Friday, February 27, 2015


Right now things are going really good.  Makes me wonder what is in the future.....?  Nobody is having to be doctored, flies aren't too bad yet, although I released my first batch of predator wasps a couple of days ago.  I had to hold them an extra day because of a cold weather forecast, that actually got down to 25*.  Didn't think the little buddies would appreciate getting thrown out in temperatures like that.  John says he sees them in the big poo pile, year round, so I assume it stays fairly warm. 

This morning when John went out to start chores, most of the donkeys were either in their pens or in a close proximity, which is unusual.  Usually they are off doing their own thing, until John shows up with carrots and escorts them to their pen.  I'd like to think they are turning over a new leaf of cooperation.............but I doubt it........!!!!  LOL

Heard from Claire a few days ago.  Gus and Quilla went up to stay with her until the grass starts growing, and we'll go bring them back here, so Gus doesn't founder. 

 She took a picture of Quilla right after they got there and he really looked Cushings.  She had him checked and his numbers were 353, should be between 6 and 35, if that lab uses the same test my vet's lab uses.  So she's starting him on Pergolide.  He's never been overly energetic, but she thought he was a little too lethargic.

This is a picture Claire took of Gus and Quilla attempting to nibble a little bit of grass.  It's still pretty short, so all they are doing is nipping off teeney little pieces of grass, probably one blade at a time.  Gives them something to do, without a lot of results.  Quilla's coat looks rough, as in longer than Gus' and he is also pretty sway back, another symptom of Cushings.  Of course a lot of donkeys are sway backed from being worked too young or maybe overworked.  Quilla was a roping donkey and then spent 9 years in a dysfunctional home.  I don't remember him being sway backed when he got here and don't think he's ever been trained for any type of work, although he leads very well.  

Heard from Diane about Ruthie and, Marcy and Hank the horse, and their bonding process.  So far Hank and Ruthie are getting along just fine.  Diane said one time she will go out and Marcy has ears back, next time she goes out Ruthie has ears back.  Hank's just happy to have a herd I guess, even if they are long ears, he thinks Ruthie is wonderful.  They are still giving it a try to see if the girls will finally bond.  I think the problem might be, they can't figure out who is in charge.  Diane said most of the trouble is at feeding time, they will NOT eat together and I guess Ruthie is in charge at feeding time from what Diane says. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


 1905 miners with their donkeys

We're cooler here than in Tucson and I hadn't really started thinking about doctoring and leggings and all that yet.  A friend in Tucson has 2 donkeys she got last year and said they had sores on their legs.  My daughter in law looked at them and said she thought they had scraped their legs on something.  John and I decided to go in and see what's going on.  

Sure enough, both of them have the bare legs with fly interest and scabby bloody areas.  SIGH........!!!  It's only February, so it's going to be a "LONG SEASON", I'm afraid......!!!  Jody hasn't done a lot with them, except pet and give treats.  We took halters, leads, butt straps, thuja zinc oxide, and men's crew socks, and were met at the fence with 2 alert faces wanting to know where the treats were.  We also took corral panels, since they haven't been worked with, and they are in an area of about 1/2 acre, which could have been a lot of exercise for us.  

Brought out the halters and the 2 alert little faces took off.........LOL  We brought enough panels to build a pen if we needed to, but decided to just use one panel to build a squeeze and see if that would work.  Got it set up and Jenny walked right in.  I messed with her a few minutes and could tell she has training, she's just learned to be evasive.  We decided to take her out of the squeeze and tie her up to work on her legs and she did fine.  She didn't mind me messing with her legs, but she wasn't real sure about putting a plastic bag on her foot and pulling on a sock.  She did OK after a little dancing around.  Of course once we let her go, she walked a little funny for awhile, till she got use to the socks.   

Jack was next and he even stood still for me to put the halter on him, without using the squeeze.  People don't realize how easy donkeys are to work with......IF.........big if..... they know who is in charge.  Once they know you are the boss, they are more than willing to follow your lead.  But it takes a little work to get them to trust you as the leader at first.  

I don't know if Jody will be able to keep up with doctoring and sock "patrol", their legs are bad enough that without intervention, they would really get bad. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

HAY DAY TODAY.......!!!

 One of BlackJack's relatives, look at those ears......!!! 

Today we got hay delivered.  I was really surprised it only went up about 60 cents a bale.  This time of year can really sock it to you, in price sometimes.  A truckload is lasting us about 5 months.  Amy that cleans pens, gets hay to feed her critters, so if that wasn't happening I guess a load would last us about a year.   Chris doesn't mind driving her squeeze out here to unload a split load, which is 1 trailer, out of 2 trailers, so that works out great.

