About Me

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Crete, Greece
Married to the lovely Geoffrey, my soulmate. I have two fantastic big kids,both married, whom I love and miss every day I'm not with them, but I know they're living and loving their lives and we make up for time when we get together.I now have three granddaughters too...

Friday, 5 March 2010

The Tale of 3 Donkeys

It's a normal thing to see around our village, donkeys are part of the older folks' lives, they are still used as transport and the carrier of all that is needed to be carried.. they also provide compost for the kypos. One can only hope that they are fed well and basically cared for, after all, it's in the owners own interest to keep the animals healthy .
Having said that...many of the villagers cannot afford the fees of a vet.
So, enter...Suzanne and Alistair ...'Walk With Donkeys'
I've blogged about them before here, they have as donkey sanctuary above Ierapetra, taking in and caring for abandoned and abused donkeys
. They also try to get vets to volunteer to spend some time with them, travelling around the surrounding villages giving free health checks, free treatment including dental checks and 'pedicures'...
So, this is where we come in..Leonie and I have discussed our worries about the health of the donkeys we see here in Houmeriakos, and yesterday..Suzanne, Alistair and 2 vets arrived..hoorah!!

The adhoc 'clinic' was on the street and 2 donkeys were quickly seen to..their hooves were cut and cleaned and their teeth were checked and scraped. The owners were given medicine and information on what they could do to help the health of these stoic beasts.
Erini, the owner of one of them told us that he'd been in her family for 50 years...can you believe that!!!! He's still a working beast, carting and carrying every day.

They were given new harnesses and the old ones were cut off and thrown away after finding sores where the rope had cut into the neck. I don't want to think of how long that had been rubbing.

I spied a fellow that was wondering what all the noise and hulabaloo was about!

After they'd had the full treatment, it was time for a bit of fun so Dominic had a ride down the street

So, off we went in search of one donkey I was particularly worried about...
we'd seen it in the lanes, carrying huge piles of wood and it's hooves were evidently in need of treatment.........................................

Luckily, we did find it and sadly, I was told it was the worst case Suzanne and Alistair had seen..
You can see from the above photo that the front hooves are severely overgrown

but the vet was more worried about the back legs and hooves

as a lay person, it's hard for me to describe what has actually happened so I hope the photo above helps my explanation... they donkey is actually walking on 'twisted ankles' the furthest hoove in the above photo, if you zoom in...well, that is supposed to be underneath... that is the 'sole' of the hoof. How painful is that..!!! it's been like that for years and the legs ar so deformed

You can imagine ...the best possible ending to this is that the poor thing is put to sleep immediately

When it was explained to the owners that the most humane thing to do was to have it put to sleep..they refused

saying they had no other transport.....no other way of carrying their wood.....their grain.... their veg fron the kypos.

So, the best was done of a bad job...it's front hooves were clipped and filed

The donkey struggled and slipped on it's back hooves when the front 2 were being seen to...such a sad sad sight!

As you can see, things are a little better at the front now.

Neighbours come to see what's going on and give their expert advise..

Now the hunt is on for another donkey so this one can be put out of it's misery and pain forever..
Please mention/pass this post around..the more people see what is being done by a handful of folk the more chance of people donating money/help/food. Thank you

For more info please go to Suzanne and Alistair's official site www.walkwithdonkeys.com/
They are on Facebook.
I've also noticed they have already written about this donkey on their site..


Peter M said...

There aren't as many donkeys as there used be, and it's sad....they are so cute!

Cheryl said...

When I started reading this I had a grin from ear to ear. As I read further- the grin faded. That poor, poor donkey. I hope that it can be relieved soon.
Well done Jude, your efforts will make a difference. :)

Jenny said...

Its so sad to see how animals are neglected in what is such a beautiful country. Well done to the Walking with Donkeys people! May their good work continue.

bethan said...


Lynn Cohen said...

