Monday, December 27, 2021


I hate to keep harping on Gus, but he seems to be the one that gets in or stays in trouble.  

I took this picture this morning while he was enjoying his breakfast.  I was at a distance, wish we didn't have to get close to him to throw hay and mush in his feeders.  Be glad you don't have "smell-a-vision". He managed to find a skunk to play with last night.  I assume they were close friends during the encounter, because he STINKS.......!!!  Poor Cochise is his closest neighbor, but neither one of them seems to be bothered by the smell.  We have a couple of tours today, which should be enjoyable, I think we'll probably speed past Gus, which will really disappoint him, he loves to have people to entertain.  

Everyone else seems to be just fine, but there is a change in the dynamics of the herd.  Jasper and Rosie have been hanging together since Gigi died.  John said he has seen Rosie hanging with the mini girls, Sasha, Mamacita and Bella.  Well Bella isn't really a mini, she is a small standard, but she has become a head jenny of the mini girls.  I guess Rosie is trying out a new herd.  Not sure what Jasper will do, maybe he will go with them.  He's never shown an interest in hanging with any of the other geldings.

Tula is the head jenny of about 6 of the jennies and geldings, but none of the above have ever been part of that herd.  It's interesting to see the dynamics in the group.  Cochise is somewhat of a loner, but sometimes he hangs with Justice and Boaz.  He and Justice like to play fight and they play rough enough to draw blood.  Ears seem to get involved a lot of times and they aren't very durable.



Wednesday, December 22, 2021


 Dr. Jeremy did an ultrasound on Mamacita yesterday afternoon and didn't see anything that would prove she is pregnant like a spine, which would probably be the easiest to identify.  😞

We all were looking forward to having a fuzzy little baby running around here irritating all the big donkeys.  Little donkeys are moving all the time until they collapse in a pile to renew their energy.  When not sleeping they usually pick on the grown up donkeys and do zoomies.  We've only had 2 babies born here and they are a lot of fun to play with. 

When Dr. Jeremy drove in I headed down to the gate and was met by Dr. Jeremy driving up the driveway with Big Gus in tow.  He had a halter and lead in his truck and put it to good use, when Gus tried to escape out the gate, and met his match........!!! LOL  Dr. Jeremy didn't appreciate Gus' behavior when not getting his way.  Gus doesn't understand anything about personal space and uses his head effectively as a weapon.  Dr. Jeremy is use to horses that usually have manners at least some manners and won't try to walk thru you.  

I'm really surprised he hasn't gotten out on some of the tours when the people open the gate and drive in without supervision......!!  He has a tree he stands under that is close to the gate.  John swears he's watching the gate, although John says he usually acts like he isn't paying any attention.  If Gus starts moving towards the gate, John has left the truck outside the gate a couple of times, rather than take a chance.......!!! LOL

Here he is "daring" the FedEx guy to open that got to love him.....!!  He didn't realize that packages are put in a big box outside the gate.  Years ago we put the box out there to stop the delivery people from driving in and leaving the gate open to save time.  Gus wasn't here at that time thank goodness, or he'd have been out in a flash.  I'm surprised some of the others never got out. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2021


 Dr. Jeremy didn't make it yesterday late afternoon, so we still don't know if Mama is pregnant or not.  Bummer......!!   Hopefully he'll get a chance to come out soon.  

Sunday, December 19, 2021

2021 is almost over.............

 It hasn't been a horrible year, but I think most people, me included look forward to a new beginning with the new year.  It will be interesting to see if 2022 is an improvement.

Suzanne is still in Indiana, unfortunately her father passed away.  We're doing just fine, the volunteers seem to fill in the holes and everything is getting done.  Dr. Jeremy is going to try to come out tomorrow afternoon and give us a definite answer...........IS MAMACITA PREGNANT OR NOT?  He's going to bring a sonogram machine, which should be able to see if there is a little one on board.  If not, there are going to be a lot of disappointed people.  My list of people wanting to know when the blessed event occurs is pretty long.....!!! LOL  And the baby is already spoken for.  

While Dr. Jeremy is here he will check Cisco's ears.  He has a lot of trouble with ear gunk and when he starts trying to rub his ears on anyone that will stand still, we know it's time to start doctoring.  The problem is.............long ears, and my short hands.  I can't reach all the way down inside his ears.  I have medicine to put in his ears, which he doesn't like at all and they are better, but it would be nice to have someone that knows more than I do to look at them.  I've also been doctoring his sheath all summer and he still has a couple of areas that just won't heal for Dr. Jeremy to look at too.

Kelly with Boaz

Kelly and Aiden came out and spent the day grooming and cleaning water buckets.  We really appreciate our volunteers; they make chores a lot easier. 

BlackJack doing what he does best, soaking up attention.

Thanks Kelly for the pictures.........!!

