Saturday, September 24, 2022

UPDATE ON ROPER............

 We took Roper up to the clinic in Gilbert earlier this week for an evaluation of the area on his jaw where the soft tissue sarcoma was removed.  When we got there Roper knew exactly where he was and remembered he didn't like it.  He's usually very easy to work with and willing to go along to get along.  Not what he had planned for the day and certainly not at the vet.  It took 4 determined people to literally push and pull his reluctant body to the exam area.  Should have parked closer that's for sure......!!!   LOL  

After examination, Dr. Howard says he thinks the lump is actually scar tissue rather than a return of the cancer.  It hasn't envaded his mouth, although he did have a sore from a sharp tooth.  So to add insult to injury he also got a dental work over.  

The black area is actually dark pigment and the sore is just above there.  The inside of an equine mouth looks really weird to me and they aren't ever interested in letting you get a good look to figure out how it all works.  So, the only time I look is at the vet clinic.

 We are on wait and watch, to see what happens over time.  We will do whatever is necessary to have a good outcome for him.  

Work is still being done to finish the storage/office/store.  It's down to the little finishing touches, except for the shelves in the store room.  We're having a lot of fun with that particular project.  Figuring out what we need to do the job isn't as easy as I thought it would be.......!! LOL  

Suzanne set this up temporarily until John gets the display cases painted.  If someone comes out and wants to see t-shirts, books or stuffies.  everything has been piled up in one of the bathrooms and we would have to dig thru to find what they wanted to look at.  This way they can at least see what's available and it will be easier for us to find since the boxes and totes aren't piled up 4 or 5 high.  

Suzanne is at SanDam this week-end with 9 donkeys.  Usually she would be keeping us up to date on what's happening and how it's going.........BUT.........she is in a dead zone for communications and there is NO COMMUNICATIONS.  They had an obstacle course event last night and the race was to start this morning at 8am.  Hopefully she'll get a chance to let us know what's happening, otherwise guess we'll find out when she gets home, tomorrow afternoon.  


Friday, September 16, 2022


 Office/store still isn't done, but there is work being done every day.  Mike our wonderful volunteer is working on the air conditioner this week.  All the fans work and the bathroom is done except for the hot water heater.  We decided on a demand water heater.  There is no tank, turn on the faucet and water starts running thru pipes over a coil heater, so you pretty much have instant hot water, for as long as you don't run out of water or electricity.  The heater is about the size of a Kleenex box, didn't want to waste space and it will heat 1.6 gpm, which should be enough to wash hands which is all that is needed.  

The little bit of cooling off has made a world of difference with the donkeys that have skin problems.  I don't know if it is because of less sunlight or the temperatures, but they are enjoying not having to be doctored quite as much.  Still wearing fly masks and probably will be until November.  .  The boys are playing more in the early morning when it's cool and are coming in without their masks.  We're trying to get by with the masks we have, but between losing them and tearing them up, I don't know if we will make it to winter or not without having to buy some more.  

  The donkeys have really enjoyed the green growth of weeds, although the lack of rain the last week or so, has most of them wilting and dying.  Weight control is always a problem with the donkeys, some worse than others.  You can only cut their hay so much.  We notice Harley one of the minis was finishing his hay in about 10 minutes.  A lot of people in Europe feed straw with a little hay to control their weight.  We've tried feeding straw before and it isn't a real big hit, in fact they aren't impressed at all..........!!  

Harley is the little black and white mini.  He doesn't look as fat as he really is, I think he's heavier now than he was a few months ago when this picture was taken.  So far he has had 2 days of having 75% of his hay being straw.  I guess there is still enough to eat out on the 30 acres at least for awhile because he isn't the least bit interested in straw..  Siggy, the micro mini had no problem last night when John opened the pens.  He went right into Harley's pen and started eating straw.  He's a little round too, hopefully he'll continue eating straw and we can cut down on his hay too.  They'll eat dry sticks, I would think straw would be tastier than a dry stick that has laid out in the weather for months.  

Kris is all over his bout with hyperlipidemia .and back to eating normally.  It is always scary when they aren't interested in eating anything.  He and Waylon have settled in nicely although they aren't best buddies.  Kris will fret is Waylon isn't close.  But when they are out on the property, they usually aren't together.  .

This is Waylon trying to outsmart Suzanne.  He knows he's suppose to get a treat when he goes into his pen.  I guess he figured if he put one foot in he might get a treat, then he could work the other 3 feet into the equation and get 3 more treats.  Not sure what he was thinking but Suzanne said he stood that way for a long long time, looking at her like, "do you see my foot is in the pen".  It is so much fun to watch their minds work

Sunday, September 11, 2022


 Good grief it's like being 6 years old and waiting for Christmas, as we all anxiously await the office/store being done.  Suzanne is making plans to get her office furniture out of storage as soon as she can and finding someone to unload it.  

