Friday, July 19, 2019


This morning we let Carlos and Nellie out before the others for about an hour.  I was really surprised, Nelllie seems to be Carlos' security blanket, but when I let them out, he went one way and she went the other.  

Carlos' first order of business was to pee on the poo pile

Then he took off  to find Nellie

Guess he had to show her what he had found......!!

Then Nellie was off doing her own thing

 When I went out to let the other donkeys out of their pens, Carlos was running around like a wild child, yelling and screaming.  Since Nellie wasn't with him I assumed he had lost track of her.  I hate to say it, but I saw her as he was frantically running around screeching like a banshee.  She didn't seem the least big interested in letting him know where she was.  He ran up to a couple of the donkeys and they weren't very interested in his problem either.  

FINALLY he found her and peace and quiet settled in.  LOL 

Everyone is on just the 10 acres today.  I'm sure the newbies will be easy to put back in their pens, but rather than us having to go find them in Burroland, we'll give them today to get use to being out.  

Our neighbor is suppose to go get George this afternoon.  She said Banana has just been standing around like a lost soul, so I'm sure he will be happy to see his old friend.  They are both about 20 years old and have been buds since they were 4 years old.  

One of the ranchers is going to bring some of their roping calves down to her place, so they can eat the beans.  That's a great idea wonder if he's got enough calves that we could borrow some to put over on Burroland for awhile.......!!!  LOL  We use to open the 2 gates in Burroland so the range cattle could come in and clean up the beans.  But the local rancher doesn't have as many cattle anymore and there are so many beans everywhere with this year's bumper crop, why would they bother to go thru a gate?   

Well this afternoon I was talking to Linda in Colorado and saw Carlos running behind the house with Casper the little Blanco Diablo mini mule in hot pursuit.  Told Linda I had to go, went out and they were running all over the 10 acres.  I tried intervention, which didn't work at all, they were too fast and Casper was totally focused on Carlos' butt.  It's been years since I used the bb gun to grab a donkey or in this case mule's attention...but it still works.  He ran over to the gate to Burroland and is still over there, looking back over here like, "what was that?"  Nellie was upset and went in the pens no problem, took Carlos a little longer, but he went in because she was in there.  Then she started trying to chase him and kick at him, poor guy.  A couple of cookies soothed everyone's nerves and I'll keep them in there for now.  

But for the rest of their visit, Casper will be staying in the pens, since he can't behave himself.  We thought he had quit trying to attack other equine, big or little, horse, mule or now donkey.  We'd never seen him go after a donkey before. He gets along just fine with all the donkeys here, but I guess they are HIS donkeys and he's not interested in making new friends. 

Thursday, July 18, 2019


George on the right and his buddy Banana

Jorja got a good phone call this morning.  The vet can hear gut sounds in all 4 quadrants and he is to put it politely fatulating.  He also pulled back and broke a lead rope, so it sounds like he is feeling better.  They are putting more oil down him, but it sounds like he's going to come home.  YIPPEE...!!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019


Heard from Suzanne, she's got the girls where they need to go and is on schedule to get back Saturday as planned.  We will be leaving Monday to head for Colorado to meet Lynn and Linda's other family and be at the Fairplay Pack Burro Race to root for them and some of our donkeys that will be running.  I'm not sure how many of our donkeys will be running, but they'll have a little rooting section on the sideline.  

Our great grandson Hunter has been here this week.  We usually see him at the races and in fact will send him home with his dad Saturday night.  He might be driving a Bandolero Saturday night if he does good during practice Friday night.  He is 7 years old, which is minimum age for these little cars and will have to listen to his dad or he might not get to drive.  We'll try to go up and watch the practice Friday night.  

John's been having a "Caddyshack" adventure with a rodent in the feedroom.  Our feedroom is concrete block and the only opening is the doggy door.  Well an enterprising pack rat managed to figure out the doggy door and was having a great time in there, tearing up paper towels, filling up on assorted pellets from the pans made up for the next feeding.  He also had a affinity for chewing the bristles off the broom.  We didn't know what kind of critter he was, until John went in at bedtime, flipped on the light and there he sat.  