A few days ago, I forgot to close the garage door, when John took the car out to go to town.  It was open all afternoon.  I didn't know it until John got home and told me.  In the past the few times this has happened the donkeys always find it open and of course go in to see what has changed since the last time they had the opportunity to go in.  This time was no exception, I wonder how long he was gone before they noticed it?  My guess is minutes rather than hours.......LOL  

 Thank goodness they found the area just inside the door interesting enough, they didn't go in deeper, which is where we store the trash bags until we take them to the collection station in town.  A couple of times they've gotten that far and of course have to see what is in "every single" bag.  Most of what is in the bags gets discarded everywhere in their search for more interesting items.

Years ago I put a video of John running a lot of donkeys out of the garage on facebook.  Over the years and changing computers I've lost the video off my computer.  In the last year or so it came up as a memory on my FB page and I just spent about 1 1/2 hours starting at the top of my page and running thru a lot of stuff I had shared.  Finally found it..........Yea..........couldn't figure out how to get it to my computer, and in the process pushed the wrong button, which took me back to the start of the page......!!!  Needless to say I'm bummed over the wasted time and not being able to save it or share it.  LOL....!!



Sunday, December 12, 2021


 Suzanne has been in Indiana this past week and will be for the foreseeable future.  She had to go back for a family emergency.  She had planned on going back the 15th, for a couple of weeks, but her plans got moved up a little.  

Of course that leaves John and I taking care of the donkeys.  We've had volunteers here almost every day, so it hasn't been a problem.  The donkeys have actually been fairly cooperative about going in their pens.  I'd say without having to be bribed, but they always get a piece of carrot when they go in the pen.  In fact some of them will go in their pen and if someone doesn't put them in quickly, they will go out and stand outside until someone shows up with the "goods". They want to make sure the payment is forthcoming I guess.  Thanks to Nora, Barb, Gloria, Susan, Kelly and Aiden we really appreciate you coming out and helping with the donkeys, many hands make the job easier for everyone.  And the donkeys love to have more people to hopefully have treats.  

LaRoy has learned to pick his ropes up and shake them to get people's attention and hopefully a treat.  We had a tour today and he was doing his thing.  I gave him a treat each time and I think he's got it figured out.  He would shake the rope and drop it on the ground to receive an animal cracker.  As soon as the animal cracker disappeared, he'd pick the rope up again.  We did this 3 times and he was flawless, do I assume he will try his new skill when we have another tour.  

This is LaRoy at Empire Ranch a few weeks ago, trying to entice some of the donkeys to play with him.  They seemed more interested in entertaining the people, he never did get anyone interested. 

We actually had a little bit of rain a couple of nights ago.  It rained off and on most of the night, but we really didn't get much actual rain.  This morning it was 23 degrees when we got up and the first morning the buckets had a film of ice on top of them.  Of course that means the hoses are frozen until about 9-10am depending on when the sun decides to show up.  

I haven't put fly masks on the donkeys the last couple of days. It's getting warm enough in the afternoon that a few flies come out, but I'm sure the donkeys appreciate not having to wear a mask.  

Sunday, December 05, 2021


 Suzanne took a trailer load of donkeys to Catalina State Park yesterday, for fun and adventure.  The donkeys were all spoken for, but people were still calling to see if there were any available, after Suzanne had left Friday afternoon.  

She only had one minor break out Friday night, and blames Jackson, although he wasn't the only one out.  The other donkeys tattled quickly, so the escape was short and quick.   Memo for next time............ bungies really don't work as extra security on corral panels.....!! LOL  Donkeys are obviously too smart for such a fix.  

 The flora and fauna at Catalina are absolutely gorgeous, typical Sonoran cactus and trees, that we don't have in the Chihuahuan desert.  

Suzanne and Frijolita

Although we are only about 40 miles from Tucson our trees and brush are quite different.  

Always when a group goes out to areas where there are a lot of people hiking and enjoying the beautiful weather, the donkeys draw people like magnets.  One young lady said she had been visiting Tucson for a month and seeing the donkeys was the highlight of her visit so far.  

When Suzanne was loading donkeys she said BlackJack was trying to get in the trailer.  I guess he's decided he'd like to know where everyone is going and what they are doing.  She said next time she'll take him as a short trail walker.  He's over 30 years old, healthy as far as we know, and believe me will rust out before he wears out.....!!  He gives a whole new meaning to "conserving energy", well except if you have him in a parade and there is grass along the route.  I know from experience if you are walking with him in such a parade, you will cover a lot of extra ground as he tries to eat as much grass as he can drag you to.  Normally he moves so slow a turtle could probably outwalk him.......!!!  LOL


 BlackJack pretending to be wild......!!! 

Thursday, December 02, 2021

BIG GUS.............AGAIN.....!!


This is a picture of a dejected donkey.  Yesterday John was going out of the driveway gate in the golf cart and of course he's not the fastest thing on the planet, with his cane, he was slow enough that Big Gus took advantage of the situation, ran out the gate and headed east.  

First thing Suzanne and I knew about it was John coming in the house to tell us.  Of course we hit the ground running, because we know from past history, he might be old, but he is also very quick, when he knows he's doing something he shouldn't.  Last time he got out, he almost made it to the main road before we people got organized enough to catch up with him.  

