Aug 30, 2009 9:15 AM by KOAA

Mini horse helps Black Forest nursing home patients remember

When you live in a nursing home, a visit can brighten your day. One Black Forest woman has put an interesting spin on "a visit from friends."

Ginny Mills and her miniature horse Peanut have been visiting area nursing homes since December. She says the residents are often shocked to see a horse in the house. "Their eyes just get big. They have big smiles. It's just overwhelming to them. To see a horse in an actual house. I think they like the shoes the best."

When Ginny and Peanut go on visits, they certainly come in style. Peanut wears flowered pins in her hair, and red and blue striped tennis shoes. They spend time visiting with patients, hopefully reminding them that people (and animals) still care.

Ginny says her goal, "is just bringing love and respect and letting people know that just because they are seniors doesn't mean they are thrown away. They still have value to give to the community."

John Childers father Edward lives at Life Quality Homes. He has alzheimers. John says his father's experience with Peanut was both engaging and uplifting. " He has a lot of memories that are rekindled with experiences like this. But it's just a very warm special moment to have him be able to see a horse."

Ginny says she has seen a lot of people come back to life during their visits with Peanut. She says she is constantly amazed at what a brief "hello" can do.

Ginny's non-profit organization is called Mello Memories. If you are interested in volunteering, you can contact her at Donations to the organization can be sent to: 6175 Burgess Rd., Black Forest, CO 80908.



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