Monday, November 05, 2007

Stubbornly Therapeutic

A friend recently sent me a link to a story in the BBC news that I couldn't resist. We here at Shrink Rap have a soft spot for living creatures of every stripe: ducks, cats, Max, predatory birds, parakeets, guinea pigs and other warm fuzzy things. I think having a fondness for living creatures is a healthy thing and a good thing for doctors and patients alike.

There are programs that use animals as therapeutic tools. Pets On Wheels will bring dogs and cats in to inpatient units. There are therapeutic riding programs that let disabled kids go to stables to ride horses. I've heard of therapeutic swimming programs where kids are allowed to swim with dolphins. This story brings the idea of therapeutic animals visits to a whole new level.

Nursing home residents in England are getting in-room visits from donkeys. Yes, they actually come into the rooms. As far as I know there is no riding involved. Personally I'm impressed they managed to get the critters up the elevator. And before anyone asks, the handlers bring pooper-scoopers although they acknowledge sometimes "accidents do happen". Eyew. Therapy should be productive, but perhaps not quite that way.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Funny, but I got emailed that link too. Maybe we know the same people?

The soup-- I've made it before and it's wonderful. Today: Bland. Even with extra curry powder, cumin, a little sherry, a dash of cinnamon, a lot of salt. Wondering if I overcooked the sweet potatoes.

ClinkShrink said...

I think we have good taste in friends.

Sorry about the soup. I've been meaning to ask: how long does it take you to peel and dice two pounds of sweet potatoes, anyway?

Anonymous said...

I don't do measurements. 4 large sweet potatoes, I only used half for the soup, the other half will get mashed with a little butter and brown sugar as a side dish.

roughly 7 minutes? How long does it take to peel a sweet potatoe, I've never timed it. chopping....another 90 seconds/yam?

In the past I think I've used more onions and added a little cream. Tonight's didn't need cream, it was a nice thick consistency. I guess it was the overcooked potatoes, I also didn't cook them in the broth the way I usually do, I precooked them in water for a long time yesterday--this made the puree process much easier and imminently neater, but I think it compromised the taste.

ClinkShrink said...

This is the recipe you think *I* can do? Oy.

Anonymous said...

You'll follow the directions and actually measure things. That might help.

Perhaps we should try support donkey stew?

ClinkShrink said...

As long as you don't touch the duck.

resonance said...

Baby miniature donkeys

An even more potent form, plus more maneuverable in small rooms. You could probably even give them little sneakers like they have for guide miniature ponies (sorry, link to guidehorse.com down) so they don't scuff the floors. Miniature donkeys with little sneakers. How can you get more therapeutic than that?

I think they are a good candidate for randomized controlled trials.

Gerbil said...

Emotional support ass!

emily said...

i've been thinking about adopting a dog from one of those programs where prisoners get to train dogs. have you had any experience with these programs, or heard anything good or bad about it?

Assrot said...

Donkeys are down right pleasant animals especially if they have been around people all their life. What's a little crap if the animal makes someone happy for a little while. I'd rather see a real jackass than some of the jackass people that come to visit myself. Long live the donkey. You can use the turds for lawn fertilizer at the place. I see nothing but good in donkeys visiting people. Sounds like fun to me.

mingalls said...

Personally, I find llamas rather therapeutic. The ones I know are very sweet and calm. They like music, and are curious about new people. That said, they do have quite the personalities- the ones I housesit for won't look at me if I let them out late in the morning or if I'm late with dinner.

I guess they're a little large for small rooms... Alpacas maybe?

Sarebear said...

Gerbil, almost NOTHING makes me burst out laughing, but you just did.

Thanks for that.

This post kicks ass . . . .!

Gerbil said...

Sarebear, glad I could be of assistance ;)

ClinkShrink said...

Resonance: Miniature donkeys? How cute is that? Thanks for the link.

Gerbil: Your pun made my day. I can't believe I missed that one.

Emily: I know someone who trained companion animals once but I don't have any experience with prisoner-run programs. My guess is that the dog behaviors would be the same no matter who trains them. Our drug dogs are trained in-house by custody, from birth to tier.

Gerbil said...

Clink, I can't believe you missed it either. But that's okay. I've got your back.