Saturday, October 31, 2009

Any Minute Now...

Well, my original plan for my post today was going to be Maggie's ride, and then my donkeys... but in doing Maggie's pictures I also went to put them on AZBCR and found Mary's post about Ruby and I got so excited I forgot about my donkeys... so here we go.

This is Susie Q. She is as wide as she is tall... kinda hard to see though since Ellie Mae decided she was important enough to get her picture taken too! Susie Q doesn't REALLY have two pairs of ears lol...

Unless you want to count the upside down ones underneath! The picture I took of those didn't come out very well but this is Taffy Jo:

Oh, forgot to say - "warning, donkey porn!!" ;) Seriously, THIS is Taffy Jo...

This will be her last foal. She had some pretty bad abcesses recently and Wade said carrying all this extra weight is just too hard on her... so even more reason to hope for a spotted jennet foal I can keep, since next year mama will be sold to a pet only, no breeding, retirement home. She's not really as old as she looks, but before I got her she was bred too often, too close together. Wish people would give the girls time to recover in between... Around here we don't breed back until after the current foal is weaned - don't want mama having to grow one on the inside at the same time she is growing one on the outside! And depending on how the timing of the births work with the breeding season, if a natural 6-month additional break doesn't happen naturally a minimum of every other foal, we skip a breeding season deliberately to make sure they get that break. Taffy's daughters should NOT look like this when they are 14 years old!

Any bets on whether I will have a baby or two in the morning???

Ruby's Good News!!!

I couldn't wait to share this with y'all... Mary posted this on our riding forum today:

"Do I write this here or do I just crow it from the roof top? I had my first ride on Ruby today. I went off for a ride with my neighbors. It was very nice, she didn't drag along in the back, she occasionally jogged along in her floaty arab way of going. She was very relaxed around strange horses and in a strange place. We all split up to go our seperate ways home and she just ambled back home like she lived here all her life. She is so sweet, patient and kind. I sort of felt bad riding her because she's still slender but her held up just fine. When we came home I washed her back and gave her a good alcohol back rub she seemed to like it. I couldn't help slipping her another pad of alphfa as a thank you, though under the sharp eye of the donkeys who of course demanded some too! I gave them a small piece of bermuda grass. They knew she got better stuff but greedly ate the bermuda. All in all it was very upbuilding and relaxing, I didn't feel like a hopeless flop as a rider, I can she why she is called a confidence builder. She went along over, under, around and between everything, nothing was a challenge or a suprise to her, just a very nice girl."

I am beyond happy... Mary needed a horse she felt comfortable on, and Ruby needs someone who will take GOOD care of her. Well so far, so good, it's looking like it might be a match made in heaven...

Meanwhile, back at the ranch... because of our situation and my NEEDING to be able to go to work, I tried to be smart and put my daughter on Maggie first... SHE WAS PERFECT! Somebody better buy this horse quick, I do NOT need another one...

Even the idiot puppy barking at her heels didn't phase her...

This was supposed to be a lope but she dropped down into a long trot just as I snapped the camera.

Finally got a loping shot.

Blue eyes, my favorite!

Earcams on this gal will be lots of fun, with those two different-colored ears!

Tomorrow I'm gonna try her myself!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Can't Decide on a Title...

I could call this post

"Warning - Mikey is Contagious!"

Or, "New Kids On the Block"...

Or Randy's suggestion which was

"Randy Has Had It Up To Here!" but I can't type his hand motions

Or how about the next idea that popped into my head when he said that:

"I'm Still Alive!"

I had two things on my agenda today: first, deliver Ruby and pick up Maggie; and second, go with Mikey to trap another dog.

Ruby was delivered to the same nice lady who bought Trooper and adopted Charlie the ex-roping donkey. She's going to try Ruby out and see if our old lady is a better match for her. In the meantime, her gorgeous Maggie is going to stay with us, get some riding and learn some manners and hopefully we can find a buyer for her.

Maggie checking out her new digs...

Our girls checking out the new kid...

They are REALLY anxious to say hello.

But Maggie, not so much - this is what they get.

Maggie finally got brave enough to get close enough to the girls to get a drink.

I left her to settle in and went in for a bite of lunch before it was time to go dog-catching with Mikey. She arrived right on schedule and off we went. Whiel driving Mercy regaled me with the tale of the contents of her Halloween party goodie bag... which included A BALLOON! I asked her if she could blow it up... so she started trying. Meanwhile Mikey and I are chatting and every so often Mikey interrupts herself to say, "Mercy, DON'T SPIT" So of course I had to try and get a picture of Mercy with the balloon, but you can see what she thought of THAT idea!

Kinda caught her here...

