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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!

6 days 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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2 weeks 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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4 weeks 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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2 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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2 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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2 months ago

Donkeys are great

Have you seen these two anywhere on the island ? Last spotted at the bottom of the first dol last night . Jana had been walking lady Penelope ( my mum) and her new daughter Scarlett when a wasp 🐝 or horsefly bit Penelope! She was frightened and ran away very fast !
We have been taking care of lady Penelope for the past 2 months and jana even helped my mum give birth to Scarlett just over two weeks ago ... and as my mum has had many children without much rest and had often being dehydrated she did not produce much milk this time . She is on a special diet to help her have more milk and also to improve her hooves which have many problems.She also needs protective cream from the horseflies which eat her alive !
We need to find Penelope and Scarlett !! If you see her please give her water if you can and call jana 0955807772 She is wearing her fly mask and maybe still has her leash so if you can hold on to her that would be great as even if she is 5 minutes away from us she can go a long way in that time . Thank you so much
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2 months ago

Donkeys are great

CAN ANYONE ON HVAR HELP!!!
For almost 3 weeks now we have been hoping to have a hay delivery as we are totally out of hay but it looks like it could have to wait another 2 weeks for the new cut . The past year we were really unlucky with hay as someone took 10 bales of our hay and then one of our usual hay suppliers took the money for the hay and did not bring it ( don’t worry we have found a good new supplier since )
It’s not too bad for us as there’s still grass around although we do have to be careful as some grass gets poisoned at this time of the year but Jana has had to take us out every single day to eat without a break and then has also had to find long grass to cut for our breakfast and supper .., she is pretty tired now !!! She told us the other day ‘you know I really really love you all and I do like hanging out with you .... but I would love a day off ! I feel as if I am on one of those Japanese endurance shows!!’
If anyone has any really long grass that needs cutting or you have cut please let us know it would help us and especially Jana who really needs a rest
Heres hoping for good news soon !!
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3 months ago

Donkeys are great

A really interesting article all about donkeys by our friends at donkey sanctuary Cyprus
Donkey sanctuary have been brilliant at giving jana lots of wonderful helpful information and advice about donkeys over the years ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣Saturday May 8th 2021 - International Donkey Day❣

👉Read more through our website at www.donkeysanctuarycyprus.org/en/article/international-donkey-day
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3 months ago

Donkeys are great

This week we had to say goodbye to a beautiful green space in the village that we have enjoyed playing and grazing in for many years. The diggers have come in and ripped away all the bushes and dug up all the green. We found it strange as years ago Jana enquired If she could maybe fence a little around the edge. And she was told this is strictly a no building area !!!!!!!!
Apparently it will become a large play area for the children even though they have a playground next to the bar. We hope the kids enjoy it and play in it as much as we did. It will also have car parking for the people who live in the houses more than 3 metres away and feel it’s too far to walk there ....Here on the island it’s seems a lot of small villages are having green spaces destroyed to make way for building projects such as this. It seems sad though that nothing is been created to promote the beautiful nature of the island . Over the years we have met many visitors to the island in this field who were interested in our story and often came walking with us , visitors who appreciated the nature of this village and came here to enjoy the peace away from the towns
We really hope the island and villages stay green and that children also get chance to learn that nature is amazing here and have chance to walk and enjoy green spaces before they are all gone . It would be also nice to appreciate that before diggers and trucks were here it was our donkey ancestors who helped to build your vineyards , walls and houses.
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4 months ago

Donkeys are great

Panos story .... It’s been a busy working week for me and Romeo , we had to take Jana’s rubbish to the bins . We had to walk kilometres in the harsh windy weather but we were brave and battled on with little to eat and when we passed the bar it was rush hour and there were many people and cars around We dreamt of the days when we did not have to work and rolled and played with our family in the hills . We managed to stop in a field on the way home for a quick bite to eat despite the torrential rain but we were so hungry we did not care how wet we became
Jana’s version.... for the second time this year I recruited Pano and Romeo to help me take a few bags of rubbish to the bins about 500 metres away. There was a little wind the journey took us some time as the boys had to sample every bit of green grass on the way. They were good at the bar as there were some people and cars, brave boys..On the return it began to rain but the boys were happy to stay in a grassy field for over an hour despite me saying do you want to go home now I’m cold ,while I ran around bringing things in and covering the hay from the rain
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4 months ago

Donkeys are great

We all had such a relaxing walk today 7 donkeys a horse ,cats and a dog!look how beautiful the light was #donkeysofinstagram #poniesofinstagram #catsofinstagram #dogsofinstagram #naturewalk #hvarisland #libertywalk ...