John said he wasn't even close to the gate.  He has a tree he stands under most of the time, and we always say he's casing the gate and planning his escape.  Maybe he is, who knows.

When Gus saw John and Suzanne in the golf cart (only holds 2 people, so I was walking behind trying to catch up) he took off.  John managed to catch up in the golf cart, grabbed Gus by the neck and held on for dear life, till Suzanne could catch up with the halter.  Gus was using his big head as a weapon, trying to get John to let go.  He also didn't appreciate Suzanne catching up and haltering him either.  But he went quietly when he figured he was outnumbered. 

He gets in more trouble that all the other donkeys put together..........!!!!  LOL  It's been a long time since he pulled that stunt, guess we'll have to keep an eye out for him at the gate.  Suzanne put him in the first available pen, which happened to be BlackJack's and he wasn't very happy about the turn of events.  As Suzanne said when it was all over, "it would be boring around here without at least one daily crisis".  It's always amazing how often Gus is involved in them.

Today John and I went to town, the pickup was filthy so John ran it thru the car wash.  Came home, Gus was standing in the driveway and walked in front of the pickup so we couldn't move.  He has a habit of snotting cars and he managed to start at the front and snot all the way down the side almost to the back of the bed.  Needless to say John wasn't amused......!!  LOL

Suzanne is taking some of the donkeys up to Catalina State Park this week-end for a fun run.  The weather right now is really nice and the donkeys enjoy getting out.  It's amazing how excited they get, when the trailer gets attached to a vehicle and parks in that "special" place in the driveway.  I hope she has time to take some pictures.


Tuesday, November 30, 2021

I'M BACK..........AGAIN

 John and I went to Indiana for Thanksgiving with the cousins.  We always enjoy the drive and this was somewhat of a trial for John.  He's been driving to Tucson for the last month or so and his broken leg hasn't given him any trouble.  But Indiana is a lot farther away than Tucson.  In years gone by we would have done it in 2 days, but we took 3 days each way and he drove every mile.  Said his leg didn't bother him which is great.  

While we were gone, Suzanne held down the fort, and for the most part she said everything went pretty well.  Well, until the last day, when Big Gus and Casper both choked during the morning feeding.  She got in touch with Dr. Jeremy and he was pretty busy with a horse in a sling..............!!!  She said Casper the little mini mule cleared in about an hour, but it took Big Gus about 4 hours before he finally cleared, but they both cleared on their own without having to be intubated.  

Gus has choked before and had to be intubated which isn't a pleasant experience for all involved.  He's over 40 years old and most of his teeth are at the gumline, so he is fed a mush of soaked pellets and senior feed.  We hadn't been soaking the senior, but will in the future.  

Other than that she said things went well and she actually had volunteers here almost every day to help with feeding and picking up poo and grooming.  We really appreciate our volunteers, more than they will ever know.  They make our work days much shorter when they are here.  

She had donkeys escorting her to her RV almost every night and in the morning they like to keep track of where she is, in case she heads for the hay barn or the feed room.

Gus making sure she's headed in the right direction for breakfast.

Cisco probably seeing if she is going to get the pumpkin.

 BlackJack making sure she gets home safely.  She'd probably be safer if he didn't step on her foot......!!

This is what always happens if something new/different/interesting, etc happens.

We had a good time on the trip and getting to visit with family.............BUT........although I grew up in the midwest I had forgotten how dreary and grey it can be in the winter.  Even when the sun shines it isn't bright sun.  One morning there was frost on the car, which we haven't seen in awhile.....!!!  LOL  At least it didn't snow and wasn't as cold as it could have been, although the last night we were there, the wind which was really cold blew so hard, John's cousin Mark took down his flag, so it wouldn't end up in the next county.  

The donkeys are still wearing fly masks, seems like it's late this year for the flies to disappear.  If it was just a few flies we'd probably take the masks off, but there are LOTS of them and of course they go for the face.  

Friday, November 19, 2021


 Suzanne headed out today with a herd of donkeys to go have some fun in the morning.  Some friends are bringing their donkeys too.  The trail is different lengths up to about 16 miles.  Most will be walking or jogging, but I think Koshare and Cochise are going with Jennifer and Adam and will go long.  Jennifer ran with Koshare at Superior and they won the 6 mile.  Her husband Adam hasn't ran with a burro yet, so this will be his chance to find out if he likes to run with the burros or not. 

We had a tour today of people from Pennsylvania that are visiting the area.  One thing led to another and Suzanne loaded Jackson and LaRoy for them to walk with tomorrow.  They'll have something to talk about when they get back to PA.

The view from the pens in Catalina State Park

Good thing Suzanne took the corral panels to make a corral, even though there are pens in the park to use for equine.  She said she got there, unloaded the donkeys into the pen, and really quickly found out the pipe was about 3 feet off the ground.  A adequate corral for a horse perhaps, not for mini donkeys or in Siggy's case a micro mini.  She said she turned around and Siggy was beside her outside the pen, while she was taking care of that crisis, Jackson came out the other side to join them. 

