Dear donkey lovers and friends,

Please do not forget that donkeys are not horses! One of the most profound differences between donkeys and horses is donkeys are extremely stoic and do not express fear, pain, agitation, anger or depression overtly.

We have seen donkeys standing off alone, appearing to rest, later to discover they were deathly ill. We have seen donkeys scared to death standing completely still, not moving, riveted in fear. We have observed donkeys being abused by humans without running away or fighting back.

On one hand this attribute of donkey personality is a plus, they make great trail and pack animals because they are not prone to moods, aggression and flight behavior. They would rather freeze, think about a situation and then move forward cautiously. But this same reflective, stoic behavior can be misunderstood.

Donkeys feel deeply. Donkeys feel the same pain, hurt, betrayal, fear, anger and depression that all living beings experience. They just respond and react differently. Please know the warning signs of a donkey that could be in physical or emotional distress:

1. They are standing alone outside the herd. Donkeys are not loners, they are herd animals!

2. They are lying down frequently or for long periods of time. Donkeys rarely roll or thrash about when in pain.

3. They are off food, even for one meal.

4. They are walking slowly, tenderly, leery of striding out.

5. Their eyes are sullen, depressed and their ears are down.

6. They have lost interest, enthusiasm for food, you or their friends/partners.

7. They are frozen and will not move when asked. This can be misunderstood to be stubbornness, but it is frequently fear of their environment, circumstance or mistrust for the person who is leading them or in charge of their welfare.

8. If you notice a human mistreating or abusing a donkey you will likely notice the donkey BEARING the pain and humiliation. Please intervene if possible!

Please observe your donkey/donkeys everyday for any of these signs. Only YOU truly know your donkey. Any change in behavior should be a red flag!

Thank you!

GOD Bless You And Your Family Two And Four-Legged!

Donkeys Feel Deeply

7 thoughts on “Donkeys Feel Deeply

  1. I’m so glad you addressed the emotional reactions exhibited by these sweet animals and all living beings. It seems so many people , unfortunately a lot who choose to be pet owners, don’t get or don’t care about the feelings or suffering of these animals. Somehow, because they don’t speak they feel free to treat them inhumanly. Animals feel pain , fear, attachment, and unconditional love for their owner and caretaker. They deserve to be treated responsibly. Anyone who doesn’t want this should never take on the role of pet owner. <3

  2. I have horses but always wanted a donkey, 2 months ago I went to meet a rescued donkey and then went home and read everything I could about donkeys. Our Shetland pony passed a way in January leaving behind his mini horse companion of 15 years who was very depressed after loosing his friend, I adopted the Donkey who I named Hugh. He was gelded at his foster home and the wound became infected, when they brought him to my place he was on antibiotics but he was a mess. I gave him antibiotics and took care of him but eventually called my vet and they came out and cleaned and disinfected the wound and gave him a shot of antibiotics, after that the swelling and infection went a way and he is fully healed. I don’t have much experience with donkeys but I would say after going through this with Hugh that your article is correct, Hugh was very stoic even though he had to be in pain, I will say he was not stoic when the vet was cleaning his wound but afterwards he loved on the vet and her assistance even though what they did was painful. I love Hugh and his calmness and his donkey snuggles, all of my horses love him too.

    • Hello Carol, sadly gelding a donkey can turn into death. Donkeys are not horses with long ears. I am truly sorry for the donkey and your pain and suffering. Donkeys must be tied off when gelded and donkeys respond differently to drugs. I have met way to many people who have had their donkey gelded and the donkey died. It is heart breaking to me. I pray education will spread like a wild fire for our vets to learn about the most humble and exotic desert equine the donkey. Thank you for reading my blog. Thank you for taking a moment to share your heart aching story. Melody

      • I didn’t know this and apparently neither did the original vet who did a terrible job at it period. The rescue moved him to me a few days after it was done knowing that the foster home was not the best place for him in his condition. It was an awful mess but thank God Hugh survived, I would have been been devastated if Hugh would have died even before he came here. I have a question also- are donkeys somewhat intuitive? Hugh seemed to know when he met me that I came to adopt him and for me it was love at first sight. P.S. he is completely healed and physically okay now.

      • Yes! Donkeys know when we are hurting in our knee, back, mind, etc., My donkeys will smell my hips (pelvis) where I suffered severe trauma (car accident) steel rods were surgically innserted into my pelvis. I suffer from extreme pain during the winter wet seasons and pain every day for the rest of my life, I have good days and bad days.

        My donkeys know when my pain is at it’s worst! They feel my arthritis pain. My horses do not notice. Interesting how GOD created the donkey and placed a cross on the donkeys back. God is amazing.

Leave a Reply