Saturday, January 31, 2015


Well it has rained almost constantly for 2 days and no end in sight.  I keep telling myself we need the rain having been in drought conditions for 10 years more or less.  

The donkeys are wet and grumpy, not hungry, although I would think they would be, to try to keep warm.  I think they blame us for the weather.  Believe me I'm not anymore thrilled about it than they are.  I do know not to try to touch them, wet donkeys are not happy when touched.

I'm glad Pepper is not having to contend with the weather, it would be almost impossible to keep him dry and comfortable, and he would still try to follow his usual routine.  Judging from what my "bones" feel like, he would be miserable I'm afraid.  Maybe things do happen for a reason, who knows?  

We were suppose to go out to the pavement track this afternoon to practice, but that isn't going to happen.  A little bit of moisture on pavement and you are going to go someplace you don't want to be, doing something you don't want to do, like survive a spin, hopefully without hitting anything.  Or there is always the dreaded wall, to squash against.  That can really tear up your car, so you REALLY don't want to do that......!!!  

In the pits last week-end

The 1st race of the season called the Chilly Willy runs next week-end.  I will be in the Phoenix area, so won't make the show.  But they are having a couple more practices this week, I will get to one of those, to get a little more practice.  Our next race won't be until the 28th of Feb, and they have quite a few practices between now and then.  I will try to make all of them, I need all the experience I can get.  I don't want to go out there and be a nuisance and I'm sure the drivers that know what they are doing, don't want that either.....!!! LOL 

Thursday, January 29, 2015


We took Quilla and Gus up to Gus' home north of Phoenix yesterday for a visit.  Gus can't be on grass and Claire has irrigated pasture, not much, but enough it would send him over the laminitis edge in a heartbeat.  So when the grass starts coming in, with the spring, we will go up and bring them back down here to Longears Camp.  I told Claire we were bringing them dirty, just like kids returning from camp and I wasn't lying, they both are filthy.  Might not be by now, Claire run a pretty organized operation, they might already be clean and fluffy, much to their disgust........!!!!  Donkeys love to be dusty and dirty, I've had people pet them and compare them to a dirty carpet as the dust flies..... LOL

 John, Gus, Claire and Quilla, meeting Thunder and Vashka (I think that's how it's spelled)

Gus, Quilla and Vashka getting acquainted.  Thunder wasn't impressed.

The trip went fine, no problems.  Had a man up by Casa Grande  chase us down in the In/Out parking lot to offer his services as a farrier for our rescues.  What a nice gesture, but we had to tell him we lived to far away to take him up on his offer.

I finished another Elmer Kellon book on the trip, I only have one left to read from my 2nd trip thru the 80 or so he wrote.  If you like semi historical western novels, his are great.  This is the one I just finished and representative of his writing talent.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

I'm back...............!!!

Seems like I've been gone for awhile, but I think it's just because there is a lot going on, in many different directions.  

Saturday we took the race car out to the asphalt track for me to practice.  This is the 1st time I've ever tried asphalt.  To start with when I pulled out of my parking spot in the pits, I heard this horrible bang, like something broke.   It did, but the guys said it was OK...........WHAT.....???  Loud noises and going out on the track, just don't seem to go together, you know what I mean?  It seems I had turned too sharp because of the locked differential and busted the CV "ie" U-joint.  Never was a problem on dirt, but concrete and asphalt aren't as forgiving.  I am keeping score on what I don't like about this grand experiment.  

My son Rod, had told me there are 2 transitions on the track.  The bottom 1/3 of the track is flat, which is good.  The middle has some some banking and up by the wall has more banking.  The fastest way around the track is up by the wall.........but of course that comes with a certain amount of "do I want to be this close to the wall in case of an "emergency?" thinking.  The middle is where I was running, because if you run on the flat part, it will send you up towards the wall coming out of the corners.  Not a good happening.  But he also told me that you don't want to get one side of the car in one transition and the other side in another.  Dirt was so easy, just go out and have fun.  

I did OK, didn't wreck or wreck anyone else.  But I also wasn't up to racing speed.  I didn't find it all that much fun, but then again it was all new, and I was busy trying to figure out what I need to do.  There is another practice this Saturday, so I'll try it again.  