John has been painting baseboards, to be put up now that the floor is done.  Mike has the electricity done although the A/C still isn't in and operational.  He's been working on the plumbing, so now the commode works and the sink.  We have a porta potty, but this will be much better for visitors.  The hot water heater isn't cooperating and so far doesn't want to work. I'm sure Mike will change it's mind when he comes back.  LOL 

The last big project will be putting the shelves in the store room and rounding up all our supplies and equipment to fill them up.   Haven't bought the shelves yet, but we pretty much know what we want.  

The donkeys have almost complete access to Burroland now.  We haven't had rain, so all the yummy weeds are just about gone.  The only time they are in their pens is to eat twice a day and if we have tours coming.  

Tours started up the 1st of Sept and we've already had quite a few. It didn't take even one complete tour for the donkeys to see the red solo cups and figure out it was "showtime" again after a 3 month layoff.  Tours will really pick up when the winter visitors come back probably late Oct..  Many of them come out here every year to see the donkeys.

This was the day they got to go into Burroland after being on just the 10 acres for awhile, so they didn't have access to the mesquite beans.  

Cochise was front and center when I "sneaked" over to open the gate.  I don't even know where he came from all of a sudden, he was there.

Although he was first the others weren't far behind.

Herd into Burroland

This is Debra, one of our volunteers.  I think she was picking up poo, but had to take time out to visit with Muchacho.  In rescue you aren't suppose to have favorites, BUT, she seems to have a thing for the old guy and he really enjoys her attention.  

This is Kris and Waylon, the newest boys enjoying being out and about.  Counting the legs it looks like there is someone else behind Kris......!!!  LOL  Kris needs to lose some weight, you can see the fat pockets on his sides.

We had a medical problem with him and he had to stay in his pen for days, had the vet out twice.  Since he is heavy it's pretty much a fact that he has fatty liver disease, which isn't unusual for donkeys.  Add to that, our abundance of greenery because of the rain we've had.  One very prevalent plant is pigweed.  Some donkeys won't eat it, some will.  The one's that do eat it, become addicted to it and will not eat anything else.  It's high in carbs, 16% protein, good source of lysine which is good and high in nitrates which is bad.  

When they are fat if something changes their eating habits they can develop hyperlipdemia which we've dealt with over the years.  Eating pigweed exclusively rather than hay by an already fat donkey isn't a good idea.  

We ended up giving him Karo syrup 3-5 times a day.  Big shot of sugar to make his body think he had plenty of sugar and didn't need to release fat into the blood stream, which can be fatal.  

It took about 5 days for him to start eating on his own again.  Whew.......!!!  The survival rate is about 50%, so we were lucky.  We've only lost one over the years and she was carrying a 10 month old foal.  That was our first one and we've learned enough to save the others since then. 

This is Yukon one of the winning pack burro racers in Colorado.  He has a really strong personality and isn't afraid to use it...........!!! LOL  It looks like his teammate Bob was holding him back and he didn't appreciate  it. Yukon and the little mini Buttercup are neck and neck to win the championship this year.  They've both been champions before, but this year I think they are the only ones that have won a race.  So I would imagine they both are trying their best to add another championship to their list.  


This is little miss Buttercup with her dad Marvin Sandoval.  She's not very big but she holds her own with the big guys.  

Sunday, September 04, 2022


The weather people who we know don't get paid for being right, say the next week is going to be 100 degrees. yada, yada, yada..........!!!  Ever since they started saying that the weather has been gorgeous.  The doves have migrated to Texas to be shot when dove season opens.  We don't have as many hummingbirds, so I assume they are migrating also.  We have bats in John's bat houses up by the garage.  We also have lots and lots of bugs.  

This all points to fall coming early this year.  The monsoon isn't over according to the experts until the 15th of September, so we'll see.

This past week has been really busy for all of us.  Suzanne and our neighbor Vic got the floor laid in the office/store building.  

Mike has the electric in and operational.  You might notice the ceiling fan in the picture, IT WORKS........!!! Don't have the air conditioner installed yet, but the weather has gotten cool enough it isn't really necessary.

The open door goes into our store room, that will have shelves and hopefully all of our supplies in one spot.  Right now everything is strung from feedroom, my pantry, the hay barn, the shipping container/storage and what we call Cisco's room.  Long story, years ago John built Cisco a room that could be air conditioned because of his skin problems.  He had absolutely no interest in going in it.  We finally dragged him in and he wouldn't move, wouldn't eat, drink or anything.  Brought him out and he was happy to only be bothered by flies as long as he didn't have to go into that "cave"...........!!  It became a storage area, but we've always called it Cisco's room, I don't think he was in it longer than5 or 6 hours.....!!!  LOL

The short wall on the right is hiding the bathroom.  It is going to be handicap accessible once we get the ramp coming in the outside door on the left.  From that wall to the front of the building will be Suzanne's office and our merchandise area for our t-shirts and other burro related items.  That will be 14'x22' of shared space for Suzanne's office and the store.  We have a couple of display cases and Suzanne has everything for her office in storage.

