Monday, November 30, 2020


 You can't imagine how hard it is for me to write this.  We all had such high hopes for Macho Man to recover from his surgery, and be able to not have to deal with a pendulous sheath as he had for years.  

Unfortunately that was not meant to be, this morning he crossed the Rainbow Bridge surrounded by all of us that would have done anything to change the outcome.  

He hadn't been interested in eating or drinking since we picked him up Friday, so we had been closely watching him.  Everything seemed to be working as it should, he had been pooing and peeing.  At 23 he wasn't a youngster, but donkeys can live 40-50 years.  

Our best guess is he had a heart attack.  He was a loner from being alone for years.  And he wasn't a fan of being fussed with and "made" over.  So perhaps putting him in a trailer and hauling him to the clinic, going thru the surgery, hauling him home and all that fussing and hands on was just too much for him.  We'll never know for sure, but in hindsight maybe a pendulous sheath wasn't so bad after all.  

In rescue you aren't suppose to have favorites, but I've always had an affinity for the old guys.  Most of them have gone thru a lot to get to that place in their lives, and our goal has always been to give them the best final home we can.  This is not the outcome we hoped for, and I'm sure in the future other hard decisions will have to be made.  Their lives are in our hands, and  we can only hope and pray to make the right one.

Saturday, November 28, 2020


 We went up to Gilbert and picked him up yesterday afternoon.  They said everything went fine.  He seems to be holding a grudge, can't really tell, we have to give him bute and a liquid antibiotic for 3 days.  I tasted the antibiotic and to say it is bitter is an understatement........!!!  


Sorry, about the picture, for some reason the lens cover on my camera hung up half way open.  I'll try to get a better one later.  

It's pretty swollen, they were rather rough, poor guy.  But it's smaller than it was even swollen and it's not dangling all the time.  We don't know if he has peed or not, haven't seen any places in his pen.  He's not much interested in eating, but I would imagine the antibiotics have something to do with that.  

 He's on meds for the next 3 days, hopefully in that time he'll pee.  Can't let him out of his pen until he does, although the exercise would probably be good for him.  

 Today we had a girl's birthday party here.  Lily has come out with her sister and parents and ran burros a few times.  They also came out and helped rake mesquite beans, so the donkeys could finally get out of their pens.  


The donkeys really enjoy having lots of people out.  There were donkeys everywhere and people intermingled, but by the time I went in the house to get my camera, the donkeys had figured out that behind that gate where the food was, wasn't going to be shared, so almost all disappeared.  

A few of them hung around, just in case

They really prefer up close and personal.  That way they can check out the people to see if they have any food on their person.  

 I think this is the birthday girl with Muzzy

We only had 2 that had to celebrate the party in solitary confinement.  Gus usually doesn't get to be out with people.  He's bound and determined that people need to have him up close and personal and if there are any donkeys within his reach he goes into cranky mode, ears back, lunging and growling at them.  We told him we were sorry he never has learned to behave and I'm pretty sure at his age of over 40 years it's too late to change his ways.  

Link won't be 3 years old until next month and his manners need a little work.  He's young enough to work with, one of the big problems is, he doesn't realize how big he is I think Linda said he's already 15 hands high, which is 5 feet high at the withers.  And he hasn't learned that walking into people isn't allowed.  He also doesn't move away from pressure and he's too big to push.  LOL

As of a couple of days ago, the donkeys are off of restricted time out of their pens.  They've been getting out in the afternoon, but not overnight.  They are now going into Burroland after they finish breakfast and John let's them out of their pens and Burroland is open at bed time.  Sure didn't take them long to learn the drill, which means when they are let out of their pens, they go across the wash and stand by the gate into Burroland, until someone opens it.  It sure was a long summer for them staying in their pens night and day.  

We sure hope next summer is more normal weatherwise, this has been our worst summer since we've lived here.  Not sure what needs to change, although105* temperatures day after day, get old in a hurry. 

Thursday, November 26, 2020


Last Sunday we delivered Kachina an Anazazi to their new home.  I don't know who was more excited the girls or Russ and Bobbi.  

The girls seemed to think the ride in the trailer was an adventure and once we got there they got out in a pasture of a couple of acres and started exploring.  Russ helped them to make sure they didn't miss anything.  

