Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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©Katherine Dunn.

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Opie's Love Mobile...touching elders one hand at a time

This sweet guy had a great whit, and I told him Opie had never met an elf before.
I am still glowing in the afermath of love of Opie's first voyage out in his Love Mobile. Sometimes i get these great ideas and they almost manifest, but don't for whatever reasons-it is part of living with a creative brain and heart. But this time, we made it to a finish line and all the effort was worth it. I want to thank many of you that helped with donations to get our Love Mobile built [and of course, Martyn!].

The Mobile did great, Opie was as usual a star and love magnet, we rolled all over the complex–it is a big place and meandering but perfect for our Love Mobile with wide open hallways. The residents knew we were coming and are of all different levels of aging-some with dementia, others sharp as tacks but just unable to care for themselves, some blind, some in rehab hoping to go home. There were lots of smiles, lots of touching moments, lots of love being sent out of that little pygmy body of his.

We were there over two hours but it was so great. I was exhausted that night, but in a good way, and I know Opie too picks up on all sorts of feelings when he goes into a scene like this. I always massage him after, and praise him. I'm so proud of him!

We left our Mobile there and will do that for the winter so we can go back frequently. We plan to put a little mail box up on it, I'm not sure if that will take off, but it is one more thing for the staff to encourage the residents to do-write Opie a note-for fun.

I also plan to bring the new pup out in it too.

It is amazing what one little goat can bring into someone's day. I know too the staff loves it-they have very demanding jobs and I hadn't thought about that, that animal visits are good for them too. My main contact there is super appreciative of what we are doing-she really gets it and believes in animal therapy for healing the heart and soul. I too believe in the power of touch-and elder people are not touched enough. They want to be touched, I do believe this, within boundaries of course. But they are creatures that had long lives and love and pain and joy just like any person of any age-just like an old cat I bring home...I try to touch in appropriate ways when I feel it is okay.

None of us want to end up in assisted living. I am not sure I'd survive it emotioanlly. I have a good attitude, but, not being able to have one animal with me, or nature...this place is one of the nicer places...but it is still a facility and many of the people there were being visited my spouses. Some have left animals behind. When I go on a visit, I focus on their faces, and hands, and Opie, and my energy is upbeat-not so sun shiny that I am not being aware of where I am, but I want to be focused on my task-to take their hearts and lift them a teeny bit, even if it is for a short time. To let them know a little goat named Opie is coming back and it is no bother for us, we just like visiting and making them a little happier than the morning they awoke.

Opie liked Earnie from his first visits and we love Earnie

The Mobile allows people in bed to pet him.

A little goat that makes someone smile, that's all