Tuesday, September 29, 2020


Suzanne called from Colorado last Thursday to tell us Quilla was walking like he was drunk.  All of his vitals were good he was eating and drinking, so my first thought was he had a stroke.  She said they had already thought that too.  They sent a video of him walking and another one the following morning which showed no change in walking ability. 

With equine the first 24-48 hours give you a good idea of whether they will survive and have quality of life with a stroke.  Doc Howard came out to give Quilla a  dignified death, rather than living in a situation that would have the same ending, after days, weeks or months of deterioration.  We have faced this decision many times and have thought more than once we probably should have  made the decision sooner.  There comes a time when I think you hold on for your sake, not the animal that relies on you to make the best decision for them. 

The earliest pictures I have of Quilla were in February 2008, I assume that is about when he came here.  He had been in the same home for 9 years and the woman was proud of the fact that she had never had a vet or had his teeth done, and judging from the way his feet looked when he came in, a farrier wasn't used either.  She had gotten him as a companion for her horse and had no use for him when horse died.  He had been overfed, was obese and his feet was so long the walls had collapsed and he was walking on them.  


This is Quilla after he got here, with his savior Georgette.  Georgette had been after us for a couple of years to "save" him from a woman she knew because of his lack of care, before we finally agreed to take him.

Quilla and Pepsi playing with a jolly ball, February 2008

We got his feet trimmed, put him on a diet and doctored him legs every summer.  He always attracted flies and they had chewed on his lower legs so much, the hair follicles had given up trying to produce hair and his lower front legs were bald.  When he started going out in public for parades, we always kept his legs wrapped, so people wouldn't asked what was wrong with his legs.  

When he came here he was scared to death of kids, didn't want anything to do with them.  Once he found out they would pet and shower him with attention he became quite a kid magnet.  People were drawn to him I've always thought it was his eyes, they were so expressive.  He always used his ears to communicate, I never saw his ears perked upright.  They were always sideways, moving around to express his feelings.

I guess this was his opinion of Linda kissing his face and taking pictures on Valentine's day.

Years ago he was diagnosed with Cushing's disease, which is quite common for older equine.  He has been on daily medication for years and in the past couple of years has become quite uncooperative about taking the little daily capsule, no matter what type of goodie we hid it in.  It had become a battle of wills to get the capsule down him, Linda usually won, but not without a struggle.  I'm sure she won't miss that, but I know she will miss him.  

He has been going to Colorado for the summer for the last 3 years, his legs don't have to be doctored hardly at all because of the cooler weather and less flies.  Last year he went down in the trailer coming home in the last 50 miles of the 600 mile trip.  They always do it in two days, so the donkeys don't get stressed.  This year we debated him going, I'm so glad he got to go again.  He had Sugar as a girlfriend, in fact I think they said he had a couple of girlfriends, but Sugar was special.  He also got to strut his stuff  earlier in the summer and Linda happened to get it on video. 

This was right after they got up there probably in June sometime.  This is the best I've seen him move in years.  Sounds like Lynn was egging him on and he was really strutting his stuff.  

He got to see the Rio Grande this summer, was quite a surprise for a little desert donkey that had probably spent his whole life in the dry desert of Arizona.

Suzanne took this picture the day before Doc Howard came out. 

RIP Quilla



Wednesday, September 23, 2020


 He had been doing real good, and a few days ago he stripped the bark off the little cat claw tree in the dog pen, but didn't bother the mesquite.  Yesterday the mesquite got stripped and girdled, so I said he couldn't go in the dog pen again without chicken wire or something around the 2 remaining mesquite trees.  This morning John put a little fence around the trees rather than wrapping chicken wire around the tree trunks and as soon as Casper ran out of things to do in there, which didn't take long, he just walked thru the fence.  I haven't heard what is next, but Casper is back in his pen........!! LOL

We're getting ready for the big race in Tombstone the 10th of October and just received a bunch of soft fuzzy donkeys.  While Suzanne, Lynn and Linda are racing, John and I will have a table set up to promote the rescue and have some information about donkeys, for people that might want to come out to interact with the donkeys or maybe just learn a little more about donkeys.


Some of them have bandanas and some of them have a hoodie with our logo on them.  They sure are soft and fuzzy I would imagine kids will love them. 

In the spring at one of the meetings to discuss the race and all the things going on that day in Tombstone, there was talk about a kissing booth if people wanted to "Kiss an Ass" and one of the guys at the meeting said he'd build a booth.  Need to find out is that is still a go, we'll have to figure out who to take.  It will have to be a donkey that isn't racing.  