Didn't take long for them to head out on their own to see what was available to eat.  The dried grass seemed to be just fine. 
Every time either Russ or Bobbi goes out to where the pasture is, they said the girls come running to see them.   
Should be a great long term home for the girls.  Love it when we can find good homes with people that really enjoy having donkeys and plan on keeping them forever.  
Tuesday John and I took Macho Man to the surgical clinic in Gilbert up by Phoenix.  I sent pictures of his sheath to Dr. Howard this summer and since it had been that way for years, we all decided to wait for cooler weather to "fix" it. 

This is what his sheath has looked like for years according to his former owner.  He couldn't retract it, so it just hung and flopped back and forth.


This couldn't be comfortable to drag around all those years, he also couldn't drop to pee.


Poor guy, he got a shot, got hung from the ceiling by all 4 feet,  put on this table, and rolled into the operating room.  Then all sorts of indignities were performed that he would not have allowed if he had anything to say about it I'm pretty sure.......!! 


But the offending lump of scar tissue has been removed.........!!!  They sewed up the incision,  and hopefully he'll be able to drop and pee in the future.  At least he won't have the weight flopping around every  time he moves.  


 We're going up tomorrow to pick him up.  I hope he isn't as sore as it looked like he might be.  They weren't very gentle by my standards especially with the body parts they were working on.  John said just imagine what they do in people operating rooms.  He's probably right, I have woke up after surgery and had bruises a long way from where they should have been concentrating, one time I thought they might have dropped me off the table, at least once or twice........LOL


Saturday, November 21, 2020


Linda caught Casper aka Diablo Blanco today, doing what he does best, not doing what he is suppose to do.  

You can tell from his behavior that he knows he isn't suppose to be over there.  You can also tell his opinion of Linda catching him.

We had quite a few tours today and when they were over, I opened up Burroland for all the donkeys to go over for an hour or so.  Casper was already over there to welcome them.....!!!  LOL  

Friday, November 20, 2020

KACHINA and ANAZAZI will be going to their Forever Home next week...

 We did a home study today and think this will be a great home for these two girls.  The people do dog rescue, and spend all their time with their animals, including a horse.  They will have plenty of room to stretch their legs and will even have a nice shelter, if they don't eat it.  It's all wood, but after we told them the girls eat wood like beavers, they will be putting chicken wire or something over the wood to protect it.  We'll probably take them to their new home, Sunday. 



                                                        Anazazi aka Ana

 Yesterday Suzanne and I went up to Oliver, Siggy and Harley's old home close to Casa Grande to buy some corral panels.  I guess the people are afraid if they keep all the structure for equine they might get some more.  We really need the corral panels some of ours are pretty old and rusty.  It's a good thing the donkeys aren't fence challengers.  These are really nice and sturdy, they have some more that they are planning to get rid of and will give us first choice.  

Yesterday morning Casper the mini mule was acting punky, almost like he had a belly ache, bad enough to not eat, but not bad enough to call the vet.  Nothing has changed, although we had planned on letting the donkeys onto the 20 acres we call Burroland in the afternoon.  Before doing that John and I took the golf cart over for a look around, just to make sure the range cattle had eaten the beans.  There were a few and quite a few areas where the assorted types of rodents had made the mesquite bean pods into crumbs.  We also noticed little bitty foot prints EVERYWHERE, just about Casper's size.  I guess he figured we weren't being fair to them, by closing off Burroland, so he decided to go back to his old ways of camo crawling under the barbed wire fence and going where he wanted to.  He is smart enough to make sure he's here front and center, at feeding time........!!!! 

The donkeys went into Burroland Tuesday afternoon for the first time since early July for a couple of hours.  Almost all of them found out the gate was open and took advantage of the opportunity.  Although Cochise was by the pens when I went out to open the gate along with about 5 others.  They all followed me over there, except for Cochise, and he stayed in the same place by the pens all afternoon, while everyone else was enjoying new territory, even the ones that had never been over there.  

We had no idea what would happen when the 2 hours was up and it was time to come in for supper.  But they really did good considering about half of them had never been over there and had never had to come in because we were asking them to.  They didn't get to go over there this afternoon because we were gone to do the home study.  But tomorrow afternoon we'll let them out again.  As long as they don't pig out on mesquite beans, we'll start letting them out earlier every day.  So we'll be doing POO101 when we pick up poo for awhile. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2020


This is going to be a year to remember for a lot of reasons, one being the weather being all over the place and is still setting records.  We had nights in the low 20s, which led us to believe that summer was over, guess not......!!! LOL  We've triaged the fly masks, washed the ones that made the cut for next spring and threw the rest away.  I don't know how the flies can survive the cold nights but lots of them obviously do.  So far we're just putting masks on the 4 that are the biggest fly magnets, Boaz, Big Gus, Macho Man and Cisco.  But if the weather stays warm very long, we may have to drag out the masks for all.

