Sunday, September 12, 2021


 Friday morning John Henry didn't come in for breakfast, which was very unusual, he was always one of the first to go into his pen at feeding time.  We found him on one of the trails in Burroland headed for the pen area, but down.  I came in to notify Dr. Jeremy and when I went out he had gotten up and Suzanne was with him.  He was disorientated, walking in circles and would go down after a couple of minutes.  That has to be scary for them, to not be able to walk straight and to lose balance.  He kept trying to stand up and walk, so we got him in the wash a large area with nothing he could hurt himself with.  We stayed with him until Dr. Jeremy got here and he worked with John Henry for a couple of hours with IVs and different medications, with no change.  The prognosis was not good and the decision was made.  

He had only been here a couple of months, but was such a wonderful donkey we all really enjoyed being with him.  So gentle and so easy to work with, loved people and seemed to know he was big and we weren't.   

John Henry with Suzanne's granddaughter Richelle

RIP John Henry, you will be missed

Thursday, September 09, 2021


 Because John is nursing a broken hip if something is going on early the next morning we sometimes shut the gate to Burroland, so the donkeys have to stay on the 10 acres for the night and it's easier to round them up.  

After such a night, when we came out the next morning the cat claw tree had been molested with about 15 feet of it's bark missing.       

 Looks like they might have eaten some of it, but left the rest on the porch of the feed room probably as a message to not forget to open the gate again...........!!! LOL   


They've actually gotten into the routine of seeing the golf cart and usually heading for the pens most of the time for which I am grateful, since I'm usually the one having to chase them.  The last couple of mornings, most of them have been in their pens when John and I come out.  

Big Gus has finished his antibiotics, but is still staying in the Burro Barracks, which is about 1/4 of an acre until his legs are better.  That way we don't have to go out and find him.  Today we had a new volunteer Susan, and she helped me soak and clean his worst leg. He started out with a little bit of attitude, but she entertained him while I washed and as long as she was giving him her undivided attention he was happy and standing still.  He is such a ham and soaks up attention like a sponge, so it worked out good for all.

John and Big Gus discussing how many cookies a donkey should have......!!

 Suzanne washed some legs on a few of the donkeys and some of them have some sort of "gunk", hard bumps that just won't come off, lots of them.  We're wondering if it might be from some of the weeds, maybe the donkeys are allergic to them, who knows.  Boaz and Ruthie have the bumps up on their back, so we will probably be doing a lot of bathing donkeys over the next few days.  Most of the donkeys do not appreciate water on their bodies, so one or two a day will probably be about all we can handle............!!!  LOL

Thought I'd share some more of Roger Thompson's pictures....


Not sure what Suzanne and I are doing, but it doesn't look like we're working very hard.......!! LOL

Buddy enjoying some mesquite leaves........

Monday, September 06, 2021


 It has been brought to my attention that I haven't updated in quite awhile.  It's been busy, missing 1/3 of our crew makes a lot of difference, with what gets done and what doesn't.  The good news is John is really doing good, every day he does a little bit more.  He's actually doing his exercises, which surprised me.  Usually when he's had exercises to do, after a few days he gets a little lazy about them.  I guess he really wants to get rid of the walker and get back to doing what he wants to do.  

Gigi one of our long time sanctuary donkeys crossed the rainbow bridge a couple of weeks ago.  She had probably been born crippled and never had foot or vet care until we were called by a neighbor to take her and her friend Rosie to keep them from being shot and buried.  

 This is what her feet looked like when she came here.  Over the years she had regular trimmings and had to wear shoes on both front feet to keep the feet from twisting to the way they were for years.  She had a good life with Rosie, they even had a boyfriend Jasper.  The last few months she started to lose mobility, it became harder and harder for her to move around, although she still was going out with her friends, just not very far.  

We use quality of life to make the final decision and it's never an easy decision to make.  She was still eating, still going out, still begging for cookies............but it was time for her to rest from a lifetime that could have been so much different if her owners had a vet put a cast or brace on her legs when she was born.  It would have only taken a week or so at that age to shape her legs, so she could have enjoyed a better life.  

This picture was taken 8-9 years ago when she came to the rescue, she was a very pretty girl.

Suzanne took this picture of Gigi begging for cookies recently.  RIP Gigi we will miss you.

A lot of people know Big Gus he's pretty memorable is you've ever met him...!!!   We've been doctoring his hind legs which swelled up and looked terrible for the last couple of weeks.  Dr. Jeremy came out and as long as we've had donkeys and as much cactus as we have on the property we've never had a problem with cactus thorns like this before.  He had lots of them, Dr. Jeremy used clippers to get as many out as he could.  If you start talking to other people it sounds like it can be a rather common problem............who knew.....!!! 


  Rather yucky looking isn't it?  It's finally getting better and as of today, I wasn't able to find any pus when I wash his legs, although he's got about 6 sores, but they look pretty dry.  Suzanne has been taking his temperature twice a day along with checking his respiration and heart rate.  He's over 40 years old and we've known for quite sometime that he has a heart murmur, and his heart rate has been pretty high, until the last couple of days.  

Of course he needs to be on antibiotics, which for his size is 8-9 rather large tablets twice a day.  We tried grounding them up and mixing with molasses for a few days. Gus is very good at using his head as a battering ram, which makes getting molasses which he apparently doesn't like down his gullet an adventure.  

Last night Suzanne wasn't here, which meant I got to give him his antibiotics by myself.  We had tried animal crackers, ginger snaps, of course the rejected molasses and pretty much got a look from him like, "is this the best you can do?"  In desperation I tried peppermint candy.  Much to my surprise the greedy boy would take 2 tablets with each peppermint and it worked again this morning....!!!   YAY....!!  I'm also giving antibiotics to Rosie and Boaz, so far Rosie is no problem, put the 5 pills between 2 ginger snaps and they're gone.  Boaz is getting a little reluctant, although he is still taking the pills with cookies.  I'm holding the peppermints as a last resort  with him. 

Saturday, August 28, 2021


 Just checked and I haven't updated in a week.....!!  The donkeys aren't getting any easier to round up, although when they see us coming in the golf cart most of them head for the gate to the pen area.  Most of them, of course there is always a few that think they can get away with bad behavior.  