So  she had to unload the corral panels after all to "beef" up the existing pen, so the little guys couldn't get out. 

Damage control 

Probably just as well, Koshare has learned to raise corral panels up and push them around and the end result is once the noise of banging corral panels is over, they can get out.  Suzanne said the pens are very well made and she thinks he's met his match.  Hopefully that's true, once donkeys learn to do something you don't want them to do, they get very good at it.....!!! LOL

Bella got to go on her second outing.  We've never taken her anywhere because of her weak hindquarters.  Since she's been here roaming the acreage, her legs have gotten stronger. She went to Empire Ranch a couple of weeks ago just to be there for "Show & Tell", consisting of petting and an occasional animal cracker from the adoring public.  She did great, so she got to go today as a short trail walker.  Suzanne said she was ready to go, hopped into the trailer like "let's go, where we going".  

Yesterday Suzanne and I spent the day at a specialty clinic with Charley the blind dog that showed up here a few months ago.  He got to see a doggie ophthalmologist to see if his cataracts could be removed, so he could see.  They did all sorts of test, took all afternoon.  The doctor told us that Australian Cattle Dogs are known to have retina failure, that's what the tests were for.  

We saw the graph of his retina test and it was not good.  She showed us a graft of a normal retina and then showed us his.  He has no working retina in either eye, so he is permanently blind, which is very disappointing.  He's such a well mannered happy dog it's a shame nothing can be done to help him.  But dogs do very well blind.  He's got a 30 by 70 pen foot, a doggie door into the feed room and he knows his area really well.  The people at the clinic thought he was really a nice dog, they said he just slept until they needed him for a test and he was happy to oblige and then went back to sleep.

We can't let him out on the property, he also doesn't hear very well, and the donkeys see dogs as a predator and will try to kill him.  Big Gus got in his pen awhile back and if Suzanne hadn't seen what was going on, probably would have killed him.  They actually share a fence and Big Gus spends quite a bit of time when he's in the pen, trying to dig into Charley's pen.  We put a railroad tie against the bottom of the fence, so now Gus is digging beside the tie.  I guess he's determined to get that dog........!!!

Sunday, November 14, 2021


 The last few mornings have had ice on the bird baths, which sit on the ground.  This morning said it was 31*, so it's just barely cold enough for a little bit of ice and of course in true desert weather it's gone by the time the sun comes up.  Guess we should start chores a little later if we don't want to see ice........!!!  LOL

The week-end at Empire Ranch was really nice.  We met lots of people that were interested in the donkeys, a lot of them had stories to share about donkeys in their lives.  

Suzanne set up the tables and took care of the donkeys all week-end.  John and I came in after chores and help with the booth sales and answering questions.  

Our booth at Empire

Suzanne did take a break to hob knob with HORSES........!!! 

This is Othello, nice looking horse.  Suzanne went for about an hour trail ride along with a bunch of other people.  Not sure the donkeys would approve, don't think they even noticed.  

LaRoy likes to play with ropes.  He has figured out if he picks up a rope and shakes it, people are entertained and might give him a treat.  

He tried but couldn't find any of the donkeys that wanted to play unfortunately.  I don't think any of the other donkeys have ever played with him, poor little guy.  His buddy Jackson has no interest in a rope.  so he picks it up, walks around for a little while and then drops it.  

This month so far has been busy with tours.  Seems like almost every day we've got at least one.  John and I will be headed to Indiana next week-end for Thanksgiving.  We always enjoy road trips, although this will be the 1st one since John broke his femur in August.  We're taking the little car, already put more than $100 at one time in the pickup, besides the little car is more fun to drive.  But it isn't the most comfortable ride, it built for speed, comfort wasn't important I guess.  Hope John gets along OK, so far he hasn't had any problems riding or driving.  But we haven't gone 1800 miles either.......!! LOL

Suzanne and I just spent this week-end at a virtual symposium from U.C. Davis in Sacramento, CA.  This is the 8th year they've had it, although it's always been in person before.  Last year Covid cancelled it, so this year they tried virtual.  They really did a wonderful job, had lots of experts on different aspects of donkeys, donkey diseases, and care.  Mark Myers founder of Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue, was very involved and showed the video below.  It's really informative about the plight of donkeys in Australia, where the government has killed 500,000 to 600,000 donkeys in their eradication plans to kill all the feral donkeys in NW Australia.


The BLM in the U.S. so far is doing a lot of rounding up of mustangs and burros, last I heard they had something like 40,000 in holding pens and that's been a few years ago.  There are organizations that go out when they are rounding up and keep track of how many are rounded up and how many deaths and basically are trying to represent the people and their public land and the mustangs and burros.    

Friday, November 05, 2021


 I'm going to quit making excuses for not updating the blog, doesn't seem to make a difference.....!!! LOL

Anyway Suzanne has been doing really good at taking videos, so I thought I'd share a couple of them.  Charley is the heeler dog that showed up here a few weeks ago.  He's blind and pretty much deaf too.  I would hate to think someone would dump an older dog in his condition, but nothing people do surprises me anymore.

