Rommy has taught me so much. We all have times of pain and times of joy, but do we take time to just enjoy each other? Rommy does. Rommy lives for that purpose. He doesn't just bring smiles to others he truly shows he enjoys the smiles he brings.
On one Saturday morning Rommy walked into a family's living room as if he had been there a thousand times before. Rommy was ready to greet his new friends. He wasn't disappointed in the least bit as he had his tummy scratched and his mane braided. He acted as if this is what horses are supposed to be doing every day. He was just one of the kids giggling and playing on the living room carpet.
Later on that afternoon Rommy visited his friends at Hunters Creek Nursing And Rehab Center. He had only been there once or twice before, but he greeted each resident as if they were his family. He may have pushed it a bit as he has taken to resting his nose on beds while being adored. He stood quietly in every room and seemed to silently appreciate being with each person. He didn't ask them for anything. He didn't mind if some didn't pet him. He truly enjoyed just being there.
I love you, Rommy, thank you.
Extra! Extra! Read all about it!
To a child a hospital can be a very scary place. Imagine yourself as a child having to experience the hospital as a patient. You're not old enough to understand why you are there. You are given shots and woken up in the middle of the night to have your vitals checked.
All of a sudden you are encouraged to get out of your bed even though you don't feel well. You sit in a wheelchair wondering where you are being taken. You look around and all of a sudden you see a small horse in the room in front of you. It's a furry, gentle looking creature that appears very huggable.
You start to feel a little excitement as you are wheeled up to this miniature horse. You reach out your hand and touch its soft fur. You run your fingers through its mane to find out what it feels like. You stare into the kind, brown eyes looking back at you. You touch its fuzzy ears and are wowed at how soft they are. You suddenly feel a lot better than you did before you got into that wheelchair. A smile begins to spread across your face and you relax.
The joy in the faces of those children is what I see each time Rommy visits Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. They have a moment in time to forget that they are ill. No one has ever asked me why I bring a miniature therapy horse to visit people. They don't feel the need to ask, they already know. They just don't realize how truly special those moments are for the people who meet Rommy and for Rommy too. That is why I share these moments with all of you so you can see the smiles and joy Rommy brings.
Good boy, Rommy
All visits that Rommy goes on are wonderful, but some don't require a description from me. The immense joy these children showed when meeting Rommy was perfectly captured in the photos. Please enjoy the smiles and note the great behavior of Rommy throughout the visit at Central Florida Pediatric Therapy Association.
Absolutely amazing horse, Rommy, good boy!
p.s. Rommy earned a powdered sugar doughnut hole from DG Doughnutson our way home. If you haven't had their doughnuts and you love doughnuts then you need to try theirs!
Rommy didn't realize how entertaining he could be while he slept. His visits to Health Central Park and Inspired Living Ocoee brought a lot of smiles.
Rommy led me into Health Central Park and down the halls to see his friends. He spent time doting on each resident, especially, those with purses. There had to be treats in those purses according to Rommy.
He performed his best trick even better this time around. He actually slept with his eyes closed. A horse has to feel completely comfortable to let his guard down and fall asleep. Rommy feels very comfortable spending time with his friends. Unfortunately, Rommy dozed so deeply while one grandma stroked his mane that another resident became upset Rommy wasn't being shared. After waking Rommy up I made sure everyone had a chance to greet him.
Rommy became the loved pet of another resident. We happened to have a photo of Rommy we gave her so she could keep him. When her daughter showed up with her dog Rommy was forgotten, but only for a moment. As a nurse greeted her she introduced the dog as her baby and Rommy as her other baby. She closely held onto the photo and the dog.
I wish you could have seen her face light up the darkened room when Rommy walked in. Rommy's next friend to visit was so curious about Rommy's standard of living. She asked where we were from and how many other horses I have. When she heard I have five she claimed, "Shootfire, I'd have a dozen by now!"
In the afternoon, Rommy was content to doze in the living room of Inspired Living Ocoee while he was adored by everyone. He truly thinks he's at the spa! His therapy is to visit people inside, receive massages and nap. No one minded giving him what he wanted. The only times Rommy woke up were when residents would jokingly ask if they could ride him down the halls.
I lost count of the number of smiles Rommy brought to people. I do know everyone he met smiled. There is one lady who doesn't want anything to do with Rommy. She exclaims, "do not bring that thing near me," every month when we visit residents in one of the living rooms. I politely tell her that it's ok and we won't bring him over. We had to walk near her though to visit with residents across the room. As we did, she turned and suddenly smiled at Rommy without saying a word.
Good boy, Rommy
It was a full day, but Rascal didn't mind because he met so many new best friends. Our first stop at Brookdale Lakeport was so much fun for Rascal, he practically trotted to get inside. He was excited to see what adventure he would have that day.
Rascal confidently pranced across the carpet to the patterned wood floor. He didn't stop to consider they might be scary. He walked right into residents' rooms and immediately snuggled hands, arms, and even arms of chairs. He knew what he had to do and his mind was set on doing it.
If I paused too long to chat with a resident Rascal would pull me along to remind me that we had to greet everyone. He nuzzled hands and stopped to allow people to pet him, but then he was on his way again. He continued to do this until he met one gentleman who was quietly sitting in his wheelchair in a common room.
Rascal waltzed right up to him and nudged his hand. The man glanced at him. Rascal nudged his hand again and then began nuzzling his arm with his nose. Rascal insisted upon attention. A small smile appeared on the man's face. Rascal continued trying to get the man to pet him. The man reached out and touched Rascal's face. Rascal wasn't quite content with just that and nudged the man's arm again. Each time the man took his hand away from Rascal's face, Rascal nudged him. That's when we heard a quiet chuckle from the man. Rascal continued his game until he was convinced the man was laughing.
When we walked on to meet other residents we were told that gentleman had never reacted to any animals brought to see him before.
After a quick romp in the field and a nap in the truck Rascal was ready to greet friends at HarborChase of Villages Crossing. I have to admit I was a bit worried about Rascal and the elevator. Once again Rascal surprised me by walking right into the elevator to go up and then again when we returned to the lobby.
Rascal's charm was not lost at Harbor Chase. He warmed the hearts of some serious bingo players. He was able to interrupt the uninterruptible game. He made their day by showing the resident gamers his rearing trick and snuggling each player.
I'm so proud of little Rascal! He has become the great therapy horse I knew he could be!
Good baby, Rascal!
Rascal had a rough four months near the end of 2017. He struggled to breath while fighting a bacterial lung infection. He fought to feel better and was treated to the best care that could be to help him heal.
Rascal knew this. He truly showed his appreciation of humans by sharing tons of love at Health Central Park Nursing Home and Rehabilitation and Inspired Living Ocoee. The amount of love Rascal gave outweighed his little body by millions.
Rascal showed he is a true therapy horse. He snuggled hands, leaned in for ear scratches and even tried to climb into beds to curl up next to patients.
After an early morning shower in my shower Rascal had his fur blown dry and was ready for adventure. He was such a good boy that we had to stop at Winter Garden Feed Co. to help Charlene out with sales and to receive cookies for his assistance.
My little Rascal is growing up and is an amazing little therapy horse. If you get the opportunity to meet him it will be almost impossible for you not to smile.
Good boy Rascal!
p.s. I'm a proud Momma.