeze.  I got in there, Vic picked up the baby & John closed the squeeze so Mocha couldn't get in.  I set down a bowl of feed for Mocha & she paid more attention to that, than what we were doing.  I was in charge of the enema, while Vic held him in his arms off the ground.  John was in charge of making sure the squeeze did it's job.  Very smooth operation, I even got to try a fly mask on him I'm trying to make small enough to fit him.  I also put some vaseline under his eyes to keep the flies off until I get the mask done. 

Put him down on the ground & he immediately started getting rid of what we put in, & some of his own stuff, so hopefully he'll be OK now. 


Last night we noticed the baby was breathing fast & trying to reach around to his backside.  I called the vet & after some discussion she said he probably needs an enema.  I got out my books & it seems that constipation is a problem with newborns & especially little boys.........!!! Sigh........!!!  

In the dark with an unhandled momma didn't seem like a real good time to try this.  We went out & watched him for awhile.  Mocha had him running around & kept pushing on his butt, it looked like she knew he had a problem from the way she was acting.  

This morning we are going to get the squeeze panel out of Beau's pen, set it up in the Momma Pen, hopefully get Mocha in the squeeze, & see what we can do.  I'd say he is little enough that it should be no problem...........but.......last night when I was trying to be nice & pet  him, actually trying to "observe" the little sucker kicked out quick & pretty hard.  If he had landed that punch on my bad leg, I probably wouldn't have been very happy.  So he might be little & he might have a problem, but he's not going to be a pushover.......!!!  Vic is coming today to help, so maybe the 3 of us can "git er done".  

The mule gang got home just about feeding time.  The road down to Vic's house has a big wash across it & he didn't think the truck & trailer would make it, so he walked Eeyore, ie maybe Buddy, ie maybe Chief home.  Haven't heard anything so I assume they made it.  

Here they are headed down the driveway, with about a 1/2 mile to go.  

He's still a pretty boy, but I bet in his hey day he was really eye catching.  He seemed like most of the mules I've seen.  It takes them awhile to warm up to new people, & they have to decide if they want you in their circle.  He wasn't unapproachable, he just kept his distance & preferred you do the same.  

I guess John tried to put a fly mask on him in the stock trailer, & that was not going to happen.  We like to put a fly mask on them when we haul, because something could fly around in an open trailer & get in their eye.  He is blind in one eye anyway, but he was hauled without a mask, by his choice. 

You can see why Laura might name him Chief, he looks like an Indian pony. 

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

IT'S OFFICIAL..........!!!

He's a boy, caught him peeing this morning.  So far none of my boy names seem to fit.  Gizmo is sorta cute, he looks like a little gizmo, but when he grows up it might sound silly.  

Tried putting the mini mask John got yesterday on him, & it wouldn't have stopped an elephant from getting on him.  It came down to the top of his little nostrils & gapped so much at the bottom it was useless.  Mocha didn't seem to mind us messing with him, so maybe she'll be OK with a fly mask on him.  

I got on the phone & called the feed stores, John & Vic & Laura (she's nosy like me)  will pass on their way thru Tucson.  One of them said they had 2 mini foal masks, so John is going to stop on his way to Phoenix to pick up Eeyore.  Laura has already said he will probably get a name change that's a donkey name.  They are also getting a horse tomorrow, so he will have a new home & a new "girl" friend.  Rusty will be so jealous, he loves the girls.

Of course the first thing I did this morning was run out & see what the baby was doing.  He was out exploring, & running around until I turned on the camera.  It's almost like he knew I wanted to show him off.  Right before this he was leaping & trying to buck.  Maybe he wore himself out.  

I was suppose to go with John & Vic today to pick up Eeyore the mule, but decided I better stay home.  I hate to miss a trip, but I'd worry all day.  This way I can go out "often" & see what the little guy is doing.  

