Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Davis Motor Sales banner ad
Posted on 2/2/14

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 2015 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.

2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013

Most Read This Week

January 23, 2015 8895

Local Church's Faith Restored; 71 Souls Saved…

in Video by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
January 22, 2015 7228

Nortonville Man Accused of Selling Drugs near…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Jail
January 21, 2015 6406

KYDOT Pre-Treating Roads Thursday in Antipation…

in Top News For All Sites by Keith Todd
January 22, 2015 5984

MCEA Head: Further School Mergers Might Ease…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
January 23, 2015 5750

Parents Face Charges after Marijuana Joint Falls…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Jail
January 21, 2015 4924

Man Arrested after Allegedly Nodding off on Baby…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Jail
January 25, 2015 4920

Dean’s List Announced

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Joyce Riggs
January 23, 2015 4586

Nortonville Woman Charged for Meth Possession

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office/Hopkins County Detention Center

Most Read This Month

January 08, 2015 20700

Woman Claiming to be 'Lady Gaga' Tours Town in…

in Top News For All Sites by Madisonville Police Department
January 15, 2015 20481

UPDATE: Fatality Victim's Name Officially Released

in Top News For All Sites by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Today

January 26, 2015 3997

KSP Arrests Two on Child Porn Charges; MPD…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper Stu Recke
January 26, 2015 3299

Man Goes to Jail after Allegedly Attacking Family

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Jail
January 25, 2015 2956

Juvenile Hit by Vehicle at McDonald's

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by GPD Officer Wes Miller
January 26, 2015 2110

Madisonville Post Welcomes New Troopers

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper S. C. Recke
January 26, 2015 2103

School Board Votes 3-2 for Utility Tax

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
January 26, 2015 1925

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

in General News For All Sites by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office
January 26, 2015 1807

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Jan. 26, 2015

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
January 26, 2015 1691

Hopkins District Court Fines Handed Down

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Circuit Clerk's Office
January 26, 2015 1669

Kentucky Highway Crews Prepared for Snow into the…

in Top News For All Sites by Keith Todd
January 26, 2015 1367

McClearn Remains Optimistic I-69 Signs up Between…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Keith Todd
January 26, 2015 1106

Raffle for Custom Motorcycle to Benefit Trooper…

in General News For All Sites by Sherry H. Bray
January 26, 2015 1065

Dawson Springs Police Reports Released

in Hopkins News by Melissa Heflin