It was a day of Toby. Rommy bathed in his bubbles, brushed his mane, strapped on his vest and was ready to go visiting on Saturday.
In the morning Rommy visited his new friends at Village on the Green. Everyone was so excited to see Rommy again! Rommy loved being there too. He had finished his breakfast an hour before we headed out so he was ready for his nap. Rommy snoozed while every person doted on him. He did wake up to greet each next person who was supposed to pet him though.
On our way out Rommy met a furry friend named Toby. Toby was a brave little dog to touch noses with such a big "dog," Rommy.
In the afternoon Rommy was able to start the summer in style at Sydney's Reading and Learning Center. The event was a great success! Everyone was there to celebrate summer and to encourage children to read.
Rommy was there to give hugs, get his mane spruced up, and to provide support to Read To Sydney. There were many questions about horses too. Why does Rommy wear shoes? It's so he doesn't slip on tile, wood, laminate, etc. floors. Why does Rommy have part of his mane shaved? It's his bridle path, a place behind his ears where the top of his halter goes. Is Rommy really "potty" trained? Yes, he even told me he had to go outside while we were there.
Rommy has gotten so good at bringing smiles to people he gets excited to get to his visits. He led me through the hallways of the mall to reach the people he loves. By the way, Rommy loves everyone.
Good boy, Rommy!
p.s. Did I mention that Read To Sydney has a furry employee named Toby? Toby helps children learn to read by listening while they read to him.
Rommy looked at the purple halter with turtles on it, looked at Bandit wandering off into the pasture, and then looked at me. I hadn't told him of my sudden decision to bring him downtown. "Please come on, Rommy, we don't have much time, " I told him as I put his halter on for the quick lunch time trip to visit Fire Station 5 and Pulse.
Rommy, being the good boy he is, jumped into the truck as he always does. He didn't know he was about to cheer up so many people nor did he know he was going to receive an entire apple from Mayor Buddy Dyer. Neither did I, it just happened that way.
I see on the news how Orlando has become so united...looking beyond all differences to share love with each other. I wasn't there that day last year, I don't know any of the victims, but today I did see and feel the outpouring of love from so many people.
I was thanked for bringing Rommy many times. I am happy I was able to share Rommy with everyone today. Rommy brought so many smiles. I hope he helped dry some tears too.
Good boy, Rommy
June 17, 2017
June 14, 2017
Once we left the hospital we headed over to Mayflower Retirement Community for Rommy's first visit there ever. Rommy lead the way. He walked into the lobby as if he had been there every day before.
Rommy stepped into the small elevator without hesitation and again I was happily surprised. Rommy was on a mission. I love every visit we do, but this one felt so special. Rommy was a hit! He snuggled, he nuzzled, he reached out to people and he fell asleep leaning on laps. Rommy was content just to be near everyone in the room. When he decided it was time to move on to visit the next person he lead me to the next person. When he wanted to stay near a particular person he planted his feet and stayed. This was Rommy's visit and he had it all planned out.
When it was time to go he refused to leave. He was resting his head next to a woman sleeping. He really didn't want to leave her side.
On our way out Rommy posed for selfies and photos. When Rommy started yawning it was time to head home. Rommy was his superstar self, but he was even more than that on Saturday, he thoroughly enjoyed everyone he fell in love with that day.
Good boy, Rommy!
June 3, 2017
June 12, 2017
Extra! Extra! Read all about it!
Wow, such a fun therapy weekend! Rommy began the weekend by visiting his new best friends at Quest Camp Thunderbird! They provide a fun camp for adults and children with special needs and Rommy provided hugs and soft fur to pet. They loved him!
There were words of, "I love you, Rommy" and "Come back soon, Rommy." There was one woman who loved it when I told her about Rommy's name, "Rommy sounds like Mommy." She laughed at that and told her friends about Rommy's name too! Rommy received so many kisses I lost count. During all this fun activity Rommy quietly stood at the front of the room while each camper waited their turn to greet him. He reached his nose out to people to greet them back. He thoroughly enjoyed his time with all the campers.
Did I mention the staff yet? I think there was a secret plan of theirs to keep Rommy there! I also noted they snuck in line to greet Rommy a few times too, but that is just fine with Rommy.
Saturday morning Rommy was up early and ready to snuggle all his human family at Health Central Park. He was so eager to get there he lead the way through the parking lot and into the building. I informed everyone that I work for Rommy, not the other way around. Rommy was in charge that day for he chose when to stop to visit with someone and when it was time to say hi to another person.
