Monthly Archives: March 2019


First blossoms

Phew! After a very wet February, March has been a lovely month with plenty of warm sunshine which means happy animals, and helpers, enjoying plenty of time out of doors.  The trees are showing signs of new life as buds and blossoms start to appear.  It is always a lovely time of year at the Donkey Paradise.

An update on Frodo

Life at the Donkey Paradise is always a mixture of emotions and often we have to deal with sadness in the midst of joy.  Although we did everything we could for Frodo, his time to leave us had come. The day before he died he went out, well escorted, into the pasture where he grazed happily for two hours. The next day, however, he couldn´t stand anymore and kept falling. His body just gave up, but his spirit never did! Frodo lived with us for five years and was much loved. Behind his grumpiness he had a heart of gold, which shone ever more clearly as he grew older. 

Frodo earlier this year

Our dog project

Two years ago, Marleen took in Nina, a rather young stray dog to join our small group of dogs.  During the first few weeks all went well and harmoniously, but then the fighting started and it became ever more aggressive and ferocious. We then had to keep the dogs apart, tied and on leads, to avoid the fighting, but still the dog situation continued to be unbalanced and tense and Nina even started to attack people. Fortunately, Dutch dog trainer Susan Shui offered help. She came, worked with all the dogs – and Stevie the pig! – and the results are very promising. Before she left, she also instructed some of the volunteers on how to continue the training until she comes back in May. 

Susan and Sara training Maya and Nina by walking past the neighbour´s boxer without reacting to his barking.


Our Mastin Arvo came to us almost 12 years ago, and Marleen finds it difficult to see the big fellow he is now and remember that, as a puppy, he could sit on her hands.  Arvo was operated on twice for cancer and now also has bad hips, therefore he doesn´t move about much anymore.  Nevertheless, three weeks ago he went away during the night and did not come back. We looked for him everywhere, day after day, but without luck. The fifth day he came back emaciated, extremely hungry, dried out and deadly tired. How happy we were to have him back!  Sadly though, he is in a bad state: he has severe anaemia and may not live much longer. 

Volunteers An and Sandra, on their way to the top of the hill opposite the Donkey Paradise last summer, found that Arvo followed them. He reached the top before them, and almost made it back home after walking 12 kilometers!