We had a lightening, thunder storm with a 5 minute deluge of rain right at feeding time last night.  John went out to see how he was doing.  Mocha & Thelma & he were all laying down under cover.  As soon as the rain quit, he was out & about.  There was a puddle in their dusting spot, & I was surprised that he thought it was fun to stand in & that Mocha would let him do it.  The donkeys usually hate to get their feet wet, but she didn't seem worried about him.  He went back 2 or 3 times to try it again.  

Not wanting to get their feet wet doesn't seem to mean the same thing as getting the body wet & muddy.  Most of the others came in, dripping mud from rolling after the rain.  This seems to be a very important part of donkey behavior, & mule also, Rusty is usually the dirtiest.  Of course he's white, so he looks worse than the others. 

Frijolita & Quilla saying hello.  Quilla has spent a lot of time hanging around the pen trying to get a good look at the little fellow. 

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

BABY DAY...........!!!!!!

John woke me up this morning after he had went outside to see what the dogs were barking at, to let me know that Mocha had had her baby.  WOW! talk about something to get you up & out of bed, I was probably out the door in about 1 minute.......!!! 

Did grab the camera on the way out & this is what I saw first.............!!!!
Mocha was busy pushing the baby back to where he (we think he) should be, just like a momma should even though she is only about 27 months old herself.  We were afraid she would reject it, but she's, if anything overly "motherly".  The poor little thing is tired, but every time it lays down, she wants it up & moving.  

We thought the dogs might be bothering her since they share a fence, so John put in a temporary fence across the dog pen, so there is a 10 foot open space between them now.  

He finally got to where he needed to be, but she didn't have much of a bag & we weren't sure there was anything there.  John finally went in with her, & she let him squeeze out a little milk.

About that time Martha showed up.  She was coming today to do some massage & see if the mommas could be worked with as far as halters go.  Thank goodness she's "birthed" horse babies, so she was our stand-in midwife, our vet has jury duty today.......!!!!

I had John pick up the afterbirth & keep it in case Mocha started acting sick, so Martha & I did afterbirth study.  I knew you had to keep it, didn't really know what I would be looking for.  So she laid it out on the courtyard in a T shape with the cord attached to the sack & said it was a good one.

He pooed his first poo like he's suppose to, we iodined his navel, &  Martha said the only thing left to worry about is peeing, to make sure he is hydrated, & that the plumbing works properly.

This afternoon Mocha has settled down, & was even laying down herself one time when I went out to "look" from a distance.  The flies are really bad right now, so John has gone to town to try to find a itty bitty fly mask.  Hopefully they make one that will come close to fitting him & we can get it on him without upsetting momma too much. 

Thelma is still in the pen with them, & is keeping her distance, like a good auntie, or momma in waiting as the case maybe.  

I can't say the same for the rest of the bunch.  When we went out this morning they were surrounding the pen area.  Pepsi & Quilla both was absolutely going to see that baby one way or another.  John finally got everyone in their pens, except for Quilla, Selena & Falena, who don't have pens.  The girls kinda did a buzz thru 2 or 3 times, but they weren't as enthralled as the boys were.  

So Martha did a couple of massages, actually she did 3.  She looked at Jenny, who is still in her pen, not wanting to put weight on that hind leg.  She was surprised there was no heat or anything, & thinks it might be a sprain.  Jenny enjoyed the massaging as Martha tried to find the "spot".  We'll just keep her in & see how she does for a few days.  She really doesn't see why she has to stay in, & let's us know we're not treating her right ever chance she gets.  

Mocha didn't mind Martha being in the pen with a halter & lead, but Thelma wasn't having any of that nonsense!  She was 3 years old when the former owners got her, & they never put a halter on her, but obviously she has had bad experiences at some time in her life.  Hopefully it won't be too long before I can work with them, my leg is feeling pretty good.  I just don't want to take a chance of being body slammed & knocked down, until the leg has had a little more time to heal.  

