It was love at first sight, Lua. When I looked into your eyes, I knew your place was with me.
You settled in well with the dogs, cats, donkeys and horses. After years of being tied down, you enjoyed your freedom here and even jumped and played around like a giant puppy.
And then the limping started. I didn’t think much of it at first, but it turned out to be the worst of the worst: bone cancer in your shoulder – very painful, very fast growing. You lost your regained joy of life and even stopped liking your food. So the vet came to end your life in the best possible way, given the circumstances.
It has been a while since I wrote my last blog. January was rather wet here in Northern Spain and the donkeys spent a lot of time indoors. Fortunately, February has been a lot better. Yes, we have had a lot of wind but there has been less rain and we have had a lot of sunny days. Everyone feels much better and the donkeys can go outside more and they are so much happier.
Today was a beautiful sunny day. The sun was shining upon the snow-capped peaks of the Picos de Europa mountains which can just be glimpsed from the Paraiso del burro (Donkey Paradise) but the best views are to be found just along the lane when you turn right into the village of Arobes.
At the Paraiso del burro, the care of the animals is of the greatest importance and key to their wellbeing is the work of the volunteers who rise early in the morning to feed and water the animals and clean out their stables. Daily routine is important here and volunteers need to quickly learn the routine tasks such as cleaning the stables, replenishing the water buckets, washing the feeding bowls and cutting up the carrots and apples for the donkeys’ me
Today, the donkeys’ brushes needed to be cleaned and disinfected – not part of the daily routine but one of those tasks that need to be done regularly.
After the routine work, the volunteers might like to work on a project. At the moment there is an on-going project to lay a gravel path from the stables down to the stream as this area is very slippery for both animals and humans in wet weather. The projects are many and varied to suit a variety of interests and skills from animal care to gardening and building skills and anything in between, in fact the volunteers often come up with their own ideas for projects.
But it is not all work at the Donkey Paradise and everyone has time to relax and unwind and enjoy all that this beautiful area of Asturias has to offer.
Flora is in the garden near to the flowers, as her name suggests, whilst Yara waits by the gate
There is a donkey here called Yara,
The other called Flora is tall and white,
They like to eat food of all the others if they could,
And it’s clear to see they have a large appetite!
This new friendship that has appeared to have blossomed.
An inseparable pair with so much love in their hearts,
Circumstance has interwoven a very special bond,
Walking side by side and never apart.
As their journey unfolds,
And their friendship is sung,
They like to chat endlessly,
Of bales when they were young.
Yara and Flora will remain forever true,
Their love for each other is a sight to be seen,
The everlasting light shines bright all around them,
And the cloudless misty sky it shines so blue.