Mike will get the A/C in and the plumbing in the bathroom probably this week.  We'll get the baseboards in and should be able to start using it real soon.  We're all really excited to have a designated area for burro business, we're getting real anxious......!!!!  LOL

No, he's not dead, he's in REM sleep.  I had always thought they only needed REM sleep every few days, but when I went into find an article on REM sleep, I discovered that I've been giving out erroneous information all these years.
This is Cochise after he, Willie and I think it was Oscar didn't come in for the evening feed and we couldn't find them.  So they got to stay out all night in Burroland probably eating everything in sight.  We are trying to restrict their access to so much greenery they aren't use to and of course every time the wind blows it knocks more mesquite beans out of the trees.  They've eaten all the ones on the ground that are edible, because of the rain the others have turned black and the donkeys won't eat them.  They didn't have access to water, which is probably why they were ready to come in the next morning.  

The first thing Cochise did was flop down for a nap.  

We got the report on Roper's tumor and it is a soft tissue sarcoma.  Even though they put chemo into the surgical area it is still there.  I have sent pictures up to the clinic in Gilbert, but haven't heard back from them yet. He's only 4 years old, I hope they can do something to eradicate it.  There is very little on the internet about soft tissue sarcoma in equine.  I found this but if you want to read have a dictionary handy.......!!!  He really is a nice donkey lots of personality and fun to be around.  I hope we can find something to help him live a long quality life.  

This is what happens when trees get trimmed and the limbs piled up.  The donkeys are sure the best limbs are buried and think it is their job to drag the branches all over the place to find the best ones.  

This time of year the "garden" spiders are really busy building webs to catch a winter supply of bugs I guess.  They seem to like the gates to the pens, which is really fun in the morning when you're still half asleep and going thru a gate.  Once it gets cold we'll take brooms and get rid of the webs, but for now we are just co-habituating with them.  

 This is little Mamacita, living the dream in California.  Who would have thought she would take to pack burro racing, but she has.  She and some of her friends went up to South Fork, Colorado this week-end for a pack burro race.  Haven't heard how the race went yet.  That was the first race held in South Fork, but it probably won't be the last.  It seems like almost every year they add a new town to the schedule, which is great for highlighting burros and how much fun they can be.  

Suzanne will be taking at least 9 donkeys to the Sandam Burro Jam Camp in Dewey, AZ the weekend of September 24-25.  I think she took 10 last year and had a great time.  A lot of people are getting interested in pack burro racing.  The donkeys she's taking are the ones that do the shorter courses and are really good partners for people that want to try it or don't feel up to running 10 miles.  Cochise and Koshare were available, but they have to have runners that do long distance and want to move faster than a walk/jog.  

We had bloodwork done on some of the older donkeys.  Cisco's showed he is in kidney failure, I asked Dr. Jeremy on a scale of 1-10 where would he be.  He said about an 8, he's been losing weight and although he's never been really active, he's moving a lot slower than usual.  

Cisco has been here almost as long as BlackJack, in fact Buddy Brat, and Cisco came in about the same time, within a year of BlackJack before we were a rescue.  Cisco and I have a lot of time together, he's one of donkeys with horrible skin problems that have to be dealt with every summer.  
I'm not looking forward to the next few weeks or months, but will make the decision when it is time to let him go.  

BlackJack, John and Cisco as extras in a western during filming at Gammon's Gulch 

Saturday, August 27, 2022


 First day was actually Thursday.  We let them in at 3pm and a lot of them figured out the gate was open and took advantage of the situation. 

Since they didn't know I was opening the gate, after it was open and I didn't have any takers, I rang the bell we use to get them to come into the pen area.  I figured if I got them that far, I would pick who I thought might be leader material and get them to follow me across the wash.

When I rang the bell by the time I got over to the gate, I had a customer.......Cochise came from somewhere across the wash, he was moving fast enough he almost beat me to the gate.  

He must have left a message with the rest of the donkeys on is way, because it didn't take long for them to catch up.  

They actually came in pretty good a couple of hours later for evening feeding, we were surprised that they weren't more difficult to round up than they were.  I used the quad to hopefully head them in the right direction thru the gate and towards the pen area.  Of course they would prefer to continue moving around looking for the tastiest weeds and grass.  So I become a predator on the quad, by making a lot of noise and harrassing them as best I can.  Even on the quad they can go places I can't, so I have to get off and get close enough to them to make them think I'm going to eat them alive if they don't start moving............!!  LOL  

John and Suzanne put them in their pens once they get over there.  They are usually pretty good about going in their pens, but occasionally some of them run past the pen area to find more green stuff before they give up.

We thought since the 1st day went so well, we assumed the 2nd would also go well............wrong assumption.  They were NOT the least bit interested in coming in to eat "equine jerky" AKA hay.  

We've had enough rain to have weeds everywhere and most of them are 2-3 foot high.  I put on my best predator body language, hopped on the quad and headed out for battle.  