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5 months ago

Donkeys are great

To help with our fundraiser our lovely friends Emma and Paul created these limited edition t shirts and bags . Paul did the amazing drawing of me and Emma screen printed me individually on all the bags and t shirts made with amazing soft lightweight sustainable fabric
We couldn’t think of a better person to model with us than our friend Morena who is from our village but is studying to be a vet in Zagreb and is in her final year.. not only that but she is writing her thesis about donkeys!
100% of the proceeds go to our go fund me campaign. The t shirts and bags are limited edition and we have 5 t shirts in each size from Xs to XL
Hope you enjoy the photos! We all had a lovely morning ❤️
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6 months ago

Donkeys are great

Happy valentines to my lady love lily-rose ❤️🍎❤️. We have been together almost five and a half years and it was love at first sight . Although it’s a very cold day today with even our water icing up,Lily melts my heart everyday ❤️🍎❤️ ...

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6 months ago

Donkeys are great

Happiness is breakfast with friends on a sunny ☀️ morning #donkeysofinstagram #loveanimals #breakfast #hvarisland ...

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6 months ago

Donkeys are great

Excerpt from The diary of Pano.....
Friday... I overhear Jana whispering to Cindy and Raffaella... ‘there is only enough hay until Saturday and delivery not until Wednesday...’
Saturday.... we go out walking, I tell everyone to eat as much as they can en route
Sunday ...no hay , Jana is heard saying i remember I left 10 bales up at sveti Nikolai... we can get them tomorrow
Breakfast Sunday ..quite exciting it’s bowls of soaked alfalfa with carrots
Dinner Sunday, the same, I am pleased I won’t fade away from lack of food
Breakfast Monday , the same but added grain and dried bread . It’s yummy but jana says this is not appropriate for your daily diet...
Dinner Monday, still no hay. Apparently it’s vanished ...someone decided to take the 10 bales and ‘forgot’ to tell us
Jana raids the kitchen of everything green
Tuesday . Cindy and Jana brave the cold and take us out all day to eat. We receive a mini food bowl each for supper. It’s like a budget airline dinner. I dream of fields of grass that night
Wednesday..mini breakfast. Jana is heard taking on the phone ...11am hay delivery (phew!!)
We put zena on look out as she is tall enough to see when the van arrives
Noon Wednesday, we have hay for lunch . Yippee.
Thank you all for contributing to our go fund me campaign which helped us buy the hay and thank you to the brilliant delivery company ZANI TRANS for bringing the hay. Fantastic service ❤️❤️❤️
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7 months ago

Donkeys are great

Oscar and Tommy are always busy at work ...keeping guard over the hay and training zena for riding. Well done boys ❤️ #rescuecats #catsofinstagram #catsofcroatia #poniesofinstagram #hvarisland ...

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7 months ago

Donkeys are great

To add to my many talents i am also a very good predictor of the weather. Recently we have had lots of rain but randomly the rain can stop and the sky clears. This is an opportunity for Jana to run and remove our raincoats and say ‘don’t want you lot turning into a load of softies!’ However on 2 occasions this week I have being reluctant have my coat removed... ‘aww come on Pano’ says Jana ‘get a bit of air to your fur!’. So ,as I am good I go along with it without revealing my true reason. ....I know that the sun will vanish within the hour and we will all be wet.
After we all had a good soaking today Jana finally acknowledged my talent . ‘Ok Pano, guru of the weather prediction. I promise that next time you want to keep your jacket on i will let you because you know best!’
Forget ask Siri just ask Pano!
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