They aren't the least bit hungry and see no reason to interrupt their snacking in the wild.  Suzanne isn't weighing the hay now, this morning she fed 23 animals with 3 flakes of hay.  I know it sounds like we are starving them, but they aren't eating hay, so there is no reason to put it out to be wasted. 

I've been taking care of John's bird feeders and the birds are as bad as the donkeys.  They eat the sunflower seeds and drink the hummingbird juice eat a little bit of the thistle seed, but really aren't interested in the bird seed.  There is just so much growing out there I guess all the animals are enjoying it.  Everything is wilting so in a few days they will all probably be a little more hungry.  Unfortunately when everything dries up we will be fighting 2 or 3 different types of stick tights.  Some of the donkeys are already coming in with them on their muzzles.  


John Henry has become quite the fashion plate with his Dangles.  Suzanne says he looks like he's walking in the 70s.  I can't even begin to explain how horrible the flies are this year.  John Henry has a sarcoid on 2 legs and the flies love them.  Hopefully these free hanging leg wraps will keep the flies busy flying and not landing.  People that aren't even close to animals are saying they've never seen them this bad and I agree.  I have 5 fly traps going constantly and it doesn't take long for them to fill up, with what they advertise is 40,000 flies.  

Charley, the dog that showed up here a couple of weeks ago is finally going to the vet this week for a check-up.  We already know he has quite a few problems, I'm sure Dr. Monica will find more.  He seems happy, especially when we feed him food he likes.   He turns his nose up at just about anything that isn't beef.  

John has been home from rehab for a week and really is doing good.  He's our Uber driver, he drives the golf cart when we go looking for donkeys.  That way if we find them whoever is riding can get out and encourage the donkeys to head for the pens.  He also drive the golf cart to deliver hay to the pens.  He's really getting involved in doing whatever he thinks he can do and so far the only problem has been his recliner.  It is a low slung rocker/recliner and he can't get out of it.  He's using mine for the time being until he gets stronger.  The physical therapy people are going to be coming twice a week to the house which is great, we won't have to waste half a day driving to Benson. 


This is Pepsi, he was adopted about 3 years ago by a family in Colorado that do a lot of different things with their animals.  He has been to school, pulled a sled in snow, pack burro raced and now will be one of the two mascots for Colorado School of Mines.  It's so rewarding when the donkeys go into a wonderful home and become part of the family.

I'm not sure but I think Benji is in front of his new best friend Earl, following Steve  pretty high up in the Colorado mountains. 

This is Nell, she and Stacey spend a lot of time in the mountains, enjoying what Colorado has to offer.  What more could a donkey want.  

Saturday, August 21, 2021

THE LOST IS FOUND........!!!

 This morning when Suzanne went out to start round up, the A team was over in Burroland and guess who was with them.......the missing Boaz.  Whew, I don't think any of us slept very much last night, it's just so unlike Boaz not to come in at feeding time.  Last night he wasn't with them.  

Round up this morning turned into a real round up, they are getting harder and harder to come in because of all the green stuff out there.  I can't blame them, I'm sure it's tastier than hay, but they've conveniently forgotten all they ever knew about cooperation at feeding time............!!! 

I zeroed in on Big Gus and he was all over Burroland trying to "shake" me off his trail.  Of course he didn't stay on the trails, he plowed thru the green growth that in some places is waist high on me.  I figured if there were snakes in there, he'd find them first.......LOL  I was carrying a whip and everytime I got close enough I'd give him a pop.  He finally came over on the 10 acres and even then tried to not go in his pen.

Donkeys are interesting studies.  If you work with them and they get away or you quit for some reason, that is a win from their point of view.  Next time will be worse and take longer.  Over the years I've walked down quite a few donkeys, it's mindless torture not to mention physical, but usually if you do it and they finally bend to your will, you shouldn't have to do it again.  Or if you do it will just be a short challenge.  

I tried walking down a mule years ago, and it doesn't work quite the same way, at least it didn't on Jack, he was as determined when I gave up about 4 hours later as he was when I started.  That was my one and only time with a mule. 

Friday, August 20, 2021

A day of highs and lows..........

 John got to come home this afternoon, he is really doing good, although he found out he can't get out of his mushy overstuffed recliner.  When he tries to stand up with his walker by using the arms of the recliner, it is so squishy the arms go down so low he can't line up with the walker.  So he's taken over my recliner, which doesn't rock and isn't overstuffed.  Of course he hasn't tried to get out of it yet, but it should be easier.  Other than that, the truck ride from Tucson went well and he's looking forward to riding around in one of the golf carts tomorrow.  

That's the day's high, the low is Boaz is missing.  He hasn't been seen since they were let out late this morning, which isn't unusual.  Once they are out, they are on their own to do whatever they want to do until it's time to come in for feeding.  Suzanne and I ran all over the property more than once and even ran up and down the roads on either side of the property and didn't see him.  

Right now the rain has made all the weeds grow really fast and some of them are about 5 foot tall.  So it is really difficult to see donkeys under the circumstances.  The "A" team was late coming in and a lot of times Boaz is with them, but not this time.  

Right now the snakes are moving around a lot.  A neighbor's dog was bitten a couple of days ago.  I have been treating a swollen place on Gigi's lower jaw for a few days.  Didn't know what it was, just kept trying to keep it open.  Today it finally opened and I could see 4 holes all the same size about 1//2 to 3/4s inch between them.  My guess is she was hit twice by the same snake, but it was probably a dry bite.  It did swell up quite a bit and is infected but I'm just treating it like normal wound.  


                                        This is what a dry bite can look like under the jaw


She is the 6th donkey we've had bitten over the years, never lost one, but I'm wondering if Boaz got bit and is down in the weeds somewhere?  We looked as good as we could until it got dark, we'll look again in the morning.  As Suzanne says, this hurts my heart.  He isn't the type to stay out past feeding time, so I'm sure something is really wrong.  

Over the last couple of days, while I was in Tucson visiting John in rehab, Suzanne had a little escape artist to deal with.  Wednesday Suzanne spent about 2 hours frantically looking for Sasha, one of the little minis.  Finally saw her OUTSIDE the perimeter fence trying to get back in, where she got out.  It was an area of the fence that had broke quite awhile ago and was never fixed properly.  In our recent rain and wind weather, a large limb had fallen across it and left a wide gap that a little mini could just walk thru.


