EMOTIONAL MOMENTS IN RIBNOVO, BULGARIA
Ribnovo is a small village at 2500 m in the Pirin Mountains (Bulgaria).
A family living there inquires if the Vets in Action would agree to welcome their donkey Mutte in the Donkey Valley. The owner, Letif, tells us: "Mutte and we have grown old. We no longer have the strength to care for him sufficiently, and he shouldn't have to spend all day in the barn." We agree to pick him up at the first available opportunity and bring him in our Valley.
Two months later, the time has come. There is room for a new donkey in the valley again. On a cold, clear day we drive up the steep, slippery road to the village. After about an hour's drive, we reach our destination. However, the trailer is too wide for the narrow road where the family lives; so we continue by foot.
In front of the house the whole family is waiting for us. It is impossible to miss how much their donkey Mutte means to them - their emotions are palpable.
Letif says they have been together for three decades - the donkey is now part of the life of three generations. When Mutte came to Letif, he was a single man, now he has grandchildren. Everyone is attached to Mutte, but he has a very special place in the hearts of Letif and his grandchildren.
With a glimpse into the past, Letif explains how Mutte and he came together back then. According to the seller, Mutte was a six-year-old experienced working donkey. At home, however, it was impossible to put the pack saddle on Mutte - he would have simply tipped over or even fallen down. One day Letif happened to meet the seller. When he accused him of having received a "drunken" donkey, he said that Mutte was only three years old and still too weak for a saddle. Letif would just have to wait a little longer.
Furthermore, we learn that Mutte always followed his owner, and one time Letif hid himself and the donkey became increasingly anxious, searching for Letif everywhere. It was obvious that Mutte was very attached to his friend. Meanwhile, when Letif was busy, Mutte would gently nudge him and ask for attention.
When Letis describes us a few other stories with Mutte, we could see some tears on Letif face. We are also very touched.
A moving farewell - but even if it is painful, Letif knows that we will take good care of his Mutte. And that makes him happy.
Now Mutte has arrived in our Valley of the Donkeys with his fellow donkeys. He is feeling very well but still don’t have a close friend. We are convinced it will soon happen.
Browse the gallery of Mutte in the Valley
Mutte and Vasko
Mutte and Vaska