He has taken his life style change in stride, and seems to be a happy guy, especially at feeding time, surprisingly he was overweight when he came in.  We put him on a diet and he's lost a little weight, but needs to lose some more.  

Awhile back Big Gus got in the dog pen someway and had poor Charley cornered and was trying to do a donkey stomp on him.  Suzanne managed to break it up and get Gus out of there with just a bloody toe.  Didn't even seem to faze him.

Charley has an appointment with a doggy eye specialist.  We think he has cataracts on both eyes, if that is the case we will have them removed and lens implanted.  Dogs do very well blind, BUT, his life would be much more interesting for him if he could see. 

Today Suzanne left with a load of donkeys headed for a week-end of hanging out with equine people and letting people get to know donkeys and how special they are.  John and I will go to Empire Ranch after chores in the morning and go out for the day.  We'll go out Sunday also.  Anyone in SE Arizona that would like to do something fun over the week-end there is going to a lot going on on the Empire Ranch that's between Benson and Tucson on highway 83.

 When Suzanne picks up poo many times she gets side tracked for a little while.  We always say chores are not a timed event because we never know what will happen.  Bella obviously found something she liked, tools don't always have to be used in just one way.....!!!  LOL

Bella was one of the donkeys that left for Empire Ranch this afternoon which is a first.  When Bella came to the rescue a few years ago her rear legs were really weak, and she had a hard time getting up when she laid down on the ground.  She had been in a small pen with no exercise, but after being here awhile running around her legs have gotten stronger.  We hadn't taken her for outings like parades or displays a couple of times when we tried to take her out she went down in the trailer.  Suzanne called when she got to the ranch and said Bella is doing just fine, no problems.  She's a cute little thing and loves attention, so if she is up to being trailered, we'll take her out more often.







Thursday, October 28, 2021


The minis were a big hit

So was Ruthie and Frijolita, by the time the kids got to them, they had been in with the minis and the big girls didn't look that intimidating 

This little guy was so cute, he obviously wasn't a 3rd grader, he was 2 years old.  I assume he had a brother or sister in the 3rd grade and mom was a chaperone.  Mom told me he will be 3 Nov 8th and he held up 3 fingers.  

 We had a group of 3rd graders from Sierra Vista come out this morning and see the donkeys.  They were a good group of kids, and the donkeys really put on a show for them.  LaRoy played with his rope and of course Boaz did his lip thing that looks like he's talking.  Quite a few donkeys have caught on to sticking their tongues out, to get visitors to notice them.  

* * * * * * * *

We lost John Henry and Gigi Girl this summer and their markers finally got here.  Years ago I had a company that made the best markers, but they've gone out of business and I had to really look hard to find a new company.  

Lynn and Muzzy headed for the finish line at Superior last week-end.  They had to beat 2 equally determined teams that were hot on their heels.

Sunday, October 24, 2021


 Yesterday morning John and I got up at 2:30am to feed donkeys, so we could leave by 4am to get to Superior hopefully before the races started.  Our neighbor let them out later in the morning and we made it with about 15 minutes to spare.  

Suzanne had the table all set up, all we had to do was show up and sit down.  

I didn't really get to see the start of the race, I stayed with the table.  Later I did get to see Lynn and Muzzy come in first place for the 12 mile race which was pretty exciting.  

This is a young lady named Jennifer, winning the 6 mile race with her team mate Koshare.  Suzanne had taken him with her to Superior.  She had planned on helping to clean the trails after the race and taking him with her to load trash or whatever in his saddlebags.  Suzanne had paired Jennifer with Ruthie, as Jennifer was a 1st time burro runner.  Found out she is a fast runner in people races, so the plan changed from Ruthie to Koshare.  She came in planning to win and that's exactly what she did.  In fact Koshare timed the fastest time on the trail of all the burros running.  I'm not sure how they figure the time.  He ran a 4 minute mile a few months ago in a race, his team mate was an ultrarunner and managed to keep up with Koshare.  It's not for the whole race, I just don't know how they measure it. Jennifer works in the health care industry and quite a few of her fellow workers came to cheer for her and Koshare.  I would imagine she is now hooked on pack burro racing......!!!  LOL

Animals always get sick on week-ends or holidays, at least ours always do.  Friday morning Charley the dog that showed up at our place a few weeks ago was very lethargic.  He's usually not a lethargic type of guy and our local vet is closed on Friday.  I called a vet in Willcox and they actually got him in that morning.  

A lot of vets seem to have taken a lesson from people doctors.........rely on tests, not experience.  They came up with a list of what they wanted to do and I picked out x-ray and said we'd  wait on the others.  From experience an x-ray can save you a lot of money if there is cancer involved.  Showed a area that looked like he might have swallowed a bone or something.  He doesn't have access to anything and the few treats we've given him, he doesn't eat.  He runs outside and buries them.  \

So I agreed to blood test, and they sent him home with antibiotics and steroids.  He had something going on temp. 103.1.  He was pretty much back to his perky barky self by Sat. morning and has continued to act normal for him.  They are suppose to call in the morning with the test results of the blood draw.  Since he's so lively, they'll probably just tell me to continue with the meds twice a day till they are gone.  I doubt they will know what the weird area in the x-ray is.  

