around me. When he calmed down a bit we walked toward the crowd. We stayed in the crowd for a bit, but I was hesitant to let people pet him at that point. We wandered to the outskirts of the crowd to the grass to let him calm down just close enough to the crowd, but far enough that he didn't feel nervous. He did calm down and looked around curiously while munching grass. When the parade began Rascal was ready. He marched along the sidewalk with crowds on each side following the other dogs in the parade. I'm not sure what category Rascal won, but he was the cutest Dalmatian there that day!
Rascal too had a tiring weekend. He slept the whole way home from the parade.
Someone who wasn't tired was Bandit. He proudly stood in front of my truck as I was trying to drive into the driveway. It felt as if he was saying, "where were you and do you have treats?" I had to take his picture because all I saw were ears in front of the truck. Be careful out there, they really are mini!
Good boys, Rommy, Rascal, and Bandit!
Rommy, Rascal, and Bandit hope you all have a safe and Happy Halloween!
October 15, 2016
September 14, 2016
When asked if they enjoyed Super Rommy's visits, one resident with a serious look on her face answered, "I love it." Once again Super Rommy has saved the day.
Good boy, Super Rommy!
October 29-30, 2016
With all the noise and commotion going on around him I surely thought Rommy would have been uncomfortable. This little guy knows his job and he didn't move when someone was petting him!
Good boy, Rommy!
Extra! Extra! Have you read all about it!
Elevators are something you wouldn't think about when training your horse, typically. Rommy and Rascal had a fun Saturday learning how to use an elevator since they may have to use them in the near future to visit patients.
Rascal was the first to take part in the elevator training, but was required to stop at Winter Garden Feed & Seed to visit prior to his education. After filling up on peppermint treats from his biggest fan Charlene and meeting new people, Rascal was ready to begin.
We wandered over to the parking garage to show Rascal what an elevator is. Since Rascal is so adorable and irresistible we had a few stops along the way to meet and greet new friends.
Rascal was hesitant to cross the abyss (the space between the elevator floor and the building floor). His fear was valid since he is so tiny. With cookies and promises that he would be ok Rascal finally ventured into the elevator. He looked around while the elevator moved, but he stood his ground.
The second time, Rascal paused for only a moment before proudly stepping into the elevator. After a few more rides in the elevator we decided to stop at Melts On Main Street (MOM's) to have some delicious grilled cheese sandwiches. Rascal munched hay quietly while we had our lunch at their outside tables.
Finally, it was time to go home to get Rommy since there's only room in the truck backseat for one horse. Rommy willingly loaded into the truck
Wow! It was quite a busy weekend for Fuzzy Therapy Miniature Horses. Rommy started Saturday by visiting his very good friends at Health Central Park. He saw friends he's known for over a year and new friends, even a resident kitty was fascinated with him. He also continued his practice of being lulled to sleep by the hands of those petting him.
Rommy took his lunch break in downtown Winter Garden at Melts On Main Street. We figured since Rascal got to go the weekend before Rommy should have a chance to go too. After a quick stop at home to rest Rommy was on his way again to meet even more new friends.
When we arrived at Inspired Living at Windermere (https://www.facebook.com/inspiredlivingwindermere/) there were residents outside ready to greet Rommy! We met for a few minutes, but then had to tell them it was time for us to go inside to meet everyone. They loved the idea so much that a little horse was going inside the building they followed us to the front door to see it happen!
Rommy quietly met each person he saw. He even stood very still when a new blind friend explored his face with her hands. Rommy walked down the halls as if he already knew where he was going, he had a purpose. Towards the end of the visit he put his head on my leg and fell asleep. It was Rommy's first day going on two visits and he was tired. It's a lot of work for a little horse being cute and helping people smile. Even though Rommy was tired he had enough energy to reach across the counter for a piece of chocolate he was given on his way out. I think he's found another new favorite place to visit!
