Friday, October 30, 2020

WHOOPEE AND YAY..............!!

 Well it's not 100% freedom, but at least they are getting out for about 1 1/2 hours a day, as of last night.  

Rather a slow beginning.  This is the Burro Barracks herd.  Last night we decided that letting all 40 out on the property for the 1st time, might be a little difficult to get them back in.  So we let the ones in the pens, except for the 3 new ones out about     1 1/2 hours before usual feeding.  

It took about an hour to round them up and a few had to be haltered, but all in all it could have gone a lot worse.  It seemed like the ones that were the biggest problem are the ones that have been out on the property for years, like Tula.  Guess they didn't think they had enough time out.  Some of the other followed a container of pellets.

This morning the 14 in Burro Barracks got to go out.  Lynn said they should be pretty easy to round up, they are the racers and are use to going in and out and someone telling them what to do.  They did pretty good, but started slow.  Where they unload hay twice a day for feeding outside the gate had a build up of hay scraps, so that's as far as they got at first.

Some in, some out........finally someone figured out they were free and they all took advantage of the situation.  They were all over the property.  When it was time for round up they did  good too. 

So I guess we'll do it this way for a few days and see how it goes.  We'll have to check poo and if individuals start showing too many beans in their poo, they'll have to stay in their pens.  We've picked up beans until we are blue in the face  and this morning we noticed a couple of spots that got missed that need attention......!!  There are beans scattered all over the 10 acres, BUT, they aren't concentrated under the trees.  A donkey could find a spot like that and just stand there and eat as long as they were out.  That's why we had to pick them up.  Hopefully we won't have any gas colic or upset tummies.


Thursday, October 29, 2020


 John found some more areas that needed to be debulked of beans yesterday afternoon, so the donkeys didn't get to go out.  But we've got our fingers crossed for today.  I'm wondering how much fun it will be to get them back in their pens if they do get to go out........!!!  LOL

Here is a nice video when people and donkeys took a side trip to the Grand Canyon on their way to California to a race sponsored by the California Breakfast Burritos in Ridgecrest, CA.  Don't want to brag, BUT, Muzzy and Lynn finished 1st in the 26 miles race out there and Benji and his person team mate Patrick won the 10 mile race.                    Going down into the Grand Canyon

The California Breakfast  Burritos is an organization of people in CA sharing their love of pack burro racing with others and are involved in helping non-profits.  This year we were the recipients of their generosity, which was very much appreciated. Hopefully in the years to come, there will be pack burro racing in many states, rather than just Colorado.  Arizona has had 2 races, California one, N.M. hasn't had a race yet, but people have hauled their donkeys to some of the other states and they would like to have races at home.  The states will have to rely on their own states in the future and not expect runners to haul 100s of miles to run.  In the last few years pack burro racing has really exploded, hopefully it will continue to grow and bring lots of new faces into the sport.  

 This is Big Gus showing off his latest renovation of his pen.  He seems pretty proud of the hole he dug.  We've been calling it an "ass hole".................! LOL  Unfortunately he isn't the only digger we have.  Since they have been in their pens so long, quite a few of them have learned all sorts of new skills, that aren't appreciated by humans.

He is also skilled at making a door where there use to be a wall.  Almost all the shelters have been dismantled or completely destroyed.  When Lynn and Linda came back our first priority was to get the donkeys out of their pens, which hopefully will happen today.  After that the next priority will be to rebuild a lot of shelters with metal siding, rather than wood.  
As of yesterday our head count is 38 donkeys and Casper the mini mule.  We had 2 minis and a large standard BLM donkey come in from a caring home, but the people are older and chores have become a chore rather than enjoying being with the donkeys.  
They arrived in a real nice trailer, Oliver on the left, Harley and little Siggy.
  Siggy is only 28 inches tall, which makes him a micro-mini.  Any donkey less than 30 inches tall is a micro.  You might notice both of them are a little plump for their height. 