Big Gus is finally off his twice a day antibiotics as of this morning for cellulitis.  His legs are staying dry so hopefully when he's finished with about another week of pills they will continue to be dry.  

Some pictures from the races at Superior

Sasha and her team mate Clare, Suzanne said Sasha kept going to the sidelines where there were kids that would pet her.  Unusual behavior for her, she was abandoned on a property over by Willcox, no one knows for how long.  She's pretty independent and usually a little standoffish.  I guess she's decided kids aren't a threat.

This is Button a 3 month old orphan that Michele at Lucky A Ranch is raising.  The mother wouldn't have anything to do with him, and the owners were going to shoot him.  Thank goodness someone got in touch with Michele.  She and her daughters spent Friday night at Superior in the hotel.  They sneaked Button in, put an adult incontinence diaper on him and no one knew.  This is Kristen showing him where the finish line is and teaching him how to be a pack burro racer.

This is Michele and her daughters.  If you look closely you will see a brown blob on Michele's lap.  Button has his own red saddle bags.  

Siggy and his handler took 3rd place in the costume contest.  He was a green elf.

Jackson and LaRoy are completely bonded, Maryann and Teresa knew they had to stay together, looks like LaRoy took advantage of a rest break to use Jackson for a pillow.

Monday, October 18, 2021


 This week-end is the 3rd annual burro race in Superior.  Well, I guess it isn't really the 3rd annual, covid last year cancelled the race, but it will be their 3rd race.  Four years ago they held the 1st burro race in Arizona in over 30 years.  It was a great success and hopefully will grow every year.   

                                Here's information on what's going on in Superior this week-end

If you are in the area by all means this is going to be a lot of fun.  If you've never seen a burro race or even if you have, I can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday.

Seven of our donkeys will be running in the race and we will have a table set up with t-shirts and stuffed donkeys available.  There will also be an auction for one of Gretchen Klett's plaques she has graciously donated to Forever Home to be silent auctioned off at our booth in Superior this week-end.  Highest bidder will get the plaque ..........!!!!  Our donated plaque is on the right, and the plaque on the left will be donated to Lucky A Ranch, a non-profit rescue SE of us in McNeal, Az for them to auction.  Gretchen is very involved with donkeys and shares her talent with rescues.  She has a business called One Herd Art, that shows how talented she is using different mediums.   

If you go to Superior Saturday, by all means come by our booth and say "HI" and maybe bid on this lovely plaque.

Big Gus is doing well after his trip to the equine clinic in Gilbert,  His legs are staying dry, Suzanne has been washing them every morning with chlorhexidine and he is getting liquid antibiotics twice a day and prednisone for the next 3 weeks.  I guess sometimes with this type of bacterial infection they don't get over it and have to be on medication forever.  With him that isn't something to look forward to.  He's actually done pretty good, but he's starting to question what we are giving him.  When he turns down peppermints you know he is suspicious.....!! LOL

This morning he visited with Suzanne at her RV.  

Wednesday, October 13, 2021


 Yesterday Suzanne and I took Big Gus up to the Equine Clinic in Gilbert.  Dr. Jeremy has been treating him for cellulitis in his rear legs for about a month, it's getting better, but still needs attention.  Dr. Jeremy was unavailable and it was time for another shot, so we went to plan B.  

Over the years we've been up there more than once, Jenny's hoof resection, Cisco's bulbous growth on his sheath, Bell's sialolith cyst, Penny's colic surgery, and many more in between.  A lot of times, all of those problems couldn't be done in the field and had to be done in a hospital/clinic, so we would make the 3 hour haul, and sometimes left them there.  Jenny ended up staying up there over a month.  

Awaiting his fate........!!

For him....... he was good didn't say it would be easy

                                      Sometimes you just have to overpower him with bodies

                                                        His legs got a trim and a bath

We noticed today that Saddik's plaque on his grave is missing.  It had come loose and was laying in front of a rock at the head of the grave until someone figured out a way to keep it from falling off again.  We're pretty sure we know who took it unfortunately, which is sad when it is someone you know.

Saddik showed up in our wash in 2015, a half starved gangly pup about 9 months old with Valley Fever He really was a nice dog with lots of personality.  I think everyone that ever met him, liked him.  Unfortunately his life was cut short by a vehicle one night when he was suppose to be home.

Monday, October 11, 2021


 But the weather people now say it won't happen until tomorrow night.  It was 38 degrees this morning, so we all bundled up for chores.  Of course by the time everyone was fed we'd shed the coats and were enjoying the sun.  The desert is a strange place for weather.  It's nothing for us to have 50 degree swings in a 24 hour day, which means you dress in layers.  Right now we are having pretty strong wind and they say it will be windy all night, and  tomorrow night is suppose to be below freezing.  Time to drag out the sweat pants I guess. 

