Piglet finally has her first animal-assisted therapy assignments!

Discussion in 'Sphynx Cat Tails' started by sydkat7, Oct 13, 2009.

  1. sydkat7

    sydkat7V.I.P Lairian V.I.P Lairian

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,606
    Likes Received:
    658
    Sphynx Bucks:
    $572.00
    Ratings:
    +658
    It took a while for Piglet and I to get registered with all the powers-to-be who run the AAT (animal assisted therapy) program here in Denver. However, now that we finally got our approval letter from the Delta Society and our ID badges, Piglet and I have FINALLY received our "assignments" for the facilities we'll be visiting. The Denver Pet Partner coordinators thought that Piglet will be a good fit for the following places: 1) an assisted living facility in Colorado Springs :
    http://www.brookdaleliving.com/village-at-skyline.aspx

    and 2) a school for disabled and special needs children in Lakewood (a suburb of Denver): http://www.denverpetpartners.org/index.php?s=5&item=149

    Both places know about Piglet already and are really looking forward to having her and I start visiting. The folks at the special needs school think that the kids will be able to relate to Piglet because she's "different" just like they are (this brought tears to my eyes when I first heard this from the program coordinator).

    However, before I can visit with the Pigster, I have to do shadow visits at each facility without her at first so I can check out the facility. I'm scheduled to visit the assisted living home this Friday solo, then if all goes well, I'll start visits there with Piglet next Friday. I'll be visiting the school for the first time on the 30th of this month (Halloween!).

    Thanks to all of you here on this forum who encouraged and supported Piglet and I as we began this worthy venture a few months ago....we couldn't have gone this far without you all! I can't wait to start sharing stories about Piglet on her upcoming AAT visits with the kids and the elderly!
     

  2. Brooke

    BrookeBanned

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Messages:
    1,767
    Likes Received:
    440
    Location:
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Sphynx Bucks:
    $42.00
    Ratings:
    +443
    Sydkat, that's so awesome!! I can't wait to hear all about it! I think you're really going to love working with the kids.

    I may have mentioned a long time ago that I used to take my first sphynx, Harold, to elementary school (the 4 I have now aren't really "cut out" for it). He loved the kids as much as they loved him. It was so much fun to see the kids reactions to a hairless cat. They were in awe of him (especially his tail). I would carry him around and let each of the kids pet him and then stand in front of the class and answer questions about the Sphynx. Some of the questions I got were hilarious! "When will his hair grow back?" is one that I heard a lot. Never once did I come across a kid that was afraid or grossed out by him.
     
  3. sydkat7

    sydkat7V.I.P Lairian V.I.P Lairian

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,606
    Likes Received:
    658
    Sphynx Bucks:
    $572.00
    Ratings:
    +658
    Brooke, I think I remember you telling me this story before, but I loved hearing it again (I especially love that question "Will his hair grow back?" Too cute!). I'm glad that Harold was able to bring a lot of joy to a group of kids during his regretfully short life. That's funny that you mentioned kids not being grossed out by Harold, because I've noticed that same thing with Piglet and kids, too. The kids always thinks she looks "cute" and "adorable", while the adults call her "strange" and "ugly" (I personally think the kids have much better taste than their parents...LOL!) On that note, it'll be interesting to see how the old people at the assisted living center will react to Piglet when they first see her...LOL! It should be quite comical!
     
  4. ultra_stella

    ultra_stellaV.I.P Lairian V.I.P Lairian

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Messages:
    1,036
    Likes Received:
    369
    Location:
    Missouri
    Sphynx Bucks:
    $296.00
    Ratings:
    +369
    That is a really cool idea and wish you tons of luck with it! Keep us updated on how everything goes!

    Brooke: "Never once did I come across a kid that was afraid or grossed out by him. "
    That's interesting you say that. I haven't come across any kids that freaked out or said rude things about Stella or pictures of sphynx cats that they saw. Instead, it's always the adults that do it (from what I've experienced). I bought my sister (and I'm not going to lie...I bought one for myself) the Bella doll. She took it to school for show and tell and told everyone about Stella and the resemblance. She said the kids loved it.
     