John was all happy that it was over until he started thinking that Thelma hasn't had hers yet.  I'll be gone to Texas from Friday morning to sometime Monday, so hopefully she'll wait until next week.  I haven't seen any "dinners" on her yet so maybe she has awhile to go.

Tomorrow we were suppose to go up to Phoenix & pick up the mule Eeyore.  It seems the home close to where he lives fell thru, & the owner called Vic to see if he was still interested in giving the old boy a home.  I don't know now if I'll be going or not.  Not sure what I could do if needed, if I stayed home, so we'll see how things look in the morning.   

Sunday, September 04, 2011


Jenny may be smart enough to not hurt her leg anymore, but there is a lot of difference between walking a step or two here & there all night long & finding out the next morning you are a LONG way from the pens.  She's been moving towards the pens for the last couple of hours & yelling at us, I guess because we aren't moving the pens closer to her.  The swelling is fairly soft, but she isn't real interested in putting much weight on that leg.  

Also her other rear leg has a sore, wound, cut, or something, on the front, right where the hock bends, so both rear legs are compromised, & she is still wearing boots on the fronts.  I tried wrapping the whatever it is one day & wrapping a hock is something I've never really got the hang of, so the bandage slithered down the leg.  Actually it took a day for it to "slither", so I might try it again, if I can get down that far.  I'm doing pretty good with my leg, but bending it enough to kneel is not an option at this time.........!!! 

UPDATE:  She got as far as the pen area in the shade & that was it, not going any further.  We doctored her where she stood, went off doing things came back & she hadn't moved an inch.  SIGH!  I got a can of Strategy & Well Solve, stuck it in front of her nose & we started moving about teaspoon per step.  Of course by the time we had move 5 or 6 feet the word had gone out, "FREE FOOD BY THE PENS, IF YOU CAN FIGURE OUT HOW TO GET THE OLD LADY TO GIVE IT TO YOU".  I had a feeding frenzy & John was up at the garage doing something important I'm sure.  After about 10 minutes of them trying to get it & me trying to keep them from getting it, & Jenny getting in a step here & there, John finally showed up & took over being the bad cop.  I guess we'll go ahead & keep her in for a few days & see if that makes a difference.  

Saturday, September 03, 2011

This morning Jenny is willing to walk & the swelling isn't as hard as it was last night, so hopefully she'll be fine in a few days.  She doesn't spook or do anything quickly, so we're letting her out of her pen, I figure she knows what she's doing & won't overdo.  

Beau the little intact jack is into plowing these days.  Tula is cycling & BlackJack is her slave.  So are Justin & Pepsi, but BJ has the preferred position & besides since they are about 34 inches tall they just look silly.  Beau is very aware that she's out there even though she ignores him & doesn't even go close to his pen.  He'll dig for awhile, & I mean we are talking deep digging, & adds hind leg kicks as he's digging.  Guess I should try to get a video, it's pretty funny to watch.  I guess it will keep his front hooves nice & short, which they weren't when we got him. 

Friday, September 02, 2011


John went out this morning & came in with the news that Jenny Big Girl was 3 legged lame, on one of her rear legs.  Poor girl, has been in boots on both front feet for quite sometime.  Sigh!  Not only was she lame she wasn't all.  She was down below the house in the trees, & planned on staying there.  So I got my crutches & headed down there.  Found a goose egg, on the outside of her hock.  Don't have a clue what she did, John thought she might have stepped in a rock squirrel hole, although as slow as she usually moves I wouldn't think that would be a problem.  

I gave her a shot of banamine & put an ice pack on it.  Putting anything on a hock & expecting it to stay is a lesson in futility, although it did stay on for a little while before it crawled down her leg.  

We fed everyone else & she still wasn't moving, so we gathered up "breakfast" & hauled it to her.  I told John it's about time to plow a trail down there, so we can use the golf cart, carrying 5 gallons of water is tiring.......!!! LOL  

We had to go to town this afternoon & she still hadn't moved, & of course the others had "discovered" she had hay.  So we started discussing what we were going to do if she continued not moving.  We could build a pen of corral panels around her.............but we've just about used up all we have.  

