"Courageous care partners recharge with self-care, striving for peaceful pinnacles
in patience, persistence, and positive 
changes, knowing when to conquer and when to comfort."

Sunshine on my shoulders . . .

Jan 20, 2023 by Eileen Adler

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy

Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry

Sunshine on the water looks so lovely

Sunshine almost always makes me high.


“Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.”—John Ruskin

Care partners may feel like they are carrying the entire load – every aspect of being a care partner. You know what that means to you. You may feel like this on the inside but look like this to everyone else. Maybe it’s time to ask for help.


For a change of pace, I’d like to share what carrying another load looks like. Smile . . .

Every spring, baby lambs are lovingly carried from the high pastures in Lombardy, Italy to the plains for grazing. The lambs, being so young cannot make the trek so they are carried on the backs of donkeys in tailored-made saddle pouches. Each “donkey nanny” is equipped to carry eight lambs.

A bit of self-care wrapped up in some fun facts about donkeys.

A brake in the action is a welcome break!


What’s the difference between a donkey, a burro and an ass?

There’s no difference. “Ass” was the original name for a donkey, and its scientific name is equus africanus asinus. For many years, “ass” and “she-ass” were completely normal and non-vulgar terms that people used to describe their pack animals.

“Burro” is just the Spanish word for donkey. Fun fact: “Burrito” means “little donkey” and was probably coined because of the similarities between a stuffed taco and a stuffed pack on the back of a donkey.



What types of donkey hybrids exist?

Donkeys can be cross bred with several different species, but there are quirks to each kind of coupling. Here’s a rundown of the most common hybrids:


Mules. These are created with a male donkey and a female horse. They’re valued as hard, tireless workers, but they’re infertile, so mules can’t create more mules. Although “mule” can be used to describe any combination of a horse with a donkey, there are a few subtle differences that separate mules from hinnies.

Hinnies. These are the result of breeding a male horse with a female donkey. They’re a lot like mules, but they’re smaller and stronger. They’re also infertile.


Zonkeys. These are crosses between donkeys and zebras. They have a unique appearance with brown bodies and black-and-white striped legs, so you can tell that you’re looking at a hybrid species right away. They’re rare compared to other hybrids.

A zonkey isn’t the only result of a zebra hybrid animal. A zorse is the result of mating a zebra with a horse. A zorse makes a great pet and are often used in therapy programs because of their unique behavior, remembering complex commands and their loyalty. Like many hybrid animals, the zorse is infertile.

Famous Donkeys in Pop Culture

Donkeys have been featured in everything from animated children’s movies to depressing dystopian novels. Here are some of the most famous of these critters.


Eeyore: One of the staple characters from Winnie the Pooh, he’s probably the single most famous donkey in the world. Just don’t expect that news to cheer him up.

Donkey: His name might not be the most creative, but if you shout “Donkey!” in just the right accent, everyone will know that you referring to the wise-cracking donkey from the Shrek movies.


Puzzle:  Puzzle was a donkey in The Chronicles of Narnia who was tricked into betraying the great lion Aslan.

His name was both a warning and a dose of irony.


Benjamin: You might not recognize Benjamin by name, but he was the donkey from George Orwell’s Animal Farm (1945) who served as a representation of the older Russian generation during the spread of communism in the Soviet Union.