Tag Archives: Therapy Animals

Magic the Miniature Mare

8 Oct

Magic the Miniature Mare

By Katy Steinmetz Monday, Mar. 21, 2011

"Magic" is a well known certified therapy pony

William Thomas Cain / Getty Images

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.

Animal Angel Videos

22 Jul

A collection of videos about animals, animal rescue, animal activism, animal tributes etc.

  • angel animal acts of love, devotion, courage, compassion, intelligence, communication, grief and emotion.
  • Videos of Animal Activism and about Animal Rights.
  • Funny Animal Videos (Clips & Compilations)
  • Animal Tribute Videos
  • Animal Related Music Videos
  • Links to Full length movies about animals.
  • Cute Animal Clips & compilations
  • Animal Training Videos
  • Animals (giving there abusers what they deserve)
  • Wildlife Videos
  • Pet Videos

“Buddy” the Hero Dog of Knight Island Alaska

22 Jul

Buddy is a touching story with a tragic ending. Bill Hitchcock was the sole caretaker of a remote lodge on Knight Island, Alaska. While out cutting firewood, Hitchcock was struck by a piece of timber and died. For the next two weeks, his faithful four-year-old black lab, Buddy, paced between his owner’s body and the shoreline looking for help. He managed to survive the brutal February temperatures that reached -23°F before leading searchers to his owner.

After people heard of Buddy’s story, over a thousand letters, calls, and emails were sent by people hoping to adopt him. Finally, Bill’s neighbors, Roger and Marilyn Stowell, decided that Jim Brewer, the mayor of the Alaska Peninsula village of Chignik would get him.

Less than a month later, Buddy was dead. Brewer who had initially told reporters that “Buddy will just become part of our family,” had Buddy put to sleep. According to Brewer, Buddy had difficulty transitioning to his new life and, after the dog bit him, he decided to surrender him to Anchorage Animal Control. Buddy was labeled “ineligible for adoption” and euphonized. The Stowell’s, who had told Brewer that he could return Buddy if it did not work out, were heartbroken as were the 999 other people who had expressed an interest in Buddy.- Darcy Logan

Tang the Hero Newfoundland

12 Jul

Tang, a Newfoundland dog, saved 92 people from a sinking ship in a horrible storm. During a snowstorm in December 1919, a ship called the Ethie crashed into rocks off the shore of Newfoundland, Canada. Ninety-three people were trapped on the ship as the ocean pounded it into the rocks. The crew tried to throw one of the ship’s ropes to people on the beach, but they missed. Then one of the sailors took the rope and jumped into the ocean. He tried to swim to the beach with the rope, but he was carried out to sea and never seen again. Then the ship’s captain saw Tang, a Newfoundland who lived aboard the Ethie. The captain knew Tang was their last hope. He gave the rope to Tang. With the rope in his teeth, the dog jumped into the sea and swam for land. In the huge waves and strong winds, it must have been hard for Tang to swim—the undertow tried to drag him out to sea and the water rushed into his eyes and ears. But he swam on until he reached the shore. People on the beach ran into the water to pull Tang onto dry land. They took the rope from his mouth and tied it to something strong. The rope was used to bring the people on the sinking ship to land. All 92 people on the Ethie were saved. History books don’t say what Tang did once he’d made it to land, but it isn’t hard to imagine the excited dog looking for his human companion, greeting every person that came from the ship. Lloyd’s of London, the famous insurance company, gave Tang a medal for bravery, which he wore for the rest of his life.

Adapted from Dog Heroes, by Tim Jones. Seattle: Epicenter Press, 1995.

