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I’m Jana Appleyard and I live with my donkeys and cats on Hvar island, Croatia where I teach yoga retreats and have a small B&B. I met my first donkey Pano in 2013. He and his friends have led me to discover even more about myself and our journey together has become part of my spiritual practice.

Check out “donkeys are great” very own facebook page, written by Pano himself!

Did you know that donkeys are very good at jumping ! In fact they are very athletic indeed ❤️ here is sweet Paca demonstrating her jumping skills
#donkeysofinstagram #showjumping #hvarisland #loveanimals
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3 weeks ago

Donkeys are great

Today in Croatia is sveti Stjepan day ( st Stephen ) and we have been informed that’s it’s traditional to ride a horse ! Oscar is already saddled up and ready to go , horse or donkey no problem for him ! ...

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1 month ago

Donkeys are great

In our family everyone goes out walking ! #donkeysofinstagram #poniesofinstagram #catsofinstagram #dogsofinstagram #rescueisbest #adoptdontshop #blindcat #naturewalks #hvarisland ...

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2 months ago

Donkeys are great

Beautiful ❤️❤️❤️ ...

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2 months ago

Donkeys are great

Does anyone on the island have any old metal gates sitting around in their garden that they no longer use ? Jana is trying to replace all our broken fences and gates with metal ones as then they don’t swell in the rain and break and also because we chew the wood !
“Anyone would think you never get fed !” Jana said to us .I tried to put the blame on Zena the pony because she’s obsessed with eating but then Jana caught Juliette and me nibbling … oops!! Now she’s put Tommy the cat on gate patrol!
Please message us if you have any old metal gates that you don’t need or use , even if they are broken we can put them to some use . Thank you ❤️
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2 months ago

Donkeys are great

Yum yum yum !! Going for walks and eating the best of nature’s menu. Listen with the volume on 😹
#donkeysofinstagram #hvarisland # naturewalks #naturesmenu
#naturesmagic
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2 months ago

Donkeys are great

As most of you know it’s always very important to have a donkey supervising any jobs that need done and I especially feel it’s very important for the girls to feel that they can join in with our manly building activities …..,,
Oh my goodness it’s me lily-rose taking over panos page !!! If you look at these photos closely you will notice neither Pano or Romeo appear in any of our building photos !! The only thing you can see is Romeos bottom as he eats a bush !!
We would like to thank Janet and Toni ( the only man working that day !!) from Australia who very professionally helped all us girls fix all our new fences and gates while Pano and Romeo vanished 😹😹😹😹
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3 months ago

Donkeys are great

Today we modelled our new fly masks , don’t we look super ! Jana was tired of repairing the holes in our old ones and as we had a some money left in our savings account she decided to buy us some new ones . However the special donkey wear shop is in the uk and now due to “this bl**##y brexit thing” as Jana calls it ,the shop cannot afford to send things to Europe. Luckily we had made some new friends who came walking with us recently Bibi, Arlo and their parents Ellora and Jason who live in uk and when Ellora was visiting again she asked us if we needed anything from the uk ! Great timing ! We also got a new rain jacket and some wormer paste that we don’t mind taking as jana hides it in toasted jam sandwiches 🥪 😹. Thank you to Bibi and Arlo who helped their mum pack and suggested that if it wouldn’t fit in her suitcase she could always wear everything and pretend she was a donkey 😹😹😹 ...

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3 months ago

Donkeys are great

We are officially all a big family !!! We are now going to be all together forever ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Thank you to everyone for following our page here on Facebook donkeys are great and on Instagram yoga.donkeys.cats.and.more .
All your kind words of support and for all the donations recently to help us by food and more recently to buy Romeo, Juliette, Matilda and Paca
We believe in kindness towards all animals , freedom and good care .
Here and everywhere all over the world animals are used for tourism at family farms and restaurants but not all of them are treated well. Often they are tied up and never get to be free or have shelter when the tourists have even left for the night . How sad for these animals who have no freedom or exercise
Many donkeys are alone which is so sad
We are working to show visitors that this must change and the good thing is that tourists now are looking to visit donkeys who are cared for and have freedom . They are noticing now all the places where the donkeys are tied and are bred each year just to show a cute baby but the animals are clearly not cared for often not even given much water in the hot summer months
We receive no help from the tourist board or from anything else here as Jana is not Croatian and can not register as a family farm . Sadly it’s many of these places that are exploiting their donkeys and other animals
But the important thing is we are happy and loved and slowly and surely things will change .
Love from Pano ,Lily -rose, Lula, Paca, Romeo, Juliette,Matilda and of course our Pony friend Zena ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
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4 months ago

