Kiss My Ass..ino

You just never know what topic will be presented on this site!

These days our grandchildren seem to have lots of pets: dogs, cats, fish, gerbils, even mice. But, when Peter was a little boy growing up in Italy, pets were considered useless. An animal was something that needed to earn its keep. Occasionally a stray cat, for example, would be given a home in a barn so it could keep down the mouse population.

Peter’s pet was a donkey, Bello, who held a special place in his heart. Bello was a brown standard donkey, known in Italian as “asino” and boy could he work! When Peter had to deliver lunch to the workers in the fields, Bello would carry the lunches in his saddle bags. When grapes and olives had to be transported from the fields, Bello would help Peter deliver them to the processing factory. When Peter had to travel a long distance, he would jump on Bello’s back and they would ride off together.

After moving to Canada, Peter had few donkeys in his life, although he might tell you he ran into a few asses from time to time. And he often told his grandkids stories about Bello. He didn’t really see any donkeys up close until our honeymoon in Corfu, where he patted one on a country hike. When we visited Santorini on the same trip, donkeys carried tourists up to the beautiful village perched on top of a steep hill. Peter and I took the funicular up to the village, but we rode donkeys back down, carefully trying to avoid the poop where possible. It was a slow and smelly trip.

Peter pats a donkey in Corfu.

Recently I heard about a new tourist attraction not far west of Toronto – a Donkey Sanctuary. Would Peter like to visit? OF course he would! He savoured the thought of this place all through the summer until there was only 1 weekend left, Labour Day Weekend, before the sanctuary would close for the season. Due to heavy traffic, it took us almost 2 hours to get there. But Peter entertained me with stories about Bello and his antics as we drove. He was in a donkey trance by the time we arrived at the sanctuary. And there they were – over 100 donkeys at last count. They were in the fields, in the barns, in the stables,. We wandered over to the closest paddock where donkeys were waiting at the fence.

And then I fell in love. Donkeys are adorable! They come in 3 different sizes: miniature, standard (the most common), and mammoth (about the size of a horse). They come in different colours too: grey with white splotches, brown with a few black stripes, taupe with grey markings. Sometimes they wear fashion accessories; see-through masks or leggings to protect them from the nuisance of flies. They are docile and good-natured, letting us pat their ears or tickle their noses, although we didn’t try to kiss them.

Donkey leggings
Donkey mask

The Donkey Sanctuary is a non-profit property, run mostly by volunteers, and paid for with donations. It accepts and fosters donkeys that are victims of neglect, abuse, and abandonment. There is a training centre and a medical facility on campus. And of course you must pas through the gift shop on your way out. There’s also an educational component where we learned some interesting fats. For example, did you know that donkeys are related to horses and zebras, all part of the Equine family? While horses are believed to have originated in Eurasia, donkeys and zebras came from Africa.

So, the next time your grandchildren are asking for a pet, take them to the Donkey Sanctuary near Guelph and get them a miniature donkey. It would be perfect! But. after you get their Bello home, be prepared for the distraught parents to tell you to kiss their ass.


2 thoughts on “Kiss My Ass..ino

  1. That was a most delightful read with your own brand of naughty/Almost humour. I am so in awe of your research trips which are aimed at amusing your blog community. Laughs and health -what a combo Sue


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s