Rommy loves blankets! If anyone wants to knit a red (or lavender) and white blanket for Rommy he will love you forever! Well, that's what I learned on Saturday. Rommy tried to take one resident's cuddly red and white knit blanket with him. He nuzzled it, he laid his head on it, and he grabbed it to bring with him. Luckily, the owner of the blanket thought it was adorable and was giggling about it the entire time.
Rommy is a ladies' man. He even charmed a woman claiming to be 99 years old!!! She told us wonderful stories about how her children rode and owned ponies a little bigger than Rommy. She told us stories about the old barn in their pasture that was taken down piece by piece so people could paint artwork on the worn boards. She couldn't understand why they wanted to do such a thing, but the fact they were going to turn it into art made her happy. I watched the look in her eyes as she remembered these long ago experiences. The sparkle and laughter I saw...I'm sitting here trying to find the right way to convey what I felt so you can feel it too. It felt like Rommy had just given her a gift she had always wanted, but he hadn't known that was the gift she wanted.
In the afternoon, Rascal took over. When I say took over, he actually stole hearts. As adorable and tiny as he is it isn't hard to see why. BUT, he also has a boyish charm to him that is irresistible. He will coyly watch you and then give a little nudge to your shoulder to get your attention. At least, that's what he did to one woman at Inspired Living Ocoee! She was talking to someone and completely ignoring him so he decided to get her attention.
His little nose is harmless, but she felt him nudging her shoulder and turned around to see who it was. The laughter was immediate and so was what Rascal wanted...a pet on the nose.
I have to say how proud I am of little Rascal. He was a lot less wiggly this visit and actually stood still for longer times while he was doted on. He did give me a funny look when one gentleman jokingly tried to get on his back for a gallop down the hall. I think we met the class clown! We all had a good laugh about how far he could possibly get riding Rascal. I think Rascal laughed too.
Overall, it was a wonderful weekend I won't forget. Thank you for following our story and enjoying Rommy's and Rascal's therapy visits too!
Good boys, Rommy and Rascal!
P.S. Rommy received a Dunkin' Donuts glazed donut from a resident's family member. Let's put it this way, Rommy hunted down that donut. Thanks for the donut, Rommy loved it!
June 24, 2017
Every Wednesday there's a lot of fun inside Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. Waldo is the subject of quite a search in order to receive cookies. The staff compete to find Waldo somewhere in the hospital.
Rommy had the honor of joining the staff in the fun activity by wearing a Waldo hat to show his support. I believe he is still looking for the cookies though!
Rommy, of course, thoroughly enjoyed visiting the children. Rommy's favorite people are children. He gets very concerned if a child is upset or crying. He stares, ears forward, in hope the child will come get a hug from him. The concern in his eyes is easy to see.
Timid children pet Rommy. Curiosity always seems to overcome fear for these kids. They never do it alone though, Mom or Dad or Grandma or Grandpa are always nearby when they reach out their tiny hands to touch the furry beast. Beast isn't the word I should use to describe Rommy, but it flowed in that sentence. Rommy is the gentlest "beast" you'll ever meet. He believes in licking and snuggles, not violence.
At the exact minute Rommy's visiting hour ended, he woke up and began walking down the hall to leave. I'm thinking at some point Rommy will do the visits without me! He loves visiting, but he also knows when it's time to go eat some grass.
Good boy, Rommy
June 10, 2017
It was a double visit day for Rommy on Saturday. First stop was at Florida Hospital For Children to cheer up the children and families there. Rommy even marched into the elevator without pausing. I paused in surprise, but he just kept going.
Rommy spent his first half hour in the Disney atrium greeting everyone who came by. He posed for photos, stood still for hugs, and was a good boy for Marnie while she was his handler.
Before going upstairs in the hospital I thought it best to bring Rommy outside just in case he needed a potty break. When we got to the spot where he could go he looked at me with a bothered expression and immediately turned around to walk back into the hospital. Apparently, he didn't have to go and was annoyed that I had even asked.
Quick elevator ride then a walk with a purposeful attitude down the hall...Rommy was excited to visit children in their rooms. One child happen to have a box of donuts from Krispy Kreme Doughnuts which Rommy noticed after a few minutes. Luckily, the box was out of Rommy's reach and he hadn't tried their donuts yet! I never would have gotten him to go home if he had!
Although I couldn't be there Rommy was a wonderful little therapy horse at Make 'M Smile by Nathaniel's Hope #thankfulmarniemeganparkerkathy #fuzzytherapy