Thursday, February 27, 2020


It looks like she has something going on that she isn't going to be able to overcome.  She's not very interested in eating at all except for fruit.  Not interested in any normal "equine" food.  

She is probably in her 30s and it seems these older animals have internal problems if they live long enough.  Lipomas are a big problem with the older ones.  Dr. Jeremy said he will come out Saturday, so  hopefully we can keep her comfortable until then.  

Penny has been here since 2012 I think.  She came out of a hoarding situation that operated as a rescue.  When the rescue was finally shut down, all the animals had to be transported to Tucson and the rescues in Arizona were asked to help.  John took our stock trailer up to Chino Valley to help with the hauling.  He saw Penny in a pen with other jennies.  She was hunchbacked, skinny and not very friendly.  He asked if he could take her, since she wouldn't be adoptable and they said yes.  

She's mellowed over the years, lots of animal crackers helped with that. A few years ago she had to go to the surgical clinic up in Gilbert for colic surgery.  She had a ball of mesquite beans in her intestines and there was no way they would pass, although the local vet tried for 5 days and the clinic up there tried another 5 days. 

If she had been a horse, she probably wouldn't have survived for 10 days and then surgery, but donkeys are tough.  Unfortunately being tough doesn't mean much when the body wears out.  I doubt that she ever had a "real" home, I could be wrong, maybe at some time in her life she was loved and appreciated before she came here.  She was BLM so she came off the range somewhere.  Her hunchback was probably a birth defect, so she wouldn't be the pretty donkey a family would pick out of a herd to take home for the kids.  At some time in her life she was a roping donkey.  We don't know that for sure, but when she first came here, she was a fear kicker and would try to strike with her front feet, like a deer.  Very odd behavior for a donkey.  They probably roped her front legs, which is also a good guess as to how her jaw got broke from crashing on the ground.  The fear kicking was really exciting, you never knew what would set her off, but over the years she mellowed to where she was safe to be around and we could even touch her ears.  Never her mouth, she's always been very protective of her mouth, probably because of the broken jaw. 

She's come a long way and has gotten a chance to eat a lot of animal crackers.  Unfortunately all things come to an end and it's time to say good bye.  Over the years people tell us what a wonderful thing we do and we always tell them, it's usually fulfilling and a wonderful experience, but not when this decision has to be made. 

Monday, February 24, 2020

WHEW.....!! BIT THE BULLET..........SO FAR............!!!

For the last month or so Penny has not been eating very good.  Unlike most donkeys, she is not what we call a "food whore", she eats just what she needs to survive.  She's always looked like a survivor of a concentration camp, bony hips scrawny little legs, and she won't eat just anything and not even one extra mouthful.  

But lately she wasn't eating hardly anything, even senior feed and alfalfa, both are usually not even on the property.  Last night I tried her on a handful of everything we had and she jerked her head away like we were trying to poison her.  

This morning, I decided to try her on senior feed soaked in hot water with pieces of animal crackers on top.  She's always ready to eat animal crackers and usually will run you down if she thinks you haven't been generous enough.  

She took most of the  morning to eat about 2 1/2 cups of soaked senior feed and we let her out of her pen for the day.  I had messaged Dr. Jeremy to see if he had any ideas.  She had her teeth worked on in October and Dr. Debra said there wasn't anything else to do, her teeth are smooth and for the most part at gum level, except for areas where she has teeth with no opposing teeth above or below.  

Dr. Jeremy said from what I described he thought it might be teeth problems even though she had been done just a few months ago.  He stays busy, but agreed to come out as soon as he could, maybe tomorrow.  

John went out later to help with roundup and came in to say she was down and had been struggling for quite sometime judging the torn up ground.  I went out to see what was going on and made the decision to call Dr. Jeremy to come and euthanize her because she was so weak.  He said he was with a patient, but would be here as soon as possible.  