 Oliver, is a large standard and also is a little plump for his height.  Over the years most of the donkeys we've taken in, have been overweight rather than underweight.  All 3 of them are really nice donkeys.  It's really hard to get weight off them and takes months, so they will probably be here awhile.  I have a really good home that is looking for a mini as a companion for their donkeys, but first they will have to go thru "donkey Jenny Craig"..........!!! LOL
Smoky the feral cat got his "brain" surgery yesterday as planned.  They don't want him jumping around for 4 days, so he's in a wire cage in the spa room.  We shut the door, so the 4 indoor cats couldn't lay down in front of the cage and stare at him.  You would have thought we had ruined their lives forever, they just can't stand the idea of not being able to go EVERYWHERE in the house, as they usually do.  He's actually pretty mellow for a feral cat, he'll probably end up an indoor/outdoor cat like Julius, if he doesn't take off, never to be seen again......!!!  The other 4 probably would disappear if they went outside, they aren't use to having to watch for coyotes and snakes, not to mention hawks.     

Tuesday, October 27, 2020


 We did chores this morning in this:  Let it snow, let it snow......

Last week it was over 100*, this morning it was 34* and is suppose to be around 90* this week-end......!!  LOL  

The donkeys didn't seem to mind it, but they have no undercoat, so the wet snow melted on them.  Poor little LaRoy was shivering, so he got to wear a blanket all day.  Tonight is suppose to be around freezing, so he still had a blanket on for the night. At feeding time tonight, Jackson was reaching thru the corral panels trying to get hold of LaRoy's blanket.  Usually they are together except at feeding time, but tonight they will be separated, to hopefully protect the blanket....... !!  Jackson is very good at removing LaRoy's fly mask, so I'm pretty sure the blanket wouldn't be a problem.

I also ordered a blanket for Big Gus.  We have blankets but none big enough for him, he's horse size.  I don't know that he will need a blanket this winter but at over 40 years old, I'd rather have one available if needed.  

We have 4 cats in the house, and Julius an outdoor/indoor cat that started out feral and 2 or 3 years ago, decided being inside was pretty nice sometimes, so he comes and goes.  Recently a grey cat started coming in to eat almost every day.  Unfortunately he hasn't had "brain" surgery.  John set a live trap out on the back porch for "Smokey" to get use to it being there.  His routine has been to come right before sundown to eat dry food.  Tonight John baited the trap with canned food and he took the bait.  He will spend the night in the trap in the garage and will go in the morning for surgery. He's pretty calm, we may have another outdoor/indoor kitty, or we may never see him again, when he gets out of the crate.......LOL  Years ago when we were trying to catch Julius' mom to have her spayed, we caught 2 or 3 tomcats in the process.  Hauled them to the vet for corrective surgery.  One of them we called Striker, he was pretty high energy and had a real low opinion of us to the point of being dangerous.  He managed to escape from a wire cage we wanted to keep him in for 2 or 3 days after being neutered, the day we brought him home, never saw him again.  Guess he decided we weren't much fun..........LOL

We are hoping really hard the donkeys will get to go out tomorrow afternoon.  We've done everything except rake beans around the clock.  It's so discouraging to be raking and raking, then turn around and notice a tree you hadn't noticed.  Lynn and John raked and piled today, the neighbor is suppose to come with his wagon tomorrow to load up all the piles and haul them off the property.  Our plan is to let them out about 3:30-4:00 o'clock and then try to get them all back in by 5:00pm.  Wish us luck, have a feeling it won't be easy.........LOL


Sunday, October 25, 2020


 Yesterday we had another raking party day.  It's rather discouraging you rake and pile and rake and pile, turn around and see virgin territory covered with beans.  

We were hoping to be able to let the donkeys out this afternoon, but it isn't looking like that will happen.  There's one area that is covered with rocks and rocks are very good at making it impossible to rake.  So Lynn is using the leaf blower to blow the beans out of the rocks.  He says it's going pretty good, but it's slow going.  That is the last area, the rest of the 10 acres has been raked or burnt and the results hauled off.  Hopefully they can get everything cleared enough so the donkeys can go out tomorrow. 