We are taking a couple of donkeys up to the Phoenix area tomorrow.  One belongs to a friend that has pasture, and her donkey can't be on pasture because of being chronically foundered, so he comes down here when she has grass.  We send Quilla, our marshmallow man as a companion, she has 2 horses, but they don't buddy up with Gus.  When her grass starts growing and getting green, we'll go pick them up and bring them back.  

A few days ago a woman got in touch with me.  They had been boarding a couple of donkeys for some people.   One of the donkeys has ouchy feet.  She has been x-rayed and nothing really looked bad, but the woman says if she doesn't give her bute, she can't hardly walk.  I guess the owners are tired of not only paying board, but paying for medical supplies and treatment.  They had decided to euthanize them, which upset the woman that had been taking care of them for the last year.  She asked if we could help.  Of course as usual we are over our self imposed limit and really don't have pens for them, although with Quilla and Gus gone for a couple of months, we actually do have available pens.  We finally decided that she could foster them for us and we would pay for their feed and care.  We're still trying to figure out if that would be best or if they do need to come here.   Although the woman says they only feed bermuda and only 5 pounds per donkey they are rather plump.  She did mention they occasionally get a little sweet feed............hmmmmm.........!!!  

This is Marcy, the mom probably late 20's, early 30's

This is Daisy Mae, the one with the ouchy feet, probably about 17-18

We are taking Daisy to the vet next week for some testing, to see if anyone can figure out what is wrong with her.  John came up with an idea, maybe it isn't her feet, maybe she's got problems with her back.  ????????

Friday, January 23, 2015



Last night at bedtime he was down in his pen with just John and I to try to get him up. We tried pulling him up with the halter and John helping his back end, but weren't accomplishing much.  John went to get the tractor so we could move him on a 4x8 piece of plywood dragging behind the tractor.  Went to all that trouble and I guess he decided no ride for him.  He managed to flop around and get on his feet.  We had to steady him for awhile until he got his legs organized.  We encouraged him to go down into the wash with animal crackers, which was fine with him.  The ground was so much softer in the wash and was a good place for him to lay down or just stand.  So what does he do..........follows us back up the side of the wash, thought we should have some more animal crackers, which of course we did. 

This morning he was in his pen waiting for breakfast, I of course made sure he had extras and many more Fruit Loops than he normally got with his pergolide.  We were trying to watch for when he got done eating, but he managed to lay down before we could stop him.  We  wanted to get him out of the pen, where it would be easier for John to use the tractor to move him, but as usual, Pepper did his own thing. 

Dr. Nancy and Tanya got here on time and for the most part it was an easy transition.  She had to find the vein thru his old tough hide and he got tired of being poked and fussed a little, wouldn't have expected anything else from him.  He never was one to "go along to get along".


 Pepper came here in 1997 or 1998.  He had been a family roping donkey.  I think that means they didn't dally the rope when they roped him.  You can see thru the years he got much greyer.  He actually was black in his hey day according to the owner.  

We have no idea how old he was, but he was here 16-17 years and was with that family till the kids were grown.  On tours we usually told the people he was on the wrong side of 35, which was probably pretty close.  

If determination and enjoying life counted for anything he would have lived forever.  But between the cracked hip, blown knee and 2 feet that were a jumbled mess inside, not to mention Cushings disease, even though the ears were up (never saw them any other way) and the eyes bright as diamonds, it was time to let him rest. 

I hope he is running on strong legs as he was many years ago, with those ears up and finding all the mesquite beans he can hold.  We always said, he could always hear a bean pod hit the ground at 100 yards.  They are all special, but some are just really special.  


Monday, January 19, 2015


Yesterday morning Pepper laid down and thru out the day tried a few times to get up but couldn't make it.  Around 2pm we tried to help him up, but weren't making any progress.  Amy and her son came to clean pens and with their help he finally made it to his feet.  Of course he was stiff from laying down so long, so really looked pathetic.  But immediately started mugging us for cookies.  We were feeding early to go watch the races at the dirt track, so went ahead fed and took off.   As we were leaving we noticed he was out of his pen walking around in the wash.  Amy said after we left, he laid down in the wash and managed to get up without help.  That's a very small step forward at this stage unfortunately.  His front feet are cold, which I assume means the circulation isn't good.  Between his bad hip and 2 bad front feet, he's just about out of options.   