In the meantime we decided to put a bale of hay behind her to keep her sitting up rather than laying on the ground flat and paddling her feet.  Got the hay, Lynn and John were sliding her around to get her on flat ground and in the process she struggled to her feet.  She was just barely able to stay up, but was still on her feet when Dr. Jeremy got here.  He checked her over and she showed enough energy to fight him and try to get away.  She's never liked him and I'm sure after today she won't change her mind.  He checked her teeth and she has one that has no opposing tooth that has ulcerated a deep gouge in the gum below.

So into the stock she went for a dental appointment of course she had to be sedated, got a shot of bute and was still in a mood to kick if she wanted to.  

Put her back in the pen and she immediately started pulling hay out of the bale John brought to hold her up.  Got my fingers crossed that was the problem and she will be OK in a few days.  Dr. Jeremy said he'll be back in a few days to check on her.  

I'm so glad she's got a 2nd chance, we're not ready to give up on her.  I would have let her go, so I'm very glad Dr. Jeremy was willing to work with her.  Don't know what John would do without his "girlfriend" as he calls her.  He can do more with her than any of the rest of us.  And he always makes sure he has a pocketful of animal crackers when he's letting them out of the pens for the night.  I think she probably gets most of the crackers, because she pushes on him with her nose.  I've told him all he is, is a PEZ dispenser as far as she is concerned.  She pushes on him and he gives her a cracker.......!!! LOL 

Saturday, February 22, 2020

95th annual Tucson Rodeo Parade is history......!!

The Burro Buddies brought home the "bling".........!!!

Here is the link for the whole parade.  If you just want to see the donkeys they start after 1 hour 25 minutes.

Preparing for the parade

Grooming is importanat

Carlos and John waiting for something to happen

Loki, Suzanne, Muzzy and Browlyn (I'm sorry, I'm pretty sure that isn't spelled right) lined up and ready to go

Leo, Dave, Georgette and Jacque patiently waiting for what's next

We had these little cuties, Wilbur and Keebler in front of us and the Saguaro Park Rangers behind us.  The guy driving their little stagecoach said they don't mind standing all day.  But once they start moving they want to be in front.  That would be fun for 3 miles wrestling 2 little head strong minis........!! 

YIPPEE........finally, we're moving towards the start of the parade up by the large buildings (the Tucson VA center) ahead

This is about half way in the parade.  It doesn't look like it but the sides of the street were deep with people, the estimate was about 200,000 watching, not counting TV coverage.  The route was over 3 miles and there were people EVERYWHERE.....!!  This parade is the largest parade in the U.S. without any engines or mechanical vehicles.  It's either people walking or animals walking, there were 125 entries, which makes for a long parade. 

Lynn and Linda....... we teased Linda, said her outfit was why we won a trophy...!!  LOL

Monday, February 17, 2020


One of the things that seems to be a rite of passage in the spring for the donkeys, is destruction of cactus.  The prickly pear they dig up and actually eat some of it.  Some of it they drag around and we have to move it out of the paths where we walk.  They might not mind walking on it, but we do......!!

This poor prickly pear has had quite a bit of damage, it's about half the size it was.  The next morning I caught Leo digging and eating it, although I doubt that he is the only one. 

This cholla has been by the feed room for years and this is what they are suppose to look like.  A few feet away was another one, in the picture below.  I don't know if they ate it or just destroyed it.  Cholla is really sticky and I've learned how to pick it up without paying a price, but it has to be done VERY carefully........!!!

This last week-end we took a dozen donkeys to Cochise Terrace RV Park.  This is the park Lynn and Linda were parked in before they decided to come out here and help us with the donkeys.  They still have friends there and we were invited to come out for the people to meet the donkeys and take them for walks if they wanted to. 

A lot of people came by to take pictures, talk about donkeys they've had in their lives and walk them.  I don't know who had the most fun the people or the donkeys.  There was green growing Bermuda grass in the area, so some of the "walks" were kind of a start and stop process.  One person stood for a long time, letting their donkey just eat.  I think it was Frijolita, and I'm sure she enjoyed getting a chance to eat real grass.  A good friend, Claire told me one time that hay is "equine jerky" and I've never forgotten that........!! LOL  Most of our donkeys have probably never had access to grass, and have always eaten hay.  

