In classical mythology, the donkey, the crane and the dog are associated with Hephaestus. He was tricked into getting drunk by Bacchus and put on a donkey to be carried home. The crane winters on the banks of River Okeanos, where Hephaestus lived. Sacred dogs guard his temple in Aetna.
Hephaestus is often depicted riding a donkey. The long, curved neck of the crane often decorates the saddle. Many believe the crane's propensity for wandering parallels Hephaestus' lack of feeling at home on Mount Olympus. The guard dogs at his temple were purported to have the ability to detect a person's character, protecting those of good intent while placing those of bad character in danger.