Sergeant S. Biggs made his first therapy gig yesterday and he now has a new group of friends from Lincoln Home. He was quiet, gentle and everyone loved him-I am so happy for him. I brought him out, along with The Teapot and Captain Sparkle, and Harry. The goats came out later. I wasn't sure if I was overdoing it this first time with the equines, but my volunteer, a horse person, stood with Biggs while I made sure the others were behaving [Captain Sparkle needs some manners work!].
It was a beautiful 50+ degree day, and about 8 people came, many I've met many times with Harry. It was so fun...really lovely people. One of the woman is new to the residence and is someone I know, and she had a horse some years ago. She really misses being outside and active-so I handed her the lead to Captain Sparkle. I know she got some calm, normalcy and fun from that, and a feeling of being needed too. One of the hardest parts of this transition for elders is losing their purpose, or their independence...and their home.
I'm excited for the equines to help out with therapy and the outer barn will play a role in that...So stay tuned.
For now, I am just happy that Biggs not only gave love, he got love-he clearly enjoyed the grooming and touching. I don't want an animal to be forced into this role. Some are born healers, some aren't, and some never evolve into it. Some aren't necessarily healers [like Pino or Opie] but are definately more in tune with human emotions than others.
I wills say this, I really, really missed Opie yesterday. When I let the goats out, they normally run into the orchard and it makes every laugh and smile. But they were a bit wary of all the animals. Opie would have sauntered in to see everyone, as would have old Sophie.
Next visit we plan to spend a lot of time braiding Captain Sparkles thick mane. He really needs more work at standing still, and not using his little lips to indicate he wants to leave. He sure is a little pistol. Teapot did fine, I think she actually likes the attention more than one would assume from her spunky sass.