Bum A Friend of Shorty’s

11 Jul

The True Story of

Bum, A Friend of Shorty’s

 A remarkable tale that should stand as a lesson to us all about the true nature of love and friendship. Shorty was a burro and the beloved town mooch who had lived in Fairplay, Colorado in the early to mid 1950’s. Shorty never had it easy, though he did have the freedom in his later years that he had never known in his prime. He began life in Fairplay as a miners mule. These mules that were forced to slave in the mines in those days rarely saw the light of day. The life of a mule in the mining industry was one of backbreaking labor, merciless hours and cramped, dark living conditions. Luckily for him, the mule became obsolete in the coal mines and he was no longer needed. Shorty’s stubby legs and low slung back combined with the years of backbreaking labor affected his health and so rather than being cared for by those he had worked so hard for, he was discarded. Shorty was now homeless and left to fend for himself. During hard winters Shorty suffered terribly. With his grazing ground covered in snow he had to go hungry for long periods of time. To make his situation worse the old burro started to go blind. Enter the homeless mutt that a local family affectionately named Bum. No one knows where Bum came from he just showed up one day on the streets of Fairplay. Bum and Shorty became fast friends and Bum would often lead his blind friend down the city streets to the edge of town where the good grazing was found and would patiently wait while Shorty grazed grass. Where ever Shorty went his best friend Bum was always with him. During the winter the pair had to resort to living off hand outs. Bum quickly learned which places and people were friendly and kind hearted and which were not. Bum would lead Shorty to a door and Shorty would bray to let the folks inside know he was there. Bum would take what food he was given and lay it down in front of Shorty, only after Shorty had eaten his share would Bum himself eat. The pair made a lasting impression on the people of Fairplay.

Sadly… in the year 1951 Shorty was struck by a car and passed away . A testament to Shorty’s popularity in Fairplay, he was buried on the courthouse lawn. His best friend Bum was so grief-stricken that he laid down on Shorty’s grave refusing to eat or drink. The devoted dog Bum died soon after his beloved friend.  Shorty’s grave was dug for a second time so that Bum could be laid to rest (and rightfully so) with his best friend Shorty. So devoted to his friend was Bum that he followed Shorty even into the after life.

by:   

Delta (Hero dog of Pompeii)

11 Jul

Delta the Hero Dog of Pompeii

pompeii

There is no doubt that there have been animal acts of love, devotion and  compassion dating back millions of years before recorded history. However the story of Delta is easily the oldest confirmed animal angel story I have found thus far.

This is what we have learned of the

Animal Angel named “Delta”

 In the year 79 A.D. there was a cataclysmic volcanic eruption of  Mount Vesuvius near the ancient city of Pompeii. Pompeii was a large trading port and home to many thousands of people. Everyone in and near the city of Pompeii at the time of the volcanic eruption perished on that fateful day so many centuries ago. The city was discovered under many feet of earth and volcanic ash.

 What was eerily unique to this discovery was that the bodies of all the victims decomposed in the packed sediment which left a hollow cavity freezing in time the moment of there deaths, in a sort of 3 dimensional negative image. When another hollow cavity was discovered a cast was made by filling the void with plaster, creating an impression of the last moments of life for another soul. While archaeologists were making plaster casts of these cavities Delta was discovered. The cast of Delta’s body was found lying over the body of a young child. Also found in the bottom of this hollow cavity was a silver engraved collar with the dogs name “Delta” the collar also said that the dogs owner was named Severinus and that Delta had saved his life on three separate occasions

  1. The first time Delta had pulled him out of the sea and saved him from drowning.
  2. The second time Delta had defended Severinus when she fought off 4 attackers who had tried to rob him.
  3. Third she had defended him from a wolf that tried to attack him somewhere near the city of Herculaneum.

 Delta the hero dog tried once more (in vain) to save the life of a child, in all likely-hood the child Delta sacrificed her life trying to protect was the sibling of her owner Severinus. Delta may have been unable to save the life of that child but she gave her life trying and even with her dying breath Delta never once thought of herself.

by:   

A Wolves Tale

11 Jul

An amazing true story of friendship

between a wild wolf and a 3yr old little girl

With all her big brothers and sisters off to school, our ranch became a lonely place for our three-year-old daughter, Becky. She longed for playmates. Cattle and horses were too big to cuddle and farm machinery dangerous for a child so small. We promised to buy her a puppy but in the meantime, “Pretend” puppies popped up nearly every day. I had just finished washing the lunch dishes when the screen door slammed and Becky rushed in, cheeks flushed with excitement.“Mama!” she cried. “Come see my new doggy!“I gave him water two times already. He’s so thirsty!”I sighed. Another of Becky’s imaginary dogs.