Yesterday Suzanne met me in the driveway to tell me not only was Sasha missing, so was Mamacita, although Bella was still here those 3 are usually together.  Of course we figured they got out in the same place, but nope........!!  Given the opportunity, they opted to go a different direction and slither under the special fencing across the wash.  It's made to float when the wash runs, rather than get torn out by the rushing water.  They were having a great time over at the neighbors, with access to brand new weeds that were so high, you couldn't see the minis.  But if you yell loud enough they hear you and headed for home.

A dear friend that had 2 mini mules and Dion the palomino pony she adopted from us is having a similar problem with the mules.  Jack and Jill were quite busy when they were here, as into everything they could find.  They have been getting out and fencing is being reinforced as soon as they show the weak areas.  But of course they have to be found and returned home.  Usually they just go over to the neighbor's place to eat his weeds, Teresa keeps a tidy yard and there isn't much of the good stuff , or at least not enough for those two......!!!   

Sunday, August 15, 2021

RAIN, RAIN, GO AWAY........!!

You know you can get too much of a good thing.  We've had over 10 inches of rain, 3rd wettest monsoon for Tucson since they started keeping score.  

Some of the main roads in Cochise County are having huge fissures open up and people are having to find "drive arounds" to go to town or in some cases to get home.  A friend is having to drive twice as far to get home as he usually does.  

In the case of our road there is no drive around, we have one road in, and there are 9 washes to cross just to our turn off, 7 of which dump into the big wash that crosses our property.

I've been driving into Tucson everyday to see John and it's been "interesting", especially since I'm driving his little sports car, instead of the pickup, much easier to park.


This is what it looks like after driving thru our road a couple of nights ago, that was flooded for almost 1/4 mile.  I was gritting my teeth before I got thru it, I was doing just fine, until a couple of cowboys in their big pickups came thru at speed going the other way.  Their wake went over the top of the car and I was lucky it didn't get drowned out.  

This morning it finally wasn't flooded, but tonight when I came home it had rained and caused the washes to run earlier today.  There was debris was all over the road, rocks, limbs, deep mud  really a mess.  Little "bug eye" plowed thru just fine.  The license plate reads Bug 3Y3 because Bug Eye was already taken.  It is a 2002 Subaru WRX and that year is nicknamed bug eye because of the headlights, that's the only year they looked like that.  

I'm going to have to get it washed before John sees it......!! LOL  OBTW John is doing really well with his rehab.  He is suppose to be released to come home on the 21st, unless he doesn't keep up with PT and OT.  So far he's not allowed to get out of bed by himself, but he's doing everything they ask of him. 


This morning when Suzanne went to throw water on the Cholla that grows beside the feed room, she noticed that it was no longer there.   Earlier I had noticed the blobs of dirt on the feed room and thought that was weird, but didn't even notice the missing cactus.  

Whichever donkeys are responsible didn't even leave a spine, they ate everything including most of the roots.  But it does explain the the dirt clods on the wall, that's where they kicked up dirt digging up the tasty roots.  Earlier this summer they decimated a large bed of prickly pear.  At different times of the year they go thru a period of eating certain plants, guess it was the cholla's turn.

Boaz's whatever it is on his chest is looking better, the swelling is down because of antibiotics and I think it would heal a lot quicker if he couldn't bite it.  I'm sure it itches or burns or something, because he makes hamburger out of it just about the time it starts to look like it's healing. 

 This is how it looks in the morning when Suzanne goes out.  The donkeys are having to stay on the 10 acres, because they don't seem to be interested in coming in to eat.  There is obviously too much green stuff out there.  Guess the pickings are getting a little slim because the last few mornings a lot of them are much more cooperative about showing up for mealtime.  

We were suppose to take donkeys to Echoing Hope Ranch in Hereford, south of Sierra Vista this week-end.  Suzanne had everything packed and ready to go but it was postponed because of the weather.  Probably just as well, it was cloudy and rainy all day Saturday everywhere and donkeys aren't real big fans of inclimate weather.  They will enjoy typical sunny less humid weather much more. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2021


 We've been getting lots of wonderful rain lately.  In the desert when the flora and fauna get a little moisture they make the most of it and grow like crazy.  Our areas look more like the midwest right now than the desert southewest.  

The donkeys of course are really enjoying all the greenery, which is great..........except at feeding time when we really would like for them to come in like good boys and girls.  Do you think they are interested in old dried out hay, when there is all this yummy fresh green stuff out there?  LOL

After the last long round up, they are now confined to just the 10 acres until further notice.  It won't take long for them to eat down what's available, not sure what will be plan B.  One good thing about the desert, rain and plant growth.  If it doesn't rain for a week or so, all that greenery will disappear quickly and they will have to rely on "equine jerky aka "hay".    

John's doing good in rehab, of course he doesn't think so, his timeline doesn't seem to agree with reality.  They told us the average stay in their facility is about 2 weeks.  It's not a, lay there until you feel better type of place.  They are required by Medicare to provide 15 hours of PT, and OT a week, so it's not exactly Club Med......!!!  He's had a couple of easy days, I have a feeling the schedule is going to accelerate pretty quick.....!!!  LOL  I'm sure he will do all he can to help the process get him back home.  

We will be taking some donkeys down to Hereford this Saturday, Aug 14th to Echoing Hope Ranch.  They have an open house every month and have invited the donkeys to come this month.  It should be a lot of fun, just have to figure out which donkeys to take. 

Saturday, August 07, 2021


 Well I'm still running back and forth to spend the day with John and Suzanne is holding down the home front and taking care of the donkeys, cats, feeding John's wild birds and must not forget Charlie, an old heeler someone probably dropped off in the neighborhood and he managed to find the rescue.  He'd deaf as a post, cataracts on both eyes, and has settled in quite nicely.  We'd like to take him into the vet for evaluation, but haven't had the time yet.  I doubt that he is chipped, he looks healthy and since Suzanne has been taking care of him, he seems to think she's a pretty good friend.  Suzanne put out flyers in the neighborhood, but no one has asked about him.  He'll have to stay in the dog run, the cats would have a meltdown if he came in the house......!!! LOL



I think John is doing good, of course he doesn't.  He went into a rehab center yesterday, in fact the nurses at Banner were thrilled he was going into one of the top 2 rehab places in Tucson.  He had only been up once in the hospital, and yesterday when he got to rehab they didn't do anything except put him into bed and ask him a lot of questions.  Today was a different story.  