John set the live trap 2 or 3 nights and and the hairy little critter was tripping it and making off with the ginger snap.  Hunter went out to the feed room yesterday morning and came back in to tell us something was in the trap.  Sure enough there he was, pack rats are pretty good size and he chose to go into the smaller trap, which pretty much filled up the trap.  John rehomed him, he probably beat John home......!!!  LOL  We locked the doggy door and so far the feedroom appears to be rodent free.  Hopefully they won't figure out how to unlock the doggy door.......!! 

I got a call from our neighbor this morning that she was taking her horse George to the vet.  He was colicky and had been for a few hours.  She called this afternoon and said the vet was working with him, IV fluid, tubing him with lots of oil and nothing was happening.  Later on she said they had called and there was no improvement and if by morning there wasn't some change for the good, that it might be time to make a decision.  They suspect mesquite bean impaction, it could also be a twisted intestine, which can only be fixed with colic surgery, neither one is good.  Hopefully by morning she will get some good news.  Her animals are her family.  

We've been on poo watch the last week or so with the donkeys.  There aren't a lot of ripe mesquite beans, but there are beans in their poo, so they are managing to find them.  Trying to control the bean consumption is really difficult.  Once we feel they are eating too many beans, we'll shut the gate to Burroland and until the beans over there are gone or have fallen and turned black, they will have to stay on just the 10 acres.  If we get some good rains after the beans fall, it doesn't take long for them to turn black.  Once they do that the donkeys won't eat them....!! Of course we have as many mesquite beans on the 10 acres as there are in Burroland.  But at least if we keep them on the 10 acres, they don't have quite as much of a selection to choose from.  

This morning Carlos and Nellie came out to "Longears Camp" for a week or so, while their family take a little vacation.  

Mom and dad telling the kids good bye and to be good.  

Carlos seemed to think he shouldn't be separated from Nellie, although they are sharing a corral panel divider, so he started pacing and digging.  We'll probably let them out tomorrow morning before everyone else, so they can get a chance to get familiar with the lay of the land, before the others get out.  Most of the donkeys are so use to donkeys coming and going, they don't pay much attention to newbies, so there shouldn't be any problems. 

Sunday, July 14, 2019


Suzanne, Mikaela and Richelle left this morning about 4am, at least that was the plan.  I'll assume they got off on time.......LOL  Suzanne is going to be on the road for the next week, she said she likes to drive, but she might change her mind by the time she gets back.  

John and I actually managed to do chores by ourselves this morning in a timely manner.  Well not by donkeys standards, I think they judged us and found us lacking, since they have had access to  more "servants" and also younger and quicker ones.  I told them to get use to it, but the vocal ones didn't seem to care.  I think they might be a little bit spoiled........!!!  

Wednesday Indy and Jerome will bring Carlos and Nellie out for a week at Longears Camp and get to try out their new trailer.  They found a good deal on a used horse trailer, but most donkeys don't like horse trailers, too confining and in Nellie's case she wouldn't be able to see anything in a "normal" horse trailer.  She's a little bit "height" challenged........!!  The man they bought it from, had an idea and it turned out great.......!!!    Thanks for the video Indy. 


Big Gus got over whatever was making him sluggish for a couple of days.  Don't know what it was, but once it was over he was back to his usual "helpful" obnoxious self.  Between him and Bella, very rarely does John get to work up at the garage without "help".  He said they usually just stand and watch him do whatever he's doing.  Occasionally they move in for a closer look, but for the most part they just watch.  BlackJack use to come in the garage and walk around the car where John was working.  Usually John was under the car with his legs out where they could get stepped on, but BJ never stepped on him.

Friday we took Bella up to the Equine Clinic in Gilbert south of Phoenix.   They are always so glad to see us, I guess they don't get that many donkeys.  They always have 3 or 4 interns in training, so it's good experience for them.  