Yesterday we took 5 of the minis to Echo Hope Ranch down by Hereford. What a beautiful place  close to the San Pedro Riparian Area, lots of huge cottonwood trees and they even have a pond with catfish in it.    Lots of people coming and going all day long, and the donkeys were a big hit.  The 4 boys, Jackson, LaRoy, Siggy and Harley are old hands at entertaining people and getting lots of petting.  Sasha was the only girl.  She was found on a property where the people had left her to  take care of herself.  She's warmed up quite a bit with so many people coming by.  But she still looks at people like, "what are you going to do to me"?  She finally got into standing by the corral panels close enough so people could pet her especially the kids.  Being out like that is really good for her confidence, so we'll take her out as much as we can.  

We forgot our pop-up shade, and all 3 of us were pretty pink by the time we got home.  Won't do that again..........LOL

John not only went with us, but he helped when he could.  He doesn't get around the donkeys much, they could knock him down without meaning to, but there's other things he can do.  We got him a super duper walker last week.  He  says it's like a Cadillac compared to my old one he's been using, it has a seat and a compartment to put stuff in.  We must have saw at least 6 or 7 walkers like his, so of course everyone was comparing walkers like people compare cars.....!!

This morning the 5th wheel went to a new home. We had planned on remodeling it into an office for Suzanne and a bedroom, where people could stay for a couple of days with the donkeys.  But it had too many issues and we decided to go in a different direction.  

It found a home, it will be remodeled and will be put to good use.  Now we're headed to Plan B.........!!  We're looking for a construction office, that we could divide into 2 areas and also maybe have an area for our stuffed donkeys and t-shirts we take to event to sell.  Right now all that stuff is in one of our bathroom.  It would be nice to have it on display, so people could browse if they want to. 

We've been really really busy recently, but we plan on taking Charley, the blind/ deaf dog that found his way to our place, to an eye specialists as soon as we can, to see if there is any way to help his sight.  We think he might be able to see shapes or shadows in bright light, but not much.  He's learned his pen which is about 30x70 and he has a doggy door that goes into the feed room, which he learned the 1st day he was here.  The feed room has A/C and heat, although he likes to spend most of his time outside.  We think he was a ranch dog, although he is house broken.  When the farrier was here trimming the donkeys, he got all excited.  Dogs go crazy over the hoof pieces the farrier trims off, Charley acts like he knows all about hoof trimming.  

He has some treats that look like a rib bone with meat on it, I'm sure it's probably all grain of some kind, but it looks real.  Every time we give him one, he gets all excited, takes the bone, goes outside and buries it immediately.  We have no idea how many he's buried, and can't figure out if he's saving them for later, or getting rid of them. 

Tuesday, October 05, 2021


 We are all enjoying the cooler weather and even got a little bit of rain today.  Spring is my favorite time of year, but fall is a close second.  I'm sure the donkeys are enjoying the cooler weather, although they are still having to wear fly masks.  Suzanne has been taking them off at night, even though some of the flies get up before we go out for chores.  But not many, and the donkeys appreciate not having the masks on at night.  They are ready to have them back on, even Casper and Tula.  They are usually evasive if you try to do something to them.  But they will stand real still if they see a fly mask in your hands.  

Yesterday about half the herd got pedicures.  Suzanne will be taking most of them up to Superior for a race on Oct 23 put on by the BRAY club and the town of Superior. Last we heard they had 67 teams signed up, so it should be a lot of fun.  

Justice isn't going but he was on the list.  When Justice came here a few months ago, it had been awhile since he had been trimmed.  He favored one of his back legs and rested it most of the time when he was standing.  The first time Dan came out, Justice was pretty sure he didn't want his feet done.  Dan is a pretty laid back guy, but was also pretty sure, Justice was going to get his feet done.  The battle was all over the pen and he finally threw himself on the ground, which actually made it easier for Dan to work on him and put him at a disadvantage for continuing the fight.  

The next time Dan came, I gave Justice Dormosedan but he was in a fighting mood and pretty much shook it off.  Dan said next time to not drug Justice, he had an idea.

Donkeys usually react very well to a Scotch hobble, compared to his last 2 trims there was a vast improvement in his behavior.  Donkeys seem to realize when the game is over and they lost the battle.  He might not even need to be hobbled next time, if he sees Dan carrying it......!!!  LOL  

Since he's been here running around all over the place, and play fighting with Cochise, he isn't favoring his foot as much as he was and doesn't rest it much either.  We had him x-rayed and he has at least 2 bone chips in that foot. I had a woman interested in adopting him when he came in as a companion for her young gelding.  It sounded like a perfect home for Justice, but I didn't want to send him  out if he might need vet care in the future for that foot.  It looks like moving and exercising is the answer hopefully for the long term.  