Haven't heard from Diane on how Ruthie did without the boys, last night, so I assume no news is good news. I think I heard Wister bray a couple of times last night.  He hardly ever brays, so we aren't sure it was him, but it wasn't a bray we recognize.  This morning he was busy playing with Pancho before John went out, and later on he was playing with Ruger, so I don't think he is too traumatized.  Ruger might be a little shocked though, last night John saw Wister attempting to nurse on Ruger.  John said Ruger took off in a hurry........LOL

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Well we'll see how this works out.  Some of you might remember that Wister and Ruger are both overly attached to Ruthie, their mom.  Diane and Steve, whom Miss Daisy belonged to said they would like to foster a donkey as a friend for Miss Daisy's mom, Marcy.  Since we haven't managed to find a home for the 3 donkeys together, I got the brilliant idea of seeing how Ruthie would adjust to being away from the boys, even though she has never shown much interest in the jennies around here.  And also seeing how the boys adjust to her not being with them.  Since it's a foster and they live fairly close, if it doesn't work out, it won't be a crisis to go get her.  

Today was the day.  This morning after she got done eating her hay, we loaded her up and away we went.  She hopped out of the trailer, looked around and didn't seem overly upset by this change in her lifestyle.  

 This is Ruthie with Hank.  Hank was really fascinated with her, didn't want her out of his sight........she..........not so much, she basically ignored all his attention getting antics, of which he had many.

 Marcy wasn't sure she wanted to interact with Ruthie, but after being a little stand offish, they touched noses thru a fence that will separate them for a couple of days.  Neither of them showed willingness to be passive, so not sure who will end up in charge.  They will have to figure it out. 

On the way home we had to wait for a train to pass by.  Once it was gone, there was a train work truck on the other side of it, ready to get off the tracks and on the road.  I've never seen one change it's mode before.  There is a set of little wheels in front of the front wheels, where the man is standing.  The little wheels are the ones that pull the truck along on the tracks.  We got to sit there and wait while they  pulled up the little wheels, then drove off on the road.  It's interesting to see how things work, especially something you never thought about.  When I was a kid I remember seeing little work carts going down the train tracks, with two guys pushing handles up and down to make it move.  This looks a lot easier.......!!! LOL

Monday, February 16, 2015


 This morning before we went out for chores, the dogs were barking like they do, when the donkeys are running or playing.  Looked out and low and behold, it was Pancho and BlackJack........!!!  For one thing BlackJack doesn't usually play, it takes too much effort and for another, Pancho usually plays with Ruger or Wister.  I came in to get the camera to record this unusual occurance and of course as soon as they heard the door open, they quit.  I thought perhaps Pancho was the instigator, but BJ was going after him, if he quit.  At one time Pancho had hold of BJ's rather large jaw and was hanging on for all he was worth. 

 Resting up for round two

If you will notice, this cholla has some bright spots on the one upright twig.  I don't know how they do it, but right now quite a few of the donkeys are eating cholla.  Adding it to their usual diet of greasewood i.e. creosote bush, and prickly pear cactus.  When we first starting getting donkeys the vet told us nothing eats greasewood.  She should see what our one time abundant greasewood, looks like these days.  The bushes will struggle to survive, putting out fewer and fewer leaves until they just finally give up and die.  We love the smell of the greasewood after it rains, smells like the desert.  

I think this is Ruthie chowing down on a tasty cholla.......!!!! 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


 I know, they aren't donkeys.........but it's such a pretty picture.....!!!

Which is a good thing, after last week and the week-end.  The days are warm and sunny, in fact we have weeds coming up.  They have to be quick or the donkeys take care of most of them.   There are a few they won't eat, but most are fair game.  

Miss Daisy's family is interested in fostering a donkey.  They have their old horse and Marcy, Miss Daisy's mom.  They are afraid Marcy will get lonely, although so far she is hanging out with Hank, so it might not be a problem.  

I've got 2 ideas of who to send, for different reasons.  We've talked about Boaz.  He has the big scar on his knee, other than that he is healthy and really is a nice donkey.  Diane spends a lot of time with her animals and would be good about making sure his knee doesn't become a problem  this summer. 

My brilliant idea is Ruthie.  She only hangs with Ruger and Wister, her two boys.  She has never shown any interest in the other donkeys at all.  I've wanted to find a home for the 3 donkeys, but nothing yet.  She's a very mellow donkey and my thought is, if she was completely away from the boys with another jenny, perhaps she would bond with Marcy.  Or she might throw a fit, who knows, I sure don't.  Most moms are more than happy to get rid of the kids, when they are old enough.  She is definitely a laid-back mom, it's been awhile, but up until a few months ago 2 year old Wister would still nurse if something upset him, and she would let him.  