Donkeys are great

We have had yet another dramatic week to say the least ! Once again our gate was opened in the night but toto the dog alerted Jana who had to run down the street at 2am in her pyjamas and cowboy boots 🙀😹
But the biggest drama was that the owner of Romeo Juliette Paca and Matilda came late one night ( unannounced) and told us he was coming to take his donkeys!!
We have had these donkeys with us for almost 2 years as they kept escaping from where they lived and the owners son understood that we donkeys all wanted to be together so days were could stay and Juliette even gave birth to Matilda here !
The owner came the next day with another guy ( even though they told us they would come another day) . They had no idea which donkeys were theirs except for Romeo and Paca who are quite distinctive! Jana was very upset and so lily helped by letting herself get captured to waste time and then Lula who is very tiny posed as Matilda and gave them the run around …. As Lula was chained up as a young donkey there was no way she would let some strangers capture her 😹
There was a 3rd guy who was driving the van but when he saw what was going on and that the donkeys should be with us he left so there was no longer a getaway van 😹😹😹
Then the police arrived and we have to say they were great and helped us clear up the issue in a calm and professional manner . Result … Jana made a deal with the owner and contacted his son who had no idea what had been going on !
So we are going to buy Romeo Juliette Paca and Matilda! They will be officially ours and our family will stay together!
We are not in good finances at the moment and very kindly our lovely friend Pascal has paid for one donkey and Victoria ( who is also my godmother and helped with my rescue !) has paid for another 😻😻😻
If anyone else would like to contribute please message us . It was so important to us that we were all kept together as we are all so bonded and if the others had been taken away they could have also been separated and that would have been so sad
Next stage us to get us all microchipped ( we have been waiting for more than 2 years for the people to come from the mainland to do this despite many phone calls by our vet here ! )
But anyway we are now Altogether forever 😻😻😻😻
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4 months ago

Donkeys are great

Police detectives Zena and me handsome chief detective 🕵️ Pano on duty !!
A few days ago officer zena pony alerted Jana who was asleep in bed by neighing non stop for a few moments . On the 3rd neigh 🐴 Jana became aware something was wrong and jumped out of bed and after looking out to out field saw that all the donkeys (including me ) were out of our field and heading down to the village . I of course helped jana bring everyone in while muttering under my breath that Zena pony is such a snitch spoiling our fun 😹🙀😹 . ‘How on earth did you escapologists get out?’ said Jana . But that question was solved when she saw out gate was wide open … Someone had unbolted out gate in the night !!
Jana called the police 👮‍♀️ after and they came to check out the scene of the crime . This is not the first incident we have had. Thanks to Zena and ahem of course me we were brought safely home
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5 months ago

Donkeys are great

Yes! Great words professor Noel Fitzpatrick ...

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5 months ago

Donkeys are great

When Jana first got me she didn’t know much about donkeys and made it her mission to learn as much about us beauties as she could. She contacted the amazing donkey sanctuary in the uk who put her in contact with their branch in Cyprus who deal with the international enquiries. Jana stayed in contact with a lovely lady called Judy who has now retired and they are what’s app buddies so whenever Jana has a question about us Judy donkey guru can always answer it . But can you believe it Judy saw some photos of us recently and said we all got a bit plump !! Can you believe it supermodel me ! I am sure she was just looking at me from the wrong angle . And even worse Jana agreed with her. 🙀🙀🙀 . “ look Pano “ said Jana “we have so much more knowledge about you donkeys now and it’s very important that you don’t put on weight because it’s very hard to lose it and it can lead to all kinds of health problems including laminitis . Luckily you have freedom and are not tied on a tree all day eating grass but still we must take care “
So here we all are on the photo begging for extra hay …look at our thin faces 😹😹😹
“Oh for goodness sake Pano” jana said” stop being so dramatic you should be thankful to me and Judy and take our photos off that dart 🎯 board immediately “
😹😹😹😹😹
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5 months ago