This is how he looks this morning eating prickly pear cactus, you will notice his stance, looks very uncomfortable, although it doesn't stop him from roaming around.  To him, it seems to be a minor problem in his day to day ritual, he presses on with his business as best he can, with the ears up and the eyes bright.  

Not being able to get up is about the final straw in this journey.  Granted, Amy said he got up in the wash, which is very soft small gravel.  So many of these old guys realize when they can no longer get up, and will try to stay on their feet, which of course means they don't get their heavy REM sleep.  Just adds another level of being uncomfortable to their lives.  

The  vet will be here Friday at noon, to help him on his final journey.  Can't tell you how much we will miss him.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

BUSY DAYS...........!!!

Two of our alumni Hanna and Remington that are in their forever home in the Sacramento, CA area

The last couple of weeks we have had workers here working on the outside of the house.  Our house is rammed earth, 2 foot thick walls, made from the same adobe, that adobe blocks are made from.  The earth walls are then stuccoed and painted.  

Adobe is known for developing cracks and in our case we had used paint, which has a stretchy quality.  Unfortunately if any water gets behind it, you end up with a bubble or at worse a large area that breaks down.  So between the cracks and the other issues, it was time to get it back in shape.  

A friend in Tucson had some remodelling on her house recently and recommended the crew.  I must say, she wasn't wrong.  They were quick, efficient and did an outstanding job.  The house looks great and I really like the flagstone in the courtyard that I commented on earlier.  Unfortunately the cracks will probably come back, they usually do.  One of the pleasures of having an adobe house. 

Yesterday I took Anubis the dog into Tucson for a vet appointment.  The last couple of days she had been lethargic and not able to eat.  She acted like something was wrong in her mouth.  I got the dogs some pigs feet that had been cooked someway to make them really crunchy.  I thought they would last a few days, but after a couple of hours they were gone.  I thought maybe she had a piece of her treat in her gums or something.  Nicki and Anubis both are very energetic when it comes to chewing on bones. 

They did x-rays of her neck and the vet thinks she might have some stenosis, narrowing of the spinal column in her neck.  The radiologist will read the x-rays tomorrow and let us know.  We came home with prednisone and Tramadol for inflammation and pain.  She is doing better, really enjoys the ham the pills are hiding in.  They sent home Greenie Pill Pockets and she made a judgement call on those.  Not sure what the problem is, but the hickory smell doesn't do anything for me.  I'm also giving her some pumpkin to counter act the constipating qualities of prednisone.  She's had a problem with that before, don't care to go thru it again.  

We are taking one day at a time with Pepper.  It looks like his other front foot is collapsing.  He's still getting around although each day seems to be a little more difficult. He's spending more time laying down, but still gobbling his mush and interested in going out of his pen, if only to lay in the wash or in the sandy area beside the feed room.  The ears are still up and he's still involved in what's going on around him.  I'm not sure we're doing him any favor, but his eyes are bright,  he mugs us for cookies and tries to run us down if we aren't forthcoming with said cookies.  I hate to play God, it's not so difficult when there is no question it's time.  Years ago we went out in the morning and Snowy an elderly frail white mule was down and bleeding from thrashing a long time during the night trying to get up.  The vet was here within the hour.  It wasn't an easy call, but if we had gotten her up, which was questionable, it would have just been a matter of time.  Pepper's foot seems to be growing out straighter above the dished area on the bottom half.  I keep hoping he will improve as that grows out and as the weather gets warmer.  But if in the meantime he loses his "spark", we'll have to let him go. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


                                          I never get tired of watching them run and play 

Pepper seems to be holding his own.  He's not venturing out as far as he was last month, but he's going out eating prickly pear and doing his thing.  Hopefully the warming up will help his legs.  

Last night when I went out to help dispense hay, it smelled like a skunk had done the dirty deed right by the house, boy was it strong.  Got out to the pen area and it wasn't very noticeable.  I said something to John and he said he was responsible.  When he came around the corner of the car port with the golf cart, one of our resident skunks was eating Boofer's dog food in the car port and obviously didn't appreciate John's arrival.  He didn't spray John or the golf cart thank goodness.  It's about 300 feet to the garage from the house, but I guess the prevailing wind was lined up perfectly, so the house area was in the direct line

Sunday, January 11, 2015

RALLY...........OF A SORT...........!!!