This is the first time Koshare' was ever asked to run and he did it at liberty, without a halter and lead rope.  He looks like he might be a good runner.  He got blamed a few nights ago for opening the gate and letting everyone out for fun and frolic.  Suzanne and I agree that isn't his MO, I can't even remember how many things he has torn up or destroyed, but he's never opened a gate that we know of.  

Some of you might remember Pepsi, who went up to Colorado last summer and found his forever home.  His family still shares stories and pictures of him.  

Not exactly sure what this was, there were quite a few children and Linda said he was also involved in "farm yoga".  We've seen that on TV, people do yoga with goats running around them, guess a little donkey wouldn't be much different......LOL  

Here is a picture of Lynn and Muzzy, they finished 9th in the race last week-end out of 70 teams.  Not sure if this was at the start or the finish, but it looks like they are really running.


Monday, September 21, 2020


I think they had more fun in Colorado than John and I had here, and actually were probably busier.  They all went to a race in Federick, CO with 6 donkeys.  Our highest finisher was Cochise with a 6th place finish.  
This picture was taken before he left for Colorado this summer and shows his "roping" ear.  Sometimes the rope catches their  ear, damages the cartilage and causes a floppy ear.  In the pictures from this summer, it looks like his ear is standing up more than it was. Even if it is, it probably won't ever be as strong as the other one.  Makes it a little easier to pick him out of the "herd" when we watch videos of the races............sometimes.  Usually it's such a gaggle of burros, people, lead ropes and mayhem, you can't tell what's going on, it's a mixture of color and motion.  

This was a race this summer when he and Amber Wann made it to the top of Mosquito Pass, which is over 13,000 feet.  

This video was the Frederick race last week-end.  Cochise, Muzzy, Misty, Jacque, Loki and Leo are in that mess somewhere.   The only one John and I have been able to find is Muzzy.  That's only because we were told Lynn was wearing black and they were close to the front on the start.  Muzzy and Lynn finished 9th, which is pretty good, 70 teams of burros/person started the race. 

Cochise had been a roping donkey and his feet look like they were never taken care of and have grown in ways that would lead you to believe running wouldn't be his thing.  But he loves to run and is such a happy little guy, he's really gotten into this racing business.
Our week-end in Arizona wasn't quite as exciting.  With Suzanne gone to Colorado it's just John and I doing chores and it is really hard to get the donkeys to understand that it's going to take longer for their "meals" to be served.  Or in the case of us going racing Saturday night, Their evening feeding occurred at 2pm rather that the normal 5pm.  
They were very excited to get fed at 2pm, and I'm glad we weren't here at 5pm when they didn't get fed.  I would imagine they had forgotten being fed early.  John had given them extra barley straw to munch on and most of them did eat it, but I'm sure it isn't the same, as far as they are concerned.  
Our races are usually on an asphalt 3/8s mile circle track.  Our car count has been going down, so that we're lucky to have 6 cars in the field.  Someone got the brilliant idea to run a chicane race to add excitement.  That means they put barriers on the track for us to not hit while we race.  They had one a year or so ago and I wasn't impressed, although I did finish the race, which is better than I did Saturday night........LOL
We actually started 10 cars, and they started us side by side, which means you are contending with with the barriers, while trying to not squash the guy next to you.  Also hoping he will be kind and gentle, until we can get away from each other.  The guy I was starting beside has totaled 2 of my cars over the years, so I was on my own as far as kind and gentle........LOL
The first barrier was between the 4th turn and the flagman in the middle of the front straightaway and that's as far as I got.  They had put a tire painted white on the track to protect their barriers. I knew it was there we ran around for 2 or 3 laps before the race started so we would know where they were.  But I didn't miss it.........can you imagine how high you can go in the air, when you run over a large tire........LOL  Pretty high, the guy behind me said he saw the complete underneath of my car and thought I was going to roll over the hood frontwards.  Glad I didn't do that.  Came down, car was moving forward, I actually thought I had escaped retribution, until I turned the steering wheel and the spindle, that is a really important part of the suspension, wasn't doing it's job, so I wobbled into the infield. So far John thinks that's all that's broke, so I was really lucky. 

It was a pretty rough race, 10 cars started, 4 cars finished and 2 of the cars that didn't finished looked pretty tore up.  We only have 2 more races this season, I doubt it anyone is going to put a lot of effort into fixing their cars.  I'll probably drop to 4th for end of the year, the 3 guys in front of me all finished 1,2,3 so there wouldn't be much incentive to fix up a car that doesn't have a chance of finishing well. 

We've been told the Hornets will not be racing at that track next year, hopefully the dirt track will open up again, or I guess I'll be retiring although I'm not ready to do that yet.  