Getting ready to race the 28th of Feb on the asphalt.  I told John I'd try it at least once, I just hope I don't get in someone's way, or wreck the car for him to fix.  John gave me the usual pep talk, "a race car is a write off once you put it on the track".   That might be true, but I don't want to take anyone with me.  Last week-end they had a special before season race and one of the guys got pushed into the wall  head on by an inexperienced driver, with a pretty hot hornet.  Too much car and not enough experience isn't a good mix.  At least I know enough to not go out there and try to win, but some of the kids haven't learned that yet......!!!   

Saturday, February 07, 2015


Miss Daisy has been going downhill since Thursday, when she was 3 legged lame in the morning.  Today has been very sad and frustrating.  For one thing it is the week-end, so we have no vet service.   Diane her owner came this morning and stayed all day, while we tried to figure out a way to help her.  She laid down a couple of times and managed to get up, but for most of the afternoon she just walked around acting like she wanted to lay down, but was afraid to.  At feeding time while I was feeding Diane called she needed help.  I ran to the pen and Miss Daisy was up against the wall of the shelter, on her knees with her rear legs still up in the air and couldn't get up.  I ran to get ropes and by putting a rope around her off back leg and pulling it out from under her, we managed to get her on the ground.  Unfortunately she was very close to the wall and in fact her back was up against it.  

Diane and I tried moving her and did manage to get her away from the wall, but not in a position to be able to roll her over or anything.   So I called a couple of the neighbor's and they came right over and got her out farther in the pen, more in the open.  She is laying out flat which is difficult for an equine to lay like that for any length of time. Their bodies aren't made for being on the ground for hours.  

I talked to John, he is in Tucson and he suggested calling another friend here in the valley that knows how to work with large animals, to come help get a bale of hay behind her, so she can sit up on her breastbone.  They can lay like that for a lot longer than laying down flat.

We did get the blood results back.   She is Cushings, high glucose, certainly Insulin Resistant although we haven't got that test back.  None of that explains why she couldn't walk on one of her legs for the last 3 days.  

Even Diane is talking about letting her go.  It is heart breaking to see her in this condition, but it's about time to think of what is best for her.  I wish tomorrow was Monday.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I called Joe a good friend that works at the Oasis Exotic Bird Sanctuary up the road from us to come down and help me get her up on her breastbone, by putting a bale of hay behind her.  He has a lot of experience working with large animals.  Unfortunately when Joe got here she had died.  I assume from laying flat too long. She was very stressed from staying on her feet all day, and having to be pulled around. so all that messing with her was just too much and probably cause the fluid to build up quicker than it normally would.

 Every loss takes a little bit of my heart with them, no matter if they have been here for days or weeks. 

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Miss Daisy

This is the only way I can think of to get this video to Patti and anyone else that has any ideas.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015


We picked Miss Daisy up yesterday morning to take her to the vet for blood tests.  She loaded pretty good, we've had worse, we've had better, usually, worse........!!!  We had to call her Miss Daisy instead of Daisy Mae, because her Mom has a dog named Daisy Mae.

They just checked her out and drew the blood in the trailer so she wouldn't have to get out, get in and get out again.  Since no one at this time, knows exactly why she walks like she's walking on egg shells.  Her feet have been x-rayed and didn't show anything alarming.  

We didn't see her walk to the trailer that much.  John backed close to her pen, so she wouldn't have to walk anymore than necessary.  At the vet's she stayed in the trailer and Dr. Nancy suggested she come home with us, since we are closer to her than where she lives, in case we need to have Nancy look at her again.  Diane her Mom agreed, so we brought her home with us to await the results of the tests.  One thing they ran a quick glucose, which was 295, normal is around 110.  

We brought her home and put her in Gus' pen.  Started watching her walk and she is pretty toed out on both front feet.  John had already noticed she walks toe first on both front feet, which isn't normal.  Then we noticed when she puts her right foot down toe first, then heel second, the third thing that happens is the fetlock drops in the back.  I know in my books somewhere I have seen this or read about it, but I looked till I was "blind" last night and couldn't find anything.  

She's settled in, we'll leave her in the pens until we get the results from the tests, hopefully we'll get some idea of what is going on.  She also has some edema on her belly, but it is almost disappeared.    

She is very gentle and curious.  Hopefully she'll get to go out soon and roam around with the others.  She's already checked out Ruth and the boys that are in the next pen, she seems to think she might like to eat with them, for some reason.  

Frijolita seems to be fighting a hoof abscess.  She has been lame the last couple of days, can't find anything to cause it from the shoulder down.  So my guess is abscess, she's never had one, but I guess there is always a first time.  It doesn't stop her from going out with the rest of the donkeys roaming around, hopefully moving around will help it open........if that's what it is.