He had a shower and stood up by his bed twice and was pretty steady on his feet, although he complained a lot.  No cast, or brace or anything, just bandages and they are pretty minimal.   

I don't know how long he will be there, but if determination counts for anything he be doing as much as he can to get out of there I'm sure.  

Boaz is one of the donkeys that has a problem with summer sores, fly damage and anything else that can cause sores that the flies love.  Speaking of flies is everyone else having a bigger fly problem than usual?  They are absolutely horrible this year.  I hung 2 new fly traps out in the last 3 days.  When I got home from Tucson tonight I checked on the 5 bags I have hanging.  The new ones are small only suppose to hold 20,000 flies.  The one I hung 3 days ago if full, the one I hung yesterday is about half full.......!!!!  Can't imagine what it would be like around here without the fly traps and the predator wasps, that parasite fly eggs, which kills the developing fly maggot..........!!!  YAY............!!!  

I know this is a weird looking picture that might be hard to identify....!!! LOL  That is Boaz's 2 front legs, with his belly behind them.  The big round circle in the middle is a problem area he has had for years.  It started out about the size of a quarter and every year it gets bigger and bigger.  Linda and Lynn took him to Colorado a couple of summers and Linda didn't even have to doctor him up there, the difference in climate or temperature or something really made a difference.  The day before I took  this picture the swollen area went from front leg to front leg, it was huge.......!!!  Two rounds of antibiotics really made a difference in the swelling.  It's probably less than half the size it was in this picture now. Sure will be glad when the weather cools off.  He'll get about 4 more days of antibiotics, hopefully the swelling will be gone by then.

This morning Suzanne had a surprise when she went out to start roundup...........Justice was in the feed room snacking on senior feed.  Her first thought was we had forgotten to shut the door or not got it latched when we pulled it to.  Ran him out, started rounding up donkeys, looked back at the feed room and he was working on the door knob.....!!! Hmmm.............pretty much answers the question of how he got in the first time.  He has learned how to open the door that has a round door knob.  We have 2 others than can open gates, doesn't seem to matter what kind of closure.  Jasper can open a chain almost faster than we can close them.......!!! LOL

But a round door knob is a new problem and we don't have a quick answer, so tonight there are 2 feed cans up against the door inside and we will go in thru the dog pen in the morning.  We've got our fingers crossed that those cans with 40-50 pounds of feed in them will be enough to discourage him.  

Thursday, August 05, 2021

SORRY for no updates

 Last Sunday John had a vertigo issue, fell and broke his leg.  He had surgery and is still in the hospital, Suzanne is taking care of the donkeys and everything here at the rescue, and I am getting even more familiar with the highway between here and Tucson.  They are talking about moving him to a rehab facility within the next day or two.  Not sure if that will give both Suzanne and I a chance to catch up or not, guess we'll find out......!!!  LOL

Anyway, I hope to have a chance to update soon. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

WE'RE BACK...........!!!

 We had a lot of fun, drove 1,231 miles just to watch a night of dirt track racing.  But all along the way there was things to see.  I can get more fun out of gawking out of a car window than probably anyone else on the planet.  

I spent a lot of time on the road as a kid, traveling from Texas to Missouri and visiting the grandparents in between in Oklahoma.  That was before computers, so what does a kid do?  You look out the window to see what's out there.  Never got over the habit I guess.  

I'll say one thing about California, they have a lot of wind turbines, miles and miles of them.  I'm not sure they are worth the cost not only in money, but what they do to the landscape.  When I look out the windows of the car I like to see the hills, mountains and the different rock formations, not a bunch of windmills.  Most of them weren't even rotating, so at least they weren't killing birds and bats.

Did enjoy seeing the Imperial Dune State Park, miles and miles of really nice sand dunes, made me wonder if that is where a lot of the movies like Lawrence of Arabia were shot.  

We knew the race track was between 2 small towns Lakeside and Ramona, small being the important word here.  That means probably no motels, although  they were close to El Cajon, so that's where we decided to find a motel.  

Talk about "culture" shock, we quickly noticed that CA must have ordinances against billboards and lots of information along the freeways.  That means if you are driving on the freeway at the speed limit looking for motel signs, and the "natives" are passing you like you are sitting still, you probably are going to have a hard time finding a motel.  I noticed a Motel 6 sign way up in the air and told John to exit.  My idea of camping is Motel 6, but what the heck it's within sight and we won't have to keep looking.  

John goes in to register, comes out looking like he's been robbed.  It's a Motel 6, how bad can it be?  He asked if we wanted to pay $192. to stay overnight.........!!!  GOOD GRIEF..........!!   We discussed looking for other motels, but finally decided if Motel 6 could get that much, the rest of them were going to be as much or more.  OK, we'll stay the night, and look for something else for Sat. night.  

Got in the room and started laughing.  I can almost list on one hand what was in the room.  Bed, one night stand, 1 kitchen chair, TV, cabinet for TV, no refrigerator, no microwave and John already knew they didn't have coffee in the lobby in the morning.  When he checked out in the morning, the woman asked how the room was, John told her it was clean, which it was.  There wasn't anything in the way of the maids cleaning it........!!! LOL   

Had all day Sat. to find the track, another motel, and get familiar with the area, so off we go.  Had instructions on finding the track, luckily Fri night we were running around and happened to see a race car headed out for practice.  Because if we had only had our instructions, we'd still be looking for the track.  We followed him about 12 miles in some of the most up and down, sharp curves on a narrow road with lots of traffic going both ways, we've seen for awhile,   Arizona is a lot more wide open.  But he led us right to the track.  

Tried to find a motel and they were all full for the week-end, because of lots of sports going on in the area, one of the motel clerks told John.  So we decided to leave the area right after the races Sat night, if nothing else it should be cheaper........LOL  

The races were really good.  Lots of cars in 6 classes, lots of spectators, you just can't beat Sat. night 1/4 mile dirt track racing for entertainment.  They had Sport Compacts which are about like our Hornets.  

We headed out after the races and drove to El Centro about 100 miles, stayed at a Motel 6 for $52. and had a great breakfast the next morning at a Mexican restaurant that was about the only thing open in town, everybody in town that was awake were there.  Then we headed home.

You might notice no pictures, I forgot to take my camera.  