“Please come, Mama.”

She tugged at my jeans, her brown eyes pleading,

“He’s crying — and he can’t walk!”

“Can’t walk?” Now that was a twist. All her previous make-believe dogs could do marvelous things. One balanced a ball on the end of its nose. Another dug a hole that went all the way through the earth and fell out on a star on the other side. Still another danced on a tightrope. Why suddenly a dog that couldn’t walk?

“All right, honey,” I said. By the time I tried to follow her, Becky had already disappeared into the mesquite.

“Where are you?” I called.

“Over here by the oak stump. Hurry, Mama!”

I parted the thorny branches and raised my hand against the glare of the Arizona sun. A numbing chill gripped me. There she was, sitting on her heels, toes dug firmly in the sand, and cradled in her lap was the unmistakable head of a wolf! Beyond its head rose massive black shoulders. The rest of the body lay completely hidden inside the hollow stump of a fallen oak.

“Becky,” My mouth felt dry. “Don’t move.” I stepped closer. Pale-yellow eyes narrowed. Black lips tightened, exposing double sets of two-inch fangs. Suddenly the wolf trembled. Its teeth clacked, and a piteous whine rose from its throat.

“It’s all right, boy,” Becky crooned. “Don’t be afraid. That’s my mama, and she loves you, too.”

Then the unbelievable happened. As her tiny hands stroked the great shaggy head, I heard the gentle thump, thump, thumping of the wolf’s tail from deep inside the stump. What was wrong with the animal? I wondered. Why couldn’t he get up? I couldn’t tell. Nor did I dare to step any closer. I glanced at the empty water bowl. My memory flashed back to the five skunks that last week had torn the burlap from a leaking pipe in a frenzied effort to reach water during the final agonies of rabies. Of course! Rabies! Warning signs had been posted all over the county, and hadn’t Becky said, “He’s so thirsty?” I had to get Becky away.

“Honey.” My throat tightened. “Put his head down and come to Mama. We’ll go find help.”

Reluctantly, Becky got up and kissed the wolf on the nose before she walked slowly into my outstretched arms. Sad yellow eyes followed her. Then the wolf’s head sank to the ground. With Becky safe in my arms, I ran to the barns where Brian, one of our cowhands, was saddling up to check heifers in the North pasture. “Brian! Come quickly. Becky found a wolf in the oak stump near the wash! I think it has rabies!”

“I’ll be there in a jiffy,” he said as I hurried back to the house, eager to put Becky down for her nap. I didn’t want her to see Brian come out of the bunkhouse. I knew he’d have a gun.

“But I want to give my doggy his water,” she cried. I kissed her and gave her some stuffed animals to play with.

“Honey, let Mom and Brian take care of him for now,” I said. Moments later, I reached the oak stump.

Brian stood looking down at the beast. “It’s a Mexican lobo, all right.” He said, ” And a big one!”

The wolf whined. Then we both caught the smell of gangrene. “Whew! It’s not rabies,” Brian said. “But he’s sure hurt real bad. Don’t you think it’s best I put him out of his misery?”

The word “yes” was on my lips, when Becky emerged from the bushes. “Is Brian going to make him well, Mama?” She hauled the animal’s head onto her lap once more, and buried her face in the coarse, dark fur. This time I wasn’t the only one who heard the thumping of the lobo’s tail. That afternoon my husband, Bill, and our veterinarian came to see the wolf. Observing the trust the animal had in our child, Doc said to me, “Suppose you let Becky and me tend to this fella together.” Minutes later, as child and vet reassured the stricken beast, the hypodermic found its mark. The yellow eyes closed.

“He’s asleep now,” said the vet. “Give me a hand here, Bill.” They hauled the massive body out of the stump. The animal must have been over five feet long and well over one-hundred pounds. The hip and leg had been mutilated by bullets. Doc did what he had to in order to clean the wound and then gave the patient a dose of penicillin. Next day he returned and inserted a metal rod to replace the missing bone.

