Before this educational visit to Nerja Donkey Sanctuary my previous experiences of donkeys were restricted to Blackpool Pleasure Beach, a restaurant in Südtirol and a bootleg DVD that was illegal in Western Europe.
Rarely a family holiday passed without my father leaping on to a salty donkey and riding it along the lapping, turd-ridden shores of the Côte d'Blackpool like an obscene rodeo.
It was heart-warming to see donkeys in their natural habitat of the Costa del Sol, as they burped their way along the strip, feasting on San Miguel and swearing at Looky Looky Men.
The wonderful volunteers at the sanctuary also care for several pot-bellied pigs, their comical undercarriages scraping the ground, much in the same way as Wayne Rooney's neanderthal knuckles. The pigs, not the volunteers. Several expats give up the time and money to care for these animals and it is wonderful to see the empathy that Britons have with their animals.
Some of the donkeys had been used as literal drug mules, transporting narcotics across the Spanish countryside. When the authorities had seized the drugs, the local authorities were planning to melt down the bones of the poor donkeys and use the glue to bind together the Spanish economy. Fortunately the kind-hearted souls from the sanctuary noticed the donkeys' plight, intervened and transported them to Nerja to live out their days being petted by British tourists.
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