It's getting cool enough at night now, so they are only wearing their fly masks during the day.  We put them on around noon today and there were enough flies out that all of them stood like good boys and girls to get their masks put on.  

 Lynn and Linda took Cooper and Pablo for a little run this morning.

Conner and Pablo doing their thing.

 Lynn and Linda are going to be pretty busy, there are  quite a few donkeys that haven't been introduced to running.  We're all anxious to see if any of them love to run.  Kachina and Anazazi have not ran at all yet.  This summer when we were moving donkeys over to the Burro Barracks in the afternoon for a little exercise and change of scenery we found out those 2 girls don't know much about being led or stopping when on a lead.  I have no doubt they will run, I just don't know where.......LOL  

This picture was taken right before everyone except John and I headed for the Grand Canyon and California. 

This is Suzanne and Benji at the Grand Canyon.  Team Benji won the 10 mile race in California, that was Benji's 1st race ever and he did really good.

Another picture of the start in California, it looks like a mess, but somehow it all gets straightened out and on the trail they end up with small groups that are running about the same speed.  Sometimes donkeys get loose, usually they don't go to far, before they stop.  In Colorado one of the jennies ran something like 5 miles without her team member person.  It was interesting, she had a go-pro camera on her saddle, so we got to see the whole run.  A lot of times someone will catch a donkey and tie it up to a tree or pole.  The race in California didn't look like there was any place to tie a donkey unfortunately.  

  Pumpkin has become an item that isn't always available.  I thought it might just be our area, until I started whining about it and found out it's a problem in other areas too.  It's really important that Cisco get a can of pumpkin every day or he gets constipated.  Imagine my surprise when we got a large box in the mail with pumpkin and all sorts of goodies in it.  Debi in Ohio made up a care package for Cisco and also for us.  What fun, it was like an early Christmas and we will add the pumpkin to our reserve stash for Cisco.  

Libby's has been showing up in the stores, but it costs over twice as much as the cheap pumpkin.  Yesterday Suzanne went to a grocery store in Tucson and they had some store generic pumpkin.  She called to tell us about it, and also to tell us she left 4 cans, so others could buy some if they wanted to.  We still check the shelves every time we go in the stores, just in case things are getting back to normal.

Chance of rain Tuesday they say...........I'll believe it when I see it.  Sure would be nice, even the prickly pear is looking pretty bad.  

We got another Dodge Neon yesterday.  You can never have too many donor cars if you race......!! LOL I still haven't raced the Chevy Cavalier that was built 2 years ago.  It wasn't ready to race by opening day, so I started the season in the Dodge Neon that has been totaled twice and had the frame straightened.  It's not square but it handles good on the track, so I haven't been in any hurry to change cars in mid season.  

The asphalt track says they won't be racing Hornets next year, but if the dirt track opens up like they say they are, I will gladly go over to dirt.  And I will probably race the Neon, which is why we got the donor car.  Body parts especially pay a price on dirt, we aren't as careful about not touching other cars as the asphalt racers are. 

That's me a little bit ahead of the guy that won the championship at the asphalt track this year. I'm pretty sure he's passing me..........LOL


Wednesday, October 21, 2020


 A video of the race in California

The races always look like so much fun, if I was 40 or 50 years younger.........LOL 

We had some hard working volunteers come out today and  put a lot of effort into getting rid of the beans, so the donkeys can get out of their pens.  We really appreciate the time and effort they all put into the raking and hauling.  One of our neighbors, is going to bring a trailer over tomorrow and haul off the beans.  He said he hauled a load of beans to an open area where the range cattle hang out and checked the area a few days later.  Said the cattle had eaten every bean.  So that's where our beans are going......!!


I think her load probably weighs almost as much as she does. LOL

Mom and little sister working hard

Looks like someone found the leaf blower to play with.  It's almost impossible to rake the beans because of the rocks under the trees.  The leaf blower works pretty good to blow the beans away from the trees into the open, so they can either be raked or picked up with the lawn sweeper.

WOW..........Amy is a two fisted raker I guess.......!! 