On Sunday morning, I had some time to see if Bandit would figure out "go potty." I walked him around the pasture before I cleaned it, pointed at the piles on the ground, and asked him to go potty. He knew I had treats and was a little frustrated at times that I wasn't giving him them. He was, after all, sniffing each pile I asked him to. He pawed on the ground to show that he was frustrated, but then he continued to try to figure out what I was asking. After only five minutes of this task Bandit stood still and went potty! Smart boy, Bandit!
Rascal had a new experience this weekend. Crowd. Crowd containing lots and lots of people...oh, and dogs. His first reaction to the noise and excitement was to join in. He pranced and tossed his head while turning circles tightly
Ok, phew, the storm is over and all are well. Rommy, Rascal, Bandit and Moe were such good boys staying in the garage all night and half a day. They napped and munched hay without any incidents occurring. I'm so proud of them!
Now that cleanup is almost complete we can get back to sharing our stories of all the visits the horses love to do. Last week we were lucky to be invited back to National Night Out to share what our miniature therapy horses can do for the community.
Rommy was terrific! The loudspeakers didn't bother him, the balloon popping next to his ear didn't make him bolt in fear, nor did his introduction to McGruff, the human sized crime fighting dog.
We walked around the event this year since Rommy was acting so calm. We met firefighters, kids with popcorn, and adults with carry-on dogs. Rommy was invited to become a SWAT team member! He was even offered a fully armored suit to wear!
October 4, 2016
September 17, 2016
not knowing what plans we had for him. We parked in the garage this time and unloaded Rommy onto the second floor.
Rommy can be stubborn if he's not sure about something new. He stood firmly on the building floor and wouldn't enter the elevator, that is, until he realized there were cookies in there! As soon as the cookies were devoured more were requested. The game had begun. Rommy soon realized that the quicker he entered the elevator the quicker he'd get a cookie. Towards the end he concluded that if he stayed in the elevator and didn't come out when the doors opened he might get more cookies. That's when I realized our
It was a beautiful day yesterday. Rommy was invited to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children to cheer up the kids staying there. I have to admit I was a bit nervous since Rommy had never been there before. Maybe Rommy knew I was nervous because as soon as we arrived he took over. He explored the atrium, met all the character statues, and quietly awaited his first visitor.
Due to HIPAA we are not allowed to take photos of the children which I think is the right thing, but I also wish we had the opportunity to capture the joy we all saw in their faces. Their parent's joy was just as wonderful too. When one child reached out to touch Rommy his mother was so overcome with emotion she chatted excitedly about what he was doing.
Another child had never seen a horse before. I cannot begin to describe the amazement in his eyes. He hesitated before touching Rommy, but then began to pet him when he realized Rommy was so
Super Rommy swooped in to Health Central Park yesterday to check in on the quantity of smiles occurring. When smiles weren't found Super Rommy brought them.
Super Rommy is a quiet source of soothing. He is easily soothed by human touch. Super Rommy fell asleep multiple times yesterday while residents stroked his face and neck. All were successfully soothed.
Sometimes it's a tough job to be a super hero, but Super Rommy stood his ground when two residents debated over which of them was going to keep Super Rommy. The debate ended in smiles.
Super Rommy works long hours when he wants to. Yesterday he visited residents for an hour and a half with no break! Usually, about halfway through his normal hour visit he asks for a break. Super Rommy was content to stay inside with the residents and that lovely invention called air conditioning. He would have stayed longer, but Super Rommy has a busy schedule.
soft. I like to equate Rommy to a teddy bear so the children feel more comfortable reaching out to something that seems familiar.
As I think about our visit yesterday I wonder why I didn't feel sad about the children. For a brief moment the children were children, not patients. There were IVs and wheelchairs, but those were forgotten for there is something magical about Rommy. Rommy brought smiles to children yesterday and helped them be in a magical world where horses are.
Good boy, Rommy!
Rommy and I don't do this alone. Huge thanks to Marnie, Bonnie, Parker and the team at APH for all your help yesterday!
mission was accomplished, Rommy had no fear of elevators.
So proud of the boys!
Thank you, Marnie, for your help and willingness to learn how to handle these little guys!
Good boys, Rommy and Rascal!