Any guesses how many times I heard Mikey say... Mercy, DON'T SPIT!!!

And then... You'll have to go visit Mikey to see the beginning of this part of the story...

But here is the end:

Yes that is ANOTHER donkey. In MY round pen. We spotted him wandering on the way to the dogs. Mikey the instigator says "Why don't you go see if you can catch him. I have a halter and lead rope in the back of the truck! I'll take pictures!!!!"

So Mikey's Mom and I go see what we can do. This little guy actually went between two fence, about a foot and a half apart, and I followed behind him... I was afraid to get too close and get kicked but didn't want him to get to the other end of the fence and take off... But when he reached the end of the fence, someone had strung some wire across in 4-5 places, and he pushed it with his nose but couldn't get through. I went through the pole fence (thank goodness for that, the other was no-climb!) and got up next to his head and got the halter on no problem. Once I had him caught, I looked to see and DANGIT he is not gelded {sigh} so I know Randy will NOT be happy about this... Asked him to back up and he did for a few steps, decided that was annoying and I still don't know how turned himself around... Now I am behind him in this narrow walkway, still holding the lead rope... but he walked on out to the end where Mikey's Mom was waiting and grabbed the rope, snubbed it on a fence post just in case but he just stood there. I thought he was pretty young because he seems so small to me but he let me look at his teeth and they aren't young teeth...

Since Mikey was nagging me I called Randy to bring the truck and trailer but got his voice mail. Darn it, because my plan was to HAND HER THE PHONE! After all, this is HER idea...

Seems we need an alternate plan... well just a bit down the road is a gal I know (where Seth and Abner came from last summer) so my idea is to walk him there and see if she will let him stay in her yard until Mikey can take me back for the truck and trailer. Donkey however has other ideas... we get close to the road and he thinks it's RODEO TIME! We manage to hang on to him and Mikey stops laughing long enough to bring us a second rope. We get him to the next fence post and snub him up again... We decide that "just a bit down the road" is too far to try walking this boy so Mikey's Mom volunteers to stay with him while she runs me back for the truck.

Fast forward to returning with the truck... another neighbor has stopped and volunteered the rest of a bale of hay he had actually bought for Abigail (her many admirers explains why she is kinda chubby despite not being fed much by her owner!) so Mikey has gone off with him and her truck to get the hay... and yet another neighbor is talking to Mikey's Mom... Mikey and the neighbor arrive just as we are getting the donkey to the back of the trailer... Mikey stands back with her camera and laughs at us, but a gentle butt-rope and this donkey just hops right in WOOT!!! That made me VERY happy...

Then it was off to try and catch a dog - after all that WAS our original purpose for this trip. We saw one, but he scrammed when we got there. We managed to get him turned back for the property and were hoping he would make a dive for the trailer door like Starfish #1 did, but he bypassed it all and kept going. Got around him and got him turned again but again he angled away from where we wanted him to go... by this time we are beat and just can't get ahead of him again. We scouted around to see if we could spot any more and came across one female... dead. More on that from Mikey too...

Thought we would call it a day and try again another time. Ran into a neighbor who asked us not to come back, they would like to handle the matter themselves. Long story short we agreed and although it makes me sad for the rest of them, sometimes retreat is just the best option. We will just count our blessings that we got Starfish #1 out of there and got him vetted and placed (yay Max and Janet!!) and that Mikey got Starfish #2 and she will be taken care of as well (yay Lexi!!) - and a HUGE thank you to Lori, Sara & Scott, Juli, Karen and Mary who donated to the dog food fund. The balance of the donations will go to the vet bills :)

And the donkey? I thought I would call him MIKE ;) but he says his name is Billy. And it does not appear that he has much experience with fresh water... see how far back he stands?

But I think he'll be happy to figure it out.

And yes, I'm still alive! For now... although I might have to move in with Mikey!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I didn't post anything here because Mikey did... and because Janet was so heartbroken... but the phone rang tonight and it said "Janet" so my heart started pounding and I said "hello" and she said


Somehow Max found his way back to Janet's place, AND jumped back over the fence into the backyard... out of the blue they looked over and saw him sitting at the glass door looking in at them.

They were both in tears, as was Max... he is filthy and has cactus all over and was on the bed! Janet says he is happy to be back and she doesn't think he will try that again BUT he is getting microchipped and will not be let out alone for even a minute until he has had more time to settle in and bond with them.

I was really worried because he hadn't finished his medication, but he is back safe and I am indescribably happy!

Tomorrow we go back for another, maybe the last one left - we've only seen he one the last 3 times we were out to feed.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Screen Capture Software

I usually don't do this kind of thing {that delete button comes in real handy!} but this particular product intrigued me. So here goes.

