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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!

3 weeks ago

Donkeys are great

I would like to say it it took a lot of training to get us all standing in this very straight line …. But Jana just happened to be olive picking in the field above us and Cindy was coming up with lunch from the field below so as we are all very curious donkeys we went to check out what was going on and for once Jana had the camera poised and ready !
That’s me Pano the tall manly one on your right then Lily -rose , Lula , Paca, Juliette and Matilda on the end .
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1 month ago

Donkeys are great

This is a very hard post for us to write and it has taken us sometime to have the strength to write it. Two months ago our dear Romeo left us to go to donkey heaven. We still cannot believe he is not with us . It was very unexpected and think it was colic.
Romeo was such a special, sensitive and gentle boy. We were not sure of his exact age but he was young, perhaps only 6 years old. As heartbroken as we are we want to always remember how much happiness , love and joy he brought us and we are honoured to have been in his life . Run free beautiful Romeo you are in our hearts forever❤️
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4 months ago

Donkeys are great

One if our favourite walks is to go up to a beautiful spot called purkin kuk . It has a lovely view and to get there we walk up an uphill narrow path that keeps us all fit . From there we can go on to peaceful fields and paths , have some nice food and a good run around. I have been going there since I was a baby with Jana and now I’m 9 so that’s a long time! We have to say we rarely meet anyone there . It’s just us donkeys , zena pony and Jana and of course the lovely people who want to come for a walk with us
Recently the tourist board have spent we believe a few thousand euro putting about 8 benches up there plus the viewfinder which so far Jana can’t see anything out of . The benches kind of spoil the clear view and is it necessary to have so many ? There’s so many flat rocks up there that they made suitable sitting spots before . We are just hoping they don’t end up in the same condition as the information board which has been destroyed by wind, rain and sun that after just a few years became impossible to read !
Lily suggested to Jana that the tourist board could have donated the money to us as we take so many people up there and we could have used the money for our hay delivery , new roof for our barn and sone fences as well as hoof and teeth care !
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4 months ago

Donkeys are great

Today we celebrated Pacas 4th birthday ! Did you know that Paca was given her name because when she was a baby she was so very fluffy like an Alpaca! She is so very sweet and cuddly and is Juliettes first daughter . When Juliette was due to give birth to Matilda she didn’t have time for Paca and Lily-rose became like a mum to her so now it’s like Paca has two mums ! Paca is really good with all our visitors and this summer she finally got her summer coat after never shedding during the summer like the rest of us . Phew Paca! you must be relieved to feel a bit cooler ! Jana had a big job combing you every year ! Do you know that Jana often calls Paca her little Cleopatra . Paca Cleopatra we all love you so much ❤️❤️❤️ ...

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4 months ago

Donkeys are great

A few days ago we were all rather worried about Romeo who didn’t want to eat . Jana tried a few different kinds of hay but he just sniffed it although he did manage a carrot 🥕. Romeo out of all of us is the most sensitive donkey and I don’t like to tell tales but he had been stuffing himself under the carob trees during our walks recently and is often the last one out when Jana tells us it’s enough . Even Zena pony is out before him !!
Anyway a donkey not eating is a bad sign so Jana contacted our friends and donkey guru Judy in Cyprus who immediately told us what to do ! Our friends Janet and Cindy rushed to the shops to buy bran and Epsom salts and a special mix was made with honey and water added. It was however so tasty that we all ate it before Romeo had chance so Jana had to do it all again 🙀😹
After that Romeo went for a little walk in the lane by our field so he could look for any kind of special herbs and grasses that he knew would make him feel better and also not to go too far from us otherwise he would get anxious to be away from his donkey pals
We are so pleased Romeo is feeling better now and hope he remembers not to stay too long by the carob tree again !
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5 months ago

Donkeys are great

my Pano ❤️ the only man who ever listens to me 😹😹😹 what a good boy ! ❤️ #animalcommunication # donkeysofinstagram #intelligentanimals #animaltraining #libertywalk #hvarisland #loveanimals ...

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5 months ago

Donkeys are great

This weekend we celebrated my 9th birthday ! Jana took this beautiful photo of me looking over my donkey ( and pony ) family with this wonderful view over the island towards Brac island . We had such a peaceful walk, we smelt all the freshly cut lavender and had carrot treats .
Jana told me what a very special boy I am and how proud she is of me ❤️ . Do you know that she has known me since I was a few days old ! We just knew we were meant to be together!
‘ you have changed my life for the better Pano ‘ she told me ‘and because of you I have discovered how amazing donkeys are and that we have found all these beautiful places to walk together, I am so lucky ! ‘
What a great birthday 🎉 I had ❤️❤️❤️
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5 months ago

Donkeys are great

As you all know when it comes to the summer season we all wear our fly masks to keep the flies from our eyes. lily and Juliette have pink ,Paca blue ,lula and Matilda have red and green tassel ones . Zena has one that even covers her nose as she has to have sun protection and Romeo doesn’t usually wear one probably because he is traumatised from me pulling it off all the time 🙀
I though have quite a lot. As you can see currently 3 ! I would like to say it’s because I’m a fashionista!! Cool 😎 dude Pano … but the truth is I break them on a regular basis . Don’t ask me how 😹 Jana is always having to sew them and because she says she’s very busy ( I don’t know what she does all day) she often has a pile of one or two of my masks on her ‘things to do pile ‘ . I won’t repeat what she says every time I break my mask but it goes something like this 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤪😹😹😹😹
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5 months ago