They really cleaned up a lot of beans, but there's still plenty of beans to be raked up before we can let the donkeys out. 

So we are having another Raking Party this Saturday the 24th from 8am - noon for anyone that has some time to help make a bunch of donkeys very happy.  We're hoping to have enough volunteers come out to be able to let the donkeys out Sunday for an hour or so.  

Thanks for the pictures, Linda

Monday, October 19, 2020


I'm assuming they had a good time,  they haven't made it back yet, suppose to get in tomorrow afternoon.  There were two races a 26 mile and a 10 mile.

 This is Lynn and Muzzy winning the 26 mile race, with 2nd place hot on their heels. 

Team Muzzy winning the 26 mile race  

 Below is the winning team of the 10 mile race.  Patrick came to help with the races and ended up running with Benji, one of our burros.  This was Benji's first race ever, but Patrick has pack burro raced in Colorado, so I'm sure he was instrumental in their win.  

 Congratulations Team Benji...!!

Looks like the start and I'm guessing that floppy eared guy on the right is our Cochise.

John and I are are pretty sure this is our Buddy Brat

This Wednesday Oct 21st, we are inviting anyone that would like to help with mesquite bean eradication to come out.  The donkey are sick and tired of being in their pens, waiting for mother nature to take care of the bean problem.  They've been in their pens since early July and have resorted to destroying the shelters, tearing down the electrical wires and in general letting us know, enough is enough.....!!  

 The range cattle have done a pretty good job of cleaning up the 20 acres of Burroland. We will probably be able to let the donkeys out on Burroland for an hour or so a day, then gradually lengthen their "out" time.

But the cattle were never on the 10 acres where the pens are and without the monsoon rains to break down the bean pods they still look pretty tasty. 

So if you are in the area and have some extra time Wednesday, come on out and help make some donkeys very happy.  

 I raced this week-end, and you might notice this isn't our usual line-up.

Every year the track has a Trunk or Treat night.  They think up creative ways for the racers to hand out candy to the kids.  This year of Covid added a new wrinkle to the process.  


We lined up around the track, waited for the kids and here they came by the car loads. I don't know how many cars and trucks there were, but we ran out of candy and I had over 10 pounds of the wrapped kid's candy from Walmart. 


Our last race is Oct 31st and they are going to do it again.  I'm going to have to get more candy....!!! LOL


I finished 4th which is about normal for this year.  I'm actually still in 4th place for end of the year points and we only have one more race.  The 5th place car can't catch me, BUT, I'm only 8 points behind the guy in 3rd.  So I have something to work on for the last race of the season.  I'd rather finish in 3rd than 4th........LOL
This pictures is the guy in 3rd place trying to catch me Saturday night.  He is sideways, that's why the tires are smoking.  John said he was trying so hard he looked like he was going to crash.   
We've been told that the dirt track will be opening in November and they will be racing Hornets.  YEA........!!  No dates or nothing official yet, but it's sounding good.  
Saturday night the Tech guys were talking about Hornet rules and this and that.  We told them didn't really matter since the asphalt track wasn't racing Hornets next year.  The head guy looked stunned and said where did you hear that.  Told him heard it from the manager of the track, which pretty much ended the conversation.  Now we'll see what happens next.  Last year we debated running both tracks if they would race on different nights.  But I don't think me or my crew chief aka John could keep up the pace......!! LOL  It takes us till Wednesday to recuperate from one race a month now.  It's hard to remember the good old days when we raced every Saturday night.  Given the choice I will run dirt, asphalt just isn't as much fun as dirt.


Thursday, October 15, 2020


Doesn't this look like fun.  Wednesday morning they took 12 donkeys to the canyon and did a 7 1/2 mile trek down into the canyon with a couple of rangers. 



Rangers with Pearl and Winkie

Headed for the good stuff. (VIDEO)


Amber and I think Cheeto

How's that for a view..??


I think that tire is done.........!! LOL


Yea! they made it to the state line. 


