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LocalHello, Diesel!

November 1, 2016

Move over, Fido the dog! Make room for Diesel, the horse. Diesel is bringing smiles and comfort to patients at a Bremerton hospital. Diesel and other miniature horses are becoming popular as therapy animals across the US.

Therapy, or comfort, animals go to hospitals, nursing homes, libraries, and other places. They walk around with their handler and allow people to touch, talk, hug, and hold them. They help relieve pain, lower stress, and calm sick or upset people. Dogs are the most common therapy animals.

However, miniature horses are ideal therapy animals for two reasons. First, miniature horses are very small, about the size of a big dog, so they are easy to take from place to place. Their tiny size also makes them easy to hug and pet. Second, horses are very sensitive and have a kind and gentle personality. They do not excite easily and know how to respond to sick or hurt people.

But horses are still unusual therapy animals. Eileen Wetland said to hospital officials, “Please try my little horse.”

They said, “…I don’t think we can bring a horse into the hospital.”

However, a hospital official got information about therapy horses and decided to give Diesel a try. He was a great hit with the patients and now makes weekly visits.

To see a photo of Diesel, click here

To see photos of these tiny therapy horses, click this link

Published November 2016

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