Veranstalter / Organizers:
Messe Berlin Website
Datum der Veranstaltung:
17-26 Jan 2025
International Green Week
17-26 Jan 2025

A last wish

The ASB Wish Wagon fulfils the last wishes of terminally ill patients. Peter Köster wanted to visit Grüne Woche one last time - and was given a VIP tour of the animal hall by the stable manager.

Of course, Peter Köster already knew that not all sheep are the same. But you rarely get to see such a variety of breeds as in Hall 25 at Grüne Woche anywhere else. He marvelled at the tiny Ouessants that stable manager Werner Mette showed him. Peter Köster has only ever seen the smallest sheep in the world on television. Right in the stable next door are Hungarian Zackel sheep, large animals with impressive twisted horns. "You don't want to mess with them," marvels the guest.

Memories of his childhood

The 65-year-old lives in a care home in Berlin. Through the hospice service, he came into contact with the Arbeiter Samariter Bund (ASB)'s wish wagon. Peter Köster really wanted to go to Grüne Woche again. "I was here shortly after reunification, but it didn't happen again after that," he regrets. The animal hall reminds him of his childhood and youth on a farm near Straußberg.

But Peter Köster not only gets to know exciting animals at Grüne Woche, he also meets interesting people. Werner Mette introduces him to Brandenburg shepherd Knut Kucznik. Peter Köster also knows him from a television programme about wolves. Does the shepherd see the predators as a threat? "The sheep are my charges and I have to do everything I can to ensure that they are well," replies the shepherd. Herding dogs, which he also trains, have proved their worth for him. He is convinced that there is nothing better than the gratitude of an animal. That's why, even after more than 30 years, he still lives his profession with passion.

On a first-name basis with the donkey

Thomas Petersen from Arche Warder in Schleswig-Holstein invites Peter Köster directly into the stable. "Keep your hand nice and flat," he advises as he hands the visitor a carrot. Peter Köster fearlessly feeds a stately Poitou donkey. The breed with the long coat was originally used to breed mules and is now considered highly endangered.

With some straw on the wheelchair tyres, it's on to the big animal show. Peter Köster already knows some of the protagonists. The donkey that he has just fed is playfully wallowing in the sand after the show. Next door, riders are warming up their Norwegian horses for the next show. After a visit to water buffaloes and a Uckermärker breeding bull, Peter Köster and his companions move on. They still have a lot planned: They want to see the Brandenburg Hall as well as the Flower Hall. Later, Peter Köster wants to savour cheeses from France and Italy.

Rebekka Ewert is happy to join in. She has been accompanying Peter Köster on a voluntary basis for five years, taking him for walks or running errands. Jasper Böhm and Daniel Woywod volunteer with the ASB Wish Wagon in their free time and have taken the whole day for the trip to Grüne Woche. "It's a good feeling to give joy and give something back in this way," says Daniel Woywod. "The patients often talk about their experiences for days," adds Jasper Böhm. "It's nice to give them this break from everyday life in a hospice or care home." The Berlin team was able to fulfil 26 heartfelt wishes last year. The ASB Wish Wagon is financed exclusively by donations:

A man in a wheel chair and a donkey.

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