You know how there are special dogs that visit hospitals to comfort patients? Well, therapy animals go beyond the canine variety. In college, I knew a girl who kept a sugar glider on her person at all times for therapeutic purposes–a goddamn flying squirrel, can you even believe it? She kept it in her sports bra and named him “best friend.” It was a little strange, but also pretty cool. Now in addition to man’s best friend and particularly cute vermin, relatives of the mighty camel are getting in on the therapy game. Seriously, there are llamas in Washington State that visit the elderly, chronically ill and disabled to bring joy and serenity.
Marisco and Flight are registered therapy llamas (check out their Facebook page) who have undergone extensive training before being officially certified therapy animals. Just looking at pictures of the llamas visiting patients in a hospital will make your heart swell. Don’t even get me started on how moving the videos are. For many people, the weird mammal has a magical effect.
If I were sick, I’d be over the moon seeing any animal other than a human come hang out with me for a couple of minutes. Seeing a llama strut down the hallway of a hospital like he thinks he’s a doctor would brighten the hell out of the my day, but I’m sure other animals would also do the trick.
These 10 types of animals also need to be certified for therapy purposes:
- Fennec Foxes- “These giant ears are for listening to your troubles.”
- Sand Cats- ”We get sleepy too.”
- Sloths- “Let yourself relax.”
- Pygmy Goats- “I know what it’s like to be small, but sturdy.”
- Deer- “You don’t have to be alone.”
- Kangaroos- “Hop in my pouch. I will keep you warm.”
- Elephants- “I’ll be here when the world seems as tough and grey as my flesh.”
- Owls- “Get ready for some tough love, wise guy.”
- Otter- “Stay afloat.”
- Lions- “I am the king and even I feel vulnerable sometimes.”
Story via The Daily Mail//Images via Shutterstock or Creative Commons