Monday, September 24, 2012

Therapy Pets

There are numerous studies and examples that prove therapy pets are truly healing and magical for the human psyche. Back in March of this year, NPR had a piece on the subject and I have come across story after story after story, proving that even cats make great healers.

This past weekend I attended a handlers' workshop necessary for taking the steps to be registered as a Pet Partners Therapy Team with my cat, Tao. I traveled two hours north to Long Beach for an all day workshop that included practice visits using stuffed toys and videos of dog calming signals. It was really enjoyable and I learned quite a bit. Next step is evaluation of myself and Tao in a series of activities. I have unlimited time to continue training him before we have to test and I want our efforts to be successful.

So far Tao has learned to walk (decently) on a leash, knows "No" when it comes to leaving things alone (even yummy food), high-5, handshake, sit (often confused with lie down - but it's an acceptable start), riding in a basket on my bike and playing fetch. Oh, and talking. Words that only he understands, but this cat has a full repertoire.

I've been rather distracted from creating my own "HiddenInspiration" piece this week with the adventures of training my cat and also getting a severe pinched nerve on my right shoulder and neck... lol, that's what I get for suddenly riding a bike 4 days in row. Exercise is dangerous. ;)

Here's my fella, Tao the Amazing Cat, on one of the hottest days in San Diego. My upstairs apartment doesn't have air-conditioning (as most older homes in SD do not) and it must have reached at least 100ºF inside. To keep Tao and myself from melting, we wore wet handkerchiefs around our necks and I have to admit that Tao was looking pretty dapper in his.


victoria said...

He's very handsome! I'm sure I'd feel comforted by him as a visiting therapy pet.

Debbie Palen said...

Hi Christina. Lovely posts. Hope you are well ! Tao looks marvelous.