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Pet Therapy – more than just cuddly dogs

on December 12, 2017

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Man’s best friend might be your dog, but in country NSW it might also be your chook, your pony or even your lama! At Thomas Eccles Gardens, Yass, pet therapy visits are taken to a whole new level with visiting miniature ponies that bring the memories of farm life flooding back.

Across RSL LifeCare we understand how important pet therapy is. The connection between the elderly and animals not only provides a great amount of fun but also comfort, emotional warmth, a reduction in stress and a trigger for memories of times past.

We have birds, chickens, rabbits, resident dogs and even a lama that live permanently with us. We have to visit animals as well, and at Agris Hutrof House in Thirlmere, we open our doors (and gardens) as a training facility for pet-therapy-dogs-in-training.

Our young veterans in the Homes for Heroes program have the opportunity to be a part of an Equine Therapy program which has resulted, time after time, in remarkable results. As one young veteran put it “with animals, they have the measure of you. When you step into the ring with a horse, they know how you’re feeling from 40 paces away. It will affect whether they allow you to approach them. It has taught me so much about myself – about my body language, about slowing my breathing down and relaxing, about forgetting about everything and being truly at the moment.”

Our observations across all our care homes confirm the special bond that mankind has with the animals on this earth. It is a joy to continue to foster those connections with our residents.

 

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