Well, after laying down all afternoon in the sand, and Amy trying to help him up, when it was time to get fed, Pepper got up and "cripped" to his pen.  I didn't see if it was a struggle or not, he was up when I looked and he walked about the same as he has since it's been cold. Mugged me for cookies and tried to knock me down with his head, when he realized I didn't have cookies.  John always has them, because he has pockets.  NO POCKETS, NO I had to make another run to the feed room in a hurry, so the old buzzard wouldn't think I didn't love him.........!!!  LOL

I don't think he is suffering that much, Ellie at least mentally.  Except for laying down more than usual for longer periods of time, the ears are up and the eyes are busy watching what's going on and of course he is still capable of making you suffer is he catches you unaware with that head. 

I'm wishing for a warming up, this week is suppose to be warmer, but only in the 70's.  The nights are in the low 30's high 20's, I think it's probably the nights that are the biggest problem for him.  I don't think blanketing him and making him stay in his pen would help.  He's actually got a pretty good body score, for a change.   A few years ago he got really thin for some reason, he was down to probably a 2 or less body score.  Just skin and bones.  We did blanket him all winter and he had to stay in the pens at night.  Did not make him easy to get along with believe me.  Somewhere along the passage of time he got his appetite back, I think it was the addition of rolled oats to his diet.  In fact about a year ago I cut back on the amount of mush he gets, he was getting pudgy and didn't need to be carrying the extra weight.  He's always ready to eat and almost always cleans his plate.  

It's too bad ropers can't see the damage they do to these donkeys in the name of fun.  Of course Pepper didn't help his cause, by wading into a "love-fest" years ago when one of the girls was entertaining, and he was already over the hill, and not capable of holding his own with the other guys.  That's when he ended up with a broken hip.

ONE DAY AT A TIME...............!!!!!

Saturday, January 10, 2015


Pepper laid down on his left (good) side after breakfast and has not been able to get up as of this afternoon.  He's sat up on his chest a couple of times, and did some paddling with his feet, but hasn't been able to get up.  

John is gone to Tucson, Amy is coming out later to clean pens and maybe we can get him up.  But, I'm not sure getting him up will do any good long term.  If he can't get up on his own after laying down, it might be time to let him go.  I hate the thought.  Today is Saturday, no local vet available, so that gives us until Monday to see how it goes.  If he doesn't get up on his own, or if we do manage to get him up and he goes down again, I'm afraid it's time.

UPDATE:  I have been checking on him, about every 30 minutes and the last time I went out he was up, getting a drink.  Looked at me like, "what is your problem" and started mugging me for cookies.  I didn't have any on me, but rushed into the feed room to get a hand full.  The last I saw he was making his way out of the pens at a rather slow pace.  His right front foot is really nasty looking.  I would imagine the inside has collapsed.  New hoof that is growing out from above looks like it might be a little less saggy, if we can keep him going until the indented hoof below grows out.  YIPPEE, at least for another day.......!!!!  

UPDATE:  He only stayed up about half and hour and has been laying down every since in the soft sand where they all like to lay.  I am very worried about him.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015


I guess we were late going out this morning, almost everyone was at the gate.  As soon as John went out, most of them disappeared into Burroland.  Justin tried eating on the gate, but found out metal isn't as much fun as wood I guess.......LOL  

I've had pairs of Whinny Warmers for years and have been debating putting them on Pepper to help keep his poor old knees a little warmer.  Good idea, BUT, they are a tussle to get on and he has a problem standing on 3 legs for any length of time.  John and I went out yesterday morning to give it a try.  He did pretty good, we ended up raising his hoof enough to get the sox started over the hoof.  Then John let Pepper lean on him to take some of the weight off that foot and I pulled and tugged to get it clear of the bottom of his foot that was still on the ground.  They now have hock and knee covers that can be used in conjunction with the warmers.  I've just always pulled them above the knee, but you have to keep pulling them up.  I would imagine the "covers" would stay on the knee much better. 
Anyway he looks pretty spiffy, hopefully they will help keep his legs warm. 

Yesterday we hauled Dixie to her new home.  Terry had been looking for a girlfriend for Jill aka Molly, since Jack decided he'd rather hang out with his big buddy Leo.  She's a very sweet little girl, well mannered and cute as a button.  


