You Don’t Need a Therapy Dog to Get Pet Therapy


If pet therapy is defined as animals making humans feel better, then it can come from a surprising number of sources, even four-footed creatures who have never received a lick of training or considered themselves helpful.

In a little village near Lake Chapala, Mexico, about an hour’s drive from Guadalajara, lives an unexpected, and unintentional, source of “pet therapy.”   She is a youngish, white donkey named Vino Blanco who spends her days in luxury on the grounds of Yves’ Restaurant. Her mother, another white donkey named Marguerita, now deceased, was a local favorite before her.

For years, Vino Blanco lived literally on the shores of Lake Chapala, right outside the site of Yves’ former restaurant. Every day diners could watch Vino Blanco chomping her way through such foliage as grew along the shoreline, keeping a watchful eye on the various birds, dogs of unknown lineage, and an occasional horse. Nearby a Mexican woman would hang her colorful rugs for sale on a clothesline affording a colorful photo opportunity to tourists, especially if Vino wandered into the shot.

This peaceful scene would be interrupted daily along about human lunchtime by a screechy bellowing of indescribable proportions and unknown decibels.

Pounding hooves raced toward a well-worn spot in the shade. Vino Blanco was ready for lunch!

Hurrying outside with a metal washtub full of carrots, lettuce and other assorted treats would come a white aproned waiter, like a royal page staggering under the weight of a over-full platter of culinary treats for a demanding king. Without so much as a thank you, Vino would dip into the platter, chomping and munching on what was only her due. A few yard away, on the veranda of the restaurant, hungry diners would order a taco salad, and enjoy the view.


Stay tune . . . this story will be continued.

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