Donkeys are great

THE DONKEY, OUR FAITHFUL COMPANION

Let's not forget. The donkey was the one who helped us plow the fields, helped us sow, helped us gather the harvest. On trips he accompanied us carrying the heaviest weight. He helped us build our houses by carrying the material, he helped us bring water to our houses. He helped us in wars and conquests.

They, the donkeys, were the true responsible for economic development for thousands of years.

Today they do not serve us, the donkey has gone into the background. They are the great forgotten, they are not useful for us anymore ... and we leave them to their fate, silently extinguishing, slowly disappearing like this old print.

But they are still great, they are still strong and as long as a bray continues to sound on the horizon, we will be there to watch over them.
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6 months ago

Donkeys are great

As many of you know we also take care of lots of cats all rescues. We are a very big happy family . This time of the year there are many abandoned kittens and we heard one needed help not far from our village . Jana’s yoga students named her Misha but we think it should be Houdini!! A few days ago she vanished and we thought maybe our dog Toto had taken her for an outing as sometimes he picks her up and brings her to the kitchen! But Misha was nowhere to be found . We were very worried as she needs medication. The next morning Jana received a call from our friend Lili who has been coming a few days a week to help jana take care of us ….Misha was in hvar town !! 18 kilometres from us 😹 she had somehow climbed into the car engine abs off she went with Lili !! Luckily her lovely neighbours had spotted Misha and after hydrating and feeding her brought Misha Houdini back to us !!
What an adventure! Next time she will be asking me or zena pony to take her out for a ride !!
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6 months ago

Donkeys are great

We have been very lucky to have a few slightly cooler cloudy days recently so Jana used this opportunity to take us for a few of our favourite long walks high up in the hills . We also had some new friends to come walking with us 😻. We managed to set off around 3in the afternoon and came home just after 8. It’s a great way to see the island and something many tourists and even locals don’t get to see! We donkeys and zena pony love to walk and exercise and we also get to enjoy the natural foods of nature along the way. 😻 ...

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6 months ago

Donkeys are great

Yesterday we celebrated my 8th birthday! I had no idea that one day I would have my own herd of 8 equines as well as cat, dog and human friends
We all celebrated with yummy watermelon and I am so grown up now I even let Juliette have my last piece ! I am such a good boy but it’s nice to share and don’t tell lily but I have a bit of a crush on Juliette 😍
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7 months ago

Donkeys are great

This week the newly cut hay if the year arrived and we were so excited! It’s so delicious 😋. It came in big rolls from our hay supplier Ciro on the mainland. It was then brought to us by zani trans our island delivery company . We want to say a very big big thank you to all of you who have donated to our go fund me campaign otherwise we would not have been able to buy hay for us and food for the many cats. ❤️❤️❤️❤️ you are all so kind
We would like to also say a big thank you to everyone here on the island who helped us find cut grass when we had no hay , to our special friends Raffaella who helped arrange the delivery ❤️ and Cindy who cooked lovely food for jana while she was busy taking us out for constant eating walks when we had no hay . And also thank you to zani trans delivery man Luka who helped jana get all the heavy hay into the garage !
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7 months ago

Donkeys are great

Donkeys really do deserve care and love . We are wonderful animals , inquisitive and social and like this video says not many people took the time to learn about us!
It’s all about education and learning!
This inspires jana and us to keep working on our mission to help people get to know donkeys better!
Take care of our hooves our health and maybe try to begin to change even a little ,on this is island and perhaps other places too.
Do not tie us up all day everyday , do not hobble us all day everyday . Give us shelter , water, hoof care , teeth care ,let us have exercise . Change the traditions that perhaps have been set in your family for generations.
Donkeys are great ❤️
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