“Well, it looks like you’ve got yourselves a Mexican lobo,” Doc said. “He looks to be about three years old, and even as pups, they don’t tame real easy. I’m amazed at the way this big fella took to your little gal. But often there’s something that goes on between children and animals that we grownups don’t understand.”

Becky named the wolf Ralph and carried food and water to the stump every day. Ralph’s recovery was not easy. For three months he dragged his injured hindquarters by clawing the earth with his front paws. From the way he lowered his eyelids when we massaged the atrophied limbs, we knew he endured excruciating pain, but not once did he ever try to bite the hands of those who cared for him.

Four months to the day, Ralph finally stood unaided. His huge frame shook as long- unused muscles were activated. Bill and I patted and praised him. But it was Becky to whom he turned for a gentle word, a kiss or a smile. He responded to these gestures of love by swinging his busy tail like a pendulum. As his strength grew, Ralph followed Becky all over the ranch. Together they roamed the desert pastures, the golden-haired child often stooping low, sharing with the great lame wolf whispered secrets of nature’s wonders. When evening came, he returned like a silent shadow to his hollow stump that had surely become his special place.

As time went on, although he lived primarily in the brush, the habits of this timid creature endeared him more and more to all of us. His reaction to people other than our family was yet another story. Strangers terrified him, yet his affection for and protectiveness of Becky brought him out of the desert and fields at the sight of every unknown pickup or car. Occasionally he’d approach, lips taut, exposing a nervous smile full of chattering teeth. More often he’d simply pace and finally skulk off to his tree stump, perhaps to worry alone.

Becky’s first day of school was sad for Ralph. After the bus left, he refused to return to the yard. Instead, he lay by the side of the road and waited. When Becky returned, he limped and tottered in wild, joyous circles around her. This welcoming ritual persisted throughout her school years. Although Ralph seemed happy on the ranch, he disappeared into the surrounding deserts and mountains for several weeks during the spring mating season, leaving us to worry about his safety. This was calving season, and fellow ranchers watched for coyotes, cougars, wild dogs and, of course, the lone wolf. But Ralph was lucky.

During Ralph’s twelve years on our ranch, his habits remained unchanged. Always keeping his distance, he tolerated other pets and endured the activities of our busy family, but his love for Becky never wavered. Then the spring came when our >neighbor told us he’d shot and killed a she-wolf and grazed her mate, who had been running with her. Sure enough, Ralph returned home with another bullet wound. Becky, nearly fifteen years old now, sat with Ralph’s head resting on her lap. He, too, must have been about fifteen and was gray with age. As Bill removed the bullet, my memory raced back through the years. Once again I saw a chubby three-year-old girl stroking the head of a huge black wolf and heard a small voice murmuring, “It’s all right, boy. Don’t be afraid. That’s my mama, and she loves you, too.”

Although the wound wasn’t serious, this time Ralph didn’t get well. Precious pounds fell away. The once luxurious fur turned dull and dry, and his trips to the yard in search of Becky’s companionship ceased. All day long he rested quietly. But when night fell, old and stiff as he was, he disappeared into the desert and surrounding hills. By dawn his food was gone. The morning came when we found him dead. The yellow eyes were closed. Stretched out in front of the oak stump, he appeared but a shadow of the proud beast he once had been. A lump in my throat choked me as I watched Becky stroke his shaggy neck, tears streaming down her face. “I’ll miss him so,” she cried.

Then as I covered him with a blanket, we were startled by a strange rustling sound from inside the stump. Becky looked inside. Two tiny yellow eyes peered back and puppy fangs glinted in the semidarkness. Ralph’s pup! Had a dying instinct told him his motherless offspring would be safe here, as he had been, with those who loved him? Hot tears spilled on baby fur as Becky gathered the trembling bundle in her arms.

“It’s all right, little . . Ralphie,” she murmured. “Don’t be afraid. That’s my mom, and she loves you, too.”

Author unknown

Sorry I lost the name of the author