The Donkey Sanctuary


It simply wouldn’t be a trip with the Casey clan if we didn’t stop to visit animals along the way.  Three years ago we discovered a Donkey Sanctuary in rural Ireland and drove several hours to visit.  Imagine our surprise to learn that the original Donkey Sanctuary was right here in Sidmouth, England only a few hours away from where we have been staying in Devon.  Well we had to go!  This is a donkey “rescue” facility overlooking the English Channel.  What a fabulous day to “reconnect” with our donkey friends across the pond.


This woolly fellow is a Poitou donkey from France.  They were breed for centuries to do the heavy lifting on farms in Europe and across the world.  After WWII, they were quickly replaced by technology, the tractor.  Facing extinction as a breed, these lovable giants were rescued in part by the efforts of of places like this Donkey Sanctuary.  It appears that workers of any species are susceptible to the challenges of automation.


One thing I won’t miss about the Donkey Sanctuary is the “fun” maze.  It is a classic English hedge maze with many twists and turns and dead ends.  It is designed to confuse and to confound, to disorient and distract.  There is a center, but good luck getting there!  It is a maddening place!  We wandered for 20 minutes searching for the center, but wishing for the exit.  Although many people use labyrinth and maze as synonyms, they are quite different.  Labyrinths have one path to the center and no false starts or dead ends.  They are made to let you stop worrying about getting lost, and find your center once again.  Mazes seem designed to do the opposite.  I don’t see how anyone calls these “fun”, but Erin seemed to enjoy herself, so I am reminded again, that it is always a matter of perspective….

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I am a professor of Political Science at Colorado Mesa University on sabbatical in the fall semester 2018. I study public land policy and a wide variety of other subjects. Currently I am studying about European Landscape Policies while on sabbatical. That is the focus of this blog.

2 thoughts on “The Donkey Sanctuary”

  1. Loved it there and it has become a very popular charity. There always used to be donkey rides as an attraction on our beaches, but fortunately this is not condoned these days


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