31 October 2013

Good Neigh-bors

Happy Halloween! 
When I talked to my dad today, I asked him if any trick-or-treaters had come through the assisted living facility where he lives today and he said he’d had three very special visitors: Sid, Tootsie and Carmen, two of whom had been sporting fancy hats. 
But they weren’t little kids, they were miniature horses. Once a quarter or so, North Carolina-based charity Horse Hugs brings a few little horses around to visit the residents. The horses, most of them rescued from bad situations, gently nuzzle the residents and generally like to be patted and hugged. Sid was convinced that my Dad had some sugar in his sweater pocket today so he and Sid got especially close. None of the trio coming to see Dad today were as tricked out at Jay Jay below, but they were still festive.

I love these lines from Horse Hugs’ website: “Miniature horses are the perfect size to put their little noses over the bedrail of bedridden patients or into the lap of a patient in a wheelchair...Miniature horses, with their wonderful personalities and small size are perfect as therapy animals. Visits with these adorable little horses can help a patient feel less lonely and less depressed.” I know they were the highlight of my Dad’s day. I’m just bummed that I’ve never managed to coordinate one of my trips home with one of their visits. 
Look! They are the perfect height!

In addition to going to nursing homes, the horses work with special needs children and at risk teens. They also make house calls to very sick children. Sounds like they are very good neigh-bors. ; )
Oct. 31: Horse Hugs
(Sandy Spooner, Horse Hugs, 3813 Sparrow Pond Lane, Raleigh, N.C. , 27606)
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