Donkeys are great

Kittens looking for homes !
It’s that time if the year and even though we do have a good sterilisation programme on the island it’s not possible to catch all the cats . These cats have been cared for by a German family for the past few months but now the family are returning to Germany in a few weeks . They will take some the cats with them but they cannot take them all . There are some kittens 3 weeks old and some 12 weeks old all healthy and beautiful .
If you are in Europe it may be possible to arrange transportation because we have many tourists who drive here or could be a flight escort. Paperwork to travel can be arranged here
Everyone needs a cat 🐱😻 in their life !
Please share
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5 months ago

Donkeys are great

We had the most beautiful walk with some new friends from Germany . It was Silvias birthday and her husband and his friend had arranged for a surprise walk with us up in the hills as Silvia loves donkeys . As you can see even a bottle of Prosecco was brought up the hill! I think lily- rose and Juliette fancied a glass ! We saw all the lavender too . It was a great day ❤️ ...

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6 months ago

Donkeys are great

This weekend we celebrated Zena pony’s 6th birthday! We began on Friday with a very big walk and we didn’t arrive home until 9pm which was lovely as it’s so hot in the daytime now . On Saturday which was zenas actual birthday we stayed home and relaxed and had our birthday music playlist which is a bit of a tradition for all our birthdays . From April we begin our birthdays .. lily and Matilda have April birthdays , we have given Romeo a may birthday as we don’t know when he was born , Zena has June , I have July ( don’t forget everyone! ) Paca is august and early September we are going to give Juliette a birthday as we don’t know when she was born either and we will finish with Lula who was born the end of September . ...

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6 months ago

Donkeys are great

Thank you to all our lovely visitors the past month . We love to meet new people and it makes us so happy that people are actively seeking to visit animals that are not tied up and living a nice life with exercise , stimulation and socialisation.
Thank you for all the donations which help us to buy hay and of course all the 🥕 🍏❤️
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7 months ago

Donkeys are great

This is a very well put together animation about something that is really happening today . Please watch and share ...

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7 months ago

Donkeys are great

Ok…even though it’s about Zena that pony not me handsome Pano 😍 I thought you might like to see Zena in her new commercial wearing her beautiful disco halter made by lovely Debbie at horse leads 🥰 but for all of you who need a donkey fix we will be modelling ours soon ! ...

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7 months ago

Donkeys are great

Don’t forgot to take some time to relax on this 1 may holiday
Here I am with Juliette and her daughter Matilda enjoying the sunny weather
Thank you to our lovely friend Tina who visits us every time she comes to the island for the beautiful photo 😻
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8 months ago

Donkeys are great

Today we celebrated lily-roses 7th birthday ! We all decided to stay in and relax in the sun. We had carrot 🥕 treats and played all our favourite songs. We had a lovely day ❤️ ❤️❤️❤️ ...

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8 months ago

Donkeys are great

Our dear friends on Crete in Greece doing such great rescue work ❤️❤️🙀 ...

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8 months ago

Donkeys are great

Today we celebrated Matilda’s second birthday . When her mummy Juliette was very pregnant with her Juliette ran away from where she was living at the top of the island along with Romeo and Paca and came to us because she wanted Matilda to be born at our house and live with us forever ( clever Juliette!❤️)
Although it wasn’t too cold today, every now and then it would rain so we decided not to go out walking and stay home and play games . Later in the afternoon the sun appeared and Jana decided to take off Matilda , Paca and Romeos jackets ( they sometimes wear them when the rest of us don’t )
Half an hour later very unexpectedly came a clap of thunder and then ice fell from the sky ! And it didn’t stop! Soon everything including us was covered in icy white ❄️ We were quite surprised and all stood still like frozen statues ! Jana had to run down to the bottom field to get us saying” I am so sorry you don’t have your jackets on “! But we were all ok and we went into our little barn and had lots of extra hay that Jana had put out for our supper to keep us warm with full tummies for the night
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9 months ago

Donkeys are great

Today is the day for the girls 💪! Romeo and me would like to wish our lovely ladies ‘ happy international woman’s day ‘ and of course we are sending donkey kisses and cuddles to all
you amazing strong women all over the world
Here’s some photos of our great leader lily rose with her team Juliette , Lula , Paca, Matilda and Zena pony xxxx
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10 months ago

Donkeys are great

Earlier this week the weather was very cold and Jana put our jackets on before bed . ‘It might be windy tonight’ she told us ‘and even go to 0 degrees !’Brrrr I thought that’s very cold for a Mediterranean boy like me . In the morning our water was frozen but then the sun came out and warmed everything up. Jana began to remove all our jackets as we were eating breakfast but I wouldn’t let her take mine off . ‘Pano !’She laughed ‘It’s warming up now don’t be a softie, we are going out walking later and look at the beautiful sun ‘..
I wasn’t convinced, I mean she comes out with wet hair some days and sometimes doesn’t even wear slippers and as a man from a warm country where you should never be seen without your vest on let alone go out with wet hair I thought I should at least wait a few hours. I have to confess I was quite happy to remove my jacket when she returned to take us out but I didn’t tell her !!
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