Thanks for this interesting and informative post. What a sad situation and what wonderful people this couple is doing their work, along with the helping vets.
Wow. I hope your writing about it helps bring relief in funds etc.

Anonymous said...

I was so disturbed to see that last donkey, it must have been in a lot of pain for a long time. If ever a donkey needed a sanctuary, it's that one.

Chris Daly said...

How sad to see the way that poor donkey has been cared for. It is wonderful such generous hearts take time to care for these amazing creatures

Frances said...

Well, as you would imagine, I never see these scenes on my block of NYC's upper west side.

It is good to see that some will look out for these dear donkeys. I do understand how some donkey owners just cannot afford the care that their animals need. Still...

Thank you for this education of a city person. xo

menopausalmusing said...

Here's hoping a replacement donkey can be found soon in order that the suffering can be ended for the poor beast. Thank goodness people like the vets exist and are so generous with their time and skills.

Ivy said...

The situation is bad but I don't think that it is the fault of these poor people, who are probably illeterate and have donkeys as a means for their everyday chores and can't afford to pay. A few months back I saw on T.V. that some Belgians are now breeding Greek donkeys in Belgium for their milk which is used in cosmetics and are making lots of money.

Rattling On said...

I have to say, the owners looked quite literate to me...I think it's more of a case that donkeys aren't thought of in the same way as we think of them. Considering you can't even ride them on most beaches over here now, I think that animal welfare just has a higher profile here.
There is a donkey sanctuary not far from my home. It's a happy and sad place all in one.
But we must be glad for your volunteer friends who are making much headway I'm sure.

Chris Stovell said...

Well done, Jude.

Pondside said...

Good post, Jude - I'll pass this information around. I guess animal cruelty laws aren't as strict in Greece as elsewhere. Poor beasts - they live as long as humans, and that's a long time to suffer.

Victoria said...

This is such an amazing story, sad and beautiful, and hopeful... all rolled into one. Bless those people for the good that they are trying to do. Thank you for sharing this.

Nutty Gnome said...

Oh that poor, poor donkey - my heart bleeds for it.
I'll be passing on the information about Walking with Donkeys so that these animals don't have to suffer.

Mim said...

I love donkeys and will try to help out. So sad and such faithful beasts.

MyCretanlife said...

That donkey is in such a plight. It's a good while since I first saw it. I'm pleased that it had some attention to its front feet. Animals are looked upon so differently here.
So pleased you posted about this

Val said...

I've always loved Donkeys ever since riding then on Prestatyn as a small child.

A very interesting post, sad yet hopeful...I hope it helps raise some useful cash for the people who can use it best.

My husband couldn't understand why the owners hadn't kept the hooves trimmed themselves (he comes from Amish horse country ) and I tried to explain that it was probably just lack of knowledge.

Val said...

We sent a donation hope it helps

Julia said...

Oh Jude, its a post that brings up a fountain of emotions, one of joy that there are caring souls in the world prepared to dedicate time and help to these animals, and heartbreak upon seeing the poor donkey with its twisted legs...I hope so much that there is a peaceful ending for this little chap.

Thank you for sharing this story, Im glad to know about these people doing such good work.

Julia x x x

val said...

I just sat here and couldn't know what to write, tears in my eyes as I tap away. Thank you for making me aware of such things and I will share this with anyone I can. Walking with Donkeys are doing a sterling job.
It must be emotionally very draining.
Thank you again Jude,
Val xx

mountainear said...

Thanks for flagging that up Jude and well done to Walking with Donkeys for the work they are doing.

Very sad to see an animal treated so badly.

do you mind if i knit said...

I've just donated some money to the donkey charity, because their story has got to me, they're doing a tremendous thing aren't they. I find it very difficult to see animals mistreated and in pain, because they trust us. That couple are truly remarkable. Thanks for alerting us to this cause. Love Vanessa xxx

bindu said...

This was really moving. These people are doing a great job, and I'm glad you got them to look at the donkeys near you. That poor, poor animal. I hope for the best.

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