She was being sold on Craigslist, but really didn't need to go out in the real world, because she is knocked-kneed and has a significant underbite.   As a mini, actually she is half shetland and half mini horse, with those legs she doesn't need to have kids piling on her back.  She's only 3 years old, so she could have a long life of mistreatment in the wrong hands.  Not a problem with Terry, her home is FOREVER and EVER.  

Heard from Terry that Jack is being his usual obnoxious self.  He's decided that she can't get close to anyone else.  Of course she isn't in the same pen with them yet, so all he's doing is running at the fence, making ugly faces.  I think he has some form of OCD, his world is his world and it has to run according to his rules.  LOL

Sunday, January 04, 2015


One of the neighbor's gives out lots of fruit boxes to employees and clients and had a lot of pears left over this year.  He brought a few down a couple of times after Christmas.  Yesterday he called and asked if we'd like some more.  BlackJack is the only one that doesn't like them.  Of course he's the one that will eat chicken nuggets and pizza if given the chance.  He was raised with a little boy, consequently his eating habits needed a little tweeking when we got him. Everyone else thinks they are just fine. They are a little messy to put in their feed bowls, since the bowls are piled on top of each other for ease of carrying and ripe pears are rather soft. 

This time Larry brought probably 25 pounds of pears in assorted stages of ripeness.  I fed them last night and then remembered a friend has a pig she is fattening up for......... well you know.  I have a bet that this is not going to happen, she keeps talking about how cute he is and when it got cold I told her he needed a blanket.  So now he has a blanket.  Does this sound like she is going to be in charge of his murder and then eat the body........??  LOL

She will be here today, so I'm going to see if she thinks the piggie would enjoy the pears, I'm pretty sure he will, pigs don't turn down anything that can be eaten.  I guess I'm a terrible mom, not willing to go thru the mess so they can have a little treat.  Since they all should be on a diet if it wasn't so cold, I don't really feel too bad about cheating them out of a few goodies. Well, not much anyway.....!!!

Janice and a couple of friends are here today grooming and leveling out some dirt in the pens.   I don't know where the dirt goes, I guess it gets picked up with poo and pretty soon you have an indentation that has to have dirt hauled in with the tractor.  However it happens, I hate to step in the holes.  I was going to mention the "pee ponds", and actually did mention it a couple of days ago to John.  Didn't get a "that's a good idea" back.  They have to dug out with the backhoe until you get to a level that hasn't become saturated with pee.  Then it all has to be filled back in with fill from the wash.  Sha'ba and Max the horse had terrible pee ponds, I don't think either of them ever went anyplace else on the property. 

  Most of the donkeys have very good potty manners, at least for peeing, pooing not so much.  Frijolita is a prime example.  She has a pee pond right in the middle of her shelter, which isn't very big.  If we try to put her bunk in the shelter she will throw it out, because that's where her potty place is.  She will hold it till she gets to her spot.  Road apples, she's not so fussy about, she can string a line of poo 60 feet or at a time.  I've told John walking probably makes the system work better, he thinks she does it just to be irritating......!!!  LOL

Thursday, January 01, 2015


The flagstone is done and the new gate installed.  I'm going to miss the redwood gate we'd had since the house was built.  Unfortunately over the years the donkeys had almost destroyed it by pushing on it when they wanted us to come out and play, and chewing on it when bored.  It was starting to look rather bedraggled. 

The cracks in the walls have been fixed, but they will wait about a week to come back and paint.  We have to hose the walls for about 4 days to help the salts and minerals to leach out. 

The donkeys are happy to not have to stay in their pens, when the guys are working.  After the first couple of days, they actually became resigned to their fate, and stopped yelling so much.  We did let Pepper out every day.  His legs are so creaky that he needs to be able to move around as much as possible.  He's been laying down more since it's been cold, I would imagine those old legs don't handle cold very well. 

Gigi is finally walking pretty good for her.  After Tyler took her shoe off last time she got really lame.  I guess it changed the angle enough that she had to readjust her walking.  And I'm sure the cold weather doesn't do her any good either.  

Everybody else seems to be doing good.  Not sure they enjoy the cold weather but I'm sure they are happy to not have to wear fly masks, and get doctored, so it's a trade off.  Since it's been cold John upped their hay, even the fatties, so I guess we're not going to do diet control for awhile. You can bet, Rosie and Coquette will enjoy it for as long as it lasts........LOL