This Thursday will be the Tucson Rodeo Parade.  This will be the 3rd year we've tried to participate.  We have yet to finish.  This year instead of representing the rescue, they will be representing the Burro Buddies, Lynn Linda and Suzanne's sideline.  They will be doing burro events, which could be just about anything, photo sessions, pack burro rentals, Beverage Burros for special occasions, such as weddings and children's parties.  They will also have Burro Buddies Boot Camp, for boarding, hoof care and training.  It's rather exciting and probably will keep them busy once they get up to speed.  The parade might be good advertising, we'll see. 

John and I won't be walking in the parade.  It's about 3 miles and John and I have gotten to an age, that we have to think about choosing our "battles."  As John's aunt that raised him said, "getting old isn't for sissies".  If we want to continue doing things like playing with donkeys and racing cars the days of just doing it, are over.  We have to invest time in planning more than we use to.  And making sure we have time to rest up afterwards.  The last couple of years after a night of racing, it usually takes both of us until Tuesday or Wednesday to recuperate...........LOL  So we will be on the sidelines rooting for our favorite group.   

Picture of Coquette aka Avery in Colorado with her new beau Briggs.  She's getting along just fine, and they've already started training for the pack burro races this summer even if there is snow on the ground. 

Friday, February 14, 2020

RIP Rambo

We have received word than Rambo was found dead earlier this week in Colorado.  No reason found, no struggle or anything out of the ordinary. Just laid down in the snow and died.  

He wasn't that old, probably in his early teens.  Everyone is just heartbroken especially his new family that had welcomed him and from all the reports we got, he had fit right in with whatever was going on.   

He had been a roping donkey before we took him in along with Zorro and Chantilly.  He was always a handful wanting to fight the boys or chase the girls.  We even had him tested to make sure they didn't miss something when he was gelded.  He checked out as a true gelding.  He seemed to settle down in Colorado, maybe all he needed all those years was a loving family and a job. 

Here is a picture of one of their 1st outings after they got Rambo

Rambo at one of the races last summer with his new buddy, Steve

A wonderful picture of him in his new home
He was suppose to be in a Saint Patrick's Day parade and of course race this summer and go hunting in the fall.  Just wasn't meant to be I guess.  It's sad that he finally found his place, just wish he had been able to enjoy it longer.  

Both Rambo and Big Gus spent 6 years in a rather undisciplined home and returned to the rescue a couple of years ago.  We still have Big Gus, he's not going anywhere for a few reasons.  He's probably over 40, he has a heart murmur and he can be very obnoxious or helpful, depending on your point of view.  

Lately we've been having trouble with things getting messed with.  It's easy to blame Big Gus, because his big nose is usually in everything.  

 This big tote is out there for a purpose.  The UPS/FEDEX people are suppose to put all packages in the tote.  This isn't the 1st time and won't be the last when they just leave the boxes on top of the tote.  Of course it has to be investigated, they've obviously already knocked it off the tote.  Actually between the 2 boxes they probably wouldn't have both fit in the tote, so I guess we need a bigger tote..........LOL. 

 Justin and I think that is Bunny "helping" him eat the box. 

 I'm sure Justin is very proud of his handiwork.

Went out a couple of mornings ago and this was the scene by the feed room.  

For about 5 years that bench with storage has sat on the feed room porch, fill with fly masks.  Someone dragged it off the porch, dismantled the bench and in the process fly masks were everywhere.  

Big Gus is helping as only he can.

Every morning we dread looking out to see what they've been up to.  They are also destroyed patches of prickly pear, which seems to be a rite of spring every year.  I guess early in the spring they need something that is in the cactus this time of year.  They can destroy a large patch of cactus in a day.  

Linda got news about Pepsi this week.  He went to school as the guest of honor at an assembly.  From the report we got, he was a perfect gentleman and acted like he had always climbed stairs to get on stage and kiss the principle. 

