Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Fayette | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Warren | Webster

New Beginnings with Gayla – Random Acts of Kindness Part 4

NewBeginnings Gayla 01KENTUCKY (4/15/13) - As I wrote earlier, I have a friend that went through a very traumatic year last year. She wanted something positive to come from her suffering. So, she birthed the idea of getting a group of people willing to make someone happy each month for 12 months. I felt so inspired by this that I wanted to share her vision with my readers. Today we are going to continue our year of kindness. Our focus this month is on animal assisted activities.

I believe that animals are pure beings that are here on earth to teach us how to love unconditionally. Animals can help with the experience of loneliness that some people may feel in nursing homes. They can ease fear that a child with a terminal illness may feel in the hospital. They can be a positive distraction for someone in jail. Animals can put a smile on the face of someone suffering from Alzheimer’s. Animals can bring people together and bring back fond memories.

My dog, Ellie, and I have been involved with animal assisted activities for six years now. I have seen first-hand how she has brought countless smiles to the elderly people we visit (some of these people have not smiled in a long time). I have witnessed how some of the people will not participate in activities, except for when Ellie comes to visit. I have seen tears of joy come to some of their eyes because my dog brings back memories of their beloved pets from the past. Ellie is cherished by many.

Do you love animals?
Do you have a passion for helping ease the pain of other’s loneliness?
Does the thought of a child suffering with a terminal illness pull at your heart strings?
Would you like to do something in memory of a loved one that you have lost due to cancer?
Pet therapy/animal assisted activities may be for you!

Here are steps that you can follow to starting your own pet therapy program:

1.    Get your pet a health check at your local veterinarian to make sure they are healthy and to get them up-to-date on vaccinations if needed.
2.    If you are planning on using a dog, have them go through the Canine Good Citizenship test. This test deems the dog as a candidate that works well with other people and dogs in their homes and in the community. For more information and to find a testing facility near you, go to: www.animalhumanesociety.org/training/caninegoodcitizenship
3.    Talk to a nursing home, hospital, or similar facility in your city about bringing your pet in to visit with residents.
4.    Start off slow. If you have a family member in one of these facilities start off by bring your pet to visit them. There are different sounds and smells there that your animal must be comfortable with. The pet has to be calm and enjoy people and attention. The pet must not bite or scratch residents.

This random act of kindness can go on not only for one time, but for many, many years to come.

Can’t start your own animal assisted activity program? You can donate to one that is already established. Here is the website of one that I was impressed with: www.powerpawsforkids.org

The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast you. - William James

Gayla

Check out my new blog – “Me…forgiven?”
www.newlifebeginnings.us


Disclaimer: The content supplied by columnists and letters to the Editor on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such content, statement, or opinions therein. SurfKY News does not necessarily adhere to or endorse content provided by outside non-staff sources.

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

April 15, 2014 15851

UPDATE- U.S. Bank Robbery, Bomb Threat…

in Top Stories by Taylor Riley, SurfKY News Reporter
April 14, 2014 5207

U.S. Bank Hanson on Lockdown Due to Bomb…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
April 14, 2014 4893

Pedestrian Killed During Two Vehicle…

in Top Stories by Chris E. King
April 13, 2014 4184

One Dead in Two Vehicle Head On Collision

in Top Stories by Chris E. King
April 12, 2014 2665

One Injured in Two Vehicle Accident in…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

April 14, 2014 4893

Pedestrian Killed During Two Vehicle…

in Top Stories by Chris E. King
April 13, 2014 4184

One Dead in Two Vehicle Head On Collision

in Top Stories by Chris E. King
April 12, 2014 2665

One Injured in Two Vehicle Accident in…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
April 15, 2014 2365

Police Searching for Sureway's 'Baby…

in Top Stories by Taylor Riley, SurfKY News Reporter
April 12, 2014 2039

Muhlenberg Man Injured in Hopkins County…

in Top Stories by Chris E. King

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

April 14, 2014 1197

Grow Garden Grow - Spring Has Sprung

in News by Barbara Cecil Russ
April 13, 2014 816

Two Daviess County Men Busted for…

in Top Stories by Scott Gibbs
April 15, 2014 579

Owensboro Police Investigate Auto Accident

in News by Michael Hathaway
April 14, 2014 470

Owensboro Health Hosts Tours for…

in Top Stories by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
April 14, 2014 339

Owensboro Farmers Market Opens Saturday

in Top Stories by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

April 13, 2014 2215

Muhlenberg 4-H is Buzzing

in Top Stories by Janie Culton
April 14, 2014 1565

MCC Staff Shares Good News with…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter
April 15, 2014 853

Local MCHS Students Train at Job Corps

in Top Stories by Karen Robinson
April 15, 2014 786

'Walk Right Back' An Everly Brother's…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter
April 15, 2014 594

Thumbpickers Unite at Mose Rager Day

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)

SurfKY Owensboro News Bureau
920 Frederica St. / Suite 210  •  Owensboro, KY 42301  •  270.683-8060 (phone)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social 06social 21social 22social 04social 03