The Therapeutic Value of Animals

  • Many of us know of the therapeutic value one gains from swimming with dolphins or the wonderful work achieved by organisations like Riding for the Disabled (RDA).  I remember a few years back when holidaying in Florida the wonderful feelings and emotions I experienced when swimming with the dolphins at Discovery Cove.  To a lesser extent, even snorkeling with Rays and tropical fish has a wonderfully calming and relaxing effect on the spirit!  Why do you so often see fish tanks in places like Dentist’s waiting room?  Think about it.

    I was reminded of this wonderful power that animals have recently when I was out in Moors Valley Country Park.  One of my hobbies is keeping and running Huskies.  I can often be seen out with them either on the CanX belt reinfocing command words or actually being pulled along at speed on their specially built scooter.  By chance I happened across a group of handicapped children on a day out in the park with their carers.  I stopped as it would have risked injury to pass so close to them but the kids LOVED the three huskies that were pulling me.  They took such an interest that I gave them a brief insight into the world of Huskies, what is involved in keeping them, how the lines are set up etc etc.  They were spellbound.  In thanking me one of the carers remarked that this spontaneous “lecture” had obviously been the best part of the day for them.  She hadn’t seen them so bright for a long time and felt sure that all they would talk about in the coming weeks was not their trip to the country park but meeting the Huskies!

    Just one example of how the partnership between man and animal can have such beneficial effects!

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