 Here he is with his new best friend getting ready to meet 100s of kids in the auditorium

The principle was ready to meet and greet him.

Monday, February 10, 2020


Yesterday afternoon it was time to get Jenny and Benjy back in their pen after a day of running loose on the 10 acres .  John and Linda were out doing round-up and I went in the feed room to get some carrots.  Came out and Linda was walking towards their pen and they were following her.  They hesitated a little bit and went right in.  They had only been out twice and were willing to cooperate like that.  They really are amazing animals.  They had followed her from over by the hay barn, which is quite a distance and they could have changed their minds at anytime. 

This morning before we went out we heard thundering hooves again.  Hmmmm......looked out the window, saw Link with Benjy's neck in his mouth and they were going around in circles.  It looked like Link wanted to play and Benjy wasn't interested.  It broke up and the next thing we saw was Justin one of the minis, kicking at Benjy with both back feet.  I assume that was to make sure Benjy knew who was in charge..........LOL  Since Benjy is a large standard and Justin is less than 36 inches tall, it looked rather silly.  Benjy just stood his ground and raised his head, so he didn't get kicked in the mouth and after 3 or 4 kicks Justin found something else to do.........!!  Guess he had made his point.........LOL

Everyone had access to Burroland today, which adds another "problem" to rounding up newbies.  But after one abortive attempt to go back into Burroland  they followed John into their pen like it was no big deal. 

I guess the next big step will be haltering.  Jenny is really sweet and seems to like to be messed with, so she probably won't be much of a problem.  Benjy seems to be rather opinionated about interacting with humans, he'd just as soon not.  There's no big hurry, we'll just see how it goes.

Cochise has been under the weather for over a week.  He had a lower respiratory infection and once his fever went down, he had to stay in his pen for a week.  Today was the day he got to go out, John and I had to go to Tucson, and when we came home he was standing by the well house, just enjoying his freedom I guess.  Don't know if he went over to Burroland today or not.

Linda got a picture from Colorado of Pepsi playing in the snow with the kids.  They had asked if he had been trained to pull a cart, but we don't know.   He's been learning to pull a sled and seems to be having as much fun as the kids.


Saturday, February 08, 2020

THEY ARE OUT..........!!!

We were all here today, so it seemed like a good time to let them out to roam and get use to the property.  When we let "newbies" out we let them out to roam by themselves for a little while before we let the rest of the kids out.  That way they get a chance to figure out the lay of the land before the nosy herd wants to get in their business.  

I thought Benjy might burst out of the pen and take off, but he actually went out pretty good and we saw them later just roaming around checking things out.  That is until the rest of the gang went out.  The donkeys weren't any problem, things had been really quiet, the herd was curious but no squealing and squabbling.  

We had a tour this morning and we were all standing around talking and all of a sudden we heard thundering hooves, looked in that direction and here comes Jenny and Benjy with a little white monster hot on their heels.  Didn't get a picture we were all too busy standing with our mouths open.........LOL  Casper didn't look like he was actually trying to catch them, it's almost like it was a game to see if they would run.  They kept on running and since it didn't look vicious, we didn't interfere.

Didn't see them standing next to each other later, but also didn't see anymore chasing.  We have seen Casper chase screaming with his mouth wide open, so either he is mellowing or they weren't very interesting to chase.  For years he didn't even chase donkeys, only horses and mules until just a few months ago.  When he chased mules and horses it was like he wanted to kill them, this was more like play.  I think he must have gotten a donkey to run, and thinks it's fun.

Doesn't he look angelic...???

Of course once they are out, they have to go back into their pen at feeding time.  With newbies that is always a challenge, some more than others.  They aren't really sure what you want them to do, when you hunt them down and try to "herd" them to the pen.  So we followed them around for awhile, not letting them stop moving and between the 4 of us finally herded them to the pen area and they figured it out.  I think Tula holds the record, it took us about 3 hours to get her back in her pen the 1st time.