Suzanne had to contend with rain at chore time, she said the wash actually ran a little bit, but not bank to bank, thank goodness.  But she said everything went good and the donkeys behaved themselves.  



This is such a great picture of the finish of the pack burro race in Fairplay, CO this week-end.  These two teams have just ran 29 miles, some of it over 10,000 feet and look at them still racing.  Yukon and Bob Sweeney, beat little Buttercup by about 3 or 4 feet at the finish. 

Thursday, July 22, 2021


 John and I are headed for California tomorrow morning to watch some dirt racing this weekend at Lakeside.  Not sure where that is, but I've got a map......!! LOL  They have 6 classes of race cars, mostly stock cars of one kind or another.  They also have a class called Sport Compacts, which is a 4 cylinder class, like the Hornets, but they are allowed to do work on the motors and suspension that the Hornets can't do.    It's not suppose to rain out there, as of a couple of hours ago, it's suppose to rain all night tonight here, so the wash may run again.  Hope the weather settles down, so Suzanne doesn't have a "wild" week-end while we're gone....!!   

We sure enjoyed seeing the wash run twice last week, unfortunately the 70 feet of fence across the wash between the 10 acres where the house and pens are and the 20 acres of Burroland is still down.  One thing about living out in the boonies, it takes time to gather up all the stuff needed to fix things.  Just got the tractor up and running, thanks to our neighbor Jorja, John has been so busy the last couple of days he wasn't getting to it.  It turned out the rock hit the filter, knocked it loose and of course all the fluid leaked out.  New filter, fill up with hydraulic fluid and good to go.  While we're gone to California Jorja is going to use the tractor to clean up monsoon damage at her place.  

We've still got people coming out to visit with the donkeys and it makes it a little more difficult to do tours with the donkeys having access to 30 acres.  No one in their right mind would want to tramp over 30 acres of rocks and brush to find donkeys.  But it's more interesting to have the donkeys out loose rather than in their pens.  So we've been letting them out right about the time the people are suppose to be here for their tour.  That way most of the donkeys are still in the house/pen area.  

John Henry, the mammoth that joined our herd recently is really getting into this "tour" business.  He seems to end up where the people are when there is a tour.  We don't have to find him, he finds us.  Then he presents himself for petting and will stand there as long as someone will pet.  Most of the donkeys have learned to milk people for attention.  They know we don't give treats when they are out of the pens.  Buddy Brat has been known to walk into an empty pen and stand there waiting for a cookie, because he knows they get cookies when they are inside a pen.  Anyone that thinks a donkey isn't smart hasn't spent enough time with them.  We're still trying to figure out how Jasper can open a chained gate with a clip on it, that usually takes us mere humans 2 hands to open.......LOL

This is called sheet flooding.  When it rains really hard the rain ends up running a couple of inches deep all over the property.  The land naturally runs downhill towards the San Pedro River about 1/2 mile west of our property.  

Our neighbors to the north lost their road literally, there was nothing left where the wash that runs across our property was rushing towards the river.  Another neighbor has a D9 Cat, actually he couldn't get into his property either, so he reworked the road.  If the wash runs again it will take the road out again.  It's amazing the damage a little rain can do. 

Saturday, July 17, 2021


Didn't get our overnight soaking rain, which gave time for the ground to dry out.  John decided this morning to go over and dig the fence that separates the 10 acres from Burroland out of the mud and do a temporary fix on it.  I closed the regular gate to Burroland this morning, but that 70 feet in the wash is wide open, if they bother to check.  Since they are very nosy, I'm surprised they haven't already figured it out.  

 He planned on using the tractor to pull the wire out of the mud, so off he went.  Wasn't gone very long and came back walking, not a good sign.......!!!  It's pretty rough over there and he managed to find a big rock that took out the hydraulics, while down in one of the big washes.  That means nothing works, the backhoe was on the ground, and the front bucket was almost on the ground.  So it is going to have to be dragged out of there.

Thank goodness it was within sight of one of the gates, so then what?  We know of 3 possibilities that might could drag it.  Our closest neighbor has a Toyota 4WD truck, and was available.  They had to get it out of the wash, which wasn't easy, if the Tojo went down in the wash, it was going to get stuck in the soft sand and gravel.  So they strung a bunch of chain together to reach the Tojo up on the bank and started dragging the tractor out.  Got it out, got it dragged to the gate and down the road they went about a 1/4 mile to our gate.  John said it didn't have any power steering and wasn't much fun to steer........LOL  Hopefully it is only a torn hose, but when you think of big rock there are all sorts of possibilities.

Last night when it was time for round up, the donkeys were reluctant to leave the beans, but we were determined, finally got everyone in except Boaz.  Boaz usually runs with Tula and the A-team, we had seen him earlier in the day, but not since the wash ran.  Looked all over the 10 acres, looked in the wash but didn't see any prints.  John even took the golf cart over in Burroland and he wasn't anywhere.  Years ago he got out a few times, but would be yelling at the driveway gate at feeding time, so this was all very unusual.  John said maybe he got caught in the wash when it started running and got drowned.  YIKES that's a little scary...........

John and Suzanne went out in golf carts to check outside the fence for hoofprints.  While they were gone I decided to walk around in Burroland and look for prints.  I was in the big wash over there, looked up on the bank and guess who was looking at me.  He was really spooky he's usually a real mellow guy.  His ears were up and he was looking at me like I was some sort of monster.  I yelled at him and he took off running, which left me way far behind, so I couldn't really tell if he came over to the pen area or not. When I got to the pens I still hadn't seen him, but I blew the horn to let John and Suzanne know I'd found him.  

We think he might have gotten stuck on the other side of the wash by himself when it started to run.  He was still spooky going into his pen, but he's fine today.  

A couple of days ago Suzanne and I were walking on the north side of the east pens and up out of the wash comes 2 cows, that aren't suppose to be here.  I guess they heard breakfast was being served, one of them grabbed some of Bella's hay before we got them moving.  Cows can be interesting to herd if you are on foot.  You can't "herd" them, you have to just follow them at a distance and only get involved if they change direction.  John opened the driveway gate, which they went around rather than thru, but they were following the fence line, just on the wrong side.  So we just kept following them.  John had moved down in front of them and when they saw him they went thru the 4 strand barbed wire fence and out on the road.  

This is why we are never bored..........LOL


Link to Road Tripper's article by  Emily Cantaneo


Friday, July 16, 2021

THE WASH IS RUNNING...........!!!