Next Tuesday we are taking Macho Man up to the clinic in Gilbert to hopefully remove the scar tissue from his sheath, so he can retract like the other boys do.  I asked the owner when we picked him up how long he had been that way, she said about 15 years, poor guy......!!!   I'm still working on his leg to get the extra growth off it.  I hesitate to call it proud flesh, it doesn't act like normal proud flesh, but it doesn't have any feeling in it.  I'll have them look at it while we're up there.  John and I plan on staying overnight or however long it takes for him to get stable and ready to trailer.  He was gathered from the BLM range in 2003 and was said to be about 6-7 years old, which would make him 23-24 years old.  They might decide he is too old to do, basically cosmetic surgery on, we'll just have to see.  

Today John and I are doing a home study for a possible adoption, for one of the minis.  Not sure which one, but it sounds like a wonderful home.  We are also doing a home study Friday for Anazazi and Kachina.  A couple came out last week, and thought the girls would be a good fit in their family.  

This is a video of Avery one of our alumni with her brother Brigs in Colorado, out enjoying a run.  Thanks Nate for another nice video.

Thursday, November 12, 2020


 They've done so good during the day tonight John will let them out at bedtime to do donkey stuff all night.  It's been really cold here, in the low 20s when we wake up in the morning.  This way they can choose where they want to be.  I've always said in the summer you can tell the coolest place on the property and in the winter the warmest place.  They all come out of their pens like they've been in prison, doesn't matter if it's raining or the wind blowing, they want OUT.........!!! 

Had a couple come out today to visit with the donkeys and are interested in adopting Anazazi and her mother Kachina.  We had talked about sending Ana up to Colorado because she has issues with skin problems in the summer.  But a good home locally, with her mother and people that realize she will take extra care in the summer sounds like a good deal for the girls.  So we will do a home study next week.  

We also have another home study next week.  A nice couple came out, to see the donkeys and already have a little mini.  They fell in love with Sasha and Bella and everything was falling into place, until they remembered their little guy hasn't been gelded.  Well I'm sure the girls would have been thrilled, BUT, we don't allow breeding of our rescues.  But it might be a good home for a gelding.  We have adopted a gelding as a companion with a jack before and it worked out just fine.  So we'll go check it out and talk with the people some more.  And also see what kind of personality their little guy has.  

We can't let them into Burroland until the corner fence is fixed where the range bulls had an altercation and the fence suffered.  It will get fixed next week, hopefully.  

John got a good deal on metal siding for the shelters, he's got to get 2x4s and cement and whatever else the job will require.  Then we can put out the word and get some helpers to make the job easier hopefully.  So many of the shelters have been completely eaten this summer, there's no walls left to protect them from the wind.  Usually our weather doesn't get wintery until after Christmas, so we haven't been in any hurry, especially since a lot of October was 100* or more, it's hard to get enthused about working outside when it's that hot.  So now the high today is 70*......!!  We dress in layers......LOL

Thought I'd share this picture from the past of John with BlackJack and Cisco a few years ago.  They were in a movie that was being filmed over at Gammon's Gulch, which is just a stone's throw up the road from us.  

Blackjack was our 1st donkey about 23 years ago.  In the next year we got 4 more donkeys and Cisco was one of them.  Cisco and Buddy Brat are the only 2 left, Buster, Pepper are both gone.  Tonight Cisco will be blanketed, the last two mornings we've put a blanket on him but he was already cold.  The problem in the desert is, it's still warm until later in the night, and right before sunrise it's usually the coldest.  So he might be a little too warm for a few hours, but I'm pretty sure he will appreciate having the blanket when the sun comes up......!!

Sunday, November 08, 2020


 The donkeys are staying in at night.  Every morning we do Poo101 when cleaning the pens and so far there aren't very many beans showing up.  I guess we did a better job of raking and picking up than we thought.  