Before I ever saw a donkey I almost ran over a rattlesnake on the trail, I managed to miss him with the quad as he was scrambling to get off the trail.  All I could think of was, if I run over him, the aggressive tires on the quad will probably flip him up in the air..........wonder where he will go?  My first thought was, he'll probably land on the quad with me.........!!! LOL   About that time I saw a bunch of donkeys, and got around behind them to head them towards the open gate.  They got far enough ahead of me to have time to stop and graze, right in the middle of the area where I last saw the snake  disappear into the high weeds........  YIKES......I wasn't about to get off my quad and wade into that mess although the donkeys seemed to think it was fine dining.  

They finally decided I wasn't giving up and went thru the gate, to become Suzanne and John's problems, while I headed back into battle.  It took a long time to round up the stragglers finally got down to 4 missing.  We all were looking donkeys.  I finally went outside our perimeter fence to get a better view of areas we can't see from the trails.  Found Justice, outside the fence.  One of the neighbor's was working the road with his tractor, said he'd ran Justice back in the fence 3 or 4 times and he kept popping back out.  

This time he stayed in, I went back around and Suzanne had seen the other three and sure enough Justice had joined them in Burroland, and none of them were interested in coming in, I think it was Roper, Willie and Tula.  Finally got those 3 in, but Justice peeled off in the run to the gate and I figured 3 was better than 1, so I stayed with them to the gate.  Came back, spent probably 1/2 an hour or more roaming all over Burroland and never saw hide nor hair of him and it was getting dark.  I headed thru the gate and John blew the air horn we use to signify everybody has come in.  John said he came in at speed, so even though I never saw him, I assume he knew I was there.................!!!  LOL   Fence fixing time, but first we have to figure out exactly where he is getting out 

Today they didn't get to go over there because John and I are going to the stock car races in Tucson.  Although I no longer race at the asphalt track, our son Rod and good friend Larry still do.  Don't think Suzanne would want to face that mess by herself at feeding time, so they are on the 10 acres only.  They have let us know this isn't right.  When we let them out before noon, they went over, checked the gate came back to let us know it was closed, went back and forth and seemed to think we aren't too bright if we can't figure out what the problem is...........!!! 

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

Thursday, August 25, 2022


 September is fast approaching and of course we don't have everything done we planned on this summer, but a lot has been accomplished.  

The painting is done on the office/store, and we're getting ready to lay the flooring.  Suzanne is working on scraping the underlayment floor today, so once that's done the "laying" can begin.  We didn't find anyone to do it, so we are bravely jumping into laying laminate floor.  Thank goodness for You Tube..........!!  LOL   At least hopefully the videos on You Tube will be enough to keep us organized, or at least out of trouble.

Got the test results back for Roper's surgery on his cheek.  We were hoping it would be benign, but it came back as Soft Tissue Sarcoma.  Because of where it was, it was too close to his mouth to get clean margins, which would have been ideal.  Dr. Howard put chemo into the surgical area, we will watch him closely in case it does come back, not sure what the next step would be.  He's only about 4 years old, is a very sweet boy and deserves to have a life.  He will not be adoptable because of an uncertain future and will stay here in sanctuary.   

So far we only have one tour scheduled after we re-open.  We talked about having an open house but Suzanne wants to have a 25 year celebration next spring of BlackJack, John and I starting the rescue.  We didn't know it at the time, but that's what happened.  We will expect all our donkey loving friends to come out and say hi, when the time comes.  Probably a good thing we didn't plan an Open House now don't think everything will be ready by Sept 1st........!! 

 A woman got in touch awhile back and wanted to come out and look at and possibly trim some donkey feet.  Veronica has been studying hoof trimming, especially donkeys, but she only has a couple of them to practice with.  She wanted to come out and trim a little and yesterday was the day.  She was here most of the day, got some trimming done and talked about donkeys.  She wants to come back, the donkeys liked her so she's welcome anytime.  

Siggy getting his pedicure, Bella waiting her turn in the next pen

We had a bit of excitement this morning.  Suzanne was gone to town, Debra hadn't left yet and I went to doctor Kris.  He came in with habronema damage on his "boy" parts particularly his sheath that I doctor every morning and it's just about healed..........!!!

Anyway I doctored him and was getting ready to leave.  Waylon had been pawing the ground and I told him a couple of times to quit.  When I went to give him a treat before I left I found out what the problem was.  He had managed to trap his head in Kris' hay bunk, their pens are side to side. Kris still had hay and Waylon had ran out of hay in his bunk.  He had ran his head between the top and middle rail which is almost wide enough to allow a comfortable fit.  Notice I said almost, I couldn't get my finger between his neck on the top and his throat on the bottom.  To add to the problem his head was trapped between the side of the bunk and one of the pieces of pipe that holds the hay in the bunk.  He had very little wiggle room side to side on that, for all practical purposes he had none.  