While we were out I swear we ran across half the people we know in Benson, everyone was out shopping, some of them we hadn't seen for some time.  All that visiting put us behind, so it was late when we got home.  Drove in & one of the first things we saw, after Pepper standing in the middle of the driveway (at least he wasn't down somewhere) was Jenny eating trees behind the house.  When John went to get her, she actually followed him pretty good & went into her pen.  Maybe she realized if she wanted to get something to eat she needed to be where she belonged.  I checked her leg & this morning the swelling was soft, tonight it was pretty hard, so I assume she had just hurt it this morning right  before John found her.  Hope she's better in the morning.  

BlackJack & Cisco took their moves to new pens like it was no big deal.  I figured BJ especially would have a snit fit, but he goes in just fine.  I guess if food is available he doesn't care. 

The girls seem to enjoy their new pen.  John took the internal fencing down, so it is one big pen now, well it will  be as soon as John pulls the T-posts, hopefully tomorrow.  Lately we've given up on planning our days, it usually doesn't happen anyway.

Still watching Mocha although from what I've read, they can go thru lots of changes before they actually have their baby, today she looked smaller.  We talked to a friend that has "birthed" quite a few donkeys & the conversation was going real good, until he started talking about pulling them with a come along to save the Mother............!!!  YIKES, not what I want to hear that's for sure. 

Found out a problem with driving a pick-up instead of a van.  We picked up 4 bags of pellets in town, & were so late getting home, John hit the ground running.  I was on the phone, looked out the window & Rusty the mule was "dining" in the back of the pick-up.  He's the only one really tall enough to get in there although he had a little partner in crime waiting for anything that fell to the ground.  I hobbled out swung a crutch at him, & he moved just enough to be out of range.........!!!!!   Grrrr..........!!!  So I'm standing beside the truck, swinging the crutch as needed & yelling for John.  He was over feeding the chickens, but had to take time out to unload feed.  I have a feeling we'll be using the van to pick up bags of feed in the future.......!!!!

Thursday, September 01, 2011


This morning when I went out I looked under Mocha & Thelma just for fun,  & Mocha has "dinners"...............!!!!  Oh! boy, not sure we're ready for this, especially since Mocha is just a baby herself, but I guess whether we're ready or not, really isn't important, at this stage.  

The girl's pen is corral panels & a little one could easily squirm under a panel, so we have decided to move them up to the pen BlackJack & Cisco are in.  Three sides of it are cattle panels, which looks like concrete reinforcement panels.  John is going to run more cattle panels on the 4th side this afternoon over the corral panels, & will put chicken wire over the gates.

Now this change has not been discussed with BJ & Cisco, they've had that pen for years.  So I have a feeling moving them down to the girl's pen is going to be "interesting".  Cisco probably won't care but BJ likes status quo in his life.  He also likes to think he's the decision maker, in what goes on. 

Martha a friend that does equine massage & use to come out & work on Chester is planning on coming out next Tuesday & do massage on a couple of the donkeys & will also do some training with the girls.  The plan was to get them to where their udders could be handled in case we had to milk one for colostrum.  So I hope Mocha is just messing with our minds right now......!!! 

As it is John is going to be working in the hot sun this afternoon setting up their new pen, & sub dividing their old one for BJ & Cisco, can't take a chance that she is serious.  

Earlier in the month I put out a message about an old mule that was needing a home.  It looks like he's going to get one, not too far from where he lives now, thanks to the Facebook, & other messages flying around the internet.  One of our neighbors that has been helping John with chores was interested, his wife had a mule when she was a girl.  He was busy getting a place ready, but I guess it wasn't meant to be. 

It would be a good home for a mule needing a new home, so I'll keep him in mind.  Thanks to everyone that got involved to help this old gentleman find a good home.  Sometimes it just takes perseverance on the part of a lot of people, & some good luck.