 It's been over 2 years since the wash ran bank to bank, but it did this afternoon.




It's still raining, but nothing like earlier, last check we got over 2 inches of rain in less than 30 minutes with accompanying strong wind.


Suzanne wanted to make sure all the poo left the area

Three fences cross this wash, 2 of them will just need to be stood up, they are kick-out fences.  When debris gets up against the fences rather than breaking the wire, the posts pull out of the ground.  When the water goes down you just stand the fence up again and stick the posts back in the ground

The rain and wind caused beans to fall.  It is still raining and the donkeys are having a field day running around picking up beans.  I would imagine round up in about an hour or so is going to be fun because the donkeys aren't going to be the least bit interested in going into their pens.  

It was still raining pretty good, when I took this picture of Frijolita looking for beans.  

The way it's raining right now, we might get a slow and easy all nighter, which would be great.  The wash running is fun to watch, but unfortunately the moisture doesn't stay here, it all ends up in the San Pedro River not too far west of us.  A long soaking rain will stay on the land and hopefully fatten up the prickly pear cactus.  

Suzanne took this right after the wash started running.  This is the view from her RV.  Cisco is just waiting for it to quit.  There are plenty of shelters but the donkeys usually stand out in the weather.  They can't hear "danger" if it's raining on the roofs, so they stand with their butts to the weather and wait for it to quit.
Earlier today before the rain came, Suzanne caught Koshare on one of the car trailers, looking for beans in the trees.  I guess he figured out the trailer would let him get higher into the trees.  Anybody that thinks a donkey is stupid probably shouldn't try to out think one.............LOL

I'm surprised his little gang of followers weren't there to share in the bounty.  Some of them have figured out when he's shopping and knocking beans down, there are plenty for everyone. 

Monday, July 12, 2021


Since the monsoon started about the 1st of July, we have watched clouds everywhere but here.  We've seen rain falling in the distance almost daily, and seen people putting messages on facebook about how much rain they had gotten, but nothing for us............until Saturday afternoon at chore time.  

We got a good old monsoon rain for about half an hour, bad timing and only 1/2 inch but very welcomed.  Didn't even mind getting soaking wet and was hoping for more.  So far........nothing.  The rest of the week, they are predicting rain in the area everyday, so we'll see.  

Right before the rain started we got quite a bit of wind off the clouds.  The mesquite beans have been getting ripe quickly because of the high temperatures, a few had fallen. Nothing makes beans fall, like a wind storm and the donkeys were ready.  Needless to say, the idea of getting rounded up to go into a pen to eat old dry hay, when all those lovely beans were just laying around........everywhere.......wasn't a big hit.  In fact it was like trying to round-up pigs, or cats no cooperation what so ever.  Took  forever to get everyone in and interested in hay.  

The only saving grace about the mesquite bean problem is almost all the beans that blew down have been eaten.  There are beans still up in the trees, but as long as they don't all come down at once the donkeys should be able to keep up with the supply without eating too many.  Last year was the 1st time we had such a heavy crop of beans in all the years we've been here.  The ground below a lot of the trees was completely blanketed with beans, you couldn't hardly see the ground, which is why the donkeys had to stay in their pens for almost 4 months.  Hopefully we will be able to control their access to the beans enough that they won't have to stay in the pens.  

Tonight there are 2 rain storms one north of us and one south of us neither one is headed our way.  

Suzanne and the kids headed east early Fri morning.  Sounds like they are having a great time, their parents met them half way in St. Louis so they are taking in the sights there for a couple of days before heading home.  

 Suzanne took this great picture of Richelle and Justice before they left.  

This is Kachina and Anazazi in their new home.  They got a great home last winter and the people spend a lot of time outside with them especially Russ.  Anna has problems with fly damage on her legs, when she was here we put socks, polo wraps, whatever we thought might work and she absolutely destroyed all of them.   Russ says she has learned to leave them on, maybe she figured out they keep the flies from biting her legs. 

Isn't this an interesting look mess of donkeys......!!!  The corral panel area behind them is where John feeds the birds.  The donkeys know there is bird seed in there and like to "help" with the feeding.  What that means is we have to make sure we put the seed far enough in, so greedy donkeys can't get to it.  They've gotten resigned to the fact that unless we goof up and either spill seed or forget how far in they can reach they aren't getting any bird seed, but it doesn't stop them from trying.  This bunch were pretty far away, when they saw me coming with the coffee can, they stampeded at a dead run.  


Wednesday, July 07, 2021


Every day is just like the day before, the nights are cooling off, thank goodness it gives the donkeys a break from the 100* plus days. The humidity is high feels like the Midwest in August, still no rain for us. It's around us, just not here. Suzanne's grandkids are leaving soon and I was really hoping the big wash would run while they were here. They won't see anything like that in the Midwest. Our wash hasn't ran in over 2 years, so it is overdue. 

The high temperatures have started the mesquite beans to ripen on the trees, although they haven't started to fall yet. Some of the donkeys know they are up there and are doing their best to shake the limbs to make them fall. Koshare is the main shaker. He comes out of the pen after breakfast and starts his daily routine. We've been trying to catch him on his hind feet, with his head up in the tree, trying to get those beans to fall. He obviously has been successful, because the other donkeys stand around close and wait..........patiently. IT'S GOING TO BE A LONG HOT SUMMER..........!! The trees aren't loaded like they were last year, and the pods don't seem to have plump beans in them. But I don't know if the pods have as much sugar/starch as the beans, I would guess not, but who knows. Time to start watching poo to make sure they aren't getting too many beans, or we'll have to restrict their time out of the pens.

Koshare with Suzanne, thanks Roger Thompson for the picture

 John Henry is settling in. The first few days were a little rough he wasn't eating, which for a donkey can become a crisis quickly. We've dealt with hyperlipidemia before, not sure he had it, but it's very unusual for a donkey not to eat if food is available. He was picking at food, so it wasn't a crisis.  Dr. Jeremy said we'd try Karo syrup, which is the home remedy I've used before. The vets give an IV of electrolytes and glucose, which is a little fancier, but a couple of syringes of Karo got him back to eating. I think he's use to being in a dry lot with food available most of the time. He needs to get over that, he doesn't clean up his hay, so he either has to stay in the pen or the pen has to be shut up, so the greedy bunch can't eat it all. Believe me they know who leaves food and are willing to squabble over it. 