Jenny is really friendly, Benjy not so much, but they will probably do  much better tomorrow, I don't think it took 15 minutes to get them in the pen today, which is really pretty good considering Benjy is NOT a people donkey.  

This is some of the herd standing in the wash watching the show.

It's getting about that time of year.  The race cars have been just sitting for about 3 months, but it's time to dust off the dust and get serious.  I am going to "try" to race both tracks this year.  Last year's asphalt car will become a dirt car and the Cavalier above will be my new asphalt car.   John will be a lot busier than me trying to keep two cars going, all I do is drive.  If  I don't wreck, and we just bring them home each race night in one piece, it won't be so bad.  But as we always say, as soon as you put a car on the track, consider it destroyed.  Every race is an opportunity to total the car.  You know how show business people say "break a leg".  In racing they tell you "to drive it like you stole it".......LOL  My 1st race will be at the end of this month on the dirt, looking forward to it.

Wednesday, February 05, 2020


The weatherman said it was going to be cold last night and it was..........11.8 degrees this morning right after sunrise.  That means all the water buckets were covered with thick ice.  Donkeys unlike horses will not break ice, and when it's cold like that, colic can become a problem because of less water intake.  Of course just because we broke ice, doesn't mean they are going to drink.  I think most of them waited until they got out of their pens and drank out of the Richie waterer and the Rubbermaid, both of which have heaters in them.

Lynn, Cheyenne and Penny stayed in last night and had their blankets on.  John said they complained when he let everyone else out at bedtime, but this morning they seemed quite happy in their pens, so maybe they figured out blankets are good even if you don't get to go out with the others.  

Tonight is suppose to be about the same, so we'll blanket them again, but after that it's suppose to start warming up quickly the rest of the week. By 9:30 this morning it was bright, sunny and getting warm quickly, it's a beautiful day.

Benjy and Jenny are settling in, they are still staying in their pen for a few days.  Benjy especially is very reactive, he seems to think you are going to kill him if you try to mess with him.  Yesterday Linda went in the pen with a halter in her hand and you would have thought she was there to attack them.  So I hung a halter from the corral panels around their pen.  This morning I added another halter on the other side.  Hopefully they will get bored with the game before I have all the halters we have hanging in their pen......!!!

Cochise still isn't up to par, Dr. Jeremy is coming out again today, when he can fit it in.  Cochise is
active, eating, drinking, pooing and peeing,. but still breathing quick, although he doesn't seem to be stressed.  Yesterday when Linda took his temperature it was 95.?, so she tried another thermometer and it was 96.?.  Their temperature should be between 98 and 100.  He doesn't act like he has a low temperature, so we thought it might be the thermometers.  This morning I couldn't get either of them to go above 92.?.  John had to go to town, so he's going to pick up a couple of thermometers and see if they read higher. 

This is Coquette now known as Avery getting in shape for the pack burro racing season in Colorado with her new mom.  I thought Coquette would stay here forever, she was always overweight, she had skin problems in the summer and she was very attached to Penny.  So much so we use to haul her  when Penny had to go to the vet or we'd come home to a hot sweaty girl that had been running all over the place looking for Penny.  A few months before Lynn and Linda went back to Colorado last year, she wasn't relying so much on Penny, so they took her with them.  Now she has a family of her own and from what we hear she is doing really well.   I'm anxious to hear how her races go this year. 

Saturday, February 01, 2020


Early morning isn't a good time to take pictures, for one thing it makes them look brown.  They are both grey, she's a solid grey, Benjy is a dapple grey. I think the corral panels are 5 foot, so it gives you a sense of their size.  

John was cleaning their pen, so we both were in with them, and they weren't sure they wanted to interact with 2 of us.  

Actually they are settling in pretty good.  They are coming over to the corral panel to take a carrot, which is a start.  For all practical purposes they are not handled, so between that and the weight they need to lose, they will be here awhile before we can even think about finding them a home. 

Cochise is a little better today, doesn't seem to have a temperature.  He's still breathing funny, Dr. Jeremy said it would be 36-48 hours before we'd see much improvement, so that will be tomorrow.