Friday, September 18, 2020


Although we have hit 100* the last couple of days the nights are really cool and we've been able to open the windows at night.  Great sleeping weather......!! 

 Suzanne loaded Koshare' up a couple of days ago and headed for Colorado to help bring all the donkeys home from their summer vacation.  Koshare' has too strong a relationship with his momma and sister, Kachina and Anazazi.  Hopefully when he gets back, he will have discovered other donkeys and the pleasures of running with a person.  It will only be a few days, but Suzanne said he's adjusting nicely, I guess the old saying "out of sight, out of mind" might be true in his case.  They put him in with Link the 1st night and they got along just fine.  Haven't heard anything else, they are going to a race this week-end.  Hopefully they'll share pictures or videos.

 This morning Wendy and Gary came out to help with chores.  They are such good self starters.  They will be running in their first race in Tombstone October 10th and are suppose to run Leroy and Jackson.  This is a picture of Wendy and Jackson this morning. 

 They went out before helping with chores and the boys weren't the least bit interested in running.  They were more interested in trying to sneak mesquite beans along the road.  Gary is a runner and hopefully will have a chance to work with Lynn and Linda when they get back to see if the boys will run.  If not they'll have to find another donkey for him.  Wendy said she is satisfied to just walk.  That would be about my speed too........LOL

We also have an 11 year old girl that just recently moved to the neighborhood that is coming every morning to help.  She's really good help, unfortunately she is starting back to school next week, but still wants to come after school.  So far she's help feed, picked up poo, helped weigh hay and drove the golf cart.  Pretty much takes care of everything she'll need to know.

We're still letting the donkeys go over to Burro Barracks, half one day and the other half the next day.  They really look forward to us coming in with a halter and get all excited.  You'd think we were taking them somewhere special, I guess they enjoy the change of scenery, there isn't much left in the barracks to eat.  They took care of that the first couple of days.  They do enjoy being able to scratch on some of the limbs though and getting to roll in the soft dirt.

Kachina and Anazazi are gate crashers.  That means they like to RUSH thru the gate when you open it, as you're trying to hang onto the lead rope.  I don't like that type of behavior.  So tonight we had them, Big Gus and Bunny to contend with.  Lynn built 4 small pens in the shelter over there, so we put 3 of them in the pens and instead of taking the 2 girls at the same time, only took Kachina by herself.  Oh! my talk about squalling and bawling from Ana, you would have thought the world was coming to an end.  We also double led, actually both of them.  They started out thinking they were going to be in charge, but we managed to get our point across that they were going to behave like ladies.  They both did very well after the rules were understood.  They'll learn, it might take a couple of times before they figure out being led out of a gate isn't a timed event.

Bunny was a good girl, no problem, Big Gus.......!!!!  Big Gus has no filter when it comes to behavior and he was sure we were going to leave him there I guess.  He pawed and stuck his big head thru the corral panels and moaned and groaned and in general was about as obnoxious as he could be.  I thought we might have to double lead him, but once I took him out of the little pen and let him know I wasn't happy with his behavior he settled down and was a good boy......for him......!! Our expectations for him having manners and going along with what you want him to do, are pretty low.  LOL

These are a couple of pictures Linda shared from Colorado. 

Sunrise,  the snow is an added touch.  Looks cold, doesn't it?






Thursday, September 10, 2020


 We've had quite a few false starts but the last few days had highs in the 90s and this morning it was downright chilly.  It's about 1:30 pm and it hasn't made it to 90* yet.  Probably will gain a couple of degrees, but it sure is a lot nicer than most of the summer was.  

We even got a afternoon thunderstorm a couple of days ago.  John said we got 0.63 inches which is the most at one time for this summer.  The wash actually trickled a little bit.  This is the 2 summer the wash hasn't ran, Suzanne hasn't had a chance to see it run bank to bank yet.  Unfortunately she probably won't get a chance to see it this year, it's getting late in the monsoon.  The "experts" say the monsoon ends Sept 15th.  


Colorado got their first snow a couple of days ago.  Stacey took this picture of Miss Nell, she looks like she's begging Stacey to "fix" it.  I doubt that she had ever seen snow before, she's lived most of her life almost to the Mexican border south of us.  

Linda shared a video of almost the whole herd enjoying the cooler weather up there.  I say most, I don't see Quilla, if it was feeding time he was probably eating, he gets fed by himself, so he misses out on the group videos sometimes. 

The gang enjoying the change in the weather

 The herd here has figured out the routine for going over to the Burro Barracks.  Although they haven't quite figured out that they only get to go every other day, unless something happens and no one gets to go.  So when it's time to get out the halters and leads, EVERYBODY gets excited.  We try to explain that if you went yesterday you aren't going today, but they don't seem to understand. 