A big welcome to California and a fun week-end


Tuesday, October 13, 2020


William Lee III and Jack in Tombstone

Some of our guests leaving for the Grand Canyon on their way to race in California
        They will overnight at the canyon tonight and tomorrow will be involved in a first..........  The rangers are going to take them and their burros down into the canyon.  A lot of people know about the mules that people ride down into the canyon, but as far as we know this is the first time for burros going into the canyon since 1979 when Cleveland Amory was responsible for moving 580 burros out of the canyon the park service had marked for destruction.  Most of them were taken out in slings underneath helicopters and were the beginning of Black Beauty Ranch in Texas which is now ran by The Fund for Animals.    

Monday, October 12, 2020


 From everything we've heard and observed, the week-end was amazing.  This was the 2nd pack burro race, or as it was called the Donkey Dash in Arizona in decades.  Last year about this time, the 1st race was held in Superior and it was also a rousing success.  In the 90s Safford had races for about 3 years and quit.  I would imagine they didn't get the local backing needed to keep it growing.  

Only 2 of the racers were from Tombstone, probably about half the runners were from Arizona.  The rest were from California, Colorado, and Texas.  It's great that so many people came from other states, but it will take Arizona racers to keep it going. Pack Burro Racing has been going on in Colorado for almost 73 years and this year because of Covid all the towns in Colorado canceled their races.  Hopefully by next year things will go back to normal and people can continue with their lives.



This is how the donkeys were set up when they came in last week.  This was the next morning, I think they were waiting for breakfast to be served. 


 This little girl is Mamacita (little momma)  Suzanne, Lynn and Linda went out to trim 4 mini's feet in Colorado for a guy and discovered they all had white line disease.  White line can really mess their feet up, basically it's a fungal infection that will make the hoof crumbly.  The treatment is usually daily, and the guy lived quite a ways away, so they hauled them back to their place to treat them.  

The guy didn't want Mamacita back, said she wasn't friendly.  So she ended up in the trailer headed back to Arizona.  She also is probably pregnant, she had a baby last November, so if she is, we'll be on baby watch for the next few weeks. At first she was a little stand offish, but she isn't unfriendly and she's pretty cute.  


                        Misty, Linda and Suzanne

                                                                        Line up before the race

            Misty, Linda, Avery (aka Coquette) and her new mom

Avery, you can always recognize her by her "beauty" mark on her forehead.  I don't remember her having it when we got her, but it showed up sometime while she was here.

This is some of the runners headed up to Allen Street for the start of the race.
 This is Leroy and Jackson after they finished the race in the Poo Bingo pen.  When the burros finished their races they were put in here with 120 squares marked off and numbered.  People can buy a square and whoever has the square that gets pooed on first wins $500.  
            These 2 little guys, finished 3rd in the 3 mile and 6 mile races.  They had never been in a race, in fact they had only been out with runners a few times. with a couple that had never raced.  Needless to say, we are very proud of them.
           They also had a great way of cleaning up the street after the donkeys started the race.  They had buckets and spatulas for people to "rent" After the donkeys started the race the people were turned loose with their buckets and spatulas to pick up as much poo as they could.  A woman picked up 18 pounds and won $50.  The results were a clean street, pretty smart huh?

             Boaz came back from Colorado 4 days ago.  This is how his knee looked this morning after returning to Arizona, not to mention the changes to his sheath.  This is why he and some of the others go to Colorado in the summer.  We'll have to doctor him until the weather gets a lot cooler.  It was almost 98* today.   

                Some of the runners from Colorado are staying here until they leave for the race in California tomorrow or Wednesday.  This is some of their donkeys waiting for their ride to California.  The long race will be 26 miles.  They are leaving early to give the donkeys a couple of days of rest before the race Saturday.

            This is the Burro Barracks across the wash, with a lot of the donkeys that came back from Colorado last week.  And of course we also have the pen area filled with donkeys.  I'm not really sure how many donkeys are on the property right now, probably around 50 maybe a few more.  Of course about 25 of them will probably be going to California.
And I'm racing this week-end.......!!  Next to the last race of the season.



