Face of the day

Today’s animal face of the day achieved for a patient what three years of human care had been unable to.

Animals can have an amazing effect on our quality of life. It has been scientifically proven that stroking a pet can actually slow our heart beat and lower our blood pressure. Pets can give us love and acceptance no matter how weird we are. My first dog used to wait at the mailbox for me to return home from school each day. I will never forget the joyous , excited greeting I would receive each and every day from her. At night she would sleep curled around my feet, a loyal companion who joined me on all my adventures.

Magic the miniature horse not only provided companionship and comfort, she performed a small miracle…

Magic the miniature horse

Magic the miniature horse

Sometimes heroism can come in the quieter, more unassuming guise of a miniature therapy horse (such as the one seen above). Magic, a blue-eyed mare, regularly visited patients who needed comfort, whether in group homes, hospitals or hospice-care facilities, but one particular interaction gained her recognition as AARP’s Most Heroic Pet in 2010. Magic went to visit a patient who had lived in an assisted-living facility and hadn’t spoken to anyone during her three years there. But the moment she laid eyes on Magic, she said, “Isn’t she beautiful?” Those first words caused the staff to break out in tears, and she continued to communicate from that point onward. The Florida program that brought the two together, Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses, continues to work its magic in the Sunshine State.