Hello! How is everyone doing out there? As I write this, I find myself searching for stories about humans and animals helping others during such hard times and I am happy to report it is not difficult to find them. This month I am focusing on animals helping humans, I was pleasantly surprised at how many I found and how clever many of them were. I hope you enjoy these. Keep smiling!
Let us first begin with some well-deserved recognition and praise for the humans. A record number of pets have been placed in foster homes, resulting in a record number of “foster failures”. There have been a few shelters across America that are empty for the first time ever. Let's keep that up. Great job!
In Denver, Colorado, emergency room doctor, Susan Ryan, lives with a 1-year old Labrador, Wynn. Wynn is training to become a service dog for Canine Companions. Dr. Ryan has been bringing Wynn to work in the ER since before the pandemic, but now takes Wynn more frequently to provide comfort and consolation to her colleagues on the front line. There are many other hospital service dogs spending extra time performing these important duties across the world.
In Manitou Springs, Colorado, Sunny, a golden retriever, fetches the next-door neighbor’s grocery lists and returns later with the grocery order in bags. Sunny’s neighbor is elderly, immune-compromised and lives alone. While Sunny’s family could leave the groceries in front of the door, the daily visits from Sunny have become something their neighbor looks forward to. Great job, Sunny! It seems you come by your name naturally.
A a local winery in Maryland has come up with a creative way to put a smile on their customers’ faces while offering a safe curbside pickup/delivery service. The owner’s popular Boxer, Soda, is now equipped with saddlebags to deliver your bottles to your car. Soda will even pose for a photo if you’d like! Now, there are some downsides. Soda can only carry two bottles at a time, and his owner does hold her breath every delivery, hoping Soda doesn’t catch a whiff of a squirrel or see a bird. So far, he has been a perfect employee and business is even up since he began!
Some lucky seniors in a rural area of northern Maine are receiving groceries and prescriptions courtesy of a team of local sled dogs! When Circle K employee, Hannah Lucas, noticed elderly residents coming into the store for small items such as eggs and bread despite the considerable health risks, she knew she could help. Hannah has a sled dog team and trains them daily, so she came up with a way to make 4-6 deliveries daily, using snowmobile trails. She meets the residents at the trail entrances near their homes and waits at a safe distance while they check their orders. While she could easily make the deliveries using a car, this not only exercises her dogs, but it has become something the residents get excited about. It has become so popular that Hannah may continue and expand the service next winter to fund her sled team, instead of seeking sponsors. Go Hannah and team!
A young boy and his mom dressed their therapy dog as a clown, made signs, carried balloons and marched past their elderly neighbor’s home who was celebrating his 90th birthday. He watched from his front porch as they sang him Happy Birthday and danced a silly dance.
In Mishawaka, Indiana, members of the equine group, Horses of Hope, are visiting seniors outside their care homes with their horses in tow. The horses greet the residents from their windows, spreading cheer and lifting seniors' spirits while they are under lockdown. The group plans to visit 87 care homes regularly.
Second year medical student, Caroline, has been bringing her 2-year-old certified therapy Rottweiler, Loki, to work at the University of Maryland Medical Center for a year now. He typically visits three days a week. Now he also delivers Hero Healing kits to ICU nurses and staff, made by Caroline. These are comfort kits, containing lotion, chap stick, gum, tea, powder. So far, they have made and delivered 1,400 kits.
In New London, Connecticut, Duke, a 3-year-old English Mastiff therapy dog, is accustomed to visiting patients every day. He, like his mom, has been missing the interaction. So now he visits his friends from outside their windows. His mom takes signs to show them, reading things such as "Duke sends his love." They work with Pet Partners, a nonprofit with 13,000 registered therapy animal teams across the U.S. and abroad. Some of these teams have come up with creative ways to reach their students and patients. Some hold video chats. Some send daily photos and uplifting messages from the pets. The team that runs the pet reading program have come up with an idea to have their participants read to their own pets and send in their videos to share.
Have U Herd Goatscaping in Presto, PA will rent their goats out for an hour at a time for your next Zoom meeting or virtual gathering! Goats are entertaining, rambunctious and even- tempered animals that will guarantee to bring a smile! There are also llama farms across the country where you can rent a llama to attend your virtual gathering.
This may be one of my favorites- Betty the Weather Cat! Weather forecaster, Jeff Lyons, was giving the forecast from his living room in Evansville, Indiana when his cat, Betty, walked into the shot and became an instant celebrity! Now she joins him for every segment and has accumulated a quarter of a million fans worldwide in just one week!
Many of my friends who are professional musicians, yoga instructors, meditation guides, music teachers are offering livestreaming and are including their pets in these, making them an even greater hit!
There is a sportscaster in Europe who has taken to doing play-by-play of his dogs playing. It is hilarious! I've also seen similar local home videos.
I hope you enjoyed these as much as I enjoyed sharing them with you. Be sure to keep humor, kindness and compassion close and we will make our ways through this. Together. We cannot wait to see you again!
Rae and Your All Pet and Home Care Family