Sunday, October 04, 2020


Suzanne, Linda and Lynn called this evening and in the conversation I found out I have been wrong on how Cochise finished in some of the burro races this summer.  He did finish 6th and but he also had a 5th........!!!

Muzzy finished 6th to Cochise's 5th in that race, but he also finished 2nd in one of the other races.  When Lynn told me about it, I remembered it, Muzzy even led for awhile as I now recall.  One of the effects of getting older is having trouble remembering things, but you'd think I'd remember a 2nd place finish, that's pretty good...!!  Of course a lot of times I can't remember why I go from one room to another so I guess I'm lucky to remember at all.......LOL

They are hoping the truck will get fixed tomorrow as planned and they will be able to leave early Tuesday morning.  

We are now closed for tours until October 19th.  There's a lot of behind the scenes prep going on with races, parades, or really any type of entertainment.  The entertainment might only take minutes, but there could be hours of preparation to make it happen.  There's not going to be a lot of time between now and the race in Tombstone next Saturday.  Then a few days later they'll load up donkeys and head to California for a race the next week-end.  I also have a car race the just seemed to make sense to cancel all tours until all this hyper activity is over.  

Thursday, October 01, 2020


 It sounds like the 3 trailers will be heading south from Colorado this week-end.  A couple of the trucks needed some work before they hit the road and that's being done today and tomorrow.  If everything goes smoothly, they will head out Saturday and should be here Sunday afternoon.  They got 3 trailers filled with donkeys, I'm not sure what the count is.

 Yesterday John and I spent the morning working in the dog pen to try to protect the remaining 2 trees from Casper's teeth. 


John is wrapping and stapling chicken wire around this tree.  I had never looked close enough to realize it is a cat claw, which the donkeys don't eat.  Hmm, probably why Casper didn't chew on it.  But it got wrapped anyway.   

By the time we got the little tree wrapped, we decided that corral panels would protect the big mesquite tree probably better than chicken wire.  Mesquite trees do not grow straight, so it's not just wrap the wire around and staple.  It was over 100* degrees, and time to move 1/2 the donkeys over to the Burro Barracks.  At least that was our excuse for hurrying up the job......... 

John put Casper in there and you could almost see the confusion on his face he knew what it looked like the last time he was in there.  He walked around the corral panels and checked every inch of them, they weren't there the last time he was in there and I guess he was trying to figure out why they were there.  

Once the dogs get back, they'll be in the pen, most of the time, so he'll probably lose his afternoon outing.  The problem with him is his ability to camo crawl under the corral panels.  So he can't go in any pen that is made of corral panels, at least if you want him to be there when you check on him later.  

I took a new picture of Macho Man's leg this morning when I was doctoring.  I would imagine it looks worse to most people, but it actually is better.  

 The pink area on the outer edge is healthy skin.  The whiteish/gray area isn't really proud flesh, but it is breaking down and being replaced by the darker pink area underneath.  Down at the bottom is a ridge of the grayish area that has a dried dark crust, that is making it harder to get the medicine where it needs to be.  Occasionally it will loosen at the edge and I can cut it off, but it's a long slow process.  

Macho is so spoiled after daily bandage changes, every time I stand up from doctoring he expects an animal cracker.  If and when it ever cools off, we plan on taking him up to the specialty clinic in Gilbert to have the scar tissue removed from his sheath.  If by then I haven't gotten the hard crust off, I'm sure they can clean up his leg and maybe it will heal quicker.  

When they get back, they will hit the ground running, to prepare for the Desert Donkey Dash at Tombstone on the 10th of October.  This will be only the 2nd donkey race in Arizona in many years.  Last year at this time the 1st one was held in Superior, AZ, they had over 60 burro/person teams and it looks like there will be even more teams in Tombstone.  

We will have a table set up to share information about donkeys and the rescue. Once the teams start the race it takes awhile for them to run 3-12 miles.  There will be lots of entertainment going on for people to enjoy while they wait for the teams to get back to town.  If you're in SE Arizona October the 10th, this is really going to be an exciting day and hopefully the beginning of an annual event for the Town Too Tough to Die.........!!