In human years my beautiful retriever Ozzie is 105, considerably older than any of the residents in a nearby rest home that we visit.
We visit on a regular basis where Ozzie offers ‘fur therapy’ to residents, many who have had beloved pets but been forced to re-home them due to needing full time care themselves. A situation I would find devastating.
With their full attention on my four legged friend, we chat and I am constantly amazed how quickly people open up emotionally and share their problems, grievances and often their resentment at having had to give up their independence and in many cases their wish to die.
I feel so blessed to have found a way into the lives of these dear folk – all thanks to Ozzie. Because he is the focus of attention he allows spiritual counselling to take place in a relaxed matter-of-fact way. Wherever people are sitting, either in the main lounge, the garden or in their own rooms, we potter casually around, stopping if anyone wishes to connect with us.
Discovering ways to turn negativity around under limiting circumstances is an on-going and fascinating challenge. We discuss peoples’ amazing lives, look at photographs and recall happy memories, many of which include family pets.
We are all currently busy collecting funny poetry to share. This creates laughter and in turn leads to feelings of well-being. After all, laughter has to be the best medicine, not forgetting the ‘fur factor.’