Because he wasn't eating his body thought it was starving and the liver was ready to release any fat it had available (which most domestic donkeys have or have had fatty liver disease.) The problem is the fat is released into the blood stream and depletes the oxygen and they can die from lack of oxygen. Years ago we lost a pretty little pregnant jenny. We had a necropsy done because she had only been here a couple of weeks and we didn't know if she had something that could run thru the herd. Her organs were all white, they had no color and obviously no blood flow. Since then we have dealt with the problem at least 3 times and Karo has done the job thank goodness. 

Suzanne and I are doctoring Gigi's foot every other day probably for the foreseeable future. It's not getting any worse but the open area has to be kept clean which means covered with a bandage. She started out insisting she wasn't going to lift her foot. But the last couple of bandage changes she been cooperative. I think animal crackers and peppermints make a difference........!!! LOL I hope she continues to be cooperative when Suzanne takes the kids back to their parents. John will be the "hold-ee", she might decide he isn't the regular crew chief and make him wrestle to get that foot off the ground. 

 Big Gus has made his 2nd break for freedom. This time he got out on John and Suzanne. He managed to catch Suzanne half way thru the gate, as he merryily took off a different direction than he went the other day. Guess he'd seen that and wanted to see something else. 

To add to the fun, we had a tour coming in and sure enough they showed up while ALL of us were involved in trying to change Gus' direction. They even came down the back road where we were chasing him, turned around and headed back to the driveway. By this time John is late for an appointment, Gus has met a bull with horns on the trail, which the bull didn't appreciate and Mikaela and Suzanne are plowing thru mesquite brush, you couldn't expect him to stay on the trail.....!! LOL 

 Finally got him turned around and managed to get a halter and lead on him. He wasn't within sight of the driveway, so it was going to be a long walk. I took the golf cart and headed up the trail to see if I could find the couple on the tour. Sure enough they were waiting at the driveway, along with our truck and Suzanne's truck. At least the gate got closed, so none of the other donkeys could go on a walk about.....!! He has a special tree he stands under and watches the gate, and if it looks like he can make it, it's amazing how fast the old boy can move......!!! One of the reasons we're never bored....!! LOL

Saturday, July 03, 2021


 Some of the donkeys got to go on an adventure today.  Benson had their 4th of July parade, so we loaded up donkeys and decorations and joined in the fun.  Wish you could participate and also see parades, but it doesn't usually work out that way.  You just get to see the groups around you.  

Waiting for something to happen

This cute little "short eared" guy was behind us in the lineup

For a town of 5000 people, I think they were all out on the streets watching the parade.

Lots of people along the route

Wendy and Koshare...... Koshare needs to work on his parade skills.  He seemed to think it was a "timed event" and Wendy got quite a workout trying to hold him to a parade speed. 

Gary and Harley ready to go, thanks Gary for the pictures

Our vet was hiding in the crowd, somewhere along the route and shared this picture he took.  John had his sanitation department tools in case one of the donkeys couldn't wait until they got back to the trailer.  They all did just fine, although a lot of the horses left a deposit, which John ignored....!!  LOL  

When the parade was over, everyone came out to the house and we had pizza.  I stayed in town to get the pizza, while everyone else came out to unload the donkeys and let the others out of their pens.  When we leave early like that, they get fed early but don't have time to finish their breakfast.

When I came home, Big Gus was out and in the area of the driveway gate, not really that close, but obviously close enough that he came at a fast walk and I couldn't get out of the truck, open the gate, get thru the gate, get out of the truck and close the gate in the time it took for him to get out of the gate and head out for a walk about.  I tried to get him back in, but unfortunately Frijolita and Buddy saw what was going on and decided they'd like to get out too.  So I couldn't leave the gate open while I tried to encourage Gus to come back in rather than go on an adventure.  

Drove to the house and told everyone what was going on and they took off to capture him.  He's harder to capture than most of the donkeys, he's not out to eat weeds, he wants to see what's out there.  If Buddy and Frijolita had gotten out they would have probably been within 50 feet of the gate, eating whatever was there.  Not Gus, he was headed east on a mission.  

But we got him and he was more than willing to come back with us, but we'll have to watch him for awhile, if he is within sight of the gate when we drive in.  We'll also have to  probably marshal people coming in for tours for awhile.  Most of them probably wouldn't have a clue of what to do with a big brown donkey strolling out of the gate, not that there is much you can do except go get him....!! LOL

Sunday, June 27, 2021


 I have no excuse for not updating the blog, except I looked up and a week had past.  Where does the time go these days?  I always have good intentions, but they don't always happen...!!! LOL

Dr Jeremy came out to evaluate Gigi's split hoof with proud flesh.  

This was before the blob was cut off.  Proud flesh has no nerves, but has more than an abundance of blood vessels.  Consequently there is a lot of blood to deal with.  Got it slowed down and bandaged and when I took the bandage off a couple of days later it looked pretty good.  Wasn't bulging out, in fact Dr. Jeremy said it might sink in.  She's walking much better, he said there was probably a lot of pressure internally that was causing pain and she didn't want to walk. 


We celebrated our 60th wedding anniversary this month.  Our good friends Larry and Terry, found a perfect gift.  John always says he learned to say, "yes" early in the marriage...!!  LOL 

Speaking of John, here he is trying to figure out his next move.  He is staring at the top of the septic tank for the feed room.  When I say tank, I'm being kind.  Years ago when we built the feed room, and were trying to figure out how to get rid of the water from the sink, a friend said why don't you get one of those heavy plastic barrels and use that, since there probably wouldn't be 5 gallons of water a day going thru it.  So that's what he did, ran pipe for laterals and it's worked like a champ ever since.  Until the metal plate he put on top of it rusted thru.  It caved in the top of the barrel.  Not long after this, he was digging with a shovel to get the metal plate out, fish out the top of the barrel and start all over again.  It's fixed now, hopefully for good.  


This is Suzanne's grandson with Harley one of the minis.  Harley is a little spitfire when it comes to the other donkeys, but he loves kids and loves to be messed with.