Debra ran to find John and tools, of course he had to come without tools to access the situation.  Came back with what he needed to take out 4 nuts and bolts which unhung the bunk, Debra held it up while I helped him get his head out.  

Thru it all he just stood there, which is one of the differences between a horse and donkey.  Most horses in the same situation, would have panicked and ended up hurt.  Waylon just pawed the ground until I finally noticed the problem.  When it was over he wanted treats and when we quit giving them, he and Kris went off together in the wash without a care in the world....... !! LOL

No pictures, we were all busy........!!

We plan on letting the herd into the 20 acres we call Burroland this afternoon around 3pm.  They will have a couple of hours to search out beans and succulent grasses before we "try" to get them back in their pens for supper.  In a perfect world we would find Tula, the head jenny and tell her to go to her pen and she would.  In the process the other donkeys would come out of the weeds and follow her.  It's been a long time since we even tried that, and she use to be a pretty good pied piper.  We also have Kris, Waylon and Roper that have never been in Burroland, I'm sure they won't be tired of exploring when it's time to come in.  So it should be interesting, hopefully we can get them all rounded up before dark..........!! LOL

Saturday, August 20, 2022


 We closed this summer for tours because of so much going on, with the new office/store, Suzanne's mobile home which hasn't actually made it out here yet.  Was suppose to be here in July and maybe June.......didn't make it, still promising before the end of August.  I don't think any of us are holding our breath.  

The office got here when it was promised and one of our valuable volunteers has been working almost full time on the electric and plumbing.  

The sheetrock is in, plastered and waiting for paint, which we picked up last week.  I guess John and Suzanne will be painting, maybe I can be a gopher.  John is in town today picking up painting toys like trays, rollers and long extensions for the ceiling.  

We also picked up the flooring which will be the last big project, before installing the bathroom fixtures, Suzanne's office furniture she has in storage, and setting up the display cases for the store.  We also have to get shelving for the storeroom.  Right now, every building on the property has donkey stuff, food, medications you name it, it's somewhere, we just don't always know where. We spend a lot of time trying to figure out exactly where something is we're looking for.  Hopefully we'll have enough room in the storeroom to keep almost everything in one place and spread out so we can see it.  

Of course. it is the monsoon season and for once we're actually having a typical monsoon, which means rain.  It seems like feeding time is a good time to have rain, I think we're all getting tired of being wet, but the rain is nice.  It almost looks like the midwest with all the weeds and everything growing like crazy. 

If it ever stops raining for a week or so, the unusual growth will quickly die and we'll be back to looking like a desert.  Right now our backyard has weeds 2 or 3 feet high.  The problem with that is snakes can hide if they want.  This is the time of year they are feeding a lot to get ready for winter.  Over the years we've had 7 donkeys bitten by rattlesnakes and almost all of them were in Sept.   

The 2 new boys Kris and Waylon got their feet trimmed this week.   Didn't get any pictures, we were all too busy ducking and running.  Waylon wasn't too bad, but Kris REALLY didn't want his feet trimmed and had no qualms about letting the world know his opinion of such an insult.  We warned Dan so he was prepared and used his big straps to Scotch hobble them.  Kris even Scotch hobbled made use of every inch of a 20x20 pen, even being tied.  

Their feet hadn't been taken care of and they really needed trimming.  Hopefully next time won't be quite as traumatic for them or Dan.  He's pretty mellow and easy going and quick on his feet even plans to be back the end of September.......LOL   

This is Suzanne's mom's cat, Booger watching her ever changing view from the RV.  Suzanne said she watches the donkeys every morning when they gather before going in their pens for breakfast.  

Speaking of breakfast here is the line of donkeys following their leader to their pens.  If you look to the right Suzanne is in the lead in a yellow shirt.  It's nice when they line up like that, but it doesn't always happen that way.  Then we get to chase a reluctant donkey as long as they want to play the game.  They seem to enjoy it much more than we do......LOL  What's really irritating is after chasing one back and forth as they run and kick up their heels, once they make up their mind to go in the pen, they walk in like it was their idea.............!!! 

Tuesday, August 16, 2022


 One thing about donkeys, they are very helpful and very very observant.  If anything new comes on the property, they have to check it out.  If someone is doing something, the donkeys are right there making sure it is done correctly.  

Roper checking out the tractor, probably not sure that's where it belongs

Bella "helping" Mike hook up the electricity to the office/store.  She stayed with him for the whole job  

Time for a break

John's back is a good place for Buddy to rest his head

Saturday, August 13, 2022


 Yesterday Suzanne and I went up to Gilbert to pick up Roper and bring him home.  He doesn't act like anything happened.  This morning he was out playing with some of the other geldings, he's eating and taking treats of course, treats are his favorite thing.  

He's on antibiotics and the external stitches will need to be taken out in about 10 days.  I assume that means the ones on the outside of his cheek, I think there are some inside his mouth too, hopefully they are dissolvable.  I should be able to take out the ones on the outside, but not sure I want to tackle inside his mouth.  I'll call them next week to make sure.  

