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........

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.