This is youngest granddaughter with John Henry.  John and I went up to Chandler a few days ago and picked him up.  His elderly owner could no longer take care of him and asked if we would take him into sanctuary.  He is a mammoth, although not a huge one, we keep talking about measuring him, but haven't gotten around to it, he's only been here a couple of days.  Since one of the things we like to do is educate people on the different sizes of donkeys when Turbo and Link went back to Colorado, that left us without a mammoth.  Although Big Gus is pretty big, he isn't a mammoth.  John Henry is in his 20s, he's blind in one eye and has sarcoids on his legs, so he wouldn't really be a good candidate for adoption anyway, he will stay here.  

Although he isn't really big, he's big enough to make some of the donkeys look pretty small.  I guess yesterday Siggy the 28 inch micro mini was trying to catch up to John Henry and I was told his little legs were really flying and JH was just moseying  along.  

This is Big Gus meeting John Henry for the 1st time.  There is a slight problem, John Henry is in Gus' pen, the set of Gus' ears shows he's not happy.  He now has a pen in the mare motel and Justice will be going in there too.   The next morning after John Henry went out to explore, Gus went in the pen, smelled poo, turned around and walked over to the mare motel.  I assume the pen is now too compromised for him to be interested in it.  LOL

It's unfortunate someone wasn't watching John and I load him.  He's not been in a trailer for at least 5 years, but we brought all our leads and straps, figured how difficult can this be?  Two hours later after dealing with a donkey with a sense of humor, we were both exhausted and he was still fresh as a daisy.  The reason I say he has a sense of humor is he was playing with us the whole time.  He walked out of his pen, put 2 front feet in the trailer looked around for a few minutes, shifting his weight to make us think he was ready to go in and then backed out.  No drama, just "nope don't want to".......!! 

OK, obviously this isn't going to be as easy as we thought.  Used a cargo strap inside the trailer  not pulling on it, just not letting him back up, once he had his front feet in the trailer again.  And in fact he had all 4 feet in the trailer and decided to show us again.  He backed out of the trailer and the hook on the strap flipped up in the air, and he just stood outside the trailer, looking at us, like "is that all you got?"  LOL  Denise would come out and check on us every once in awhile, I think she thought we'd give up.  Obviously that wasn't going to happen, we came to get a donkey and we're going home with a donkey.  

He walked into the trailer again, had all 4 feet in and I couldn't get the back gate closed because we hadn't notice a handle in the way that needed to be moved.  So he leisurely backed out again, pushing the almost closed gate out of the way.  Grrrr...!!  

I asked John if he had another cargo strap, which he did.  This time we put both straps on him, one of either side, tightened them enough so he couldn't back up........hopefully and he walked in like it was his idea.  I don't know if he was tired of messing with 2 old people, or if he knew he couldn't back out of 2 straps, but we got the gate closed and hit the road......finally.  Whew...!!

We are going to be in the Benson 4th of July parade next Saturday the 3rd with 8 donkeys and handlers.  Should be a lot of fun if we pass inspection.  I'm not sure what type of inspection, maybe the woman in charge thinks they are wild or something.  This will be the 1st time we've done their parade, so if you are in the area, come on out and join in the fun.....!!!


Saturday, June 19, 2021


 Don't think there are as many on the trees as there was last year, but there are plenty.  It is probably going to be another season of the donkeys having to be on confinement, although we have a better idea this year of what to do and will probably start raking beans earlier than we did last year.  We'll just have to see how it goes.  The donkeys are all looking really good, well except for Harley and Ziggy, they are still little butterballs.  Hopefully they will look as good when the mesquite bean season is over. Harley does his best to make up for the food deficit in what we feed him.  He obviously prefers more food, he knows which pens might have leftovers after everyone is let out.  If he doesn't get there first, no problem, he comes in like a little buzz saw and clears everyone out of the pen in a hurry.  No one will stand up to him even the large standard geldings.  

Right now Gigi is having a hard time.  She was probably born crippled from her legs getting wadded up before she was born.  That happens sometimes most of the time after a few days they get straightened out.  Or the people have the vet come out and put a cast or brace on for a week or so.  Her people didn't do that unfortunately.

She has to wear shoes on her front feet to keep her feet from twisting back the way they were before we got her.  

She has a place on the coronet that's damaged and scarred and splits easy.  

I was suspicious this little piece of flesh sticking out was proud flesh.  This morning when I soaked her foot, I'm pretty sure that's what it is. 

I sat with her while she was soaking and she knew I had cookies.  I was willing to give a cookie now and then, but she seemed to think they should come quicker.  She is one of the donkeys that has learned to stick her tongue out to the side to get people's attention and of course the results she wants is to get a cookie.  I don't think I could have fed them as quick as she could grab a cookie and get that tongue out begging for another cookie.  So we did cookies at my speed, not hers much to her disgust.......LOL

The vet is going to come out when he can, but in the meantime, I soaking and as of this morning trying to keep it covered with a diaper and duct tape.  I hope she just has a plain old abscess and not an infection inside her hoof.  Infections are almost impossible to treat below the knee because of naturally poor circulation, years ago we tried with Jenny for months and ultimately lost her.

Gigi isn't real happy to be worked with, but I was surprised this morning when I stuck her foot in an IV bag to soak and she accepted it.  It would have been nice to have a little more cooperation when I was trying to put the diaper and duct tape on, but we did finally manage to get it done.  Don't know if it will still be on when they come in for feeding this afternoon.  She hasn't been roaming around much lately, but John said she is with Rosie and Jasper down by Sha'ba's grave that is way below the house and is laying down.  I had been wondering if she could lay down and get back up, they usually won't lay down unless they know they can get up.  

The donkeys seem to be handling the oppressive heat we are having right now.  They basically eat, go find shade, and stand until the evening feeding.  I think they run around all night taking care of donkey business.  Casper the creative little white mini mule has been watching John, where he feeds the birds that yummy bird seed behind the house.  The bird feeding area is surrounded by 4 corral panels.  Rather than use a chain or something to make sure they stay closed, John has just been pulling the panel he goes in and out of shut.  

Guess where John found Casper this morning?  Inside the corral panels enjoying a snack of bird seed.  He had probably watched John push the panels and figured he could do that too.......!!! Ha!  John has now attached the corral panels together, which will take longer to open, BUT, hopefully will keep Casper out. 

Did you ever wonder what birds and cats do when it is 113+ degrees?  The birds hang around water, drinking and splashing and enjoying the shade on the back porch.  Sunny the cat, is enjoying watching the birds.  A little something for everyone.