Seriously, the things they ask me to supervise around here. Today I had to supervise Dr. Lacher and Charly while they pulled a Coggins on Scout from Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses. The humans seem to think Scout is tiny and cute and adorable. Meh, he’s a tiny horse. I will take a tiny mouse instead any day. What I can say is adorable is how Scout helps the humans. We animals, being superior in every way to the humans, must look for opportunities to give back to those less fortunate than us whenever possible. And let’s face it: pretty much any human is less fortunate than I am.
Scout is a (very small) part of Gentle Carousel. This group of very dedicated humans and horses go into hospitals, nursing homes, rehab facilities, and pretty much anywhere children in need exist. They use the horses to help people heal emotionally and physically. Those humans will do all kinds of stuff to pet us cute cats, pat a dog on the head, or be near a horse. This means someone who has been reluctant to stretch that arm, crack a smile, or take a step will make tremendous progress when animals are around.
I have my own selfish motivations for loving Christmas, mostly involving the decorations. I get told I should be more generous with the poor homeless kittens that show up around here. I don’t see that happening, but I will tell you about local programs you can help.
Your local animal shelter, Gainesville Pet Rescue, Alachua Humane Society, and Operation Catnip (just to name a few) are always looking for volunteer help. From fostering animals, to helping in the office, there is a place for you to help no matter what.
The Retirement Home for Horses. This beautiful farm in Alachua is dedicated to retired horses. Their residents include many retired police, military, and forest service horses, along with some that have been confiscated for mistreatment. Saturdays are open to all who bring the required carrot admission fee. While there you can find out about all the volunteer opportunities available. From grooming horses to mowing fields, there is always something to do on this enormous farm. While I love a good crowd, I know some of you may be looking for opportunities to get out of the house and have some fresh air between you and crazy Uncle Joe. Go visit the Retirement Home for Horses. This enormous farm will give you plenty of opportunity to turn left when everyone else turns right. Only problem is the entire place is fenced in so Uncle Joe won’t get lost.
HOPE-Horses Helping People. This group in Archer use horses for a wide variety of therapies. People with mobility disorders find riding gives them increased movement, balance, and endurance. Hippotherapy uses the horses as a tool to work on all kinds of stuff from movement to communication (as a cat I should probably be there working on my communication). They have programs for Veterans and directed psychotherapy programs.
I think Operation Catnip is pretty awesome myself (hard to support the nip part, but I support the goal of helping cats) and they are seriously in to helping cats. Moral of this Tuesdays with Tony: When the giving mood strikes you, there are great local options! And if none of these floats your boat, come give me treats and ear scratches.