Awhile back a couple of the range bulls got in a fight and wadded up one of the corner fences that is between Burroland and the 10 acres where the pens are and where they get to roam on in the afternoon. As soon as that gets fixed I think we can let them out over there.  The range cattle have cleaned it pretty good.  Don't know if we'll ever get them back or not once they are going over there.  The first 2 or 3 days they were out on the 10 acres it was like herding cats when it was time to go back to their pens.  In that situation you have to pick one and follow that one until they figure out you aren't going to give up.  Sometimes there will be 2 or 3 together and as you "worry" them some might turn a different direction, but you stay with your original victim.  Of course the ones that turned away think they escaped, so by the next day they are feeling invincible. LOL

Yesterday we took 6 of the donkeys out to Cochise RV Resort for show and tell.  People really like to see the donkeys and the donkeys have learned to play to the people for attention.  Some of them have tricks like sticking their tongues out to the side of their mouth, hoping the people will give them a treat.  


For years Jasper has been a stay at home kind of guy.  He was overweight when he came to us and had very sore feet.  His feet are still sore off and on, but we have found out he really likes going on outings and interacting with the people.  He is the big grey donkey staring at the women taking pictures.  I observed him all day, he watches the people and as soon as they walk up, he presents himself for pets and treats.  This was his 2nd outing and he will probably go on any outings like this in the future.  Most of the donkeys like to go, but I've never seen any of them get as involved as he was. 

 It's suppose to start getting cooler, hopefully we'll be able to take Macho Man up to Gilbert to have the scar tissue taken off his sheath soon.  We had been getting a little blasie' about putting fly masks on everyone and I am now doctoring Boaz, Cisco and Macho Man for habronema under their eyes.  The flies are getting up before we do and have time to drop the habronema eggs in their eyes before we go out and put fly masks on.  These nasty little larvae cause so much damage to the skin and tissue and cause itching which causes the donkeys to scratch and cause more damage.  Hopefully the weather will get cool as forecasted and stay that way.  Usually by this time of year we're done with fly masks.

Tuesday, November 03, 2020


 Maybe not the way we would prefer, but every day in the couple of hours the donkeys are out in the afternoon, their heads are down and they are doing their best to pick up every bean they find.  

This is some of the donkeys from the Burro Barracks headed out for the "gold" field.  There is an area northwest of the house that was really difficult to pick up.  The blower got some of them out of the rocks to where they could be raked, but the ground had so much gravel and rocks that we finally gave up.  The donkeys had no problem finding the area with the most beans and they remember it each day when they are let out.  That is one reason they only get out for a couple of hours a day.  

We're doing Poo 101 observation in the morning when we pick up poo.  So far their poo isn't heavy on beans and we haven't had anyone go off their feed with a tummy ache, for which we are grateful.  We will gradually up their time out until they are out all afternoon.  It might be awhile before they stay out overnight or get to go into Burroland.  So far, so good.......!!! 

Yesterday Suzanne picked up this cute little hut from Oliver, Siggy and Harley's home, a donation to the rescue that is deeply appreciated.  It's all metal and heavy plastic and doesn't look very appetizing, so it shouldn't get nibbled on.  


It is perfect for minis, so La'Roy and Jackson got it since La'Roy didn't have a shelter in his pen.  The pen Oliver, Siggy and Harley are in has a shelter that Oliver can actually fit in.  Susan said Oliver liked to go partially in the hut and scratch his back.......!!  Since he is a large standard, he couldn't get all of him in it.  


 We have two new donkeys that Linda made for Halloween, they really turned out cute.   


She even made jack-o-lanterns out of Cisco and Buddy's feet.  They weren't her first choice, but they were the ones that would stand still long enough for the paint to dry between layers.

 We now have 6 cats I guess.  Nigel, Moogee, Sunny and Snooky are indoor cats.  A few years ago we fed 2 cats outdoors.  Hobo disappeared and her son Julius decided he wanted to be an indoor/outdoor cat, so he comes and goes at will.  

Recently Smoky started showing up when John put out dry food for Julius on a regular basis.  If you live in the country people seem to think you need more dogs and cats, he was probably dumped.  He was a tomcat and we are pretty adamant about spaying, neutering, gelding, depending on which one needs to be done.  So John put some yummy cat food in a live trap and off to the vet Smoky went.  The clinic wanted him kept inside for 4 days.  Just because a cat has been neutered, doesn't mean the smell of tomcat goes away immediately.  We had him in the spa room and enough is enough, so we turned him loose on the 3rd day. Phew....!!  Had no idea if we'd ever see him again, but there he was for his afternoon feeding, and he doesn't seem to hold a grudge.  He will let John scratch his head, so he'll probably end up an indoor/outdoor cat like Julius.