Here is Bella with a couple of the interns.  Notice her chubby butt, we thought it would go away when she lost the extra weight she was carrying when she got here a few months ago.  She's lost the weight, but still had the "bubble" butt and of course the reason we took her up there was her inability to get up off the ground like an equine usually does.  She sits up on her butt and then basically heaves herself up, sometimes she has to try 2 or 3 times to actually get up.  And has calluses on her hocks from getting up like that probably for most of her life. 

Also lately we had noticed she had hard areas in her butt, that didn't feel like squishy fat so we wanted to find out what that was.  

The 1st thing Dr. Howard noticed was she has no muscle development in the area of the gaskin muscle, which would be the area her tail is covering in the above picture.  The bone in that area is the stifle, at least I think it is....!!  I'm not that good at anatomy.......!!!  You should not be able to feel the stifle bone very well because of a heavy muscle cover.  Well she doesn't have very much muscle there at all.  We will be giving her steroid shots once a week for a month to see if it makes a difference, but I have a feeling she was born this way.  

On the to hard places in her bubble butt.  I have never heard of fatty necrosis before.  We were not given an option for treatment, but I ran across the link above, and found it fascinating, and also found a real name for the problem.  

They did a CBC blood test, nothing remarkable, but we did get sent home with a goody bag of assorted supplements.   

About half way home on the interstate the truck started hicupping, as in "the fuel pump might be failing".  One of the 1st signs is, the speed starts dropping and of course thru that area there isn't any frontage road.  John managed to keep it above 40mph, which is scary when everyone else is going 80 or more and we limped almost to our son's house on the NW side of Tucson before it finally quit.  Our son Rod had to tow us the last 1/2 mile or so. 

Lisa actually has a horse and pens, but we tied Bella under this tree, not sure Sassy has ever seen a donkey.  The tree turned out to be a mesquite tree, with ripe beans on it.  Bella thought she had died and gone to heaven, until I noticed all the beans and started throwing them out of her area.  She still enjoyed the dried grass though.  

 One of the pleasures of having racers and mechanics in the family is, they know how to take a truck apart.  Unless you've had a fuel pump go out you might not know in a lot of vehicles it is in the gas tank.  In the case of a pickup the bed has to be raised, to get to the gas tank.  Our grandson J.R. said he had changed a few where he use to work, O'Reilly had a fuel pump, so they went at it.  We've had a fuel pump put in this truck before by a shop and they charge a fortune, so I'd just as soon pay J.R. It took less than 3 hours.  

We had discussed all sorts of "what do we do" scenarios, renting a car, staying in Tucson.  Our primary problem was Bella.  When we came off the freeway towards Rod's house, the truck had died on the railroad tracks that run along side the freeway.  I was in the process of grabbing a lead rope and getting her out of the trailer, when John managed to get it started again.  Whew........!! 

We were still planning, when the guys started on the truck, didn't know if they could get it done that night or how long it would take if they did.   I called Suzanne and she and the girls came in to haul Bella home.  They also took John because he didn't have his medication with him, we hadn't planned on making a night of it. It was done in time for me to get home before midnight, which was great........!!!  

John said the 1st think Bella did when she got in her pen was bury her nose in the bunk, like she hadn't been eating dried grass and what mesquite beans she could find the last 3 hours.  

Mikaela telling Cisco bye, he is one of her favorites, along with Penny.


Monday, July 08, 2019


Well that isn't exactly true, it got down to 52 degrees last night, made us scramble for the comforter down at the foot of the bed.  Unfortunately one of the cats was laying on it.  Nothing is more whiny than a comfortable sleeping cat.   The days are still pretty warm but usually not going over 100* which is a good thing.  

Saturday night we went racing on the dirt.  Well, that was the plan, but we didn't expect the track to not be prepared.  I guess they didn't know how many hornets would show up, so they didn't bother to wet down and prep the track.

They actually had 6 cars show up, which is enough to make a race.  I started in the back and this gives an idea of what it was like on the track.  This is the car that won, the rest of us were back there in the dust.  The dust from the last lap is still hanging in the air in front of him.  

Could not see the track, spent almost as much time off it as on it.......LOL  See that pile of tractor tires around the light pole?  I "visited" them twice, last time took out my power steering, it was so rough and dusty, I didn't even realize it......!!!  

