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Friday, April 27, 2012


Recently, when I was researching "Simpson and his Donkey" I came across several articles about Donkey Therapy.
Developed by psychiatrist, Dr May Dodd, Donkey Therapy promotes the therapeutic benefits of donkeys for physically, mentally and intellectually disabled patients.

A donkey’s gentle and affectionate nature brings a calming effect over all with whom they come into contact, and the donkeys especially enjoy their interactions with humans as well.

Donkey therapy is said to improve low self-esteem, and reduces feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. Their nature acts as a type of magnet drawing people to them. This  especially applies to hospitalised people of all ages including children.

They say that donkey therapy provides a unique experience for people experiencing physical or mental distress. The lifting of a person’s spirit during donkey petting is apparently immediately visible.

People with depression, autism, anxiety, cerebral palsy, disability, and other physical and psychological conditions have been seen to benefit from contact with donkeys.

A donkey therapy program has been successfully introduced through the ANZAC Program at the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital in Victoria. They are hoping to expand the program to include the Royal Melbourne Hospital’s rehabilitation area at its Royal Park Campus, and also to the Royal Childrens Hospital.
Jimmy  the donkey , who lives at the Donkey Shelter in Diamond Creek, northeast of Melbourne, turns up to every Anzac Day service at the hospital, and makes other visits throughout the year by special appointment.

He is always welcomed as he does his rounds, wandering through the corridors.
"He lifts everyone's spirits," says Robert Winther, the hospital's veterans' liaison officer. "They all love to give him a pat."
He is especially welcomed in the Aged Care Facility where he gives them something new to talk about !

It's nice to hear that these calm, gentle creatures are being used in this way.
You learn something new every day.


All photos today from the internet.


  1. I've heard that horses also have that calming effect on people and kids who need some help.

  2. I adore donkeys and love the healing they are bringing people, that you share here.

  3. I can never understand why so much cruelty is metered out to donkeys, when they are so placid and gentle. I love them!

  4. saw your comment on Carson's blog.. so popped over to see yours..
    I love donkeys.... I do visit a couple of donkeys just south of the city every so often to pet them... they lift my spirt too.... such cute little faces.

    What fun it would be to have a place with just enough room for a few donkeys...

  5. Donkeys are love on 4 hooves. They make you smile just being near them.

  6. Wonderful. I've heard of this, and also dogs being used in hospitals and rest homes too. We certainly have an ancient relationship with donkeys and dogs...perhaps this is why we feel 'right' around them.

    I remember reading a lovely book years ago... think it was entitled 'A Donkey at my Door' or something. I've done a search but can't find the author... Anyway, I remember loving it. If you stumble across it, I recommend it Helen.

  7. They really are such beautiful, gentle creatures. Ros

  8. Regarding donkeys...fortunately, I am sometimes able to censor myself...so let's just say - no comment.

  9. Wonderful post! I love to see donkeys (burros, I call them), but never knew why.

  10. Sorry to drop in so late but I loved this. They are lovely photos. I particularly liked the donkey foal. I think they can be quite naughty but these ones have been well brought up and it's good to see they give so much pleasure to so many.

  11. Hi Helsie, Thank you for the info on my lantana plant, I never knew they were a pest back home, very interesting to know. Love your donkey post, they are such sweet animals. I read a lovely blog called "The 7MSN Ranch" which features three very entertaining donkeys. Stop by there if you get a chance , it is sure to make you smile.