The only one that doesn't have to wait is Casper the little white mini mule.  He gets to go into the dog pen every day, because he's the only one going in.  He's eaten everything edible, not interested in the straw in the dog house after the first couple of days, so he just stands around in the shade.  He gets excited like the others when he sees us getting out the leads, even though there's nothing going on in the pen.  

Here's a picture of Macho's leg I took this morning.  It probably doesn't look much different, than the last picture I shared, but I notice a difference.  Now that I look at it, it actually looks worse.  But that grey area is breaking down, that is actually proud flesh, which is what I'm trying to get rid of. 


This morning John came in and said his plans for tomorrow had changed.  I asked why and went out to take a picture of what Koshare', Kachina, and Ana had been up to in Kachina's pen.  At night they are all out together in the pens on the east side.  

You will notice the roof is sagging.  The reason the roof is sagging is you might also notice the upright post on the right is no longer one piece.  Actually the one on the left isn't very much better, they'll have it chewed in pieces very soon.  So instead of bringing in some gravel to fill in the low spots the rain brought to his attention he will be putting in a pipe as an upright instead of the tasty wooden ones.  

Lynn has replaced quite a few of the uprights in the pens in the last couple of years.  I have no doubt eventually all of the wooden ones will have to be replaced.  This year the boards that make the walls in the shelters have suffered because of them being in the pens so much this summer.  John is talking about replacing the wood that needs to be replace with metal.  Years ago that's what they did in Rosie, the beaver's pen, her shelter is all metal.  But the metal isn't as pretty and I'm sure it's hotter than the wood.  But the metal isn't tasty so it's a trade off........LOL

Last night just as we went to bed, coyotes started howling and it sounded like they were just west of the house or even right below the pens on the west side.  We usually don't see or hear coyotes on the property, they don't like to be around the donkeys and when the donkeys are loose on the property, I guess the coyotes just find someplace else that's more coyote friendly.  

John yelled a couple of times and we didn't hear anymore from them.  They must have been really close . 




Sunday, September 06, 2020


It's 1:30pm and 105 degrees even as I type....  It's just miserable because we still have the humidity the weather people are so excited to tell us about.  A company that makes jellies and different items from prickly pear said this year the crop is only about 20% of what it usually is.  

 I know our prickly pear on the property, the ones that have bothered to bloom and set fruit, have rather scrawny fruit.  John watches the temperature in Colorado where Lynn and Linda are and their low this week is suppose to be 18 degrees.........!! I hope it cools off here before they come back, not sure they will be ready for the shock of our nighttime temperatures being higher than their daytime temperatures in Colorado.  

 The Arizona donkeys have started putting on their winter coats, hopefully it will cool off soon.  Not sure what the Colorado donkeys will think if it's still oppressively hot when they get here.  

Linda shared this video of Link and I think Jacque someplace in Colorado out for the fun at liberty.

Link and Jacque.............I think. Too many of the donkeys are grey and if you don't see them day to day it's not easy to tell them apart.  

The donkeys are still staying in their pens, except for every other day half go over to the Burro Barracks for fun and frolic.  It's working out really well, they've learned the operation and seem excited to do something different than just stand in the pens. 

Big Gus had not been able to go over to the barracks after the first day.  The fence between us and the neighbor wasn't adequate for keeping his big head on this side of the fence.  There is an abundance of mesquite beans on the other side, so he was  pushing the loose barbed wire down and enjoying a forbidden feast.  

Last week we got all the "fixins" for a fence and between Suzanne tamping the t-posts in with her helpers John and our neighbor they got done in 2 days and Big Gus got to go over yesterday.  So far the fence is holding and he seems happy to be able to roam around, so it's a win-win for all. 

In all the years we've had donkeys on the property we've only had 1 ear damaged by barbed wire.  Donkeys are pretty smart about sharp fence and it's never been a problem.  Bella came in a few days ago with a rather abused ear, looks like she  got it hung up on barbed wire and jerked it loose.  I doctored it and didn't think too much about it, these things usually heal by themselves. This morning Suzanne noticed it looked rather bedraggled sure enough it's torn, so she will get added to my list of patients for a few days.  

I'm still doctoring Macho Man every morning with a bandage change on his leg.  It is getting better but it's a slow process.  This picture was taken a couple of weeks ago and the proud flesh area has gotten noticeably smaller.  We plan on taking him up to the specialty clinic in the Phoenix area this fall to have the scar tissue removed from his sheath.  It's so large and heavy he can't retract the sheath, so it's always hanging and according to the people that had the 4 donkeys it had been that way about 15 years, can you imagine that?  At that time they can look at his leg and see if there is anything else we can do.