I have waited 5 years for the dirt track to reopen, so needless to say it was disappointing.  Hopefully they will figure it out and have the track prepped next time.  

Our son was racing his modified at the pavement track and their race was the last one for the night, so we hurried over there, sneaked in and caught the last 10 laps of his race.  He finished 8th and the car is in good shape, so no complaints.  The security people are so use to seeing us roaming around they just waved us in.  I doubt if they would have been required to charge us for about 4 minutes of racing, but they could have at least acknowledged we weren't suppose to be there.......LOL

This morning when we got up the Night Blooming Cereus had bloomed.  They are such a beautiful bloom, but only last a few hours.  Don't know if the moths pollinated them last night or not.  If they did, later on this summer they will get a bright red bulb on them with lots of seeds.  Years ago I called the Desert Museum to ask how to grow them.  They told me, but I didn't get any of the seeds to germinate.  

A real pretty bloom on what looks like a dead stick

This Friday we are going to take Bella to the Equine Clinic up by Phoenix to hopefully see what is wrong with her hindquarters.  We have had her adjusted twice, but this is a long term problem she's probably had for a long time.  She can't get up when she lays on the ground without sitting up on her hindquarters like a dog.  Her hocks are both callused and subject to opening up, so I'd like to find out exactly what is wrong with her if possible.  She such a sweet little girl today Suzanne, Jorja and John were working on some fencing and Bella decided they needed her help and was determined to do her part whether they appreciated her efforts or not.  They didn't.........LOL

Big Gus has been acting a little off the last couple of days.  He's got a heart murmur he was probably born with, but I always worry if he isn't in my face constantly.  Also it's been so hot and he has so much hair, we thought that might be bothering him.  I could body clip him but then he wouldn't look like a Poitou and I'm not sure that's the problem.  Suzanne said he was a little touchy about his touching his cheek, so maybe he has some teeth problems.

It's so difficult sometimes to figure out what is bothering these guys.  Donkeys are so stoic they can really be sick and you would never know it. We'll watch him for a couple of days.  He's eating, but he's not in your face, which is typical Big Gus. 

Friday, July 05, 2019


Had a lot of fun yesterday, we took 3 donkeys up Mt Lemmon for Summerhaven's annual 4th of July parade.

Our day started at 3:30am because the donkeys we were taking had to have enough time to eat their breakfast.  We went ahead and fed all the donkeys, our neighbor Jorja that picks up poo let the ones that stayed home out when she came over to clean pens.   

Left before 7am, headed to Tucson to pick up India and her little girl Nellie and started up the mountain.  John and I haven't been up there in years, the difference between down here on the desert floor and up there is amazing.  It's like being in an alpine forest, lots of trees, although they don't have as many trees as they did before the horrible fire they had a few years ago.  Our friend Leigh Anne, that asked us to walk in the parade, lost her cabin in the fire and has since built a new one that is rustic and looks like it's been there for a long time.  

We got there in time to get everyone dressed and in line for the parade.  

Pretty long parade and lots of people along the route.

BlackJack and me doing our thing.....!!  BlackJack doesn't lead really well, especially when there is grass along the road.  He has really good eye sight unfortunately........!!! LOL  In the future I will put a stud chain on him if we take him out.  It's a chain that goes across their nose and if they jerk and pull, it is across sensitive nerves and doesn't feet good.  My arms were tired from wrestling him, I even turned him over to Suzanne a few times while I recuperated.  I think a stud chain would make a lot of difference in his overall behavior when out in public .........!!

This is Leigh Anne and Jasmine, doing the Donkey Dance, she's one in a million and always has fun, no matter what's she doing. 

I'm looking for a better picture of John and his outfit.  He was in charge of the Department of Sanitation, which Mikaela printed on his bucket.  I screenshot this off the video, but I'm hoping someone got a good picture of him.  He was dressed all in white and had all the tools of the trade, which was a good thing.  Cheyenne made him work a little.  If anyone asked him, he told them it was a crappy job.......!!! LOL 

Found this one, at least it's clearer. wish I'd thought to take a picture