They took large margins of surrounding tissue and injected the area with Cisplatin a type of chemotherapy, it's used for a number of human cancers also.  The tissue was sent off and we should get the results back this week.  Hopefully they got it all.

Dr. Howard, Roper and Suzanne doing Roper's pre-exam

We also asked them to check his lumbosacral spine, which is in the area of where his tail attaches.  His tail starts really low compared to most of the other donkeys and his hind legs move oddly.  They x-rayed him standing and after he was ready for surgery they took x-rays while he was on his back.  No abnormalities were seen, they it could either be a birth defect or a past injury that has healed.  He was a roping donkey, so it's possible he was hurt at some time and nothing was done, just no way of knowing.

Kris has had 3 days of treatments on his sheath and is really doing great.  The first day was a battle of wills and strength.  He won the strength, and we won the will.  Once we got him in the "redneck" squeeze his strength didn't make such a difference.  He was scared although the renters that were taking care of them tried trimming their feet, but I'm not sure how much they really messed with them.  

Yesterday morning before Suzanne and I headed for Gilbert we rushed his doctoring, and he did really good.  We didn't have to "crush" him in between the corral panels and he didn't kick at all.

I think this is Waylon checking out the gator

Both Waylon and Kris are a little "short for their weight".  This is Waylon, he doesn't have quite a much weight to lose as Kris.

Kris is still rather shy about getting a halter put on him, but this morning Suzanne got that done.  She led him into the squeeze and she stayed in there with him feeding carrots, while I doctored.  He just stood there never offered to kick and no squirming.  Tomorrow I might try to doctor him in his pen without a halter or the extra corral panel.  Or I might not...........!!! Depends on his level of participation.......LOL  

Kris is on the left and Waylon on the right.  You can see that Kris is pretty pudgy with pretty good-sized pones over his ribs.  Not sure who their friend is, it's hard to tell when they have on a fly mask and the picture doesn't show all the donkey.  We have quite a few grey roan ones.

Thursday, August 11, 2022


 Roper's surgery on his tumor went very well they said.  BUT, Dr. Howard is pretty sure it is cancerous.  It has been sent off for testing to make sure and hopefully to find out what kind.  Dr. Howard took as much surrounding tissue as he could and also put chemo drugs in the area.

As soon as he got back to his stall, he started looking for something to eat, typical behavior for a donkey.  We were going to pick him up today, but we had a horrible rain storm about 3am last night.  Since we were having sheetrock delivered today, I called and asked if Roper could recuperate at the clinic another day and we'll pick him up tomorrow.  The sheetrock guys will be here Saturday, so we wanted to make sure the sheetrock was under shelter until then.  

Had a man named Randy call this morning wanting to know about volunteering and offered to come out and help with getting ready for the sheetrock delivery.  The sheetrock was supposed to be here after noon sometime.  Randy stayed until about 3pm and had to leave.  About 15 minutes later the sheetrock showed up........!! LOL Suzanne and John didn't have much to do except put the spacers under the sheetrock and then get the trailer in the shed in case it rains. Judging from the clouds in the background that might happen, although the sun is shining now.  

That is 44 sheets of plywood, believe it or not.  I remember sheetrock from when I was a kid, it was a lot thicker and heavier.  

We've ordered the flooring, although the walls will have to be painted before the flooring is installed.  We're going to try to do the floor ourselves.  Should be interesting, I know if I get down, I'll have to find something to pull myself up with, or wait for someone to come and get me up........!!!  LOL

This morning I finally got a chance to clean Kris' sheath, it's swollen and has open sores on it from habronema larvae.  I'm been doctoring him every morning since he got here, in a rather hit and miss way, because of a lack of time.  At first he was OK with touchy/feely, and every day less touchy/feely and more squirming and jumping.  Yesterday he resorted to kicking in my general vicinity, which isn't something I enjoy.  This morning he was a little more insistent with his kicking although he never aimed for me.  I decide it was time to introduce him to our "redneck" squeeze.  It is an extra corral panel, attached to one end of a standing corral panel.  They go in it, and you close the extra panel on them, so hopefully they can't get good aim at your arm or break your arm with a direct hit.  

He started out with attitude, which didn't make me happy.  Suzanne was on the front end, when he kicked I punched him a couple of times.  When he didn't kick, Suzanne stuffed a piece of carrot in his mouth.  Didn't take but about 5 or 6 times for him to figure out, kicking......bad, not kicking.....good............!!! He let Suzanne take pictures and let me finish.  Wonder what he will do tomorrow morning, we have to go up to Gilbert and pick up Roper, so I might not have time to "duck and dance", hopefully he will remember all those carrot pieces............!! LOL

Suzanne hasn't shared her pictures yet, but the sores look better than I thought they would.  There's a few habronema larvae attached, I covered them with wormer, which usually kills them pretty quick.  Hopefully if I can get rid of them, he'll have a chance to heal quickly, although right now the flies are pretty bad, because of the rain and accompanying humidity.  High temperatures are OK, but the humidity is miserable.  Us desert rats aren't fans of humidity especially day after day.........!!!  

Tuesday, August 09, 2022


    Roper came in a little over a week ago.  We took him to the Equine Clinic up in Gilbert today to have a tumor on his cheek removed.  They will do the surgery tomorrow morning and we will find out if it is cancer or not.  We're hoping for the best, he's really a nice donkey in the time he has been here he has shown himself to be alert, curious and very easy to work with. 

    They are also going to look at his eyes.  He acts like he doesn't see well when going from light to dark, etc.  His eyes are bright and shiny, so while he's  asleep they will take that opportunity to get a better look.  That easy to work with, doesn't mean he was happy to stand still while they shined lights in his eyes and tried to get a good look.  

    They will also x-ray his hips while he's "resting".  His tail is lower than normal on a donkey and we want to know why.  It doesn't seem to bother him and he moves good but this will be a good opportunity to find out if there is something out of whack.  Since he is named Roper there's a good chance he's been roped, we don't know for sure.  Or he might have been born that way, hopefully an x-ray will help identify if there is a problem.  


        We also took BlackJack up to the clinic to see why he is cranky when he's groomed.  They poked and prodded him, and of course he didn't try to bite them, like he's been doing everyone that tries to brush him lately.  He had blood drawn a few weeks ago and it was pretty normal.  Drew it again and it was OK except for a slight elevation of liver numbers.  Nothing really to worry about Dr. Howard said.  

    I am going to start him on some milk thistle which is really good for "man and beast" if there might be liver problems.  Who knows maybe it will improve his disposition.......!!! LOL

    When we brought BlackJack into the clinic, first thing Dr. Howard zeroed in on was "is his hair always this long?"  He thought BlackJack might have Cushings disease   I explained that BJ probably has some French Poitou in his bloodline.  

    We brought BlackJack home and will go back up to get Roper when they call us after the surgery.  Dr. Howard is going to put chemo drugs in the surgical area, in case it is cancerous, we want Roper to have the best chance for a good outcome as medical science can give him.  

    Over the last few days, we have taken in 2 new guys overweight with neglected feet and some fly damage.  They had been in the same home for 18 years, weren't named and we were told about them by renters that were getting ready to move and were worried about the boys.  They had been trying to take care of them and talked the owner into turning them over to us.  

        John and Suzanne were moving bunks around in the mare motel and came up with the names Kris Kristofferson, and Waylon Jennings, to go with Willie Nelson that came down here from Colorado a few weeks ago.  All we need is a Johnny Cash and we will have the complete Highwaymen quartet. I guess we could incorporate John into the group..........LOL


This is Waylon he is the friendliest one, but I don't think his ears are as long as they look in this picture Suzanne took right after they got here.  Kris is going to take some time, but I'm sure he will settle in once he figures out, we love donkeys.  

Saturday, July 30, 2022


 At four years old he is just a kid, the only other ones here probably under the age of 10 are Cochise and Oscar.  Roper came in today, he had a tumor in his mouth that had been removed and that has returned and is growing quickly.  We will make an appointment at the equine clinic up in Gilbert next week and have it taken care of.  Hopefully it is just a cranky benign growth and not cancer.

We will also probably take BlackJack up with him.  For a few months BJ has been ouchy about being groomed he acts like it's painful internally.  The best guess was maybe ulcers, so we treated him and he even got Tums daily, which is one of his favorite treats.  Hopefully they can find out what the problem is he's still acting funny.    

BJ has been here since before there was a rescue, he was our first donkey, John bought him for my birthday about 24 years ago.  We got him a friend that had to be euthanized because of health problems.  We got 3 donkeys for free and they all had health problems, actually one of them was squirrelly and the guy's grandkids were afraid of him.  From that beginning we started actively looking for donkeys that weren't wanted and found out there were a lot of them out there.  

So here we are almost 25 years later, still looking for donkeys that need help.

Sorry about the rude ending to the video, but Beefy the mammoth was trying to eat John's supper we had brought from our lunch on the way home from picking up Roper.  I had set it on the bed cover of Suzanne's truck.  The donkeys were all so busy trying to see the new guy, I didn't worry about anyone bothering it.  Obviously Beefy can multitask, in the video he is the big black donkey.  In the 30 seconds from start to finish of the video, he visited with the new guy went around the back of the trailer and ended up between the trailer and the back of her truck, trying to snack on John's supper.  

A couple of days ago, when Mike was leaving after working on the electric for the office/store, he came in worried that the big black donkey would get sick, from dining on half of his peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  He had the windows down in his truck, and when he got out to open the gate, Beefy moved in to see what was in there.  I'm afraid he is taking over from Big Gus, Gus could reconnoiter a vehicle with the windows down faster that you could see the problem..........!!  LOL  We sure do miss Big Gus, he had the biggest personality and a real creative mind to go with it.  I guess Beefy spent time watching Big Gus cause so much excitement and is continuing the process, he never did things like this when Big Gus was alive he was too busy chasing the girls.  We thought it would be quieter around here with Gus gone, but guess not..............!!!  Because Beefy got half of a tasty P&B sandwich as payment for his efforts I'm sure he will continue raiding vehicles when he can.

This is Roper going into his pen next door to Jasper this afternoon.  They've already touched noses and neither seemed interested in being aggressive.   We'll give Roper a day or two in his pen to get acclimated to a new home and nosy neighbors and then let him out to roam.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022


 I assume that eagle eyed donkeys are having to go under bushes and getting fly masks hung up to get to some of the beans.  

Can't explain how the masks are ending up around their necks.  Usually that happens when the boys are playing and the fly mask becomes a toy with strong enough Velcro that it won't come loose and the offending donkey won't let go.  

I can't remember any of the girls having a problem with masks around the neck before.  This is Frijolita and obviously there's a problem.  

Tula's is a little risque, rather than around the neck.  In the many years she's been here she has never lost a fly mask, let alone damaged one.  She gets a new one in the spring and all it needs in the fall is washed and put away.  Obviously she's having to work a little harder to get to some of the beans.

Boaz is not a big surprise, he is pretty hard on fly masks anyway.

Justice usually isn't too hard on his masks.  At least when they are around the neck we don't have to go look for them........LOL  We can't figure out how they get that way.  You would think if they get caught on the fence, the donkey would pull back the the mask would probably stay on the fence.  

John and I were gone to California over the week-end to Barona Speedway to watch 2 nights of short track dirt racing.  Had a great time and got to see some good "bull ring" racing.  They race my kind of car there, but it's too far for 2 old people to drag a race car, not sure we'd survive the experience.......LOL   It's about 400 miles one way.  

It seems like whenever we take off, something always happens.  This time Suzanne turned on the faucet in the back yard, it broke and  shot water clear across the yard.  She's real handy and actually knew where to turn the water off.  Mike, one of our volunteers that has been putting the electricity in the new office/store building also does plumbing..........!!  Of course you can't have just one crisis at a time, what fun would that be?  Cisco choked and Suzanne had to call Dr. Jeremy, Cisco was pretty much in distress and she said it took quite awhile for him to get cleared.  His teeth, the ones he still has don't match up, so he has areas where the teeth are grinding on his gums.  Dr. Jeremy said not to feed him hay, but besides his daily pumpkin, chewing hay and spitting it out is one of his little pleasures in life.  John is going to run it thru the shredder and get it as short as he can, so hopefully Cisco can play with the hay and not choke.  

We just had a rain storm go thru and our big wash actually ran for the first time this season.  It wasn't bank to bank but it's fun to see it run.  

When we drove in from California Sunday afternoon we had to stop at the 1st of 8 washes we have to drive thru to get home.  When we got to it it was high enough that 3 big pickups and a couple of cars were already there..........waiting.  

Years ago especially before the road was paved we use to get to sit and wait 2 or 3 times a year.  It was always a good time to visit with the neighbors and to catch up on what was going on in the valley.  Sometimes people would throw their car keys back and forth if someone had to get home or get to work, they'd just trade vehicles till the next day.

The pickups could have probably made it easy enough although they didn't try until the water started going down.  But the little VW across the wash and John's little Subaru set way too low, besides John's car has what they call a cool box down really low to suck in air............not water........ that wouldn't be a good idea....!!!  LOL

Finally one of the pickups got brave and went thru.  Pretty soon it was just us and the VW.  We watched the VW go thru and it wasn't any higher than the bottom of the rim on his hub caps, so we went ahead and had no problem.  The next 7 washes weren't running, it depends on where the rain fell, so we made it home in time for chores.  

Friday, July 15, 2022


The last couple of days, we've been trying different ways of allowing them out.  What seems to work best, at least for humans is they stay in their pens overnight, which is about 13-18 hours, from 5pm to noon or 2 or 3 pm.  Of course they let us know this isn't right, but are so happy to get out when we do let them out, all they are interested in is finding beans.  

About half the trees on the 10 acres don't have any beans at all.  Hopefully we won't have heavy wind and the beans will drop as they ripen rather than getting blown off and piling up under the tree.  We don't know how long before the donkeys get access to Burroland, but so far they are happy with the beans they are finding on the 10 acres.

Suzznne took pictures of them eating beans.  They are like vacuum cleaners this is BlackJack

I think that is Frijolita hiding out in her private stash

Little Jackson out making sure those beans get eaten

Cochise doing his share for the cause

Koshare and Suzanne at Mancos, Colorado in June, making the most of the wait for the obstacle course race to begin. 

Mike is just about done with the electricity in the office and arrangements have been made for the insulation in a couple of weeks.  The heat/AC is also ordered.  The next big event will probably be the sheet rock walls and ceiling.  It's moving along, hopefully it will be finished by the time we open back up for tours September 1st.