Screen Capture Software

OK cool it seems to have worked... I'll have the opportunity to check it out personally soon so I'll report back!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Getting Ready for Christmas?

It doesn't look like there will be one around here this year. Maybe if we are lucky we can be like the house on the right...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Give Me A Break!!!!

OK, maybe this person has good intentions... but all I can say is SHEESH! What kind of miracles do you think we can perform???

I got this e-mail today, a quote forwarded back a couple of times through people that have forwarded out a plea to help the "trailer of death dogs"... and unfortunately without the initiating e-mail address attached to it...

"I don’t know the full situation that’s mentioned here– is there a summary document somewhere that succinctly lists the situation, address, description of each animal (sex, s/n status, approximate age, breed, medical condition, etc.), where they are now, temperament, etc.?

I don’t see much detail in this – if she wants help from the rescue community she needs to make it really easy to see/evaluate the situation. I see a few stories on the blog, but no comprehensive synopsis of the situation and the need. If someone can get that from her, that would be great. Thx,"

Now I ask you, any of you who have been reading the blog (as this person implies they have): Haven't we made it clear what the situation is? That we can't get close to the dogs until we have them in a trap? That we don't even know HOW MANY there really are??? How can they ask for a "summary document" that "succinctly" lists the "description of each animal" under these circumstances? This person also implies that we don't really WANT help since we haven't given sufficient details... or a "comprehensive synopsis of the situation and the need". The e-mail I sent out asked for foster or adoptive homes and gave all the information we have, which honestly isn't much. But again, SHEESH!!!!! I am just flabbergasted...

Today's update isn't any different. I am going out every day with dog food. The last 4 days, it has not been totally eaten (but still quite a bit gone). 2 of those days I didn't see hide nor hair of any of the dogs. The last 2 days we saw 2 each day, I think the same 2. Tonight there was only 1... but the guys were there again cleaning up, so I was actually surprised to even see that 1. We really need to place #2 so we can go trap another one...

We can only hope that the 6 I personally saw that first Saturday morning are all of them and that the neighbor who said 12 was mistaken. If so, we have 2, and since I have only seen 2 others recently, we can only wonder if they are scattering or have died or been killed...

I am so frustrated!!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Just a Bad Day :(

Randy's breathing machine has been great... I was going to move to my own room even but since he got it, NO MORE SNORING... well I think it needs adjusted or something because the MACHINE is starting to sound like it is snoring! And the gentle woosh is sometimes a LOUD WOOSH {sigh} so this morning from 3:45 to 6am I layed there wishing I could sleep! Then I got up and went out to feed and found a water leak, which I had to dig up so Randy could fix... It made me late going to pick up my friend Lisa, we were supposed to go down to Rainbow Valley and ride with another friend, well we are finally on the way and BAM a flat on the trailer... by the time we got it changed it was too late to make the ride on time so we just went back to Lisa's and rode, which WAS nice... the highlight of my day. I made a call on picking up some free pipe fencing only to find out I missed it by an hour - so I went home and took a NAP!

Tonight I am cruising my favorite websites and it hits me... I FORGOT TO CALL ANDRIA FOR HER BIRTHDAY!!! So now I feel like an absolutely horrible mother. I've been planning her call ALL WEEK and I can't believe I forgot... Tried to reach her and only got voice mail :(

At least Randy made me spaghetti for dinner... I've been craving pasta all weekend!

I should just go to bed now and make this day be OVER WITH!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Day With Randy's Cannon

Before and after delivering "Starfish" (now known as "Max") to his new owner, I spent the day with Randy and his reenactment group at Pioneer Village. Since Mikey missed a picture of the cannon this morning, I thought I'd share some of the day with you.
This cannon is a replica built by Randy's Uncle Mike. He passed away from cancer last year and the cannon came to Randy, who had promised to keep it shown. It was quite the gun at the time and all the reenactors like to check it out.

Getting ready

Waiting their turn to fire the Williams Gun


This is Mike's Mountain Howitzer - it uses a load 4x the size of the Williams Gun and the smoke shows it!

Even the guns make big clouds of smoke!

Some guys have to play dead!

Can you spot the casualty?

Cleaning the cannon after the first battle

The First Texas Artillery, joined by the First Texas Infantry

This is Mac who was kind enough to share his shade and chairs with us

There were even a couple of women there and... yes... Randy has plans for me too! But I think I should insist on bringing my horse!

Lunch break inside the fort

I think this is my favorite picture of the day :)

After lunch I find Randy showing the Williams Gun to a bunch of spectators...