  5. ilovemysphynx

    ilovemysphynxAdministrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Messages:
    4,988
    Likes Received:
    3,073
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Sphynx Bucks:
    $6,141.16
    Ratings:
    +3,088
    • Fish
    • Dragon fly
    • Candy
    This is great new Sydkat and A very nice thing you are doing for these special people! There ae few people these days that take time out of their busy lives to help make others in your case complete strangers lives better Big pat on the back for your self and for Piglet for being worthy of such A great thing!
    I have taken ours to the kids school on bring your pet to school day and they are always the most popular pet, the kids stay by me and could care less about the rest of the pets and the teachers are always happy because the kids don't get board and just keep asking questions!
    I think the reaction in the adult home will be what is that or what happen to your cat? Admin's grandmother is still waiting for ours to grow hair and swears that they are nothing special and we rescued them from some horrible sickness or something.
     
  6. heather

    heatherV.I.P Lairian V.I.P Lairian

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Messages:
    1,242
    Likes Received:
    461
    Location:
    MA
    Sphynx Bucks:
    $396.00
    Ratings:
    +462
    Congrats Sydkat and Piglet! That's great news! I can't wait to hear some stories. It's a great thing you are both doing :BigSmile:.
     
  7. sydkat7

    sydkat7V.I.P Lairian V.I.P Lairian

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,606
    Likes Received:
    658
    Sphynx Bucks:
    $572.00
    Ratings:
    +658
    Ultra_stella, I bought the Bella doll and the accompanying story books, too, specifically for animal therapy work. I think that the Bella doll and books will be perfect to use with the kids at the Fletcher Miller school. :BigSmile: Also, I like the quality of the doll...it's very well-made for the price.

    Thanks for the kudos, ilovemysphynx...I'm looking forward to our upcoming visits as I think they'll be just as beneficial for Pigs & me as they will be for the kids and nursing home residents. I can't wait to hear the comments from the oldsters about Piglet...I'm sure a lot of them will give me a big laugh! :LOL:

    Thanks, heather. I'll be sure to share stories (and maybe some pics, but we are discouraged to take pictures without patient consent) very soon!
     
  8. myspecialboy

    myspecialboyLairian

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2009
    Messages:
    179
    Likes Received:
    71
    Location:
    Indiana
    Sphynx Bucks:
    $766.16
    Ratings:
    +71
    That sounds like a really good thing you're doing! I'm sure they will appeaciate it a lot. I like to bring my boy into the psych hospital to visit the kids and they all love him. Again, it's not the children who get freaked out, but the other nurses I work with!
     
  9. CoolSphynx

    CoolSphynxLairian

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    Messages:
    186
    Likes Received:
    28
    Sphynx Bucks:
    $368.00
    Ratings:
    +28
    Yay! Can't wait to hear all about Pigarooski's adventures in therapy, sydkat7! :ThumbsUp:
     
  10. kalliee129

    kalliee129Senior Lairian Senior Lairian

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Messages:
    893
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    Virginia close to Washington DC
    Sphynx Bucks:
    $453.02
    Ratings:
    +56
    That is soooo cool about Piglet's assignment:ThumbsUp: I had to back Meecho out of animal therapy. When she went for the meeting she was growling under her breath. Sad thing is the lady held her up and cooed at her and said awwww she's purring and all I could do was smile and pray Meecho didn't give in and bite her nose before I could get her back:LOL: I think she's just been stressed out because she isn't an aggressive cat and she loves people to pet her, but I guess only family can hold her. Go figure :Dizzy:
     
  11. susi794

    susi794Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2009
    Messages:
    13,352
    Likes Received:
    12,430
    Location:
    Belding, Michigan
    Sphynx Bucks:
    $46,138.92
    Ratings:
    +12,611
    • Scary sphynx
    • Puppy
    • Red Sphynx
    • Pink Sphynx
    • Orange Sphynx
    Piglet, I am soooooo proud of you! That part about the kids liking her because she is different made me cry. I teach low kids--lower than the ones who qualify for special ed--not as different as the kids you'll be seeing, but I know they feel that way too. So God bless you and your Mama for doing such a good thing.
     