For everyone that has sent pumpkin for Cisco, we can't thank you enough we have a nice little stash that hopefully will help see him thru the crisis.  I was in Walmart today and they didn't have the Great Value which we try to get if we can.  Some people sent organic pumpkin and brand names.  There is a difference, the color is brighter and the smell is stronger, Cisco doesn't seem to be picky, he eats it all.....!!    Suzanne said she heard another story about the shortage, yesterday.  If they keep talking about it, it will be like the great toilet paper hoarding situation last year, people that don't even like pumpkin will be buying it.......!! LOL

Here is Cisco enjoying his morning ration of pumpkin.

Monday, September 27, 2021


 Suzanne gave John and I a play by play account of the week-end and it sounds like everyone had a great time, thanks to Carolyn Lee and her family.  The 2nd annual Sandam Burro Jam was held on their property, camping, music lots going on.  Wish John I could have watched all the fun, but since neither of us were going to be running anywhere, and the stay at homes would want to be fed as usual, we were more valuable at home.  

Sasha and Siggy with their team members, Kelly and Renee

Sasha and Kelly

Frijolita and Rachel finished 3rd in the 6 mile race.  Buddy Brat finished 4th in that race with Diana.  Not sure where everyone else finished, I know none of them finished first or last........!! LOL

Big Gus has developed cellulitis in his hind legs, in 24 hours there is a lot of drainage which of course gets mixed in with all the dirt he walks thru and he ends up with a really icky looking foot. 

I've really been amazed at how cooperative he has been.  Of course he loves attention especially if none of the others are around.  He doesn't like to share with the other donkeys.  Dr Jeremy drew blood today to see if there is something else we need to do except keep it as clean as possible

Yesterday when I was washing his leg, I was rubbing in the soap, and all of a sudden this little guy, who is now pickled in alcohol and a few dozen of his friends came wiggling out of the hair on Gus' leg.  There has to be openings in the skin where the liquid is draining from.  But there aren't any wounds or sores for them to be in I wouldn't think.  They just seemed to be in the hair and some of  the hair came out when I started making sure they didn't stay on Gus. 

 It is in a pill cup, a little less than 1/2 inch long and everyone that has seen it, says it has little bitty legs almost like a centipede.  They are so small I can't see them.  We've talked about seeing if the UofA might be able to tell us what it is, so far no one has even tried to guess what it is.  

We're still getting in pumpkin for Cisco.  Almost all the boxes have come in without any information on who the order came from.  We've been able to personally thank a few of the people for their generosity, but for the most part, we've gotten boxes of pumpkin and no name to go with them.  

Today we got a box with a name on it.  I would have known when I opened the box that it was from Debi in Ohio.  She sent a box of pumpkin last year when there was suppose to be a shortage with all sorts of goodies for everyone on the property, people, dogs, cats, and of course pumpkin for Cisco.  Not only were there goodies for everyone again, she wraps each can of pumpkin, last year I think it was Christmas paper, this year pretty orange and green tissue paper.  Thank you Debi, what a fun surprise and Cisco will really enjoy the pumpkin.  


Saturday, September 25, 2021


 I was shocked to see how long it has been since I updated the blog.  I'm sure I could have found something to write about in that length of time......!!!  I'd promise that it won't happen again, but probably shouldn't do that..........!!!  LOL

 John is really doing good with his therapy and recuperation from his broken hip.  He even did a tour today, he said he wanted to try it, and he did just fine.  Of course we only have half the donkeys we usually have.  Suzanne left yesterday to go to a fun race north of Phoenix today and took all the donkeys that are healthy and like to run.  Haven't heard yet how it went I'm sure everyone had fun.

Got ready to go and Suzanne noticed the lights needed some attention, broken wire.

John and I are holding down the home fort, so far it's went really well, we haven't had any problems.  This morning Susan a new volunteer came for morning chores.  She's been here a few times and really is a lot of help, she even weighed hay this morning.  John said she has a good feel for when the bucket has about the right weight of hay in it.  She's coming back in the morning, so we're really having a pretty easy week-end even though Suzanne is gone.


Last year just about this time the word started spreading that there was going to be a canned pumpkin shortage.  Cisco gets a can of pumpkin daily to help his elimination system run smoothly, so we started buying all the pumpkin we could find and pretty quickly ran all the local stores out of pumpkin.  Thanks goodness by January the problem had pretty much fixed itself and pumpkin was available.

Here we go again, same thing this year.  It didn't take but a week or so for us to grab all the available cans in the area.  I put a message on facebook and people have been sending pumpkin from all over the country for this old guy it's amazing.  I'm sure the FedEx and UPS drivers would like to know what's going on.......!!!  LOL   Cisco dearly loves his pumpkin and we're not sure he would even eat his mush if it wasn't top dressed with pumpkin.  We usually get a dirty look if we're too slow getting the pumpkin "plopped" on top.    

Jasper is one of our "expert" gate openers, he's really good at it and can open gates quicker than we can stop him.  He's usually discreet and if we catch him he tries to look innocent and finds something else to do.  Suzanne caught him the other day and he was so focused on getting it open, he didn't even notice her, silly boy.  He did get it opened......!!!

This is what happens if we leave the courtyard gate open.  It doesn't take long for some nosy donkey to come in to see what we're doing.  


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........