Mini-horse helps patients at Spaulding Rehab
BOSTON -- A local rehab facility is now giving some patients a chance to do some horsing around with a special new therapy animal.
That little horse is named Lily, and don't let her size fool you. What she lacks in stature, she makes up for in presence.
A unique guest is spreading smiles through Boston's Spaulding Rehab Hospital.
It may look like Lily is just horsing around, but this Miniature Appaloosa has a special job: she's a therapy animal.
“I knew from the get-go that her disposition was very calm. That’s one of the things that drew me to her,” said Marsha Craig, Lily’s owner. “We went through our whole evaluation process and she passed with flying colors.”
Lily now makes several trips a week to brighten the spirits of patients in hospitals and nursing homes.
“Some of the veterans that have come to the Brockton V.A. hospital from the current war, we have rounded the corner, and they use words I can’t use in an interview but they say, ‘holy mackerel that’s a horse!’” said Craig.
Lily's visits also helps raise awareness for disability awareness month.
Federal law now recognizes mini-horses as service animals, and by the reaction Lily gets, it looks like she's doing a great job.
“They think it’s wonderful, they get a big kick out of it. The horse is unusual, but any therapy visit is what counts,” said Craig.
Lily's owner says it took years of training to get her licensed as a therapy animal, but to see her help others, makes it all worth it.
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