  12. BFem85

    BFem85Lairian

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2009
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cornwall, UK.
    Sphynx Bucks:
    $355.00
    Ratings:
    +0
    I've never heard of animal-assisted therapy. Maybe its not well known in the UK, definitely not cornwall anyway. Have googled it as i'd love to get involved but can't find anything here.

    Good luck with it, i'm sure Piglet will love all the extra attention too! A great cause which i'm sure the kids and adults will get a lot out of. :ThumbsUp:
     
  13. kerrie78

    kerrie78Senior Lairian Senior Lairian

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    Messages:
    777
    Likes Received:
    86
    Sphynx Bucks:
    $555.00
    Ratings:
    +89
    I told you you would love it & that it feels awesome to do something that helps others so much!
     
  14. harley

    harleySenior Lairian Senior Lairian

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    Messages:
    375
    Likes Received:
    63
    Location:
    Louisiana
    Sphynx Bucks:
    $472.00
    Ratings:
    +64
    Can't wait to here how your adventures go. I can just imagine some of the comments you are going to get..
     
  15. sydkat7

    sydkat7V.I.P Lairian V.I.P Lairian

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,606
    Likes Received:
    658
    Sphynx Bucks:
    $572.00
    Ratings:
    +658
    What a bummer, kallie; it seemed like Meecho would have been an ideal therapy cat otherwise. :Cry: She seems to do well with people when she's out and about in her stroller. Maybe she was just nervous at the meeting and needs to be introduced to other people initially in a more familiar setting? When I was prepping Piglet for her DPP evaluation, I took her everywhere with me to expose her to as many different people as possible. I even allowed some people to hold her, as I wanted her to get used to being around strangers. I don't know if doing this would help Meecho, but it's worth a try.

    It's important for therapy animals to be calm and adaptable in all situations. One of the exercises in the AAT evaluation requires that the cat be able to sit in three people's laps for at least 30 seconds each time. In order to pass the eval, the cat has to be comfortable being held by strangers. :Sweat:
     
  16. sydkat7

    sydkat7V.I.P Lairian V.I.P Lairian

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,606
    Likes Received:
    658
    Sphynx Bucks:
    $572.00
    Ratings:
    +658
    Bfem, I looked on the Delta Society website (www.deltasociety.org) and I didn't see any Pet Partners affiliates in the UK listed there, nor did I see any UK animal therapy programs listed on any other websites. :Cry: That seems strange to me...as much as the Brits love animals, I would think that AAT would be huge on your end of the pond, especially as there are animal therapy programs in Australia, some parts of Europe, and even India. If I were you, I would contact the Delta Society via their website to see if they know of any new affiliate programs starting in the UK.

    Me too. When I was at the assisted living home last Friday (without Piglet) to meet the activity director and see the premises, one of the altzeimers patients saw Piglet's photos and said that she looked like an elephant! LOL! :LOL: That's funny...I can see alien or bat, but an elephant??? :Hysterical: I'm sure I'll hear more crazy comments from the residents once I actually bring the Pigster with me to visit next week!

    Thanks to everybody for your kind and encouraging comments! :Laugh:
     
  17. ElGatoLoco

    ElGatoLocoV.I.P Lairian V.I.P Lairian

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    Messages:
    1,467
    Likes Received:
    982
    Location:
    Arlington, Texas
    Sphynx Bucks:
    $2,548.20
    Ratings:
    +993
    You know, I was just about to ask you how the AAT thing was going. I hope it's a blast for the Piggy and you. Keep us updated!
     