The last shot of the day was a double out of the Mountain Howitzer. A big boom, a huge cloud of smoke, and a rolling echo off the mountains in the distance. the crowd goes wild... and several car alarms go off in the parking lot! All the guys start clapping each other on the back and grinning ear to ear, exclaiming "listen to that, we set off the car alarms!" I just had to laugh... a bunch of men in their 40s, 50s and 60s... and the average age of the group is FIVE!!!!!

But they really enjoyed their day, and with all the crap life has handed Randy this last year, it did my heart good to see him enjoying the day so much!

So here's to you, Uncle Mike (and Aunt Carol) - thanks for giving the Williams Gun to Randy!!

Starfish #1 Goes Home

This morning early, Randy and I picked up Starfish so that I could deliver him to his new home today. We put him in the back seat and barely got onto Highway 74 (maybe 5 minutes from Mikey's) when he was crawling over the seat back next to the window and plopping his 50-pound self ON MY LAP! It took a good 25 minutes before he decided that the back seat might be more comfortable after all...

Randy had a reenactment with his cannon at Pioneer Village which put me a third of the way to his new home... so he came along while we dropped Randy and the cannon off, then we called Janet and headed north. He made that leg of the trip in a crate in the back because we didn't want to risk him trying to get on my lap while I was driving! We reached the meeting place first so I unloaded him and tried to walk him and see if he wanted to potty... I was a little worried because although he took his meds wrapped in cheese, and drank a little water, he didn't eat any of the food I soaked for him.

When Janet arrived, I think it was love at first sight...

Saying hello...

Turns into a hug...

And then a kiss!

I think he's gonna do just fine with Janet, don't you?

PS update, heard from Janet, she writes:


Update on Starfish #1, who we are calling Max:

Well, he layed quietly in the car all the way home. After a little coaxing, he got out of the car when we got home and Dougie was right there to meet him. Dougie was so kind and gentle to him, I just loved him for how sweetly he greeted our new pup. We took him into the back yard and attempted to show him around...but he took a long drink of water and found a little place to lay down on the porch and so we just let him be. He soon took a nap and stayed in that spot for hours.
He didn't eat right away, but early evening he ate a big bowl of boiled chicken and rice, although he didn't finish all the rice. Then, later he ate another whole bowl of chicken only, and after we finished our steaks, he got a nice plate of scraps.
We did see him get up and down off the porch to go potty, so he knows the drill there. We took him inside a while this evening, now he is out again to do his business. He has his own room right now so he can feel safe and calm. He's been pretty scared, but we're so glad he finally ate. He loves ear scratches. He hates the hard wood floors!
(Don't most dogs?)
Anyway, I'll post pics tomorrow.
Mikey, thanks for your kind words and all you have done for this new love of ours.


Oh, and he seemed to be wise to our attempt to sneak his meds in the chicken and the cheese-so Jim put them in a Vienna Sausage and he had no idea that he took them! Yay Jim! I was hoping I wouldn't have to pop the meds down his throat, as that isn't the way you want to treat a scared doggy on his first day in his new home.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dog #2 Caught!

I was at work but here's the whole scoop from Mikey:

I am constantly amazed by this woman. I can't wait to see the miracle she works on "Starfish #2"!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

No WAHOO Today :(

The property owner was out with a couple of guys loading up some of his stuff and making a lot of noise... we did see 2 of the dogs but they were high-tailing it away from the commotion. So we left more food and figure they will come back when it's quiet... and we will try again!

Better Pictures of Abigail :)

As much as she wanted nothing but AWAY FROM ME while on her owner's property, she was a pocket donkey literally IMMEDIATELY after arriving at Painted Promise Ranch.

She watches me whenever I am in sight and hollers at me to come see her!

Isn't she gorgeous?

And her feet look surprisingly good considering the neglect obvious from the dogs...

Trying to get far enough away from her to get a good picture without a fence in between is a trick!

Look at that face! She is getting disgusted with me...

This gorgeous girl is ready for adoption, yes that quick, she's awesome! Her adoption fee will be donated to "the Starfish Fund" to help with the expenses of getting "her" dogs ready for new homes.

Monday, October 19, 2009


I just got a note from someone on my AZBCR horse website - she will take the dog! One down, 11 to go...

EDITED to say since she "fessed up" on the site, I can say THANK YOU JANET!!!!!!! Janet is such a kind soul, she will be perfect for Starfish #1!

Good News and More Good News :)

First and foremost here's the latest on the first caught dog.. rather than repeat, click here

Doesn't that just bring a tear of happiness?

And from our own Ruby...
not such a good picture but it shows her ribs filled out!

She is fed up, had her feet done and READY TO RUMBLE lol

such a pretty girl, hard to believe she is 26 huh?

Ruby is now ready for a feed lease home!