  18. sydkat7

    sydkat7V.I.P Lairian V.I.P Lairian

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,606
    Likes Received:
    658
    Sphynx Bucks:
    $572.00
    Ratings:
    +658
    Thanks, El Gato! I can't wait until Piglet and I go to our first visit together this Friday. The residents at Brookdale are already very excited to meet the Pigs and I'm sure it'll be the same way with the kids at the Fletcher Miller school next week! :BigSmile:
     
  19. kalliee129

    kalliee129Senior Lairian Senior Lairian

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Messages:
    893
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    Virginia close to Washington DC
    Sphynx Bucks:
    $453.02
    Ratings:
    +56
    I have to say I was kinda shocked too because she is so friendly around people, but then again nobody had ever held her before so this was a first. I'm going to take your advice and just get more people to hold her so she gets used to it. I think once she does she will love it as she really just loves all the attention she gets, then we'll try again. :Laugh:
     
  20. sydkat7

    sydkat7V.I.P Lairian V.I.P Lairian

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,606
    Likes Received:
    658
    Sphynx Bucks:
    $572.00
    Ratings:
    +658
    Well, Piglet had her first visit with the residents at the assisted-living home yesterday morning. :BigSmile: She did very well for her first time....she was a little nervous at first but as soon as she got her bearings and figured out what was going on, she was a real trooper. Piglet was very sweet...she allowed everybody to pet her and let some of the residents hold her, even the ones who were bedridden (she laid down next to them on their beds).

    This was surprising to me, but some of the residents were afraid of her because of her hairlessness and didn't want to pet her or even get near her. One lady in her wheelchair kept giving Piglet the stink eye and said, "Don't let me get near that thing...I don't know what it is!" It took everything I had to keep from laughing. I guess with Halloween close by, maybe some of them thought Piglet was a goblin or something. :LOL:

    On the other hand, one of the altzeimers patients there got especially attached to Piglet and didn't want to let her go. She kept saying, "I don't care if she doesn't have any hair, I love this little kitty and I wish I could take her home." Piglet was really bonding with this lady and seemed content to sit on her lap, so I allowed this resident to hold her for a long time (about 15 minutes!). Even some of the staff there fell in love with Piglet...she was a real hit with her odd looks and little Halloween t-shirt. :ThumbsUp:

    Piglet and I will be visiting this nursing home once a week from now on, so I'm sure Piglet will bring a lot of smiles and make lots of friends there. I can't wait to see how the little kids will react to her when we start visiting the school the week after next!
     
  21. lovinsphynx

    lovinsphynxSenior Lairian Senior Lairian

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Messages:
    335
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Sphynx Bucks:
    $322.00
    Ratings:
    +16
    Aww way to go piglet! That's what i love about my cats, they don't care whats wrong with you, what you look like, or what you've done wrong in your life, they just want to give love and be loved.
     
  22. sydkat7

    sydkat7V.I.P Lairian V.I.P Lairian

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,606
    Likes Received:
    658
    Sphynx Bucks:
    $572.00
    Ratings:
    +658
    Thanks, lovinsphynx! That's so true...they are just little love machines who love us no matter what. :Smile: That's why pet therapy is such a good thing.
     
  23. kalliee129

    kalliee129Senior Lairian Senior Lairian

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Messages:
    893
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    Virginia close to Washington DC
    Sphynx Bucks:
    $453.02
    Ratings:
    +56
    That part about the lady who wanted to take Piglet home made me teary eyed. What a wonderful moment. I only hope Piglet gave that other lady the stink eye back:Laugh:
     
  24. heather

    heatherV.I.P Lairian V.I.P Lairian

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Messages:
    1,242
    Likes Received:
    461
    Location:
    MA
    Sphynx Bucks:
    $396.00
    Ratings:
    +462
    Piglet- you did such an awesome job! :Celebrate:

    I loved hearing about her laying down with the bedridden residents. That is so heart warming.

    With that amount of success on just her first visit- you know she will be able to bring much joy in visits to come.

    I can't wait to hear about her with the kids!
     
  25. ilovemysphynx

    ilovemysphynxAdministrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Messages:
    4,988
    Likes Received:
    3,073
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Sphynx Bucks:
    $6,141.16
    Ratings:
    +3,088
    • Fish
    • Dragon fly
    • Candy
    What A great job Piglet did! And you Sydkat to take time out of your day for others is so great! There is not many people left in the world to do such A kind thing for others! I just think it is wonderful:ThumbsUp: